We live in a fast-moving society. We are currently witnessing a social-cultural revolution. Things change so quickly that designers can barely keep up with the stream of information coming in every day. Since technology is so accessible and so well-developed, 75% of the world’s population has a mobile device.
So the real question is, in the midst of this global tumult of information, how do I, as a designer, make myself heard or stand out? This is a question that any good, ambitious designer should ask himself.
The answer is Social Media.
There are over 4 billion active internet users. That is roughly 52% of the earth’s population. Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to make yourself heard through social media. To get the full picture, here are some general stats on social media users and internet use.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for inspiration, if you want to keep up with the design world or you just want to chill and kill some time, Dribbble is there for you.
What makes Dribbble different from their main competitor (Behance), is their exclusivity and the way they select their users. While anyone can create an account, post comments and interact with people, posting images is an exclusive right. You need to be drafted (invited by an existing member) to share your work on Dribbble.
Dribbble is the place where you can show and tell, promote, discover, and explore design.
Although there are 460.000 users worldwide, there are only 38.900 pro users who post more than 50% of all Dribbble’s content.
This system ensures high-quality content that sets it apart from its competitors.
With over 50.000 active designers, Dribbble is the perfect platform for you to connect to the design community.
Mariana Ashley wrote an article on JustCreative blog about what is Dribbble and how designers should use it:
“I’ve found that this site works phenomenally as a source of inspiration. You can browse images by project, bucket (which is essentially different types of projects such as branding, typography, and many more), color (which can be extremely useful if you feel confined to a certain dominant color on a current project), and tags which cover virtually anything in an image.”
Here are some tips and tricks on how to manage your Dribbble channel:
Post your best work! Details are important so make sure you double check.
Comment like a person/friend – don’t comment just to be noticed but comment to help others with you expertise.
- Be open minded. With your best work uploaded you will receive business or project proposal.
Among the abundance of great tools that a designer uses, there is one that designers shouldn’t neglect.
The popularity that Pinterest gained in the past 5 years made it be a powerful resource.
For a designer, Pinterest can be more than a visual bookmarking tool that helps him/her discover and save creative ideas.
Why should you use Pinterest? Here are some stats that can answer you question:
- There are over 100,000,000 users on Pinterest.
- There are more than 1,000,000,000 boards created on Pinterest with more than 50,000,000,000 pins
- 70% of the users take actions like saving or clicking a pin.
There are many great techniques this visual medium can provide for you to promote your work.
Follow boards that you like, not entire accounts, this way Pinterest will display only relevant content via Jeff Sieh on Buffer Blog
If you want to know more about this visual channel and get through the wedding boards, you should check out some manly Pinterest tips.
We curated for you 5 simple ways to connect and share your works through Pinterest:
Follow users or just boards that you like. Follow the people who can inspire, educate and connect with you. It’s recommended to follow not just the Pinterest stars but also good content creators that can help you and your community
Create mood boards with:
Your Work – you can create case study pins or only the final results, but I recommend you to design a pin where you show your entire workflow: research, inspiration, design process and the final touch.
Your Inspiration – we can find inspiration in everything: books, images, videos or articles. Create boards with your inspiration and inspire your followers.
Your Education resources – even if you are just a designer you should educate, inspire and inform your followers. If they follow you that means that they like your work and they trust you. And yes, you can build trust with your Pinterest boards!
Invite your friends to share your work
Create secret boards – If you are working on a board, but you don’t want to share it yet, you can make it be a secret board until it’s ready.
Search for hashtags to find other’s work and inspiration
Use promoted pins for your best work to get noticed
If you want to get started with Pinterest? Check out Neil’s infographic on Quicksprout where he teaches you how to how to get your first 1,000 followers.
Instagram’s fast expansion surprised the internet. Two months after launch, Instagram already had more than 2 mil users. Since then, it has evolved a lot.
With over 400 million active users, Instagram is undebatably the number one photo social platform.
When it comes to displaying your work, Instagram wouldn’t be the best tool for the task.
[Tweet “A designer should use Instagram for interacting with his/hers community.”]
Sharing random things from your life, like your workspace or a motivational image, can build trust and makes the client – designer relationship more personal.
If you are a designer and you want to start using Instagram here are 4 tips for you:
- Create high-quality images and video – If you need inspiration you can check out @zzdesign,@chrisconnolly or you can just start reading their blog – www.blog.instagram.com
- Find your own style and try to be constant. This will make you stand out!
- Connect with the community by following them, linking their work and commenting
When it comes to blogging, Tumblr is the perfect instrument for doing that. Founded in 2007, Tumblr continues to be a great platform where creative people share their ideas and creations.
All 255 million blogs on Tumblr are creating daily over 65 million posts a day. That’s more than 120 billion posts in total.
Tumblr is user-friendly and anyone can set up a blog quite easily, but that is not always a good thing. Separating the good blogs from the bad blogs can be a challenge.
