Designers are almost always freelancers or small business owners or workers these days. But whether they are or not, self promotion and branding are crucial elements to remaining relevant and finding work. Without a viable image that has some visibility, there is no way to beat down the huge number of competitive designers seeking to score the same projects as you are.
But while you seek to establish a brand style through social media, you might be missing a few key points. Check your campaign against this simple checklist.
Are You Correctly Portraying Who You Are?
I have seen it again and again: People project a negative view of themselves on the web and the reputation sticks with them forever. Branding works in a similar fashion. If you have made questionable decisions in the past, even personally, it can affect the branding process by labeling you with the same tone. You may want to consult a local social media company to help with personal brand management.
Deciding early on who you are and what you want to portray is important. If you have been a little irresponsible in the past, expect that it could possibly bite you in the future. But if you have taken care to cultivate your image in more recent actions it will at least offset the negatives.
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Have You Been Seeking Support In Existing Communities?
Building a community from scratch is hard for even the most well known brands to do. People have their loyalties, and they probably aren’t going to go looking for a new one. As a designer, you will be running your own freelancing career for business, most likely. So your chances to hooking a group of supporters out of nowhere are next to none.
What you have to do is tap into communities that already exist. Social media is fantastic for this. Retweeting, forming affiliations with related Facebook groups and guest posting or even just commenting regularly on design blogs is a great way to start building your name from places where people already congregate.
Are You Utilizing The “Social” In Social Media?
What is the key word in social media? Social, and it is that word that you should be building your focus around. It is about more than spreading content through an unlimited and eager source. It is even more than increasing your visibility. What it is truly about is engaging and interacting with people who are interested in your brand, or could be with some work.
Communicating on a regular basis through your accounts is extremely important. Answer comments on the account walls, respond to status replies and provide content that can be fully interactive. For example, many design blogs and fan page will ask fans why for ideas on potential projects.
Do You Have All The Accounts You Need?
Too many designers have picked a social media site and stuck with it. That is a mistake, because you can triple, or even quadruple, your followers just by expanding out to various social media sites.
The first step is always creating a blog, which is pretty crucial in today’s world if you want to build a brand using online specific marketing. Next, you should have a Google+, Facebook and Twitter account. Others are also beneficial for networking, such as LinkedIn. But the new kid on the block, Pintrest, is another great way to get attention.
Other good accounts to get are Flickr, YouTube, Digg, del.icio.us and StumbleUpon.
It cannot be denied that social media has become a veritable giant in marketing today. Branding yourself is easier than ever, but it still takes the right tactics and a lot of work. Make sure you are approaching it from the right angle, and implement your strategy today.