As Creative Professionals we can’t ignore the value of Social Media and what it can offer us, not in only in terms of promoting ourselves, but also for building relationships. Many Creatives are still intimidated by Social Media and don’t know what platforms they should use, or how to leverage them effectively.
In this article we’ll look at the Social Media platforms Designers and Visual Artists should focus on, why and how to use them effectively to convert clients. You can use most of these same approaches for other professions beyond Graphic Design as well, such as Photography.
Main Sites Graphic Designers Should Focus on:
Facebook for Graphic Designers
If your goal is to get exposure and clients, then Facebook is one of the strongest Social Media platforms you can use as a Graphic Designer. Your clients are going to be in this demographic, so it doesn’t matter if kids are telling you “Facebook is Dead,” the adult demographic that will be purchasing your services is alive and well there.
Facebook is also a great resource for you to connect with other Designers and get advice and information about free downloads and new trends. Join some Facebook groups for Graphic Designers as well as small business groups. Don’t spam content to them, engage and make sure you find a way to create value and contribute to the conversation.
Google+ For Graphic Designers
Don’t underestimate Google, it will be a mistake. Google+ is very good for finding online communities with thousands of engaged users, especially when it comes to small business and marketing. Join some of these groups and let people know in the conversation and content you’re posting that you are a graphic designer. You’ll likely find someone there who needs what you have to offer.
Also remember the other features of Google+, such as Google Hangouts. These can be very convenient for connecting with clients or collaborating with other Creatives.
LinkedIn for Graphic Designers
LinkedIn is more than an online resume, it is the networking hub online for business professionals, who are exactly the people you should be marketing to. LinkedIn is also where potential employers are likely to look first when seeking new talent. Make sure you are taking advantage of the features that LinkedIn offers to present visually.
You should also consider developing content you can publish natively within LinkedIn. Infographics and video content are very popular, and so are Slideshare presentations. Consider developing a Slideshare deck for your portfolio of work.
Twitter for Graphic Designers
The biggest thing holding people back from jumping into Twitter is how “Noisy” it is. You have to get over it. Twitter is a cocktail party, and it’s going to be noisy until you find a small group of people with common interest and engage with them. Just like any other party or conversation, it shouldn’t be all about you, listen, ask questions, and be involved.
You can share nearly any type of content in Twitter, including images and video. This could be a great way to generate interest in your work. I’ve converted clients from Twitter just by doing this appropriately and in the context of different conversations by using the right hashtags.
In my case, I share a variety of content including my YouTube videos, which I usually share through scheduled post using Buffer. But that doesn’t mean I only automate content. I use those videos to start conversations as well as provide value through tutorials, while also engaging with anyone who comments on them in Twitter or in YouTube and thanking everyone who favorites them.
I also share finished projects I’ve worked on, and sometimes behind-the-scenes shots or footage of what I’m working on. In terms of asking and answering questions, I utilize the #DesignerProblems Hashtag to help other designers with whatever they might need.
You can also join Twitter Chats, and engage with people and answer questions about a specific topic. #PrintChat is a great one if you’re a designer. But also consider being a part of small business chats as well. These individuals probably need to hire a Graphic Designer, and if you impress them at the “party” they may invite you to a job…
Instagram and Pinterest for Graphic Designers
You probably feel these should have been at the top of the list. The reason they are not is because they are less likely to help you convert clients than the others. Pinterest and Instagram are visually driven social networks, and if your goal is to build an audience or fan base then these should be at the top of your list.
Instagram can also be a great source for Graphic Design inspiration. This is the focus of my Instagram content, as well as shots of the products I use to do my work and stories about how they help me work faster. I also give small book reviews using Instagram and put out inspiration memes.
But if the goal is to get paying clients, it is less likely to happen in these platforms, though not impossible.
Instagram does not allow you to link out except with your profile link, so that limits your ability to tie post to a call to action effectively. Also Instagram makes it very difficult to automate, so you can’t easily schedule post when you’re busy. Pinterest has similar issues both in terms of some limitations regarding linking out and the difficulty in scheduling post.
You should still take advantage of both of these platforms and use them to get attention that can funnel to either your website or a stronger platform you’re already converting in. In my case that would be my YouTube channel.
YouTube for Graphic Designers
The best overall strategy for Graphic Designers using YouTube is not tutorial videos or tips, though that has helped me a lot, not everyone is capable of doing this, and as a designer you don’t need to. The best strategy (in my opinion) is to show your work and your process. This might seem counterintuitive but its going to attract clients and help you close deals.
If you have 20 videos showing yourself working in Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator working on a project from start to finish, and another designer doesn’t, who do you think a potential client will be less anxious about hiring?
If you’re marketing yourself in a Freelance website, being able to post a link or embed a video in your portfolio that shows you doing the work will count for a lot! Imagine that someone you email your PDF portfolio to can click on a video to see you working on a project or discussing the project or walking through it, just like an interview.
If you don’t know where to get started with building a YouTube channel or producing that content I have an entire playlist of videos addressing that and I’m always available to answer questions via Social Media.
Behance and Why It is a Social Network
You may be familiar with Behance as a portfolio site but you may not also be viewing it as a social network. It absolutely is a social network, and it is one geared towards creative professionals. Commenting on, collecting, and appreciating the artwork of others is a great way to connect and build relationships. Many Art Directors and Creative Directors search Behance for new talent.
Being here and being a part of the community can create a lot of opportunities for you as a Creative. I’m actually going to be starting a monthly showcase, featuring artists from Behance on my channel and critiquing their artwork. This is an example of opportunity to get exposure and engage by using Behance.
Social Media is supposed to be SOCIAL first and MEDIA second. So make sure that you focus on the relationships you want to build and the value you want to create, not just how many people you can put yourself in front of. Most people fail to realize its not a numbers game, it’s a relationship game!
Feel Free to Connect With Me In Social Media:
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