How To Build an Audience For Your Work By Helping Those Around You

July 30, 2012 - By 

I had an opportunity to speak at the Vimeo Festival earlier this year with Philip Bloom and Blake Whitman about how to build an audience for your work. We are all making stuff (you are making stuff, right?), but showing off your work and getting it in front of the right audience can be tough. In this talk, Philip and I discuss how to grow and maintain an audience of people that are interested in what you do. Not by spamming. Not by doing market research. But, by being authentic to your passions and by helping those around you.

Much of what I had to say I have learned directly from the last few years playing and sharing here at Greyscalegorilla. I hope it’s helpful to your career and to your work.

  • Great discussion! Thanks for posting 🙂

  • Great watch! All those water bottles making me thirsty haha. Thanks Nick, you’re an inspiration.

  • I have a question for Nick
    I know there will always be a need for media in any form…
    But do you think the popularity of your site and cinema 4D in general will eventually boom bared the world with more motionographers then there are actually jobs for motionographers out there?

    • There are almost always “Too many people” for any given job. The goal isn’t to be competent or merely good, it’s to be great at what you do. To be better than most of the other people that want your job. There will always be a lot of people interested in a fun field like this, but interest doesn’t automatically get you hired. Passion, practice, and time will.

      • Lies. Nick Campbell is contributing to the army of 12 year olds who cheapen the industry and kill creative jobs.

        Anything else is merely justification, Nick Campbell is killing the industry for his own personal short-term profit.

        Thanks Nick.

        • Don’t be so scared, Lies. More people in an industry won’t hurt it. It will push us all to make better things. How can learning be bad?

          • True nick, it’s good to share and encourage new talent. It pushes everyone to do better and be more creative.

          • ” all you need is LOVE ”

            ” all we need is LOVE ”

            as corny as it sound ! it s the driving force force for every thing….

            and specially this all web community new business model world !

            the more you give, the more you get.

            It s as simple as that !

            now > for the killing of the industry thing with this or that attitude. ..

            As a french dude I see what you mean, but now as a french living in the USA since 10 years now, instead of complain about it, it s more efficient to BUILD UP YOUR OWN STRENGTH, CREATIVITY, ENERGY etc, you name it !!


            > THIS GREYSCALE GORILLA way of doing business is THE FUTURE !

            at least from my point of view ;))

            KEEP IT UP !!!

  • Very interested and pleased to hear your sort of “philosophy” on running a blog. The core message being that you love to make stuff in C4d, and want to tell everybody about it. This is why I find your blog to be one of the very best. I much prefer this age of going online to get inspired and learn, than the previous age I lived through as well- which was paying a bunch of money to sit in a really slow learning classroom that would bore me to death.

    • Note; The gorilla, besides being good at what he does he also surrounds himself with persons who know a thing or two about the industry, hence his growth in popularity. Its all about the Benjamin’s.

  • Really great interview Nick! I totally agree, that you have to move on, follow your passion, and write blog, or share things related to that, and not to that what people want you to write sometimes. Before 2 years i used to write game reviews on my blog, also post photos, that i made. I see that i get way more views by writing about games sometimes, and not so much on my creative things, like videos, photos etc, but i feel that i don’t like to write about games anymore, i’m not interested in reviewing then anymore, so i think i am not going to write about them just because everyone wants to see me doing that. I think i want to share my creative stuff now more, so now i am doing that! And yes, on the journey of that i lose some followers, but on other side i gain some new ones!

    And also wanted to ask about comments. There is sometimes when i get some funny/rude/stupid comments, and i leave them on my blog, so other people can see then, because i don’t like to filter them, so people then wouldn’t be saying: oh if you write some critics to him, he just deletes these comments or so. But sometimes it gets to some funny situations when i became a bad guy for leaving these comments on my blog, because i use other websites blog, where i post my stuff, so sometimes the admins come and say: oh we don’t like to see these dirty comments on our site, and for not deleting them i am almost becoming a bad guy, who brakes the rules, even if i didn’t wrote that whatever rude/dirty language comment. It’s because that they leave the control of the content of blogs, and comments to control by our self’s. So sometimes i really don’t know what to do.. If i delete that comment i go against myself, and the way i control my stuff, but if i don’t do that i get a bad feedback from that webpage’s team, because i am the member of team and so, and i show bad example as a team member, to other peoples who browse that page and are writing blogs, etc. Hmm what you would do on such situation Nick? I am thinking about creating a my own blog, where i am the head controlling everything, but since that webpage is about teh, games, videos, art, and so on, its a good place for me show off my stuff, and since i write some other things for them, i don’t really want to leave them, at least for now.

