For creatives, the world of social media can be intimidating. Actively seeking out new clients is often considered uncreative while every effort of marketing yourself to attract more work might sound like too much pressure. However, in an overly saturated and competitive job market, social media is not an option, but rather a necessary tool for new opportunities and success in addition to resumes and portfolios.
Besides being an artist, you also need to be an entrepreneur in order to move your revenue up. Good news is you don’t have to know everything about digital marketing to advertise your work online. You do need to stay curious and focused on upgrading your career in the best way possible. Below are the most important things that will help you establish a solid online presence. Using these strategies with just a pinch of determination can help you grow your brand and attract a steady stream of prospects.
Focus on your website
Don’t forget that your website is not just a fun showreel of what you do. It’s actually the first thing people will look at when searching for your name, so you need to be extra careful. First, you need to gather enough material and information about yourself and your personal achievements that will help people understand who you are and what you do.
This is where you build your online portfolio. You don’t want another static website with a few information about the designer. Your website has the potential to attract clients from search engine results, which means that you need to focus on the content of your website. As a designer, you will want to arrange your work in a particular order but don’t forget to add short captions or descriptions that contain strong keywords to boost the SEO ranking of your website. Apart from giving you personal space to showcase your work, your online portfolio has the power to set you apart from the competition.
You’ll also want to set up a testimonial section where you can showcase magazine clippings with your name mentioned as a quality designer and comments from satisfied clients. This is a great way to assure your future clients that you are a professional. A blog section is also handy as it shows your personal interests and it’s a perfect way to inform people about the trends you are following. A well-structured blog section can inspire other people and it tells a lot about your style as an artist.
Your website should also provide various options and ways in which potential clients can contact you. That includes your phone number, email address and links to your social media accounts so your clients can tag you and spread the word about you!
Social media is your friend
The more you know about your options on social media as an artist, the more you will be able to use it to build a strong online presence. Also, if you want to stay updated with the latest trends and news in the design industry, creative networking is simply a must. For example, Facebook and Twitter can be powerful marketing tools when it comes to cost-effective networking with other designers and potential clients. Here are a few tips you can use on social media.
Instagram is not new to artists. However, there is much more to it than just sharing snapshots of your work. For example, if you are interested in attracting local clients, make sure you take advantage of geo-tagging your posts on Instagram. Also, if you want to draw their attention, try commenting on their post or tagging them from time to time. Instagram can also be very useful for taking videos and adding some additional explanation about your work.
As a designer, you will want to have your own Facebook Brand Page besides your public Facebook profile where you can showcase your work and share your thoughts on the industry. It’s always a good idea to share design articles and resources as well as your other work that might not be on your website.
Promoting your work strategically on Facebook can help you establish credibility when other people look for more information about you on social media. Bonus tip: post a short Facebook Video as a “pinned post” at the top of your page where you introduce yourself and your work.
Too many advertisers use Twitter as a platform for getting attention while they don’t realize that Twitter is great for listening and research too. This platform is very strong when it comes to building relationships and engaging with people directly as it allows you to interact with people’s posts and answer their questions directly.
In other words, Twitter can be a great option for you if you add that personal touch that other advertisers don’t use enough because they focus too much on talking about themselves and not as much on listening to other people. As a creative, use your charm to show potential clients you are listening to what they are saying and win their hearts.
Network to make more contacts
Even if being proactive isn’t one of your strengths, you should do your best to be active in forums and online communities, at least the ones relevant to your niche. Try to engage other members by asking them relevant questions about design, but also, try to answer other people’s questions to show your knowledge and interests to others.
While applying to contests and networking might seem as tiresome activities, they can actually do a lot of good things for your career as an artist. Remember that every time you step out of your comfort zone, you get the chance to show how talented you are. And if you are lucky enough, you might even win an award and then showcase it on your website!
Share your work with the world
Besides meeting new people, you should try to distribute your work as much as possible. That includes submitting your design work to art magazines, blogs, and online galleries. Use as many channels as you can to get the exposure you deserve. In other words, don’t sit around and wait to be discovered. Instead, be proactive, share your work with the right strategy and your work might even go viral!
Think about this: the more you share with the world, the more chance you get to become recognized. At the same time, you also get more chance to become a reputable designer, which opens the door to more clients. It’s a win-win situation for you and your art. For example, consider giving away free stuff if you can afford it. Make free downloads and online resources that help a specific group. This can help spread your message around the world.
Finally, consider redesigning your favorite design products and show them off online. Redesigns are a great way to promote your talents which can actually lead to new prospects. If this sounds too flashy for you, you can opt for becoming a guest post writer for popular design magazines. Many publications are seeking contributions from design professionals. This can be your chance to get your name out there.
About the author:
Tamara Luzajic – web content writer and editor, currently working as a copywriter at Humanity, employee scheduling and workforce management software.