Self-Promotion Tips for Creative Professionals
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Build and maintain your portfolio
  2. Network with other creative professionals
  3. Establish an online presence
  4. Attend and participate in industry events
  5. Seek and promote testimonials
  6. Offer your skills for free or at a discount
  7. Apply for and showcase awards and grants
  8. Publish your own content
  9. Stay current with industry trends
  10. Always follow up

The art of self-promotion: marketing yourself as a creative professional is a journey, not a race. And it's a journey that can take you places you've never dreamed of. It's about showcasing your creativity to the world, making connections, and getting your name out there. Whether you're a writer, designer, musician, or any other type of creative professional, these tips will help you navigate the world of self-promotion.

Build and maintain your portfolio

Your portfolio is your visual resume. It's a showcase of your best work and a testament to your skills. It's also a powerful tool in your self-promotion arsenal.

Step 1: Build it. Start by selecting your best pieces. These might be projects you're particularly proud of, ones that challenged you, or those that received positive feedback. Remember, quality over quantity: it's better to have five stunning pieces than 20 average ones.

Step 2: Organize it. Group similar pieces together. This could be by medium, theme, or even color. Make it easy for people to see your range, but also your consistency. And remember to put your best piece first and your second best last; this is known as the 'serial position effect', and it helps you make a great first and lasting impression.

Step 3: Maintain it. Keep your portfolio up-to-date. As you improve and grow in your craft, so should your portfolio. Regularly add new pieces and remove older ones. This shows you're active, committed to your craft, and constantly evolving.

With these steps, you'll be well on your way in the art of self-promotion: marketing yourself as a creative professional with a portfolio that truly represents you and your work.

Network with other creative professionals

Ever heard the phrase 'It's not what you know, it's who you know'? Well, in the world of creative professionals, that's often the case. Networking is a key aspect of self-promotion and can open doors you never even knew existed.

Start small. Connect with other creative professionals in your local area. Attend meetups, join local creative groups, or even just reach out online. You'd be surprised at how supportive and collaborative the creative community can be.

Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Attend industry events, seminars, and workshops. Not only will you learn new skills, but you'll also have the chance to meet industry leaders, future collaborators, and potential clients.

And remember, networking isn't just about taking, it's about giving too. Share your knowledge, offer help, and support other creatives. It's a two-way street, and the more you give, the more you'll receive.

Embracing the art of networking can truly elevate your self-promotion efforts. After all, marketing yourself as a creative professional is all about building connections and creating a community that supports and inspires each other.

Establish an online presence

In today's digital age, having an online presence is almost as important as having a physical one. It's where people get to know you, your work, and your brand. And it's also where most people will first encounter you as a creative professional.

Start by creating a website. This will be your digital storefront, the place where people can view your portfolio, learn about your services, and get in touch with you. Make sure it's professional, easy to navigate, and showcases your work in the best light.

But don't stop at just a website. Social media is a powerful tool for creative professionals. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn can be great spaces to share your work, connect with other creatives, and engage with potential clients. Make sure to post regularly, engage with your followers, and always be authentic.

Lastly, don't forget about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is a bit more technical, but it's a key part of getting found online. Make sure your website and social media profiles are optimized with keywords relevant to your work, like "graphic designer" or "freelance illustrator."

In essence, establishing an online presence is an art in itself. It's about more than just having a website or being active on social media. It's about creating a digital space that reflects who you are as a creative professional and how you want to be perceived by the world.

Attend and participate in industry events

When it comes to mastering the art of self-promotion: marketing yourself as a creative professional, showing up in the right places matters. And one of the best places to be seen and make connections is at industry events.

Be it a local meetup, a national conference, or an online webinar—such platforms offer you a golden opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, potential clients, and industry leaders. Not only can you learn from their experiences, but you can also showcase your own work, and even get feedback from peers.

While attending events is great, participating elevates the experience to a whole new level. Consider presenting a talk, leading a workshop, or even just participating in a panel discussion. This helps position you as an expert in your field, making you more attractive to potential clients.

Remember, these events are not just about selling your services, it's about building relationships. Be genuine, show interest in others, and the self-promotion will naturally follow. After all, people tend to do business with those they know, like, and trust.

So, are you ready to put yourself out there?

Seek and promote testimonials

Ever wondered why most successful professionals have a dedicated section for testimonials on their websites? Well, that's because word-of-mouth remains one of the most potent forms of marketing, even in the digital age. It's a critical part of the art of self-promotion: marketing yourself as a creative professional.

When a client sings your praises, it gives prospective clients a glimpse into what it's like to work with you. It's a stamp of approval that can sway potential clients in your favor. So, don't shy away from asking satisfied clients for testimonials. Most people will be more than willing to share their positive experiences.

Once you have these testimonials, it's time to promote them. Feature them prominently on your website. Share them on your social media platforms. You might even consider creating a showcase video compiling the best testimonials.

But remember, authenticity is key. Never fabricate a testimonial or alter a client's words to make it sound better. Honesty and integrity are the cornerstones of a successful creative professional.

So, start asking for those testimonials, and let the world know about the fantastic work you do!

Offer your skills for free or at a discount

Yes, you read that right. Sometimes, offering your skills for free or at a discount can be a strategic move in the art of self-promotion: marketing yourself as a creative professional. But how can that be?

