Five Tips for Navigating the Creative Economy

Online communities are revolutionizing the way creatives are able to share, craft, and monetize their work.

At the SXSW panel The Rise of the Creative Economy, Adobe and Behance's Scott Belsky led a conversation with Emily Heyward (Partner, Red Antler), Justin Gignas (Founder, Working Not Working) and Ryan Merkley (CEO, Creative Commons) that offered invaluable insight for creative professionals using social media to grow their business.

1. Diversify your skillset

Creativity is constantly shifting making it exceedingly important to have a multi-disciplinary skill set. The lines between UX, coding, experiential and graphic design are so blurred that if you specialize in just one piece, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities.

2. Sharing is the new networking

Use social media as a testing ground to see what sticks. Make your social media community your own personal focus group. "Sharing thoughts and work and lessons learned, that is the new form of networking that can and will build your reputation," said Belsky.

3. Sharing and publishing are not created equal

When we think about creators, we think about sharing and publishing as two separate actions. We share things online to express our emotions, but we publish under a very specific set of rules.

4. Pay Homage

All creativity owes a little bit to everything that came before it," said Merkley.

5. Crowdsourcing is a double edged sword

It's one of the biggest forces against the creative career today, but It's also provides the greatest opportunity." Just remember, technology will never replace the skill and talent of professional creative," said Merkley.