A short guide to promoting your automotive work as an indie creator

How to increase your exposure and get the best reach for the least amount of effort (in 2023)

A short guide to promoting your automotive work as an indie creator
Attracting followers in 2023 always depends on who you are, what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for, and where you’re going.

Threads! Newsletters! Twitter! Instagram! Patreon! Tik-Tok! YouTube! AdWords! Linkinbio! Facebook!

If you’re reading this, you probably already have a social media presence of some kind. But the social platforms and technologies we use are constantly changing—How to increase your exposure? How to get the best reach for the least amount of effort?

Read on…

  • If you have a “personal brand”
  • If you’re doing something visual
  • If you’re restarting a blog / profile
  • If you have a day job (especially if you’re already in media)

I’ve reached into my own experience and written up a few thoughts on answering those two questions:

  1. How to increase your exposure?
  2. How to get the best reach for the least amount of effort?

Crucially, making money or finding success isn’t part of this guide. Nor is knowing who your potential audience is, a key aspect not to overlook. Let me know in the comments if you’d read a longer, more in-depth series for all of this and more—I have first-hand experience with all of the software / social apps mentioned either for myself or through client work across multiple industries. :)

Also: if you would like me to audit your existing channel(s) in exchange for me writing about it for MIDYC, please get in touch! I usually charge clients for this but would like to see if I can get a short series off the ground by helping independent creators.

Short disclaimer: This is a general guide. There are more networks and dozens of other tactics I don’t have the room to include here. Your mileage will vary, my mileage does.

Start with the basics…

First: I don’t care who you are, invest in your very own URL. How you use it will change depending on your end goal, but at the very least it’s a cheap way to mask a generic Gmail address with a snazzy @yourname .com.

Next, get a one page website parked on your URL. This is crucial because you’ll want to have a URL linked on your social profile(s), ensuring the best chance of successfully converting a curious viewer into a dedicated follower.

This might run you between $25-50 per year with SSL certificates, email, etc., but when a social network changes its algorithm and nerfs your engagement (or is bought/sold/shut down/feuding with Elon Musk), your URL will remain a place of refuge.

If you have a “personal brand”

This is for creators who have and want to have their names (or a specific pseudonym/brand name) attached to things.

In my experience, it’s a more effective strategy to begin by doubling down on a single social media platform you can execute to a high standard—and start there. When you build momentum, anyone who views your profile will have an opportunity to leave the social media platform and visit YOUR website. (A click to your website is striking gold in user engagement.)

That means if you’re making YouTube videos, invest your time and efforts in replying to comments, upping production values, and learning everything you can about optimizing your channel(s). When someone clicks on your username from a clever comment, sees your content after a search result, and so on, it’s now incredibly likely they’ll notice your custom URL and be even more curious.

Once at your website, a simple contact form sending to your email is really all you need at first. You can and will add to it over time, so trust me: it won’t start perfect or be perfect in the beginning.

If you’ve chosen a larger social platform like Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Tik-Tok, finding your niche and growing within the larger group of users is a tried-and-true strategy. It’s also possible to become a whale on an emerging platform, whether it be Mastodon, Bluesky, Substack, fanfic forums, or others, but this is a riskier bet.

To recap: set up a website, and do the bare minimum to allow potential followers/customers/friends to contact you. Now, if you ever “go viral” or steadily rise in popularity, you’ll miss fewer opportunities.


  • Organically give people reasons to visit your website (curiosity)
  • Interact regularly on your chosen social platform (3-5 times per week minimum, be it replying to comments or posting new material—ideally both)

  • Don’t branch out and add more platforms (read: work) until you have a solid plan for what it will add toward your end goal and the time needed
  • If you flop on one platform, drop it and try another

Requires: Daily commitment to planning + posting your content and interacting with others’ content.

Remember: Authenticity online is about being authentic to your brand / mission / goal.

If you’re doing something visual

Then you’ll need to figure out what you’ll use as your portfolio. Some creators curate their main social profiles and invite DMs. Others—most commonly car designers—will direct traffic to a portfolio site like Behance / Coroflot / similar or an all-in-one host like Squarespace.

For those on YouTube, leveraging the built-in platform tools for engagement (Shorts, comments, playlists, subtitles, rewriting titles, making thumbnails look better) can give a solid boost and taking advantage of these creator features should become part of your habit.

Are you selling stuff, like merch based on your work or Patreon sponsorships? Instead of funneling visitors to your contact form, you’d instead send them toward your online store, Patreon, or similar.


  • “Just start” implies more here than anywhere else; you can always archive or remove older posts
  • Practicing your craft is now how you practice posting on social media, build it into your workflow

  • Don’t worry too much about following other people’s styles
  • Don’t worry about jumping onto trends
  • Regularly learn how the algorithm on your platform(s) are changing. For example, the text “link in bio” has reportedly been “shadowbanned” on Instagram and it’s no longer a good idea to use it

Requires: Daily commitment to planning + posting your content and interacting with others’ content.

Remember: You’re only good as your last picture or video if your only strategy is to compete for views with everyone else’s content.

If you’re restarting a blog / profile

Start now! By changing your passwords ;) Then do a quick audit for what’s there at your old blog / profile, and what you’d like to change. I sometimes use this as a chance to spruce up old content (new headlines, new tags, new descriptions on YouTube with chapters, adding alt text, and so on) and re-familiarize yourself with the platform. Err on the side of pruning old content that won’t work for you vs. keeping it around.

Then? Post regularly, comment with kindness, and interact with your followers.


  • Start by reposting content and promoting it again within your audience
  • If you have a list of email addresses, send a note to everyone after your site is refreshed
  • Audit your content and figure out where to take your work next

  • Don’t be shy with the fact you’re back! Posting more regularly is important, so start with your best work to remind people what you’re about

Requires: An existing profile / website / blog / presence online in your community and on your platform of choice

Remember: People might be happy to have you back. Or not. Even if you’re notorious, at least you have a plan to more effectively turn the vitriol into exposure. ;)

If you have a day job (especially if you’re already in media)

Don’t quit your day job, but don’t get burned out from the additional work on the side. You will likely be able to post less frequently but more regularly, so use that to your advantage by adding teasers to your schedule (promoting posts beforehand).

Media members should regularly remind themselves that the market is volatile and having your automotive work to use as a reference in the future may not be possible—publications shut down, change CMSs, and have technical changes all the time.


  • If you’re already writing about cars for a publication, screenshot and save everything you publish.

  • Don’t quit your day job

Requires: More planning, patience, and energy to regularly produce content

Remember: Starting from scratch is tough and if you’re successful at earning exposure for your work, at some point it will affect your day job. Car stuff might be going well now, but how do you keep the momentum going?

That’s it for now.

In my time, I’ve seen too many smaller publications with fantastic content fading away, too many stories and forum posts lost…and that’s a shame. Whether you’re starting from scratch or are a veteran hoping to reignite interest in your work, you’ll need exposure.

Increase your exposure by following the applicable tips above, which in my experience give tremendous reach with the least amount of effort.

The least amount of effort will still be a lot of work: but that’s part of the game. There’s room for everyone to earn views, exposure, and grow their online presence—don’t let your car stories, experiences, and skills live only in your brain.

LET ME KNOW: What has worked for you? Which creators are doing it well? Leave your comments!

Thank you for reading may I drive your car :) This post is public so feel free to share it with someone who could use it!