I had an idea that if I could throw a mixer and invite all the almost famous people I know, it would be a terrifically fun party where a lot of people could make valuable contacts and learn a lot from each other. I'm as disappointed as you are that I do NOT have time for that, so I'm going to write a quick and dirty blog post instead. The point of this post is for you to follow these people so you can learn how to promote your own projects and appreciate these people before they get too famous to talk to you.THE WRITERS
Horsey Surprise aka Ken M writes the most absurd and asinine posts that feed a part of my soul I didn't realize was hungry. Although content is taken from Facebook, news websites and his Twitter, he uses Tumblr as a successful vehicle for his comedy gold. To understand his work, think of Grandpa Simpson posting on Facebook and Twitter with the sort of baffling online confidence that old people have. Recently one of his tumblr posts was reblogged over 15,000 times. I'd be doing you a great disservice if I didn't post an example from his page:
I can't imagine it will be much longer before he has his own book. Ken, I want you to know that I spent way too long looking for the "Snakes are nature's land wieners" post and that I am frankly ashamed of myself.
Todd Hunt is the writer of The Secret Adventures of Houdini comic and a relentless self promoter, as well as an enthusiastic exerciser. He has also been on TV and in advertisements, but that is only mildly interesting compared to the rest of what he does. Todd leverages instagram for his most successful social media audience, but he also has a successful Facebook page and fan following. The thing about Todd, besides being a professional pretty boy, is that he is doing so many things all of the time and yet is always prepared for a chance encounter with someone who can benefit his career with a well placed word on the right platform. While that can be said to some extent of everyone in this post, Todd also takes pictures of it and tags it correctly. (See below). He's the kind of guy you don't want to like because he has his act so tightly together, but you can't help respecting him for it. Find him at Toddy2k on Instagram. Example of his excellence below:
In this photo: Todd (Lower Left) Penn Jillette (Lower Right) Awesome shoutout from a famous writer (Middle) Superb style (Top)
Joey Esposito is the most famous of the almost famous writers, who currently has the largest following of these listed and also uses the most different forms of social media with an exacting thoroughness that would be hard to replicate without a wheelbarrow of illegally obtained ADHD medication. I met him after New York Comic Con 2012 and stood beside him with increasing disbelief as beta nerds came up to him for autographs over and over again until I took it upon myself to turn them away. It should be impossible for someone to write for a living (Senior Editor at IGN), and write for personal growth (Writer of Footprints, Grimm Fairy Tales: Bad Girls, and Pawn Shop) without going insane but then also consider that he writes for pleasure, slamming gems all day long into his Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and even blog with a fair regularity. His most successful social media presence is definitely twitter, with over 6,300 rabid followers (and it was 5,000 the last time I checked a couple months ago). Also, a special note to Joey: However famous you get your Mom will always embarrass you on Facebook, and we love her for it. See him below in a rare moment between brooding and whiskey drinking:
Mindy Steffen is an artist who has worked as an colorist for Deadpool and now creates her own independent comics, hence the name of her brand, Mindy Indy. She's quite a lovable lady, and uses social media to drum up an audience for the different conventions she attends where she sells her comics and makes custom art for interested clientele. Not only that, but she has a daily comic she puts out called the Daily Misfortune Cookie which goes out on many platforms: G+, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and her blog. More astounding than all of these facts is that the Daily Misfortune actually gets better and better as time goes on, instead of running out of laughs she's only gaining more. Hard work is paying off for this lady. Example of a Daily Misfortune below: Mindy has another Indy comic coming out, Aer Head, which is very beautifully drawn and inked and full of her quirky sense of humor. Best social network appears to be Facebook (for now). Also Mindy: the Misfortune Cookie above, like so many of them, hits me where it hurts.Peter Simeti I don't fully understand how I came into contact with this man, but I believe it was on Twitter, and now I follow him on instagram (@petersimeti) and Facebook as well. He is constantly churning out stunning artwork and is very good about sharing it across networks to his fans. Whatever you're into, he will touch your interest at some point. As far as people who I have never met, he is the one most consistently at the forefront of my consciousness. That translates to quality engagement via social media. His website indicates that he makes his own comics and can be often found travelling around for signings. It's only a matter of time before I meet him and buy some of his artwork. Example:
A rendering by Peter of himself in 50 years
Sean Von Gorman This man consistently cracks me up on Twitter, and despite how irritating it is to admit, he's also purely brilliant at several things. One, he is not afraid to experiment. One (surely regrettable) night he changed his avatar on twitter to a woman with giant breasts to see if he could leverage that attention to gain followers. I don't know if I've ever been THAT amused over a period of long hours on social media before. He is also the king of publicity stunts. He recently locked himself inside a cage inside Forbidden Planet NYC to promote his comic book/ celebrate the release of his comic book with new artwork. His comics sell very well, at least if my own bookshelf is any indication, and it should be mentioned that he is in bed both with Todd Hunt and Joey Esposito mentioned earlier in this post for The Secret Adventures of Houdini and Pawn Shop, respectively. To relay his exploits would be exhausting, just follow him on Twitter, his most successful social media access point, and go ahead and give the Facebook page a like too. Sean, special shout out and thanks for not getting mad when I do social media experiments on you.
Seen here inquiring the price of even larger breasts for the next event.
Final note for the other Almost Famous friends out there, keep building those networks and follow these guys to get ideas. Form your own power duos with other talented people to help promote your joint and independent work. And when in doubt, ask me for help. Till next time--
I'll start with Twitter. It's very simple. To be successful on Twitter, you must give people attention. You want to be retweeted to a huge audience? Give someone a genuine compliment.
That's it, I just gave you the key to unlocking the universe. Now if you are still interested, I will explain in more detail. When I put a tweet out into the atmosphere it will by default fall onto deaf ears. If you want someone to listen to you, you have to listen to them first. If you reply to someone's tweet, you just earned your first follower. They are flattered and they will show their appreciation with social currency. If they are flattered, they will retweet you to their 50,000 followers. Now you have influence AND followers. You have credit that can be spent in any way you want but there's only one store that takes your money: Twitter.
If you're keeping track at home, that's over 60,000 people in 3 retweets that know who I am because I paid someone some well deserved attention.
Now that you are armed with the most powerful weapon in the twitterverse, go out there and make some new friends. Let the people whose products you rely on know how much you love their stuff. Share someone's tumblr account to your followers, link to your favorite song. You are the one who runs social media, make it count.