Are You Missing Links?
In my last blog post, I talked about the importance of getting your work out there using social media, through professional portfolio sites such as Behance and Coroflot. These are tools you set up, leave it alone and return to check your statistics, or to add more work. And, as I mentioned, this is a valuable resource. But, how are you spending the rest of your time using social media to your business advantage?
Do you use Instagram? Do you use Pinterest? Facebook? Twitter? Are you missing links – professional connections to get your design business off the ground? The answer could be an easy one. Make sure you take the time to set up a Linkedin account and maximize your profile. This is a good suggestion, no matter what profession you are in.
My Linkedin profile is here. Take a gander and tell me what you think.
Connections are the key to making Linkedin work in your favor. Connect with EVERY person you have a professional relationship with. Ask your instructors for a connection. Ask people you networked with at design functions. Ask past and present employers. When it comes the time where they may need a designer, or if someone they know is looking for one, your profile is right there, as a long detailed resume, with all your recommendations, awards, work experience, and endorsements.
Most long time professional designers have a list a mile long of awards they have won, clients they have served, and everything else. But, maybe you are a new graduate, or still in college. There is no time like the present to sign up for internships, do work-study, enter your work into professional award competitions, and so much more. List everything on your Linkedin profile.
I am a firm believer in getting paid for the work you do, and I admonish businesses that seek out college students to get cheap labor or free design work. However, there is nothing wrong with helping out a non-for-profit. This can work rather well for you to beef up your profile. If you go to the “jobs” tab on Linkedin, you can type Volunteer Design Jobs in the search and there are a plethora of non-for-profits that are looking for help. They genuinely do not have the money to hire a designer, and you will be helping out a good cause, such as animal rescue, hunger prevention, organizations that work with children, and others. You will have the experience to put on your profile, but in addition, always ask the organization you volunteer for to write a Linkedin recommendation for you. And, the best part is you are building connections.
Another way to build connections is to go under the “interests” tab and join groups in the graphic design industry. Participate. Ask questions. Answer questions. Do not use groups to try to promote your work. (Look at my portfolio or my latest work!) Promote yourself by your genuine interest in conversations taking place.
Put Some Time into It!
Immerse yourself in Linkedin for a little while every day. Make sure that if you blog that your blog posts are being connected to Linkedin. There is nothing more powerful than an interesting blog post to attract followers to the blog, but also to gain credibility with your Linkedin connections.
Don’t miss links. Make connections. While you won’t see any kittens doing cute stuff on Linkedin, you can make better use your valuable time on a social media site that in the long run could pay off with an excellent paying design job.
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