Think of it as a marketing investment. By offering your services for free or at a reduced rate, you can attract clients who might not have considered your services otherwise. Once they see the quality of your work, they're more likely to become repeat customers and even refer you to others.

This strategy can be particularly effective when you're starting out and trying to build a client base. You could offer your services to local non-profits, friends or family members, or even local businesses. In return, you not only gain valuable experience and build your portfolio, but you also create a network of people who can vouch for your skills and quality of work.

However, remember this is a strategic move, not a permanent business model. The goal is to increase your visibility and showcase your skills, not to undervalue your worth. Once you've established yourself, it's essential to charge what your work is truly worth.

So, are you ready to make a strategic investment in your career?

Apply for and showcase awards and grants

Another great way to boost your reputation in the art of self-promotion: marketing yourself as a creative professional is by applying for awards and grants. These accolades not only provide financial support but also symbolize recognition and validation from your industry peers.

Being the recipient of an award or grant can set you apart from your competitors. It sends a clear message: Your work is of high quality and worth investing in. In many cases, the awarding body will even provide promotional materials that you can use to market yourself. This could include press releases, interviews, or features on their website.

No matter the size or prestige of the award, don't be shy about showcasing it. Include it on your website, in your portfolio, and on your social media profiles. Use it as an opportunity to share your excitement and gratitude, which can create a positive and relatable image to your potential clients.

Remember, applying for awards and grants can be a competitive process. Don't be discouraged if you don't win every time. The process of applying can be a valuable learning experience, helping you refine your craft and better understand what sets you apart in your field.

So, are you ready to take your creative career to the next level by applying for awards and grants?

Publish your own content

When it comes to the art of self-promotion: marketing yourself as a creative professional, publishing your own content is a game-changer. By creating and sharing original content, you can showcase your skills, passion, and personality. It's an opportunity to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your creative process, share your insights, and tell your story.

Your content can take many forms. You might start a blog where you share your thoughts on industry trends, tutorials, or case studies of your work. You might launch a podcast where you interview other creatives or discuss your experiences. Or you might create video content, such as time-lapse videos of your work or vlogs about your day-to-day life as a creative professional.

Publishing your own content also helps to establish you as an authority in your field. When people see that you're not just a practitioner but also a thought leader, they'll be more likely to respect and trust you. And trust, as we all know, can lead to more opportunities and success.

And remember, quality trumps quantity. It's better to publish one thoughtful, well-crafted piece of content each month than to churn out content just for the sake of it. So take the time to create something that you're proud of and that truly reflects your voice as a creative professional.

So, what kind of content will you publish? Will it be a blog post, a podcast episode, or a video? Whichever you choose, make it authentically you.

As a creative professional, you're no stranger to the fast-paced nature of the industry. Things change, new techniques emerge, and styles evolve — all at warp speed. To excel in the art of self-promotion: marketing yourself as a creative professional, it's vital that you stay current with industry trends.

Why? Well, quite simply, it shows that you're active, engaged, and knowledgeable. It shows potential clients or employers that you're not just stuck in your ways but are continually learning and adapting — a highly sought-after trait in the creative world.

So, how do you keep up with the latest trends? Here are a few ideas:

  • Read industry publications: There's a wealth of knowledge out there in the form of blogs, magazines, and online forums. Take advantage of them!
  • Follow industry leaders: Keep tabs on what the thought leaders in your field are doing and talking about. They're often the ones at the forefront of new trends.
  • Participate in online communities: Sites like Behance or Dribbble are not only great for showcasing your work but also for seeing what others are doing and engaging in discussions.
  • Attend conferences and webinars: These events can be a goldmine of information, allowing you to learn from industry experts and network with other creatives.

Remember, you don't need to jump on every trend that comes along. Not every trend will be relevant or beneficial to your work. The key is to be aware of them, understand them, and then decide whether or not they fit into your creative vision.

So, are you ready to dive into the dynamic world of industry trends?

Always Follow Up

In the art of self-promotion: marketing yourself as a creative professional, one essential factor is often overlooked — following up. You might have the most impressive portfolio in the world, but if you're not actively engaging with potential clients or employers, you might find yourself missing out on opportunities.

Why is following up so important? It shows your interest and commitment. It also keeps you fresh in the minds of people you've interacted with, and that's half the battle won. So, how can you master the art of the follow-up? Let's take a look:

  • Timeliness: It's good practice to follow up within 24-48 hours of an initial meeting or conversation. This shows that you're serious and proactive.
  • Personalization: Avoid generic emails or messages. Try to reference something specific from your conversation or meeting to show that you were paying attention.
  • Value: Don't just follow up for the sake of it. Try to provide some sort of value in your communication, whether it's an interesting article, a relevant piece of news, or even a simple thank you.

Following up can sometimes feel awkward or pushy, but it doesn't have to be. Remember, you're a professional offering a valuable service. You're not pestering people; you're providing them with an opportunity to work with a talented creative professional. That's you!

So, ready to start following up like a pro?

If you enjoyed our blog on self-promotion tips for creative professionals and want to dive deeper into the topic, don't miss Amelia Hadouchi's workshop, 'How To Promote Yourself As A Creative.' This workshop is packed with valuable tips and insights on how to effectively promote yourself and your work in the creative industry. Sign up today to boost your self-promotion skills!