Gone are the days when designers were instantly recognised simply by winning awards and the strange outfits they would put together.
In this new age of social media, any professional can gain recognition, simply by understanding the tools of the game. In this post, I will provide you some basic tips on how to use social media for your personal creative brand. In the articles to follow, I will go into more depth on each social media platform that can benefit creatives.
Don’t collect friends you don’t know just for the sake of increasing the numbers, as this won’t get you very far. Instead, befriend relevant people, join industry groups and get involved in discussions. Posting work regularly and getting comments from your friends is not only good for your ego – it also begins to define who you are and how talented you are. A large amount of the freelance work I’ve been offered is from friends who have seen my work and have spread the word.
Facebook is a great place to show off!
This is probably the most important of the social media tools. The problem with creatives today is that they are not very business-savvy. LinkedIn is the perfect way to broadcast your personal brand to the world. The ability to see your immediate professional connections on LinkedIn as well as your second and third degree connections opens up a powerful network to you that you could never replicate on your own. As your connections grow, your professional network grows exponentially. With more than 85-million professionals already listed on LinkedIn, why wouldn’t you want to join the party?
Avoid writing random nonsense a la Kanye West, rather share information. Become a thought leader in your field. Other creatives will follow you if you have knowledge to share.
Creative tweeters can offer the public useful information, tools and resources to attract people to their site, while also interacting and developing relationships with consumers/ clients on the web.
Blogging is your first step to becoming an industry thought leader. Blogs give you an opportunity to speak to the market directly, in your own voice and on your own terms. More importantly, blogs give the market a chance to talk back and to share the conversation with like-minded friends. This platform is also a good way to show off your work and receive feedback. With an unlimited amount of plug-ins, one can include a flip-style portfolio, video updates and even polls.
Interactivity is KEY, so if you do start a blog, remember to do the following:
1) Update it as regularly as possible
2) Market your blog using social media
3) Make your blog as niche as possible – select one element of your skills to promote and then be the go-to guy for this.
4) Use royalty-free images for you blog or upload your own images. The last thing you need is a copyright infringement suit!
5) Remember that this is SOCIAL MEDIA, so reply to all the comments you receive.
Be sure to read up on part two of this conversation, where I’ll be discussing lesser-known social media platforms, such as Reddit and YouTube, and how they can greatly benefit you and your creative business.
What other online products can help the creative brand? Do share by leaving a comment.