Promoting is hard, extremely. It takes a LOT of Hard Work and Hustle. It takes Patience and dedication. If you're young (under 40), You've got TIME. You're starting out and today is the best day to get going if you want this to be a career.
Best thing to do: Google strategies of social media for artists, writers, webcomic artists, and more. Just dive into google and read voraciously anyone who has stuff to say on this. There are contradicting opinions. This is good, as storytellers we need to be aware of all sides. And if you take this seriously then you have to know that Attention is on Social Media. That's where the audience is. Look up Youtube videos on the topic. Learn from the content creators that You admire and follow. How did you find their work?
The Following is what I believe, and how I'm approaching this:
The best, best way to approach this is to make creating your content the central pillar of your work. Your content is the reason people are going to see you and your work. And the best way to find things to share is to document your entire process. I mean start to finish. This way you can focus on creating the Content itself, while also doing things that you can share with everyone. Instead of having to make Extra "promotional" things. Your Process and Content ARE your promotion. If you don't share your work, no one will be able to find it.
This is a difficult career and one that I'm also committed to. I studied Animation in college and did that in order to learn the most forefront skills and software to master a certain set of basics before I got out into the world. Though I had been freelancing commissions and creating comics during college too.
There are effective and ineffective ways to promote your work. The best news is that Social Media is FREE. The Market is the internet's users, and Internet Users are Social media Users. So what we're trying to achieve is a large Market Share of Attention.
Primarily, you do that through good Content. Content that people find useful and want in their lives. For us webcomic creators, it's making a good story, well-told. That means you must continually study to master your craft of storytelling as well as art. And I mean continually. At any given time I'm going through one book or one video or articles that teach me more about Storycraft itself, or studying Anatomy, or film techniques for fresh ways to look at how to draw panels, and so on.
We are in a deeply saturated field of competition. The way to rise to the top 10% is consistent, daily work. You can outlast 90% of people if you commit to this way of living of a Storyteller. Getting to the Top 1%...there's the rub haha. I don't know how to get there cause I'm still honing my craft. But considering I am part of the Incubator's second Class...I'd say I've reached some kind of level of professional skill.
Secondarily, It's good to Curate. To share others work that others are sharing that you enjoy yourself. This means retweeting things other creators are making. It means sharing on your Instagram Story other creators works that you follow. Comment on others works that you actually enjoy.
It's not so much the comment as taking the time to let people know that you see their work, which is a reflection of who they are. Everyone likes to be seen. And I don't mean superficially, I mean in that really deep way that says I recognize your humanity. I see you. Social is about trying to create that connection. For us it's the connection to the audience. The stories we tell are reflections of who we are as human beings. We created them so our fingerprints in the unfolding of the plot are inevitably going to reveal what we believe about the world.
Thirdly is Commercial or Promotion. This is letting people know you have a product that deserves their attention. This is the posts that link back to your comic, as opposed to CONTENT posts, which show off what you've got. I'm talking handfuls of panels that show a good exchange or demonstrating WIPs of how you create your artwork.
For more on the Three C's of Social media, check this out: https://webcomics.com/articles/social-media/social-media-the-three-cs/
I personally am trying to enact this social media strategy as outlined by Gary Vee (Whose content on youtube is amazing in terms of getting yourself pumped, getting yourself in the right mindset to take on the challenges of being a content creator and sharing that work. He's very much in the market of cutting through BS, and he curses a lot; it's part of his nature, lol so fair warning if that's not your thing.)
But this is his article for Social Media in 2019:
The slideshow at the end of the article has all the gold in it.
As a gist, these are the notes I took:
You have your Pillar content: In our case, it's our Comics, each episode that is uploaded. And it looks like you have a long-form comic. Fantastic.~
I'm currently working on Swaha, as well as a number of other comics (atm making a buffer for them).
I've downloaded OBS (free software) to record my screen so I can make speedpaints of my process and potentially tutorials as to how I make my content. (Repetition doesn't matter cause people will only really see a slice of what you spread around as your Content anyway. So I don't care if the videos seem repetitive, someone might find something of value. What they find valuable-- I don't determine that; I just intend to share the larges volume of good content.)
Then from that long-form content (Eg. My comic episodes + Process Videos) I draw out what I believe to be the highlights. The things that show off either my art skills, story skills, or just who I am (cause I talk through parts of my drawing and have a webcam of me in the corner of the recording. I was not comfortable in front of a camera in the beginning...so i forced myself to do daily Instagram stories to say "good morning and today i'm working on Swaha's such and such episodes' the linework". And THAT has actually increased the quality and quantity of my social connections. It's okay to be shy, but know that you have to share your work in a way that you're most comfortable with, be it through video, voice, or the written word. What you think and believe in relation to the story you're making has to be shared somehow. Nowadays people judge the artist JUST as much if not more than the content the artist creates).
You take these moments and create the Micro-content. Content meant for Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, IGTV, your Tapas Wall even (People do see those and we need every scrap of attention we can get). Find the platforms you like, google every possible place you can put your work for free and get it out there.
Because you seem to be just starting out, I cannot emphasize enough that you need to have a huge amount of work to show for yourself that people can respect, value, and then be a fan of. In the competitive field we live in (got no choice) we can either walk the talk or get out of the way of the people that do.
Then you collect feedback on the content. From that feedback you might find people resonating with some stuff. So you take that stuff, repackage it into new Micro-content emphasizing what people liked and pointed out.
Boom, more Micro-content shared.
Make new Long-form content and make Micro-content from it. Share that. Get feedback. New Microcontent informed by the feedback. Share that.
Rinse, Repeat. Hone your skills.
Above all Be Patient. It takes the better part of a decade of THIS, creating a volume of content that's needed to sustain a Career (read "lifetime") and succeed in Webcomics and Stories.