What makes you a successful web designer? Just knowing about few popular web design tools (among hundreds) and their latest versions will not help the experienced ones much in coming days.
Afraid, confused, or just can‘t digest it?
If you claim yourself to be a web design professional and still cannot find a single spot in emerging social media, may God save you and your career. Keeping up with your excellent work will not fetch you any more good if you do not know how to share, promote and assess your work by fellow designers. It is like breathing in 2011 but dreaming about 2002.
Still not convinced?
Let us go for an honest confession:
Let us go for an honest confession:
Do you (experienced designers) really require years of time to excel on Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Panic Coda, Photoshop, Firebug, Adobe Flash and many more like this? Even if you are working on different CMS platforms (WordPress 3.1, Drupal 7) or using advanced languages (HTML5, CSS3), does it really make you struggle while learning. To be honest, you should not. In bound skill development will not take you long way, if it is not jazzed by real people, exclusively your competitors and co-workers.
Think affirmative: It works
Think, someone top from a big Web marketing company got your online portfolio, perhaps through the link of the screenshots of all work you have done. Or say, you have joined a Facebook group, where bunch of tech professionals are getting together online to discuss business. And, finally the network ends with meet-ups of SM professionals, web designers and developers, WordPress fans & followers, professional bloggers and some smart clients. Who knows your next design job waits for another 30 minutes of discussion?
Start Digesting The Social Media Fruits:
Social Media is not just to make a fun of our life. Well, we are not joking here. It is happening and smart people have already done much of their homework. Are you being left behind? Let me tell you Social media is not about wasting time or effort and it is beyond Facebook and Twitter. There are many other ways Web designers can reach up to possible clienteles and other designers in the industry. The scope is huge and potential is measurable.
But, The Bottom Line Is – How Do You Make All These Happen? What to start with?
Use Social Media Tools:
Use Social Media Platforms like Linked In, TweetDeck, Digsby, Friend Feed, Second Brain, Forrst, Spokeo, ShoZu,Ping.fm, Del.icio.us to your discretion. TweetDeck can connect all your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, FourSquare, Google Buzz accounts in single interface. Digsby can connect your IM friends and gives you instant messaging system. Second brain can organize all of your artworks, contents, bookmarks, files, photos and share with your friends. Forrst add your friends and team together to share feedback about your designs and industry. Using ShoZu, designers can share photos and videos across all 20+ Social Media Sites. The list continues.
Make Blogging A Habit:
A blog can be a unique platform for sharing breaking tech/design news as well as varied comments. You can syndicate your artworks, workshop designs through sharing links or publishing them in designer communities. It has a great SEO benefits also. As your name and work will be found on search engines, you can present a strong portfolio to potential clients. Having a regularly updated blog ensures, your fans, followers and clients are in your forte.
Promote Your Creativity:
Creativity can‘t and should not be suppressed for long time. You can go about tweeting a new client‘s page (you have just finished) or sharing a link of a recent blog post from your favorite design blog. There are few specific social media platforms free from sponsored tweets or marketing clutter. Other than Digg type sites like DesignBump.com or Designfloat.com or WPVote.com, there are specific communities like Coroflot and deviantART , where you can promote your portfolio and earn feedbacks. Even Dribble.com is also a great base where you can post snapshots of your design and ask for comments from your fellow designers. Assessment always improves your skill. Isn‘t it?
Profiling is Important:
Today, it does not require you to apply rocket science to promote yourself through Facebook, Twitter or Linked In. However, privacy might be the concern for someone. It is better you limit the amount of information to share or stick to non-personal topics. Work opportunities are huge with these networking platforms, if you know how to play safe.
If you have already bagged some good clients, why not adding value to your services by designing a customized Facebook page and teach your client about the best tools? It may look fad, but small as well as large companies are trying to find out exciting web design tools for their bulk projects on social media. Are you going to miss your pie?
Meet The Real World:
Successful online discussions often end up in real-life meeting to make business. Attend social gatherings or events organized by start-ups. Social media has a powerful voice for those who do not want to let the design job go to someone else. Imagine, how good it is, when real customers, mentors, partners in a big platform surround you.
Should you think, connecting through social media is just a matter of casual knock, you are on the wrong side. It does not require you to struggle for popularity, but need consistency and perseverance at its most. Of course, the fruit is very sweet.