Setting out on a career in graphic design can be difficult. You have taken the time to learn your craft, but now you need to convince people to pay you to create expressive designs for them. Social media can play a big part in getting your work seen by the right people while guiding you along the right track to promote your work.
Let’s see how 5 simple steps can help you to get closer to landing work as a graphic designer using social media.
This is the most important, and also time consuming part of the process. As a graphic designer, if you are not utilising the many tools available in the online space to showcase your talents then you are putting yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Invest the time in setting up a website, there are both paid & free options available. Your website needs to display your contact details, an introduction where you explain what it is you love about design and what inspires you, and of course, a sample of your work. WordPress or SquareSpace will do just fine.
Get active on social media. Follow designers who inspire you, they will teach you a lot about how to network professionally. Don’t be afraid to learn from the pros.
The range of social networks is constantly growing and each of them require their own specific approach. Not every social network will be the best fit for your services, so take them to where you can get the most value and concentrate your efforts on those sites. Behance, Instagram & Dribble are some of the most visual social media sites at present.
In order to be successful as a graphic designer you need to know what your own style is. One of the easiest rookie mistakes to make is trying to be all things to all people. We all have unique talents in specific areas and you need to focus your efforts there. While I’m not suggesting that you need to niche yourself out of the market, feel free to stamp your signature on your work.
When you are focussing on attaining work as a designer it can be easy to neglect the important task of rejuvenating yourself. Make time to reconnect by seeing an exhibition or even just browsing through a magazine. Have fun with it, experiment with new techniques to keep your work fresh & exciting.
‘I’m not like most designers, who have to set sail on an exotic getaway to get inspired. Most of the time, it’s on my walk to work, or sitting in the subway and seeing something random or out of context’ – Alexander Wang
While building up your network remember to solicit feedback at every opportunity. The more people who see your work and interact with it, the better. Though it might be intimidating at first, ask people what they think of your work. This is a wonderful opportunity, especially when you have built up a rapport with other designers. They may be able to suggest improvements, or simply provide another way of thinking about your subject.
Always ask satisfied clients who you have a good relationship with for a testimonial for your site.
It is very important to stay up to date with your industry trends. Learn from what others in the design field are discussing. You may not approve of or endorse these trends, but you need to at least know about them to inform your response to them.
The cardinal rule of social media is to be social. It is a place to chat, swap ideas & share opinions. It should not be used as a megaphone with which to shout about your prices or offers. People do not like feeling as though they are being sold to on social media. Rather, they want to interact with you, find out about your style and see where your design objectives meet theirs. It is in this space that the real value of social media comes about.
Though it can feel hard trying to get your new design work noticed, don’t lose heart. When you remain true to your passion you will get there in the end. Don’t give up!
‘Design is not making beauty, beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration, love’ – Louis Kahn.