Are you a creator that is struggling to build an audience ?
Do you put hours into your work and too much thoughts into your social posts only to get one view or none at all ?
Do you sometimes feel like you are getting nowhere and that maybe you’re work just isn’t good enough because it is not attracting a big audience ?
If you answered yes to these questions, I feel you and I know how it sucks.
I hope to help you find a better perspective on this issue with this post and maybe even show you how it might already be exactly what you are dreaming of.
Why is no one liking my posts ?
It is a very common struggle when you first start putting yourself out there and as much as “bigger” creators seem to have it all together, they also had to go through this stage.
I know it’s hard to believe and even I sometimes fall for this picture-perfect that is projected by their online world : it’s all beautiful, sophisticated and every post is just buzzing with likes & comments.
Everywhere you look, you see the attention and the love that you wish your creations would get. But if you take a few steps back, you will realize that this is but one side of the story.
As a creator yourself, you know that becoming good at something takes a lot of time and maybe even a lifetime, I would argue. You know that creating something takes a lot of time. And in this day and age where almost everyone is online, sharing their work, their thoughts, you need to remember that building a following will take even more time & effort.
There are literally too many posts to count that are published every minute online and it will be hard for your posts to find the right people. But if you give up now, it will simply never happen.
This is one of the first posts that I uploaded to my art account on Instagram about two years ago. (There were actually many others before that but I recently deleted them as I wanted my account to better reflect who I am and for me to actually like the way it looks.)
I remember working on this pastel drawing/painting. It took a lot of hours and it was s fun & messy. When I finished it, I had a hard time believing that I was the one that made it because it simply looked amazing and I wasn’t aware at the time that I could produce something this good with my own two hands.
When I started this account, I didn’t really care too much about it — which ultimately lead to me today still struggling to grow it because of two years of having it and not using it cleverly. This means that when I posted this, I wasn’t expecting much : I was just putting it out there for anyone to see and maybe like.
As I started to take my art a little more seriously, I started to care a bit more about those numbers which only brought me heartaches & headaches.
Sometimes you spend so much time working on something and you are so proud of it that when you share it, you expect instant gratification, a big splash ; all the likes in the world, couple new followers and maybe even your “big break” (#dreambig).
But the truth is — and I know that you know this too — getting the success that you wish for is not going to happen overnight, no matter how hard you have worked already.
The hard work never stops…
As a creator, you will always be constantly working hard on your craft. Working to master your weapons, working on your creations and if this is one of your goals as well, working on building a nice base of supporters to share your work with.
This is a lot of work and it also isn’t a simple task. It is not going to be one to do list that you will check off all the boxes and then you will be set for life. Even when you do reach your goals, you will have to keep working to keep them alive & thriving.
Think of it as a garden. You don’t stop caring for the flowers just because they have finally bloomed.
As a creator, your life is essentially the equivalent of motherhood and that is a neverending job.
You have to put a lot of time, a lot of care & energy and a few carefully selected fragments of your heart & soul into your creations.
You bring them to life and then have to keep carrying them through the social medias so some other souls can connect with them and breathe more life into them.
The work that goes into creating things is, dare I say, incommensurable. And as a proud creator, aware of the tears of sweat & struggle behind your work, when you gather the courage to put yourself out there and are met with… nothing… It is hard…
Facing the silence
I am all about sharing. To me, it feels like my creations don’t really have life in them until I share them with someone else. Creating is just how I process life & live it but sharing is what turns dead ink and dirty pages into my music and my art.
I am not a big talker but I love telling stories and sharing. My art & music are a big part of my communication and I would be really lost without them. No one would understand me and I wouldn’t understand anything either.
All the things that I make feel very personal to me and so precious. And although the lack of feedback or reaction to it does not diminish my work’s value, it does hurt a little when a song falls on deaf ears or when my art feels invisible.
The feeling you get when speaking your heart out to an empty room only to hear it echoing back at you… It can be disheartening, even when you are used to it.
I have played songs to a room nose-deep in their phones.
