Social media’s reputation has its ups and downs, especially in the design community.
Where some see an opportunity to grow their brand on social media platforms like Instagram, others might see it as frustrating, intimidating, and even a source of anxiety. But social media isn’t all bad. It can actually be a great place to grow your network, share your work and personality, and even reach potential clients.
If you’re a creative professional using social media, here are some ways to avoid feeling overwhelmed:
Be a content creator
Churning out images nonstop just for the sake of posting will quickly turn your profile into a place you won’t want to come back to. Instead, get into the habit of being a content creator. Produce content you enjoy and do it on your own time. Share what feels right and is authentic to you and your professional journey. You’re not on social media to please other people, you’re there to share what you’ve got.
Take it up a notch and share a shot of you in action, whether it’s you holding your physical packaging design, sitting in front of a wall you’ve painted, or even a time-lapse video of you building a website. Get creative!
It’s important to note that you should use a platform that you enjoy and makes sense for what you’re doing. If you’re a hand lettering artist, Instagram is probably the best place for you to be. But if you don’t like the “social” aspect of it, maybe a platform like Dribbble is a better fit.
Take Your Time
If you’ve been watching our videos and tuning in to our content for some time, you know that nothing happens overnight. We all start somewhere. When growing your social account, remember to be patient. Clients don’t come the minute you post your first photo; you have to get known first—share who you are and your work with your posts. The connections you make on social media can eventually lead you to events, conferences, and future projects.
You wouldn’t try to rush growing your business, right? You’d take your time with it. Remember to do the same with your social media account.
Stay True To You
Comparison is the threat of joy. It’s easy to look at another designer’s work and think, “Why can’t my logo look like that?” Everyone’s moving at their own pace, learning on their own time, and at different experience levels. We all bring our own flair to the table. Don’t forget yours.
Stay true to your course and remember to block out any negative opinions or attention, especially if you’re creating it by comparing yourself to others. Remind yourself of the specialness in what you do: you get to use your creativity every day to do what you love.
Build Genuine Relationships
DM is the new email. Yep, you read that right, and it’s important. If you’re trying to grow your network over social media, you might want to start with direct messages. Sending a direct message—or DM—can actually help you reach more prospective clients, and potentially land more projects. But before you ask for any job or offer your services, build a relationship with the person you’re reaching out to first.
The whole point of social media is to be social. Build a connection with someone by sharing why you like their work, how you came across their profile, and anything you might have learned from them. Ask them a question that’s easy for them to answer and opens up the conversation.
Social Media Isn’t a Requirement
You don’t want to be on social media? That’s OK, don’t. Not everyone is going to enjoy it or be interested in it. It’s totally fine to be a creative entrepreneur and not have an Instagram account. There are plenty of ways to network and grow your business without using social media. No matter where you are online, you’re going to have to put in the time and the effort to build your business’s presence.
Social media doesn’t have to be intimidating, a source of anxiety, or a weird place to showcase your work or business. Take advantage of the platform (hello, free mini-portfolio) and show other creatives, clients, and friends your talent, personality, and where you are in your journey.