You’ve created something you think is pretty good. A few weeks ago I talked about where to go to share your work online, but what do you do after that? How do you bring people to wherever it is you’re sharing your work?
There are probably countless ways to bring eyes to your work. You could pay for followers on social media through one of those sketchy services, but that’s not very honest and you’re not going to have the quality of followers you want. You could pay Facebook or Twitter to promote your posts, but unless you’re already pretty established that’s not a sustainable plan.
To be honest, their is no “build an audience quick” scheme. It takes time and patience to happen organically, but it ends up being worth it in the end. But if you keep at it, your following will grow, and you’ll find yourself with an audience that you can bring value and will give you value in return.
Write, Write, Write
It almost seems counter-intuitive but writing a lot is a great way to bring attention to your design work. What does writing have to do with design? Well, if you’re writing about design then they’re pretty heavily related. Writing to teach people about a topic shows your knowledge in the given topic, but more importantly it also provides value to people who aren’t as knowledgeable on the thing’s you’re writing about.
It can take a while for your writing to catch on, and you have to be okay with the idea that your first few pieces may not get any reads when they’re published. But if you put your writing out there on social media people will come across it, and start sharing it if they find it valuable.
It’s much easier to get people to visit your site for something that gives them value, but don’t let bringing people to your site the sole reason for writing. Write because you want to give value, write because you want someone else to learn something. Just be genuine.
Engage With Other Designers
You’re not alone in your field, no matter what area of design you’re in. A great way to find an audience is to become part of others’ audiences, so always be looking for the works of other designers. Find the work you admire, and give them honest, real feedback.
Like with writing, it’s vitally important to be real. Don’t just say “hey, that looks great! Can you check out my work?” That positions you as desperate, and fake, even if that’s not your intention. It’s best to be honest, tell the designer what you like and don’t like about their work, but be polite about it. To reiterate, your motivation shouldn’t be to nab another pair of eyes to look at your work, but to provide real honest value.
Solve Problems For People
So far the thoughts I’ve presented only provide value to other designers or people who want to learn more about your area of design. These aren’t the people who are going to be hiring you for your services, so it’s vital that you work to provide value to other people.
Rather than ask somebody to be your client, you should gift them with a sample of your services. This turns it from you asking for a favor, to you providing value. It’s not a common gesture, and if you approach it from the angle of legitimately solving a problem rather than trying to make a sales pitch you will turn some heads.
I will admit, it may seem silly to just give a part of your services away for free with no sales pitch. However, I’ve ended up getting jobs that I never would have landed if I hadn’t tried this approach, and a few of them led to other clients.