  • I just finished showing the video to my students, they loved it and do did I. It was very inspiring to hear you and Philip talk about doing things that you are passionate about. KEEP IT UP NICK!!

  • hi cinema 4d have any plugin like this? ( rayfire )

    because this plugin is complete ok? so cinema 4d have?

  • My two inspirations in the same room chattin’. Awesome.

    I felt really cool that I remembered the “clockwipe” incident from your pre-comping tutorial

  • you are my certainly inspiration nick! i just got an idea to start some tutorial blog too to help cinematographer in my country!

  • Very nice talk Nick! It’s amazing how inspiring a talk like this can be!

  • you bet brov…you bet….Thanks for all these years dedication to maintaining your blog….you can count on us supporting you all the way….

  • great interview Nick.. stay encouraged man 🙂
    you’ve inspired me enough over the years to keep working and keep going after my own goals

    and in reply to “mr lies” above.. I’m 25 not 12.. Nick’s site is an entry point that’s needed for a lot of people to get into the industry or even just to have a decent hobby / pass time. How it “kills” jobs, is beyond me and sounds like an old man “mp3 killed the music industry” “we fear change” sort of argument.

  • Omg Nick what happened to your old hairstyle! I liked it so much better, can you please grow your hair again and maybe the beard? I love that look

  • I hope the community can help me out here, I’m looking for a new computer. I’m planing on doing C4D and using alot of Global Illumination. What is your opinion on what I should look for in a computer? Im more interested as in parts, Graphic card, ram, etc. Also what do you currently have?
    I’m a student so im on a tight budget.

    • Get the fastest computer you can afford. Spend your money on ram and cores.

    • Raoul v. Maaren July 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Hey, I’m using a hp pavilion elite 520nl.
      It has a four core, eight threads, i7 E2600 processor which I found capable of running c4d. I bought it a year ago for €1k and think it was the best pc I could get for that budget. It is capable of running c4d smoothly. I advice to check out the benchmark stats of the i7 e2600 and to check out the hp pavilion elite. I prefered to buy this one instead of putting one together myself, maybe you do aswell.

      If you want more ram, I think its easy to put some more in for low price. The video.card is not great, but can run games (battlefield 3 :p)

      Just give me a call if u want me to do cinebench.


    • Figure out roughly what kind of work you really want to be doing. The one thing no one is really saying below is that all computers aren’t going to be equal for all task in Cinema. If your doing a lot of work in the editor, simulations, any other funky pre-render processes that are single core then go for a strong quad-core perhaps a dual-quad and spend your money on processor speed. I definitely wouldn’t buy any processor under a 3.4 or 4 at worst. So that rules out most of the Mac’s. (Anything else they make at the moment that is fast is going to be in a tiny case.) You at least need to cross this threshold to take advantage of your video card. Something like a GTX5800 on a PC would be a decent card that wouldn’t break the bank.

      If your going to be rendering a lot of frames or print-res renders, I’d think more about a lot of cores. Really, I think the best bet would be a machine like the top mentioned one and then later a nice mult-core slave machine that you can send your frames over to render while you work.

      Spend some time with the help files and digging around online, learn which things in Cinema use which parts of your computure and build the right tool for the job

  • too sad to see
    that there is a “elite” in germany working on this issues and they dont share their knowledge with everyone…
    Seeing you guys is the right thing – we need to pay for the right education in CAD, C4d believe it or not.

    You Guys share – Thank you

  • You looked nervous Nick. Or was it gas? Was it gas? I bet it was gas. It was gas wasn’t it?

  • I hope that I am spelling this correctly…but what is “Ruby/Rubi”???? Can’t seem to find it on Google.

  • to the person who said “Nick Campbell is contributing to the army of 12 year olds who cheapen the industry and kill creative jobs.” thats like saying we shouldnt teach people to read or write, because they may compete with best selling authors down the line. Get off your high horse. Anyone who is afraid of a “12 year old cheapening the industry” is neither in the industry nor knows how that industry works. teaching people to do something has absolutely no affect on the outcome of someone elses work. Me thinks you doth protest too much..

