Starting Out Story #1: Getting Views / by Jean Bai

I consider myself an introvert, so the whole idea that business now begins with social media in order to reach a wider audience is pretty daunting to say the least. Now that I've gone through the formation of about a dozen social media accounts, linking each to my domain and adding them to niche social networks, I can say that it wasn't so painful.

It's been refreshing. 

For a while, I've been working happily and steadily at a wealth management firm down in LA. Photography was always a peripheral thing that I tried to squeeze in between work, studying for the GMAT and time with by boyfriend. I haven't felt as connected with it, as I barely went shooting a handful of times per year. Seemed like the only time my mind was clear to go shoot was when I was on vacation.

I finally pulled the trigger and found myself hibernating this winter planning out and executing the first steps.

Sharing my work on platforms and creating social media presence has become a bit addicting. Behind the veil of a computer screen, it's easier to share experiences and speak candidly about the things that have mattered to you. It's easier to feel purpose in what you do and feel connected to your craft.

Share your work.

Just to begin, if you want your creative work noticed these are musts:

Instagram: tag, get likes, see your individual style take shape

Tumblr: it's like twitter, but more visual

Behance: it's like a personal project gallery; acts more like LinkedIn for creatives

Flickr & 500px: add images, get followers and potentially make some money through licensing.

Join niche social networks.

Let's face it. Facebook is becoming passe. With so much noise and clutter on social networks, it's hard to filter for content that you truly care about. I have had over 600 friends on Facebook for the last several years now and yet I have little to do with any of them by now. I get posts about their pets, Trump vs. Hillary, and attention-grabbing pseudoscience findings such as how having alcohol has been proven to be healthier than going to the gym. 

Blogs are also becoming a terrible tool to get discovered (ironic, huh?). There are now nearly 75 million blogs on Wordpress alone. Not the best of odds to shine. Similar to how an over-abundance of selection on Amazon and online retailers is now backfiring, I think the noise in blogging communities is increasing exponentially to the point that it's difficult to find those who have stories you want to hear. If anything, blogging is more a creative exercise that allows viewers to sense your personality and values after they already have discovered you.

Enter: niche social networks. Here are some established ones to explore if you're into architecture and design:

Archinect: find jobs, articles, and forums on working in architecture here

Architzer: feature your projects, follow notable people and read great articles

Architecturelovers: definitely more social, with project pages at the firm and individual level. 

Submit your work.

Why spend years to develop a strong following, when there are curated architecture sites dedicated to featuring your work to an established viewer base? Aside from submitting to the communities above, here are a few other links below. Did I miss any? Let us know in the comments below.








Good luck to y'all! If you've taken these steps, the next thing to do is connect with me :)