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Maybe the commute got to you. Or it was the cost of living. For one reason or another, you’ve chosen to leave the big city for somewhere with a slower pace. How do you continue to build your portfolio when you live away from your industry’s home base?
Rock the Web
Like it or not, we live in a wired society. Clients and employers want to be able to go somewhere online and learn about you. They don’t need the gory details. But they should be able to type your name into Google and get a sense of who you are and what you do. Create an online presence. Start with a personal website.
In a competitive job market, your URL could be what sets you apart from other candidates. Your site should include a portfolio featuring your best work. The world deserves to know who you are and what you can do. If you’re having trouble thinking of where to start, sites like Medium and WordPress are great for writers. Spots like Behance offer plenty of room for visual artists to showcase their work.
As much as it may pain you to hear it, it’s a good idea to support your online home with social media. Your casual interaction with others reveals your personality — that’s something potential coworkers want to see.
Remember what I said about an online presence? Clients and coworkers can come from anywhere. You can catch their attention easily by displaying fragments of your work on Facebook. Or maybe you’d like to socialize with other pros via Twitter. Use technology to communicate with your clients; you can conduct meetings via Skype or Google Hangout.
While speaking with your peers casually in an online environment has its perks, don’t overlook opportunities to network in person. No matter how remote your location may seem, there are bound to be people who share your interests. In my hometown, you can find posters for events at local stores and cafes. Of course, if nothing’s happening where you are, you can always host an event. No doubt you can find your tribe, regardless of your location.
Bloom where you’re planted
Don’t be afraid to approach local publications and other media. Who would turn down new talent? They may need photographers, writers, or illustrators. If all else fails, you might want to consider starting up a new publication of your own. You can set up a blog for free, or a podcast — if you have the right equipment.
No doubt you can find your tribe, regardless of your location.
In the work that you create, you might want to feature your surroundings. Share art or writing that focuses on a part of your local environment. Before you know it, people will wonder who took the time to talk about your town’s buried treasure. Your work could catch the eye of locals, including publishers and potential clients.
Just because you’re away from your industry’s bright lights that doesn’t mean you have to be out of the loop. You can use your talent to craft a profile that can attract attention no matter where you are.
About the author: Claire Francis is a writer who’s been in love with words since she knew what they were. On her blog, claireshegoes.com, she shares her thoughts on everything from prayer to pop culture. When not letting wayward apostrophes get under her skin, Claire enjoys cooking and chocolate.
Are you a freelancer making big waves from a small town? What methods do you use for putting – and keeping – yourself out there? We’d like to know! Tell us in the comments section below.