Curating

We all have multiple passions and we are all good at multiple pursuits. One of the problems is that we want to follow all of these avenues at the same time. We want to show the world that we possess skills in many different artistic expressions. This counteracts the practice of curating your work. When I say curate your work, I mean what you broadcast to the world, what you share online.

The internet allows pursuing a hobby, interest or passion quite easily. The accessibility of knowledge needed to pursue an artistic expression is gained relatively quickly through a few simple google searches. What takes your skill further is your willingness to pursue that avenue, work hard at it and practice to make it yours. Your not unique. Anybody, can do anything, anytime they want.

What separates you from being ‘just anybody’, is your willingness to become associated to with a particular skill or trade. This is why you need to curate what you share online.

This also goes back to post #9: Are You A Jack Of All Trades. where I talked about pursuing one goal at a time, if not, your diluting the quality of the output of your other passions because your attempting to juggle them all, and not dedicating time to focus on one pursuit.

By curating just one passion, your developing a strong association to that passion.

People cannot fathom the vast complexities of each individual they follow online. This is something you will have to get over. Yes, we are all good at many skills and have a lot of hobbies. People are going to pigeon-hole you, they need to put you into a box in order to understand and label you so they can structure what they want to see online. This is your opportunity to write the label for them, shape the box they put you in. This happens by curating your work. This is how you will grow your audience.

Do you want to be known as a marine photographer, or nothing at all. Because people can’t process the complexities of a marine photographing, BMX biking, guitar playing, programmer.

The vast majority of people’s Facebook and Twitter is just a stream of conscious thought. It’s in the moment, what they are doing then and there. There is no structure, just sporadic jumping back and forth between pursuits, what they are thinking, pictures of recent purchases or opinions on unrelated topics.

If this is you, and your thinking, “why can’t I grow my audience?”, this is why. When your starting out and you have no followers or an audience and no one knows your name, how are you going to grow if no one knows what you do? You need to pick something you love, and broadcast only that.

If you want to be known for something, you have to curate what you share.

This is one of the main reasons you grow your audience and followers. Be known for one of your passions or you’ll be known for none of them. You attract what you project. Which is all the more reason to focus on one passion and broadcast it. Let the work speak for itself. Selectively curating what you project gets you on the ladder (of that skill or profession) and quality shoots you up it, in terms of association and audience appreciation.

“If you want to be noticed, you have to subjectively project the thing you want to be known for.” – Seanwes

When you have so many pursuits being broadcasted online, no one pursuit is distinguished from the others, which means no one pursuit can be consumed and processed. Which creates noise, and no one wants to follow noise. You need to narrow your focus so people know what your all about. Your establishing yourself as a professional, as an expert in the field, you will be respected for that. This is how you build an audience.

But you’re not caged into this one passion, there is room to manoeuvre. You don’t have to do this one thing for the rest of your life. Your not stuck.

Once you have established yourself as a professional at that pursuit, people will remember that as you move on to the next pursuit, even if in a different field. Which is great news for those of us who fear being locked in this one thing for the rest of our life. Which again, lends itself back to post #9.

If you choose to move on to the next passion, you have the social proof and a proven track record from previous pursuits to carry over followers from that pursuit, because you have established your credibility and hard work already. People know what you can do, and your capacity to work because you were so successful in past pursuits.

Curate your output. Be noticed. Build an audience.