How to get more followers and visibility on Behance, Dribbble, MaterialUp...
This article is for anyone who wants to grow his audience on Behance, Dribbble, and other similar designer networks (MaterialUp, etc.). This article will not focus too much on what to share, but how to share it and avoid common mistakes. I have been using Dribbble and Behance for 2 years and they have changed my life. Before we get started, note that followers should not be your only end goal. It is a facilitator, like money. You will get some advantages from it, but it won’t make you a better person.
Having many followers will not turn you into a great designer, but it will give you a bigger voice, so your ideas can be heard.
Getting more visibility will enable you to convey your message more easily, get more opportunities and build a community. Growing my audience on these networks allowed me to live my passion.
I strongly believe that if you are passionate, visibility will come no matter what. But it is hard to break through at the beginning. Unless you come up with an exceptionally brilliant idea, your work will barely get noticed.
So, here are some tips that will help you during your quest:
• Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket: There are a lot of networks out there (Behance, Dribbble, Uplabs, Tumblr, Instagram, CreativeMarket, etc…). Each one provides a different experience. I strongly recommend you try posting on a few of them at the beginning, instead of only one. Some will be faster networks (e.g, Dribbble, MaterialUp) with a short lifecycle for each post. They will be more about the first impression, while other slower networks (e.g, Behance) will ask you to come up with something more substantial, but your post will be visible for a longer period of time. Each network supports a different variety of fields, and the audience might be more or less receptive to your work. Try different mediums and find the one(s) that works better for you before specializing. Use multiple networks in a synergic way. I use my twitter to promote what I post on dribble, which in turn promotes my Behance, etc…
• Presentation is the key: The way you articulate an idea or a speech determines the way it will be perceived. Even an excellent idea might get overlooked because of a poor presentation. People won’t try to figure out on their own the intent, the context or the reason of your post… Working on the presentation of your work is KEY. And yes, it takes time… but it will make a huge difference.
• Don’t be afraid to post and share ideas. Yes, people will judge you, you will make mistakes, and some of your work might be criticized. It is okay, you will learn from that and get better with each new post, to a point where, looking at your past work will make you uncomfortable. If you are afraid of people stealing your ideas, stop now (or fill a patent). We are 7 billion people on this planet; chances are somebody will come up (or already came up) with a similar idea. Bringing up something innovative IS the best way to get noticed and become a leader. What is a better compliment than somebody being inspired by your work? Most networks are really sensitive to attribution and stealing. I saw many people getting banned, or having to remove a product because of the DMCA complaint.
• Make it discoverable You can have a great idea/design, if you have a poor and dull thumbnail, nobody will actually click on it to see your work. — The thumbnail and title is one of the main reasons people will actually decide to check it. As obvious as it sounds, an attractive thumbnail will lead to more views of your work. — Tags is the reason why your work will come up during search requests. — Share your work on your network and specialized sites: Abduzeedo, From Up North….
• Post regularly and be patient: We have all been here. Posting something we think is great and it barely gets noticed, while looking at this “not that great” post from someone else getting popular. How unfair! Two things: First, whenever you just got a few likes or even views, remember it is real people. Even if it is just one like, for this one person, it might have been of immense inspiration and strong impact. Secondly, be patient, it will come. Most of the people with thousands of followers have been around for a while, it takes time.
• Don’t post all your work at the same time: I often see people posting 10 variations of a piece of work at the same time, instead of having a polished one. People get stuck when they have too many choices. You will end up with views and likes being spread over your variations, and thus, none of them will make it to the top. Curate, spread your work over time and take a day or two stepping back from your post before sharing it.
• Quality and focus over time: It is not that hard to come up with only one great piece of work , but maintaining a certain level of quality over time is another story. This is how you build a brand, this is why people will follow you, because they know what to expect. Be consistent. Don’t post below your quality level.
• Be active, not only as a content provider: Following people might come back in your favour down the road (reciprocity rule). But more importantly, welcoming new people, providing constructive criticism, dropping a funny comment, liking or building collections are also many ways to gain some extra visibility. People will get curious about who provided this critique or who built this collection, which will eventually lead to your profile.
• Team UP: Expectation for products are becoming higher and higher. The same applies on these networks. With the right team, you can produce a higher quality of work, while also learning from each other. UI designer or illustrator? Team up with a motion designer and see what comes out.
• And most importantly, be passionate, be a good observer, keep pushing masterpieces, and solve problems in the most epic way ever.
That’s it! I sincerely hope this article will help you on how to share your work and grow your audience. Let me know in the comment section if it does, if you have more questions, or if you can think of any other tips that helped you.
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