Quick and Dirty Guides

Q&A: Why does my fan art seem to get more engagements overall than my original work?

Fan art occupies an interesting niché within the social networking village. “Fan art” refers to derivative work based on a publicly known outside property or media. The communities for different fandoms can be of any size – some of the most well-known fan art communities in community history have included household names such as Star Trek, Warrior Cats, and Harry Potter.

One of the connecting threads between all large fanart communities is that these communities tend to have a long history. These properties include characters and settings that people have fallen in love with over years, if not decades. When the work on those properties ends, fans are often left unsatisfied. They look for the answers to questions they’ve had for decades. For example, what does Hermione Granger really look like? What’s the day-to-day life on a starship like for the crew that we don’t see when watching an episode of Star Trek? What would the next generation of the Thunderclan look like?

Therefore, it would make sense that when you make art for a large community, especially a community that has a huge cultural footprint, more people will be actively looking for content created for and by those communities. This leads to huge networking opportunities for artists and creators – if you manage to create unique and engaging content, you can start and continue relationships with individuals who might have never had a chance to see your work before.

How can I use this to increase engagement for my work as a whole?

If a fan of a certain community sees your work and enjoys your style, expect a follow. They’re going to want to see future updates on your work!

For expanding your reach beyond just the influencers in your followers list:

  • Reach out to fandom communities! You can do so by using hashtags, following fandom trends, and by directly reaching out to community organizers in your fandom. For smaller communities, you can even reach out to the original creators of your work (a note of caution: some artists have different opinions regarding fanwork, some of which can be negative).
  • Answer the questions you want to ask! Think about your favorite book, television show, or graphic novel. When you finished the media, what questions did you have that were left unanswered? Did you picture the main character of a novel in a different way than their television or film adaptation? Someone out there is guaranteed to have the same or similar questions to the ones that you asked, and you have the power to answer them.
  • Ask the followers you have what they want to see! A poll often gets far more engagements than just a Twitter post alone. The next time you have the availability to make some promotional art, create a poll asking your followers what fandoms they’d like to see your take on.

As always, if you have any further questions or want to talk about strategies that worked for you, we want to hear about it in the comments!

Quick and Dirty Guides

3 Beginning Steps for Twitter Content Creators

If you’re a content creator, having a Twitter account is an essential tool for expanding your audience and reaching out to existing fans. Here’s a quick and dirty guide to starting your Twitter journey.

  1. Split your Twitter engagement into separate accounts based on your output. Keep a personal account specifically for you, and a separate account for each of your projects. Retweet posts made from your specific project accounts to your main account. This is especially important if you ever decide to start a new project or end an existing project but want a hub for your followers to contact you specifically.

    (Note: This is essential if some of your work contains adult themes. Keep anything that you wouldn’t want someone below the age of 18 to see on its own account, and flag it as NSFW. That way, you stay safe and avoid violating Twitter’s policies.)
  2. Follow content creators in your field and talk to them. If you want a place to start, our website has content creators organized by their primary interests. If you’re a graphic artist, for example, search for graphic artists that work in your style or have similar fandom inspirations.

    Twitter itself has a variety of ways to find people with your interests. Follow anyone who makes work that seems interesting to you – no matter what their follower count, anyone could be a new potential connection or client.
  3. Reach out by direct messaging other people in your field and commenting on their related tweets. We recommend that you treat people with the same level of respect that you would want to be treated, and not mindlessly spam strangers with the same generic message. Mention what you liked about their work, and talk about the work that you do that relates to their field.