The Internet is the great equalizer. Household names used to be people we saw on TV, in movies, or writers of the most famous books and syndicated articles. Now, it's not strange for a YouTube personality, online cooking blogger, or comedy tweeter with a 9-to-5 job to be mentioned around the dinner table.
Often these online personalities are a lot more approachable online than celebrities for the simple fact that they engage with their fans. Sure, some celebrities are pretty good about replying on Facebook or Twitter, and, yes, submitting something to an ESPN anchor might get you a shoutout on TV, but for the large part, people who are active online want
to talk to you, want
to converse, want
your feedback, and want
Kind of like in real life, sitting on the sidelines and cruising the Internet silently is a fine way to get information, but to get that real kindred connection, you need to participate. And, better
than real life, you can delete and edit your responses and include humorous and relevant .gifs, all at the push of a button. I've tried re-creating .gifs in real life. It doesn't translate.
With Internet engagement, you get what you give. The most famous artists on DeviantArt didn't get where they are today by sitting back and holding court. They do have amazing talent to back them up, but they were chatting and fave-ing and putting themselves out there just like you. Many artists and writers love getting prompts and feedback from their fans, and a lot integrate fan suggestions into future works. And still others — just like you — simply rely on kind comments as encouragement and inspiration to keep going and creating.
It's not all about "just putting yourself out there." Have you ever watched a journalist on Twitter, maybe someone who works for a popular publication, who does nothing but tweet their own articles? It's nice that they're broadening their reach by having a million fans, but why are they only watching four people? That pretty much means they don't use Twitter at all… or they like really clean feeds. Why do they never reply to tweets, even genuine or complimentary questions, or comments from their peers? It's like their editor just recommended this new Twitter thing, and they just blindly checked the box "Republish all my articles" without ever visiting Twitter again. It works, but for how long?
Even the most established artists, writers, and other creators don't rest on their laurels, awaiting the next big epiphany. They're constantly engaging with their audience, keeping their finger on the pulse of what their fans like to see from them and want to see more of. On DeviantArt especially, Livestreams and tutorials are a way they can give back — to chat with their fans, teach them, and strengthen their brand. They're doing it right.
Finally, whether you're an established artist, an up-and-coming superstar, or just someone who has interesting and evocative opinions you want to share with the world, the key is to be authentic. It's not enough to just blurt out "Like my status if you think sharks are cool" and wait for the fans to roll in. (Okay, bad example… sharks are pretty cool.) You can't sign up for a new site and say "Watch me Livestream! I'm great! Promise!" You can
integrate yourself into the community, find people you look up to, who make you better, and build a fan base around conversation and trust. It works. Fans appreciate being heard, and you'll appreciate having a living, breathing connection to everyone who wants to support you in your path to success.
My +Watch Forever
for talented deviants who are doing it right:celesse elsevilla griffsnuffkiki-doodle loish Memnalar nebezial PascalCampion QinniRy-Spirit sandarasaniika TsaoShinWillow-San yuumei
P.S. - You are cool, and I am proud of you.