While LinkedIn is currently the go-to place for many professionals to connect with one another, this platform can’t serve professionals from all industries equally yet.
Resumes and portfolios may be enough to showcase a banker or a manager’s knowledge and abilities, for examples, but they may not serve artists as well as they do these professionals.
“There is a significant gap in the market because existing professional platforms were built from another era,” Shermaine Wong of Cult Creative told Vulcan Post simply.
Using Social Media To Showcase Their Work Isn’t Enough
“Many artists currently depend solely on Instagram to showcase their work and make connections,” Shermaine shared.
Previously, we even wrote a piece on a “yellow pages” for artists called Buttermilk that was created to help them get easily discovered through their social media like Instagram and Twitter.
While using social media to gain traction isn’t entirely ineffective, the vastness of the platform can still drown out someone’s visibility once their virality dies down.
So having a platform that people can turn to just to check out an artist’s work and connect with one another is a necessity, because honestly, I also can’t imagine mixing work and life together on Instagram 24/7.
A Professional Tinder For Creatives
Cult Creative, in layman’s terms, is a platform that works like LinkedIn for creatives from any industry, but its UI works almost like Tinder.
It was founded by Shermaine Wong, Manisha Jagan, and Lina Esa, who are the CEO, CMO, and Editorial Director of Cult Creative respectively.
While your profile wouldn’t be as in-depth as LinkedIn where you can extensively fill in your skills, accomplishments, experience, etc., it has a section where users can attach photos or videos of their work, which is more beneficial for a creative professional.
There is also a directory section where users can check out creators from other industries, almost like Instagram’s Discover section married with a dating app-like UI.
When you find a creator you like, you can star their profile to save it and connect with them privately via DMs.
One thing I thought was quite cute about the app is that you can also include your astrological star sign as well as your MBTI personality type, which Shermaine explained was a cheeky and fun way of how they wanted to define themselves as an app.
Additionally, the app also has sections that highlight workshop, mentorship, and discussion events as well as a job section.
Currently, Cult Creative is still in its beta version, and now has 70 users since they started in March 2020.
Joining The Membership
If you want to be a member though, there’s a fee you’d have to pay. Membership subscriptions are how this team is earning from the app, whereby interested users either pay RM40 per month or RM400 annually.
On their Instagram page, they regularly feature local creatives under their hashtag #CreativeCrushWednesday as well as local businesses and products.
They also work directly with brands, SMEs, and corporates to create marketing content catered for their followers on Instagram, similar to something like influencer marketing.
If you’re a part of their Instagram community and wonder what you can get on their app if you’re a paid member, you’d be able to access:
- Other creatives across various industries like entertainment, music, film, literature, content creation, fashion, culinary arts, design, photography and videography in one place.
- 4 monthly digital experiences like workshops and panel discussions.
- Exclusive downloadable resources.
For instance, if you were to join one of their online networking events, members get to attend them for free whereas non-members would have to pay RM35 just to attend that one event.
The same goes for online workshops such as a legal mentorship on how to protect your IP rights as a creative.
Hence, if you’re actively looking to network or collaborate in your work with other creatives and maximise attending these workshops, a membership would be beneficial.
Community Through Creativity
“Our platform also tackled difficult topics like how one can safeguard their creativity through trademark and IP, how to price your creativity and designs, etc. Common struggles creative professionals have but are often unanswered.”
From what Shermaine shared, I felt this platform was also almost like a Reddit for creatives.
“Most recently, we have found that our members have started experiencing Zoom-fatigue with back-to-back work-related video calls.”
Hence, the team innovated their Cult Mixer, an online networking event in a speed-dating format (each person gets 2 minutes with another person) to engage users better.
Every first Friday of the month, creatives would get to meet other creatives through a virtual speed-dating format, that also comes with music, art-jamming, vision-boarding, etc.
“We’re also looking to fully develop the professional networking app and introduce new features like creative job portals and e-commerce plugins,” Shermaine shared with Vulcan Post.
Besides that, another upcoming plan of theirs is the Cult Creative Festival that is set to happen in Q4 2021, and aims to connect creatives with entrepreneurs.
- You can learn more about Cult Creative here.
- You can read about other art-related initiatives we’ve written about here.
Featured Image Credit: Shermaine Wong, CEO of Cult Creative
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