9 Ways For a Graphic Designer to Build an Online Audience

October 28, 2016
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If you are a graphic designer looking to enhance your online presence, portfolio, there are several ways of doing this. In the digital age, there is so much more scope for showing off your work with the added bonus of reaching a very wide audience of potential clients.

Here we are going to look at the nine effective ways to build your online audience.

1. Join an Online Design Community

Joining an online design community is an essential first step. Here you can meet and interact with other graphic designers to exchange ideas, techniques, and comments about the latest trends in the professional design world. At the same time, you will be showing off your portfolio and getting noticed. It is also very helpful for getting advice and criticism about your own work and ideas for improvement. Most of these communities have competitions that you can use to showcase your work and tutorials on your most advanced skills.

2. Website

If you don’t already have a website, then it is a good idea to create one! If you don’t have enough technical skills to build your own site, there are many services available that offer hosting and templates. Some of these are free, but it is probably better to use a paid service which charges a one-off or monthly fee. After all, unlike free services, the paid one offers support and consulting. A personal website can serve as a portfolio and a personal blog

3. Blogging

Blogging is a fantastic way to increase online awareness of your portfolio. Whether you have your own blog or you are writing guest posts on someone else’s blog, you will be attracting attention to yourself and your work for sure.

If it’s your own blog, make the content captivating and unique, make graphic content to accompany the text.

Guest blogging is great, but remember this: if you’re writing a post with the purpose of blatant self-promotion, it’s going to be considered advertising, so determine a budget for this activity. You can also make tutorials and include links to your personal blog as an example. It’s definitely a learning process. Saying that, guest blogging will build connections with other graphic designers where you all promote each other’s work.

4. Instagram

Using Instagram to showcase your work is the most effective way for you to build an online presence and show off your best skills as well as awesome work opportunities. As a social media platform, it is one of the most visually stimulating ones. People don’t like to read, they enjoy pretty pictures instead. After all, 80+ million posts are being uploaded to Instagram every day. You can find a lot of graphic designers on Instagram to get an idea of how they interact with their followers, what type of content is doing well etc.

Don’t forget to comment on their works if you liked it and you’ll make friends in the industry in a blink of an eye. Not to mention, Instagram is a great place to get inspiration from if you’re experiencing designer’s block.

In some ways, it is better than your own personal website and is also free to use. If you have already launched your own website, you can add a link to your Instagram account and, vice versa, invite people from Instagram to your site.

5. Twitter

Twitter is a social media site for people to meet, connect and chat. This is not to say that it can’t be used for you to promote yourself, but again, you need to be a bit subtle about how you do this. No one likes shameless self-promotion in their timeline.

You will soon find yourself connecting to other graphic designers and it is important that you interact in a friendly unassuming manner. Compliment other people on their work and retweet any posts or comments that particularly grab your attention.

Don’t post too many links back to your website or promote yourself excessively. Being polite and friendly is the key on Twitter. Always try and reply to people who message you or comment on your work.

6. YouTube

YouTube is the perfect place for posting your own tutorials and helping other aspiring designers. This is a very popular method for getting your work noticed and, at the same time, passing on the benefits of your experience. All you need is a screen capturing program which you can easily find online and a good mic. Make sure your videos have good quality and sound as well as appropriate titles so that people could find your content.

7. Pinterest

It is a good idea to have a Pinterest board, but you need to plan this carefully before you proceed as it’s not possible to rearrange it afterwards. Arrange things in a list as you want people to see them in order of priority. Include your portfolio and any links in the first few pins so that people can contact you if they like what they see.

8. Behance

Behance is an online platform and an app which is free for Android and iOS. It is promoted as being a one-stop solution for creative designers to showcase their work. You can create a portfolio, promote your site, and connect with other designers.

9. Dribbble

Dribbble works as a showcasing platform for several creative areas including graphic design. It is one of the largest platforms for designers and artists to share their work online. The only problem is that in order to sign up to Dribble, you’ll need an invite.

In today’s world, it is necessary for a graphic designer to have an online following. It will not only build one’s reputation as a professional, but it will also bring new business opportunities. Along with your local business relations, your online presence through social media will boost up your revenues manifolds. So, follow these simple suggestions to be successful in your career as a graphic designer.

My bio: Shayan Carlson is freelance blogger and marketing enthusiast loves to write about education, lifestyle and travel the world.