The Demon of Consistency: A Deeper Dive
Hello there! I know this year has just begun but goodness what a challenge it has been. I hope all of you are with me in pushing through and that we can all continue to learn, grow, and survive together!
Back in August of 2020 I posted one of my first ever articles about marketing for Anthro creators: The Demon of Consistency. That article has sat in the back of my mind for ages as only being half complete, and I finally realized why. So today we are going to take a deeper dive into what it means to be consistent, but first, let's review.
As we all know, consistency is one of the most difficult things to wrangle into our daily routines. Doing the same thing over and over, no matter what it is, can not only become tiresome and boring; but can also quickly lead to burnout. I've written several articles on how to avoid all of the bad things that come with building new habits, so in this article we are going to focus on what being consistent actually means. It's not just building habits and sticking to a posting schedule, it's way, way more than that.
When we think about consistency, we can readily apply it to at least four different parts of what we do as creators in the Anthro community. No matter if you're an artist, a writer, VTuber, or are creating in multiple mediums, all of these areas will apply to you when you begin to build your audience. I want you to think of these as separate, but not independent of the concept of overall consistency. These are the four areas where we want to apply the most consistency:
- Tone - How our posts are perceived.
- Content - What's in our posts.
- Posting - How frequently we post.
- Aesthetic - The overall look, feel, and theme of our brand.
The first thing I want to say about being consistent is this: It's hard.Mariah Rhodes, 2020
The tone we choose to apply to our posts not only has a massive impact, but can also be curated to better match with our target audience. Even if you're posting art, the words you put next to each picture will have a profound impact when it comes to the way the picture is perceived by the viewer. Think about it this way: Would you use the same words, slang, or "industry terms" (for lack of a better way to describe how the Anthro community is constantly coining new phrases) to communicate with both Zoomers and Boomers, at the same time? Do you talk to your friends and roommates the same way you talk to your grandparents? This is where tone really comes into play!
When it comes to finding the right tone for your posts, my advice is this:
- Know your audience - Who are you trying to reach with each post? Does it have a theme that you really want to drive home? Do your words inspire likes and RTs? Is this something you want all of your followers to see, or something that might best be shared on an alternate account?
- Avoid Trauma - Everyone suffers, we all know this. But airing your personal traumas on a main account that you are trying to grow may do more harm than good. It's best to have a personal account for such things, this way your followers can better curate their timelines.
- Speak Professionally - Try to avoid swearing and meme speak, unless they are specifically tied to the content of your post. Adding meme words next to a beautiful piece of art that you spend days, weeks, or months creating will only detract from it's value.
- Be Consistent - Build your brand with the tone you want your audience to perceive. This is your opportunity to let your creative flair shine through. Focus on your best qualities!
Up next is consistency in content, and this is probably the most important!
The content we choose to create and share is the foundation of our brand, especially in the Anthro community. We are all here thanks to a common theme: We love anthropomorphic stuff! From animals to airplanes, you can find anthro versions and communities for just about anything you enjoy. Having consistency in your content, which can be specific to each account you have, will greatly increase your odds of building a following for said content.
Do you really enjoy drawing anthro animals? Then create an account for that! How about anthro war machines? There's another idea for a focused account. This is exactly why you don't see massive corporate accounts posting about things that don't align with their brand. To give an example of what I mean, think about a giant cosmetic brand. One of them in particular manufactures both cosmetics and clothes that carry their brand name but, when you visit their website, you can scroll from top to bottom and never even get an idea that they sell clothes. This is marketing that is focused on their main line of products! Sure, you can buy a shirt with their logo on it, but that's not what they are there to sell. Apply this logic to your posts, and you'll immediately begin gathering a following full of people with the same interests.
Speaking of posts, you'll all know exactly what this next point is about.
I'm sure you've all noticed by now that I am not the most consistent person when it comes to posting, well, literally anything. These articles can come like rapid fire, or be days, weeks, or even months apart; just like my posts on Twitter and elsewhere. The truth is, AnthroBrand is my passion project and many things come before it. Like my career, spouse, family, and many, many others. Because of these competing priorities, I know that I will never be able to consistently post. If this were my only source of income, however, things would be very, very different.
When you're creating to generate income, being consistent in your post frequency is critical. Establishing a schedule using automation is going to be your best friend here and literally everything you create is content. Do you use sketches to warm up every day? Save and schedule them in a Tweet for prime time the next morning before moving on to your main task. You should do your absolute best to post something every single day and I know that can seem daunting, but if you're drawing every day then start saving those sketches, warmups, WIPs, and anything else that appears on your canvas.
I mentioned having separate accounts for each type of content earlier, but I want everyone to know that this isn't strictly necessary. If you choose to keep all of your content on one account, then try to find balance in what you share. Rather than posting nothing but anthro animals for weeks on end, throw in a tank or mech to give your audience more variety in what they see on their timeline. Variety is the spice of life, after all~
For my last point, please take a look below for three separate pictures of me, all by different artists:
The content of these images is the same, me, but how does each one make you feel? Can you see the differences in their styles? Which one appeals the most to you, as the viewer? This is where consistency in aesthetic becomes a little more obvious.
As a creator, your style will change over time as you learn and grow, but this evolution takes time and isn't usually dramatic. Visit each one of these artist's Twitter pages (all linked by clicking on the images above) and you'll see what I mean. No matter which image you see in their history, Birchly draws like Birchly, Coonkun draws like Coonkun, and Merlin draws like Merlin! Just taking a quick scroll through their media tabs will give you a feel for their work and give you many examples of what they like to create. Over time, their aesthetic becomes instantly recognizable because of how consistent they are. It's much more than just their style, it's also how their art feels.
In closing, consistency is still hard. It's one of the most necessary evils when we want to begin building an audience for our creative endeavors. For those creators in the Anthro community who are relying on commissions for income, I hope this advice proves helpful in building your audience. As always, my DMs are open if anyone has any questions.
Thanks for reading!