  • I think Nick is doing a great job by helping for those who don’t know where top start. Remember, we all had to start somewhere. And someone mentioned ‘Nick is killing the industry’. I do not agree. You have to make your own stuff. It is matter of self conscience. You’d look cheap and unprofessional if you’d copy and further use Nick’s work as your own. Everyone should spice his own work by using techniques Nick is giving us to learn. High five, Nick. You’re the man!

  • Nick,

    I want to take a second to acknowledge the impact you’ve made. You’ve done a great job ever since your first post on February 28, 2008 to now – I can honestly see how you’ve truly been relentless in your pursuit. You’ve been an inspiration to many. And there will always be critics. Always.

    Keep up the hard work and thanks a ton.

  • Very interesting was the conversation I was wondering, though many do not understand things because I do not really understand English but learned something)

    But there is another question!) Where are all the same to publish their best work? On Facebook, or Blogger? Or maybe create a blog like yours?

  • Indeed, we should not give someone else for their own!) What would break out in the height needed to start small! As they say in one of the intricacies of “Begin with an end of the small and great.” After all, great things start small!)

  • Wow I didn’t know companies could hire a 12 yr old! GSG is a superb resource for people who want to learn and progress in 3D. Yeh you may start by making exactly the same thing on a tut but as time goes by and your confidence and competence grow within C4D/ AE and if you really ate creative you will slowly develope your own work, your own style, your own understanding using the techniques you have learnt and hopefully discovering others too . That’s how students begin in any education institution. You can’t argue that this will destroy things because as Nick said above, it’s the real creatives that get the job or create there own studio and win clients. And who can stop anyone from creating their own studio be they not very good or great. Or maybe the argument against Nick is not very refined but even so I and others don’t agree. But we respect each others views here. To cut it short, Nick is doing a great service, yes it raises his profile but I think good for him. Hits a spring board for all who have the talent, who want to learn to make great stuff if they are creative. Jealousy not included! At least it shouldn’t be. Cheers Nick!

  • Awesome Nick! But Wow, I cant believe how big Phillip Blooms ego has become over the last couple years. I dont understand what it is about camera and lighting work over other arts but it seems like so many DPs have a GIANT head these days.

    • What gave you that impression? I didn’t see an ego. I thought his presentation was pretty informative. In the conversations we had, he was nice, helpful and pleasant.

      • When he made that hilarious and extremely uncomfortable joke that no one laughed at, describing your ShakeItPhoto app as ‘shit’ in front of a worldwide audience, did you think he was being nice? Only someone with the ego the size of a house would say such a thing. I would have told him to .. … …. himself.

        The ego is an unfortunate consequence of the creative industry, colleagues of mine think they are saving lives with the next ad campaign, unfortunately the reality is they’re only selling a product like sports shoes etc.. which isn’t important at all.

        Let your work do the talking people.

  • Great piece of video. I’ve been a fan of your work for some years now Nick and often check your blog for new tutorials. You know how to build an audience and are more than qualified to appear in public and talk about how it’s done. Your a great motivational speaker and an inspiration to many, including myself.
    I do think, however, that your skills as an actual artist have fallen by the wayside lately. This last year or so, you’ve hardly put any of your own tutorials on your blog, depending more on Mike the Monkey and more recently Chris Schmidt. Both of whom are also Gods in the C4D world. It’s almost as if your talent is building an audience, but letting others maintain it. That’s not meant as a criticism by any stretch of the imagination. You’re very good at what you do and have achieved so much more than most people manage to accomplish, but it looks to me as if your real strength lies in the PR side of things rather than the actual “getting down and getting your hands dirty” bit.
    I will note however that tutorials, by anyone on your blog, have been a bit thin on the ground lately. But who am I to complain? It’s all free. It’s not as if I can ask for my money back is it??

    Great site. Great Gorilla. Keep it up!

  • Here’s a little way to make your site a bit more sexy. I would make the blog post titles text, a link with underline. Be just a bit more eye pleasing, since I usually have to click the post with this tablet to see the Vimeo video. But that may be a problem with Vimeo itself on iPads, or how you embed videos on the blog feed. Love hearing this stuff, thanks.

  • Thanks for this, Nick, you’re great.

    Can’t help but be lead to believe Philip Bloom is a nob, bit on himself, he’s not an amazing director btw, that made me laugh… seriously, ice, horses, boat sheds and a couple of other things. Oh what’s it all coming too.

  • I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll. gcafeeacgcde

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