Who needs competition?
One of the best ways to set yourself up for a steady stream of work is to build up yourself as a brand. Stop thinking of yourself as just a creative and start thinking of how you can create yourself to be bigger than just one person. Someone who is known for being the best at a certain style or genre. Someone who is the must work with artist for a particular job.Not you will you no longer be having to fight others for jobs, you'll no longer feel the need to compete on pricing either.
This also helps you to cast off the shackles of dollars per hour service based mentality, which lets you open up your income potential beyond how many hours you can work in a day. You can create products as well as start
So how do we do that? Here are 3 quick tips to help you on your way.
Get your name out there
Stop living behind handles and nicknames.you need to start building up whatever name your going to work under. Whether it's your email address, website, social media, they all should be under the same name. The more prospective collaborators are familiar with who you are and what you do, the easier you will find it to keep the jobs rolling in. There is no greater generator of work than word of mouth. Don't be afraid to get your name out in front of people, and even better attach that name to quality work.
Always remember that you are in a visual creative career. not only do you need to build your name, but also the kind of work you associated with. You need to think of what you want to be known for and keep producing high quality work to go with it.
Position yourself as the authority.
I learned on my first job in a marketing department, that a great way to get more work from clients is to be seen as the authority on specifically what they need. not only do you become the go to, you can charge a premium for working with the best. The absolute best way to position yourself is to become an educator in that space. "But I'm just starting out!" you say? Well start easy. Create a tutorial. Use what you do to teach someone else something. We all take fore granted what we know and what we can do. even though you may be just starting out, there are tons of creative people out there who can learn from where you are right now.
Build your audience and allow them in
Building an audience can be huge for your career. You can leverage them to start new projects or launch personal endeavours like book and prints. Sometimes fans of your work can be real clients who want to work with you as well. A great way to nurture and grow your audience is to engage with them and give them a window into your process. this can also help with the previously mentioned, building authority.
Feel free to share sketches and insights into your creative process. Remember never to share things under NDAs but invite people in as much as they can. the more they feel invested into you can the process, the more likely they are to but your products and help promote you to others.
Audiences tend to grow exponentially. It's may be slow at first but it can quickly grow and one fan tells 3 friends, then those 3 tell 3 more each, then those 9 tell 27 more.... etc. Approaching a publisher or studio with a built in fan base can open a lot of doors for you as well as having a direct line to creating product just for them or leveraging crowd funding platforms like patreon and kickstarter. It's usually a slow growth to get there, but you're creating work anyway right?