When you work in a creative industry, you’re going to experience slow stretches with little to no work. Not knowing when you’re going to receive your next assignment is scary, but you don’t have to spend every waking minute worrying about your future. You can look at this period of your life as an opportunity to enhance your future.
Here are a few ways to conquer the slow moments in your creative career instead of letting them drain you:
Reflect on your process. Look over your past work to pinpoint areas where you can improve and areas you consider strengths. Once you have an idea on how you should alter your process, redefine your vision. Don’t hesitate to take your career in a new direction. You’re allowed to shift paths at any time. Remember, growth requires change. You aren’t going to be the same artist this year as you were last year and that’s okay. That’s natural.
Once you’ve figured out where you want to take your career moving forward, your next step is to search for better clients. Scour social media for users who share the same interests as you. Follow them. DM them. Like their posts. Build a community. The more people who follow you across platforms, the more people will see your work. They might even offer you a job.
While you’re searching through social media for potential fans, you should also take note of artists you consider yourself a fan of. If you come across someone in your line of work doing well, see if you can learn anything from them. Take a look at their individual style. Take a look at how frequently they post. Take a look at the way they present themselves and how they interact with their audience.
You shouldn’t copy their approach – but you can definitely learn something from their approach. You can even reach out to them with questions about their process. You can ask them to collaborate with you on future projects. You can ask them to tag you in posts. You can network with as many talented creators as you can while you have the time.
Of course, if you want the people you interact with on social media to follow you, you have to make sure your pages are worth following. That is why you should use your slow period to rebuild your brand. Redesign your social media pages in a way that accurately portrays you and your art. Create a catchy bio. Add a professional profile picture. Consistently upload high-quality content.
Make sure your brand name and theme remain consistent across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and your own personal website to make it easier for everyone to find you. You want your audience to know exactly who you are, exactly what they can expect to see from you, and exactly what username they should type into search engines in order to reach your accounts. You don’t want to make it hard for anyone to access your work.
When your career hits a rut, it’s easy to assume the worst. It’s easy to lose hope and wonder whether you’ve made a mistake by following your passions. However, the last thing you should do is give up on yourself. You shouldn’t use your slow moments as an excuse to find a more traditional, reliable career path. You should use them as an excuse to better your craft, to search for clients, to redesign your vision.
Those slow moments happen to the most talented individuals. If you can make it through them and come out as an even better artist, then you are one step closer to success.