As the time goes forward, we see waves of new designers every day and they all show their creativity in their own specific style. We all know that having a unique style helps designers to stand out but what if there are so many unique designers out there? When you’re in a group of designers and every single person knows the required skill, how do you want to shout your name and convince the client you’re the one? It’s tough, isn’t it?
Having your own style makes you bold among other designers, but in 2018 it is not enough. Designers need to come one step forward and burn some calories to get their names out there in the global industry. Well, thanks to social networks. They make this process totally possible but it requires a long-time plan and strategy. I have been working in this industry for three years — not that long hey? But it was a busy three years — and I carefully followed many successful designers behavior to see how they promote themselves and show up in social networks. I have come up with some highlights that every single designer can do to stand out in today’s industry.
Dribbble is a Life Changer
If you’re reading this right now, you probably know what Dribbble is. But in case you have no idea about this weird spelling error, I will give you a brief and that’s enough for getting addicted to it. Dribbble is a community of designers answering the question ‘What are you working on?’ everyday. Different people with different skills share their current projects with other designers around the globe in Dribbble to get feedback and improve what they currently are working on.
But it’s not actually only about getting feedback and showing other people what you are struggling with at the moment. By sharing your work in the Dribbble you let your future clients see your work and choose you for their projects. Dribbble let people who are looking for designers to find the right person with their great search options. I’m gonna be honest with you guys, last year over 90% of my clients found me on Dribbble for the first time. Fortunately, I had chances to work with many awesome companies around the world via Dribbble.
If you’re keen to post your work into Dribbble, you need to be invited from one of the current players. It might be not a good news to hear after all of those good things that I said before, but via this rule, Dribbble has kept the community filtered and high quality. Also, the trustworthiness that Dribbble has, have convinced even huge companies such as Facebook, Google, Uber, Apple etc to find their designers from this community and post their job ads in there.
Take Instagram Serious
I always consider Instagram as a massive ocean — so many things are going on in there. The easiest social network ever, Instagram, allows you to share a picture of your launch or a video of your dog chasing his tail with your beloved followers to get likes and comments. But nowadays we are seeing a lot of businesses that are using this platform to advertise themselves. Even when Instagram realized that it could be effective for business purposes, they allowed companies to change their profile into a business account so they can use many specific features such as insights to improve their business.
Designers can use Instagram to share their daily life as a designer with their follower. This could be interesting for beginners, clients, and other designers because we all are always curious to know how other people are doing. Especially when they are doing something related to us. Beginners want to learn about design, clients want to see quality work and other designers want to get inspired.
Also, by sharing your designs in Instagram, you let design related pages with huge audience find your work and post your design into their pages as well. The first time that I got featured in an Instagram page, I gained 200 unique followers in only one day and that was quite interesting.
Write More Often
Well, this might be a bit hard to do first when you start it. The biggest issue for people when they want to write a blog post or an article is that they don’t know what to write. However, if you start asking some questions of yourself, you get the idea for writing. Why did you design that illustration? Why did you use those colors? What was the biggest challenge while you were designing it? Who is your audience? What was the fun part for you?
Start with writing short paragraphs under the shots you upload on Dribbble or Instagram. It doesn’t need to be that long but people who are following your work are definitely interested to know how did you come up with that result because they want to get inspired. After a while, you start feeling comfortable with your keyboard so you start writing longer stories that might be useful for other people in this industry.
What’s Going on in The Backstage?
This is always my question when I explore through beautiful shots in Dribbble. I’m always curious to know how did they make that character, what is that texture they are using, or how does their design setup look like. The thing is, people love seeing the process of creating something from 0 to 100. They want to learn about it so they can do the same thing. Also, clients will be more likely to work with someone who shows his/ her design process because it makes some kind of trust for them.
You can take pictures of your desk and the tools you usually use to design, or you can try screen recording while you’re working on a project and then share it with your followers. Also, you can even share the assets you used in that project so other designers can give it a shot too.
Making an audience and highlighting your work doesn’t happen in one day. It requires a plan and regular activity in social networks. Keep sharing your work every day. Even if you don’t have a design to share, you can do some basic sketches or else you can write about design. It could be anything but you have to keep that in mind that every single time you share something a number of people see your work and your name next to it. Imagine if you do this for a long period of time, what would happen. After a while, lots of clients will start sending you work inquiries and you realize how effective you’ve been working on your personal branding.
Thanks for reading, if you liked this, give it a round of applause 🙂