Dale, you’re not saying you retrained as an optician for a brief period, are you?
Oh, can you imagine? My shredded nerves on those lasers? Visually, my dear friend, is an online content platform that focuses on the visual, rather than the text-based.
A what now?
An online content platform. A place where people needing content for their company’s blog, YouTube, social media channels, boss’ dog’s birthday (we’ve all had that ONE boss, right?) and so on, hire people who can make this cool stuff for them. For the makers, Visually is also a place to share your work, look at cool visual content, and chat with other people within the community. It’s been going strong since 2011.
So what type of visual content can I find on Visually?
The website breaks it down into eight categories. I have done my best to bucket them into groups of similar software and skillsets:
Firstly, we have Illustrations, Infographics, Presentations, Social Media, and Ebooks. I call these five ‘static illustrated.’ Here’s where you’ll use the likes of Illustrator, InDesign, Sketch and specific presentation software, such as Keynote, to make text-based blogs and stacks of information ‘sexier’ with illustrated charts, cheeky characters, and cute fonts.
Finally, we have the photography section. I’ll call this, very simply, photography; let’s not overcomplicate, right? Here, you’ll be snapping to specific requests. You’re going to need a lot of props, licensed stock, a camera (duh) and some skills in Photoshop and Lightroom.
Thanks for the breakdown Dale. So, how did you make money from it?
Well, my story starts with me stumbling across their website after spending more time down the rabbit hole than John McClane in the vent. Intrigued, I created a profile and uploaded some of my infographics (at the time I was ‘all about’ being on all the platforms i.e., Pinterest, Stumble Upon).
One of my pieces, an infographic about bridges, believe it or not, was selected as a ‘staff pick,’ which gave me a surge of views on the platform. A couple of days later, I was invited to apply to become a freelancer.
Oh, you have to apply to be a freelancer on Visually?
Yep. Visually require you to meet a series of requirements, so not just anyone can be listed. Anyone, however, can apply. If you have a significant body of work, are clear about what you offer (e.g., don’t apply for videographer jobs with no video in your portfolio), and fill in your profile fully, there’s a good chance you’ll get selected.
And once I’m aboard the Enterprise, how do we start sailing?
So if you are accepted, the team at Visually will offer you jobs, determined by your skillset, at a fixed price. You then declare your interest or decline, and the client will pick one from the interested parties with whom to work. Visually provide all the middle man services, from communication to payment.
Altogether, I was accepted to work on five projects over 18 months, accumulating to $4200. Not crazy money, but considering infographics were my bread and butter, a great way to get paid for something I genuinely enjoyed doing.
That’s not a bad return at all. Well, not that I’m coming over this Friday Dale, but… takeaways?
Urgh, now you’ve made me hungry! But sure…
1 – Put your work on as many ‘social platforms’ as you can. I initially thought Visually was a ‘Pinterest for infographics,’ but it led to me getting commissioned work. Any new platforms pop up, give them a try; they may end up being the next big thing.
2 – Always create and push content online that is your own, rather than commissioned. Usually, you won’t be able to share commissioned work online under your name. The bridge piece that got me selected was one I did in my spare time, not for a client.
3 – If you’re a content person, I would consider delving more into A: video, but definitely B: interactive web, and learn some HTML5. Not only will people pay more, but many developers also don’t have an eye for design.
Before you go: dat URL doe!
Cheeky, right? Visual.ly, I believe, was one of the first to fuse a name/domain combo. When my home country released the .wales domain, I tried to buy killer.wales. Alas; it was taken. Someone was WHALE ahead of me…
…I said WHALE ahead of me. Yeah, you get-
-We’re done here.