If you want some good blogs on design for your inspiration, here is great a list for you.
Beside the amount of bad content, (a problem that every social website has encountered at one point) Tumblr is great if you want to share something through a blog post.
Creating content through your mobile is very easy. Tumblr can be your own website or just your random idea blog. You can also edit your appearance, upload new themes or create Tumblr themes to show your web design skills.
After you created your blog, you must ask yourself a question: What kind of content is the best for this platform? Photo, video, GIF or text?
According to Alexis Kaplan, Tumblr’s brand strategist, photos are more popular than GIF, video or text. Of course, that’s not always the case. You have to try all of them and see which one is suitable for your audience.
No doubt, Behance is one of the best social media websites for designers.
There are a lot of portfolio websites out there, but the one that brings the most exposure to your portfolio is Behance. If you want to get a new job/project or you simply want to share your work with a large community of designers, Behance is a must.
There are over 60 million project views a month and 5 million project appreciations.
You might find it intimidating at first; All the high-profile designers can make it difficult to get noticed but as long as you post your best work, you are most likely to grab a client’s interest.
If you want to create a great portfolio on Behance, here is the short 6 steps to read from Mell Ravenel, Chief Designer at Behance (but I recommend you to read the entire article here):
- Take a step back, and curate your best work.
- Use eye-catching images, and share the backstory.
- Keep the website design simple, and let the work take the center stage.
- Craft a bio that expresses your unique process and/or point of view.
- Add distinctive elements (e.g. awards, your blog), and broadcast your work.
- Keep your portfolio fresh.
Of course, there are a lot of amazing designers on Behance. Here is a list of 28 graphic designers that you should follow.
Although Slideshare is underrated compared to the other social media websites, it can bring a huge boost to your design business or your personal branding.
There is a huge demand of content on Slideshare.
With over 60 million unique visitors a month and the deficiency of quality content, Slideshare is the perfect place to get noticed.
Also, Slideshare has a dedicated category only for Design project where you can always find popular presentations.
You can create lots of slides with relevant information on design. Also, there is already an established design community and they are constantly sharing awesome ideas, tips, lists and how-to slides.
Not on Slideshare already? Give it a try.
If inspiration is what you lack, here are some ideas for you.
- Case study project – If you have worked on a case study and you want to share it with the world, put it in a Slideshare.
- Events or public talks can also be a great material for a Slideshare.
- You can upload your resume and design skills.
- Ideas and thoughts about the industry with a few visual elements.
- Upload your own portfolio
If you are currently looking for a job or a new project to work on, then an online resume is a must. And how else to promote yourself if not through a Linkedin profile? There is an increasing number of designers that are getting hired using Linkedin
LinkedIn says that there are over 380 million registered members. Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
If you choose to make or already have a Linkedin profile, make sure you are not neglecting it.
Typically, when you are trying to get a job, your future employer tries to find out as much about you as he possibly can. Your Linkedin profile can be a deciding factor, so make sure it’s top notch!
Tips and tricks to get more visits on LinkedIn:
- Upload your best professional profile picture (stay away from your party pictures or morning coffee selfies)
- Use your cover photo to communicate your skills
- Upload your best work (you can write a great resume, or even connect your Slideshare account with your LinkedIn)
- Use Linkedin Pulse to write articles (if you have any idea or thought on the industry or you just want to share something, you can write a blog post using LinkedIn Pulse)
- Be an active member in different communities (that means that you can contribute with
- your expertise, talk with people and sometimes share your work. But pay attention, stay away from spam with self-promoted links)
And finally, the almighty Twitter.
There is a very small possibility that you are not already on Twitter. Twitter is an infinite source of everything.
That is a very vague and exaggerated description, but that is the place to be as a designer. As statistics show, there are 3 times as many chances that your brand will be followed by a Twitter user than a Facebook user.
Besides branding yourself on Twitter, you can also connect with other designers and share your work with them. There is a large community of designers and they create lots of awesome stuff. For instance, try this hashtag: #designerproblems.
With that being said, make sure you are active and try to engage with your community.
Let me show you some useful tips for your Twitter account:
- Update your profile – add your profile picture, upload a great cover photo and add something about you. But do not forget to update your website!
- You should connect and communicate with people on Twitter. Be a person who talks, reply and retweet. Don’t over spam with self-promoted links and other niche links. Act like a person and be that user that is getting out of the crowd by being transparent and helpful!
- Use the search bar to find other profiles, ideas, and thoughts about a subject.
The best way to approach social media is by being personal. Don’t be just another boring profile with boring content. Try to be fresh and creative and make sure you always interact with your community. Use our free social media templates pack to take off.
We didn’t forget about Facebook, YouTube, Google+ or Snapchat, but we think that these 9 channels can be a start for every designer who wants to start promoting himself and connect with the world.
What about you guys? Let us know which social media channels do you use the most and why.
*Note: This article was updated on 13.09.2018