Networking Platform For Creative Professionals In Malaysia
While LinkedIn is currently the go-to place for many professionals to connect with each other, this platform cannot yet serve professionals in all industries equally.
Resumes and portfolios may be enough to showcase the knowledge and abilities of a banker or manager, for example, but they may not serve artists as well as these professionals.
“There is a big gap in the market because the existing professional platforms were built from another era,” Shermaine Wong of Cult Creative told Vulcan Post.
Using social media to showcase their work is not enough
“A lot of artists are currently relying solely on Instagram to showcase their work and make connections,” Shermaine said.
Previously, we even wrote an article on “yellow pages” for artists called Buttermilk which was created to help them be easily discovered via their social media like Instagram and Twitter.
While using social media to gain traction isn’t entirely ineffective, the sheer size of the platform can still drown out someone’s visibility once their virality wears off.
So having a platform that people can turn to just to experience an artist’s work and connect with each other is a necessity, because honestly, I also can’t imagine mixing work and culture. living together on Instagram 24/7.
A professional tinder for creatives
Cult Creative, in simple terms, is a platform that works like LinkedIn for creatives in any industry, but its user interface works almost like Tinder.
It was founded by Shermaine Wong, Manisha Jagan and Lina Esa, who are respectively CEO, CMO and Editorial Director of Cult Creative.
While your profile is not as detailed as LinkedIn, where you can broadly complement your skills, accomplishments, experience, etc., it does have a section where users can attach photos or videos of their work, which is more beneficial for a creative professional.
There’s also a directory section where users can check out creators from other industries, much like Instagram’s Discover section paired with a dating app-like user interface.
When you find a creator you like, you can tag their profile to save them and connect with them privately through DMs.
One thing I found quite cute about the app is that you can also include your star sign as well as your MBTI personality type, which Shermaine explained was a cheeky and fun way to define yourself as an app. .
Additionally, the app also includes sections that highlight workshop, mentoring, and discussion events, as well as a section on jobs.
Currently, Cult Creative is still in its beta and now has 70 users since its launch in March 2020.
However, if you want to become a member, you will need to pay a fee. Membership subscriptions allow this team to earn from the app, with interested users paying 40 RM per month or 400 RM per year.
On their Instagram page, they regularly feature local creations under their hashtag #CreativeCrushWednesday as well as local businesses and products.
They also work directly with brands, SMEs, and businesses to create marketing content for their followers on Instagram, similar to something like influencer marketing.
If you are part of their Instagram community and wondering what you can get on their app if you are a paid member, you will be able to access:
- Others creatives in various industries like entertainment, music, film, literature, content creation, fashion, culinary arts, design, photography and videography all in one place.
- 4 monthly digital experiences like workshops and round tables.
- Exclusive downloadable resources.
For example, if you were to join one of their online networking events, members can attend for free, while non-members would have to pay RM35 just to attend that event.
The same goes for online workshops such as legal mentoring on how to protect your intellectual property rights as a creation.
Therefore, if you are actively looking to network or collaborate in your work with other creatives and to maximize participation in these workshops, a membership would be beneficial.
Community through creativity
“Our platform also touched on difficult topics such as how to protect their creativity through brands and intellectual property, pricing your creativity and creations, etc. Common struggles that creative professionals have encountered, but often go unanswered.
From what Shermaine shared, I felt this platform was also almost like a Reddit for creatives.
“More recently, we have found that our members have started to experience zoom fatigue with back-to-back work-related video calls.”
Therefore, the team innovated their Cult Mixer, an online networking event in a speed dating format (each person has 2 minutes with another person) to better engage users.
Every first Friday of the month, creatives could meet other creatives via a virtual speed-dating format, which also includes music, art scrambling, vision-boarding, and more.
“We are also looking to fully develop the professional networking app and introduce new features such as creative job portals and e-commerce plugins,” Shermaine said with Vulcan Post.
On top of that, another of their upcoming projects is the Cult Creative Festival which is set to take place in Q4 2021 and aims to connect creatives with entrepreneurs.
- You can read more about Cult Creative here.
- You can read the other art related initiatives we’ve written about here.
Featured Image Credit: Shermaine Wong, CEO of Cult Creative
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