I have heard the many seconds of delay between me finishing my set and the audience clapping, as if I had been silent all along.
It sucks. I know.
But it is a reality that you need to make peace with because it is not going to change and you can also use it as a fuel to keep moving forward.
Good things take time because time is the most valuable thing that you have in this life. It is not an unlimited ressource so it needs to be spent wisely and so it only makes sense that the sweetest things are the most expensive ones.
The road to being good at drawing or singing or painting or playing an instrument or whatever it is that your heart is set on, is a tremendously long road. It is filled with challenges, obstacles, fear, despair but also one-of-a-kind rewards & a precious light that never goes out.
It might feel really lonely and hopeless at times but you need to remember that every creator you look up to have been through their own version of it and thousands upon thousands of others are currently struggling just as you are.
Cherish yourself first…
It might take more time than you wish but you will get to where it is you want to go if you keep going. Even when it gets tough, even when you’re tired, even when you feel like you are not moving…
Time will pass, seamlessly bringing you closer to your goals. That is not your job, your job is to keep working and keep believing. However, you must keep in mind that as important as hard work is, you cannot achieve anything if you neglect your physical & mental health so you need to take care of yourself too.
When you feel like you are getting nowhere or when you start feeling overwhelmed by all the hardwork you need to do, take a day off or a week or as long as you need.
Get off your phone and lock the self-imposed pressure in a pretty box, save it for later.
Take a deep breath and go create something for yourself, just for the sake of creating, for fun ; or don’t, go for a walk or whatever it takes to relax your beautiful brain.
The important thing is to kick off your hardworking shoes, put your bare feet on the ground and let your roots heal you.
Remember that beyond all the hardwork, the headaches, the struggles and the disheartening silence you are faced with, there always is also that precious love for what you do, the light behind your eyes, the fire in your heart.
Remember them and hold on to the feelings of joy, calm, peacefulness or maybe even bliss that creating brings you.
…and cherish your one-man crowd.
It takes courage to put yourself out there and it takes courage to face the silence that first welcomes you into this world as a creator. But you must understand that perseverance is one of the main keys to success.
So, what you must do is keep going even when no one is watching. Keep sharing even when no one is “liking”. Keep doing your own thing and keep your heart in the right place. The people that can enjoy your creations will find you/them eventually.
Most importantly, be thankful to those that do care right now.
I mentioned the numbers of likes earlier in this post but these do not determine how good your creations are nor how well you are doing.
After having experienced a large flow of likes with promoted posts on Instagram, I can ensure you that you are probably not getting these hundreds/thousands of likes that you wish you were because of algorithms and exposure.
People are simply not seeing your posts but if they could they would most probably love them.
What’s important to realize is that you don’t have to be standing in front of 10000 of people for your show to mean something.
That one person liking and commenting on your post is your crowd.
Those 5 loyal viewers can become your stadium if you want it. It’s all a question of perspective.
This slow rise can already be a huge success if you decide to celebrate it and treat it as such.
So, stop focusing backwards and go celebrate those 2 likes and keep putting on a big show for your one-man crowd.
Your dream doesn’t have to wait for xyz to become real, it can be now ; after all, you turn nothingness into art or silences into melodies so what’s stopping you from turning your “one day” into your “now” and making the most of it?
The fire must come from within your heart, not outside ; if you are not feeling it now, then more people watching won’t change that. A big crowd doesn’t make a great artist, a great artist makes any one person a big crowd.
I think that my point has been made so I will leave you with a short recap and a big thank you :
“Time will pass, seamlessly bringing you closer to your goals. That is not your job, your job is to keep working and keep believing. [..]”
So be patient, stay true to yourself and do not let the numbers dictate your work’s value or your own. Do things because they feel right not because you think they will bring in traffic/views/likes. Be real and cherish your one-man crowd, they’re where it all starts or where it can all end.
If you made it this far, then let me congratulate you and also thank you for your time. ♥
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below to share your struggles or your thoughts, I would be happy to read them and connect with you 🙂