I follow about 1,000 cosplay pages. With “likes” ranging from 30 to over 3,000,000.
The MOST common complaint I hear whenever cosplay pages are brought up is “it’s SO unfair that THIS cosplayer gets more likes when she’s half naked when MY costumes are much more elaborate.”
Which, I’ll level with you, you have a completely legitimate observation and it’s completely true. Sex sells. But before you take your pitchforks out and storm Jessica Nigri’s house, let me give you a few pointers on how to make you yourself happy with your cosplay reach, instead of being angry at the sexy cosplayer next to you.
1. People are fans of bodies, don’t worry about it.
There are a huge number of skin showing cosplayers. I think it’s safe to say that’s the majority. But, within THAT majority, a lot of those cosplayers are extremely talented. If you follow Jessica and Yaya, you’ll get an even mix of elaborately sewn dresses and amazing props thrown in with the boudoir shoots and low cut top selfies. The reason they’re so popular is because their fan base can be split into three groups: People who enjoy bodies, and people who enjoy craftsmen ship, and people who enjoy both.
Joe, (38) from Cleveland, Ohio doesn’t know what a seam ripper is. He’s also never used craft foam, and doesn’t plan to. Joe likes boobs. Joe likes butts. Joe likes a cosplay page for those two things.
If your cosplay is specifically craft, then you should never have to feel pressure to show skin if you’re happy with the costumes you’re making. All that’s important is that you’re having fun. However, you shouldn’t expect Joe from Ohio to like your page, as his interests are exclusively boobs and butts.
You, Joe, Jessica Nigiri and Yaya Han should all be happy doing exactly what you’re doing. That’s the most important thing about this. Everyone is having fun.
However, if you’re interested in gaining fans because of your craft, my next suggestion is-
2. Post exclusive content that other pages can’t offer them.
I see this all the time. Someone posts an amazing Madoka or a really cool they made from scratch or a really cool EVA plugsuit. So what gives? Well, even though their costumes are awesome, there isn’t REALLY anything standing them apart from all the other cosplayers making the same costume. So what can you do?
Find a way to make exclusive content. That can be anything from tutorials (video or image), memes, clever jokes about the fandoms you’re cosplaying, interesting stories, silly photoshoots where the character is doing something funny and tips in general about cosplaying. These are all things I’ve seen make people stand out.
Even though your cosplay is undoubtably adorable. People want things that they can’t get anywhere else. Something that benefits and entertains them. When you’re thinking of that, don’t forget…
3. Cosplay is WAY WAY WAY more than just making the costume.
As you all know, once you get the costume you put on your wig, apply make up, pose for photos and then upload to social media. What a lot of people DON’T know, is all of these steps are just as important as the other.
I’m the biggest offender of all of these things.
I slowly learned to look for Arda and Epic Cosplay wigs instead of shinier ones I found in costume stores. I still look for cheaper wigs, but with all of the sales Arda and Epic have, I roughly spend the same amount on wigs from there that they charge in Halloween stores. Learning to style has helped me a lot too.
Studying how to apply make up better that matches your character. Regardless of the character that you’re doing, foundation, concealer and eyeliner goes a long way. Try looking at “cosfamous” page and noticing what they do with their make up.
Instead of taking awkward smiling photos with my friends phone, (okay, scratch that, I still do this) I look for photographers at the con who are taking hallway shots. (A lot of really cool photographers will post on forums and groups that they’re open to taking pictures of ANYONE.) Most photographers are amazingly nice and would LOVE to do a shoot with you.
A lot of people feel bad when they make their facebook pages or instagrams and people don’t come running to follow them. What they don’t know is, pages with a high follower count got that way by a lot of networking and promoting. People AREN’T gonna find you page if they don’t see it anywhere. Some people carry business cards at cons, some people post their links in group pages, and some people have friends with cosplay pages and like to post about each other.
and last but not least….
4. If your cosplay page isn’t you having fun, it’s not worth it
I know I know. I just told you to do all of this stuff and now I’m telling you to “just have fun.” But it’s the truth. The best pages I follow, regardless of “likes” count are the ones where the person is enjoying what they’re doing. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how great your cosplays are, it’s how much fun you’re having when doing it.
So if your page is full of these all too common phrases,
“sorry I haven’t updated in awhile”
“sorry I haven’t cosplayed in forever”
“this sailor suit SUCKS I’ll try to get better”
“my wig is a mess but here’s my cosplay”
“here’s another one of my terrible attempts at making a sword”.
Time to cut down. We wouldn’t be following you if we didn’t know your skill set already. Instead of those phrases, try thinking about changing them to these.
“Hey guys! I’ve missed you!”
“I’m excited to do my next cosplay! It’s been awhile!”
“I’m still new at sewing, but I was really happy that I’ve gotten better than a few months ago. Do you guys have any favorite sewing tips for this part?”
“Hahaha, next time I’ll check to see if the wind knocks my wig off. But here’s a photo I absolutely love regardless!”
“I’ve been looking up new ways to make swords. Has this one gotten better from the last time? Which technique looks better?”
If you guys like this article, I’ll post a more in depth article on “Improving your cosplay page.”