Back in the day you had to pop into the capital city or your local town centre and visit every studio to hand out a CV and hopefully get selected for an interview but today up and coming designers have a valued tool which they can use to their advantage. The tool is of course social media and the internet.
With the use of social media and the internet you can create your own identity online and if you’re lucky maybe even a following which can spread like wildfire. This in turn can help you to build a name for yourself, bring in work or secure a job.
There are two keys to successfully pulling this off.
1. Be relentless
In order to pull this off you have to dedicate a lot of time to building profiles online. When I say “a lot of time” that doesn’t mean spending the time to just open social media accounts, it means opening and actively using social media accounts on a daily basis. This in itself is a full time job and can take hours out of your day but if your unemployed or looking to get started as a freelancer then it will play a vital role in marketing yourself. I myself do anywhere between 3 and 10 social media posts a day and to help you do cope with this demand there are some great social media tools available to use such as “buffer” and “hootsuite”. If you want to find out more about how to utilse social media then check out my other post, “Social media for Introverts”.
Back to topic, as a designer there are a handful of places where you want to be extremely active such as Behance.net, Coroflot, Dribbble, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. These are the places where designers thrive because they can showcase their work and network.
Some people have had no or little industry experience and have managed to showcase one piece of work to win jobs with big name companies so if its works for them, it can work for you too.
By being relentless, putting in the time and utilising social media you can promote your work to friends, family and connections and hopefully build a name for yourself before starting professional work and if necessary give an insight into your professional thoughts as a budding designer.
The results from each platform may differ for you compared to the next designer so don’t worry if you pick up no momentum on any particular account. Just being active counts for a lot.
2.Creating an amazing portfolio
You can’t become a design wonder just by promotion alone, you need something to back it up with which brings us back around to your portfolio. You need to produce some great work in order to get seen, especially when your showcasing it on design based sites which are full of design professionals.
Your work can be scrutinized or just plainly ignored if your portfolio is not up to scratch. Your portfolio is what will separates the amateurs from the professionals.
If you decide to go this route and find the work you produced is not going viral like you hoped then don’t worry, it’s all apart if the identity building process. Learn adapt and do it again. Persistence and practice counts for a lot. As mentioned, be relentless.