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How many designers use social networks to promote themselves?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by leepaulvickersdesign, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. I'm interested to see how many designers use social networks to promote themselves and connect with new clients.

    If you 'socially network' do you find the time invested has resulted in more business or exposure than if you hadn't?

    How often do you update on these networks?

    I have a Facebook page, Twitter feed and LinkedIn account, and just joined Behance to showcase my work. Having Twittered for a week or two I find I either a) run out of content to post, or b) give myself info-mania updating and keeping updated with everyone else.

    Obviously forums like this are a good platform for sharing one-to-one and gaining constructive criticism on developmental work, but does putting your work out there in the hope someone will pick it up really pay off?

    Discuss :D

  2. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    I use twitter (too much) but feel that I have made so many contacts I wouldn't have made without it, been able to attend things I wouldn't have known about and learnt things I wouldn't know.

    I don't use RSS or email feeds any more, so have transferred time I spent using them to twitter. I still read most articles I would have done, and have a "to read" folder of about 100 links at the moment :)

    I haven't started "working" yet, as I have too much else on (degree / learning / commuting / gf / new house) but I feel I will be able to organise internships easier due to my twitter followers :)
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I have a twitter account set up and I'm toying with doing a blog, not bothering with facebook at the moment. I don't use twitter or my personal facebook as I'm like what am I going to say, I'm pretty sure my clients don't want to know when I got up and brushed my teath lol.

    It's the same thing with a blog, I would need to make the effort to actually add posts and if I'm not adding stuff to it why have it.

    I can understand the use of twitter and even facebook, and I'm sure there's marketing benefits with real-time twitter search in google etc. My next phone even integrates contacts from them but I still can't get past the view that if it's not going to be used why have it.
  4. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    I've got a Twitter account which I abuse the hell out of. Feel sorry for my followers sometimes :(

    Although I don't do freelance I get some cool request come through it :)
  5. wac

    wac Senior Member

    I've recently started using Twitter and also use LinkedIn, Behance and Digg. All of them are the same in that they require muchos time, building a bank of quality, relevant followers in order to get anything out of them,
  6. BenJonesDesign

    BenJonesDesign Active Member

    I've got twitter, facebook, behance and Linkedin.

    Twitter is good for updates, possible update column on website is a good one. Facebook is the one where I tend to get most recognition. With it being possibly the largest community on facebook everyone suggests me to their friends and so your fan base grows. Behance is another good one, I've only really just started but as long as you comment on others and such you should get some feedback at some point. With linkedin I'm not sure yet, just started it, joined a few groups but nothing back as of yet, you can link your behance into your linkedin profile, however I think for people to see it they need to pay for their membership :S
  7. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    I've used Twitter sporadically for my personal freelance work, and haven't found any success in generating new work clients, but have found it useful for gaining work through recommendations in similar contact circles. I guess I'll never know if a recommendation e-mail would have arrived for those jobs or not, but I think being active does carry that benefit of being on peoples minds/in their attention.

    I tend to go through phases, one day I could update several times and get a few conversations going, other days everything just passes me by.

    I've never used Facebook for my personal work, only for a DF Page (insert shameless plug to 'like us' here). I tend to like keeping my work away from friends as a general rule, as it's amazing how many old school "friends" come out of the woodwork asking for you to 'knock up' a 15 minute logo, or a quick website.

    As mentioned above, I've had similar issues with Twitter on a personal level, I try to restrict my time/access to it, as I could see it being a huge time drain. I think the issue of feeling like you need to post new content comes from first using Twitter, feeling like you need to keep up, and stay active with the stream of information. These days I tend to just stop by for 5 minutes every now and then. I guess with everything social media based, you get out what you put in, a rule that also lends itself to forums such as DF.

    I've never seen the advantage of constantly pushing your work in front of people. The reason I'm so active in Design Forums, aside from launching it, is for the friends and contacts I've made, as a freelancer working from a home office it keeps me connected with other designers and creative people. Plus I know that if I ever get asked about something outside of my knowledge/experience, chances are high that someone on the forums is either highly experience in that area, or can point me in the right direction.

    I've been getting more active with the Design Forums twitter account of late, and for raising the DF profile and getting a few new members on board it seems to be doing the trick :)

  8. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    You should be more like me then, I charge them like anyone else lol. I've had friends and relatives come to me to do work for them, I'll sit with them and do a general chat about it (like normal), sometimes giving them new ideas, but I also tell them straight that the work won't be free. I then give them a quote and say it's their choice if they want to take it any further, it's nothing personal but it's business and we can't live on doing free work etc.

    If they're serious about their 'work' then they'll pay, normally they decide to take the paid route. :up:
  9. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Agreed Levi, if I thought they were serious about their new ventures then I would definitely do the same, and have done a few times in the past, problem has been friends thinking of new website ideas, wanting a design + code, then losing interest a few weeks later.
  10. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    That's the joy of doing something a little different, they either need my work or they don't :)
  11. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Yeah that's true! :)
  12. mcskillz

    mcskillz Member

    I tend to keep my work and social lives as separate as possible generally (barring sticking a few work samples in a folder on facebook so people actually know what I do!).

    That goes for colleagues too, I just wouldn't add my current boss or peers here to my personal fb, for no other reason than I think a line needs to be drawn somewhere.

    However, having said that, if I chose to go freelance, I'd want everyone and anyone I know to push me to their friends/families/colleagues for potential work! I've gained a fairly broad spectrum of friends over the years in various fields so there is definite potential there for clients which would be a shame to miss out on!

    It's a tough one I think.
    I think my solution would be setting up accounts across all social media (just got started on twitter) and maybe just suggest my work FB page to select FB friends who I think might be or have decent work prospects.

    The way I see it you can't have yourself out there enough, and getting noticed across a range of sites and media can't be a bad thing.
  13. Greg, I've just added you on Twitter and I have to say I am very disappointed to find out that that moustache and beard are not real!
  14. Tom Sound

    Tom Sound Active Member

    I've only just started using twitter for a couple of months and set up a personal one and a work one to keep things separate. I started tweeting a bit on my personal one but then realised that there's only one person who follows me that might be slightly interested and that's Mr P, but I'll keep tweeting, at least someone is listening....

    Now, the work one I've linked it to our blog so that when I post on the blog we tweet about it too, which seems to work quite well, again, not got many followers but I guess when people start following you they look back at your old tweets too right?

    The blog is the place we've got the most new business from, both design and production.

    Feel free to follow me/us on the links in my sig and I'll do the same when I can work out whether to follow people with the personal one with the company one?!?!

    None of my mates use twitter at all, losers

  15. wac

    wac Senior Member

    I just noticed that DF has never been Dugg, just rectified that, Digg it up guys
  16. glenwheeler

    glenwheeler Senior Member

    I use social networks a lot, makes a world of difference!

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