How I made 5k+ Dribbble followers within 3 months and you can too.
My first shot was published in Dribbble on April 21, 2016. But I was never serious about it until one of my co-workers forced me to do it.Also after many years of Freelancing life, I was thinking to build a little audience, stay connected with them and share the knowledge and experience.
So finally I said ‘ok let’s do it’! And guess what? 3 months later I am writing this article.
What you will get if you go till the end of this article?
- How you will get 5k+ followers within a short time. I managed to do it within 3 months, you may do it faster.
- You will know the proper use of Dribbble Debut page, Recent page and Popular page.
- How you can plan your weekly shots and get the best output from Dribbble.
- Use of the Dribbble Tags and how do it in good ways.
- Taking the 100% of Dribbble Pro feature.
- Best time for posting on Dribbble.
- And many more tips.
Why should you choose Dribbble, too…
- There is a huge amount of job inquiries on Dribbble, and still you are only doing what you love to do.
- A lot of big brands out there on Dribbble, you may get the lucky chance to work with them. 40k Companies have used Dribbble for hiring.
- It will help you in many ways to build more new connections and you will be able to approach new people very easily.
- A lot of new remote work opportunities will come along with part-time and full-time jobs.
- You will be identified as an Expert in your field of work.
- I saw many agencies are hiring remotely. In each month at least 1 people I know personally is getting hired by some agency.
- One of the most important things is you will increase your Rates.
Why did I choose Dribbble over others?
I was thinking rather I go and spend my little time all over the internet, I may start with only one platform. It’s easy to visit only one website daily rather than 5 or 6. But you can keep posting Behance, Uplabs, Designspiration, FFFFound, Pinterest and even Instagram if you have few hours to interact with all of it.
But keep in mind that — it’s not just putting your works here and there and then simply closing the tab.
In my point of view its a relation I am building with my fellows.
If you visit my profile you can see on 22 March 2018 I have posted 1k celebration post. But before March 8 I had only 450+ followers. So 500+ followers within 13 days. After that, I just followed the same trick till I get 5000 followers (and maybe I will keep following it? ;) )
Ok enough of md shahadat (how to pronounce an Asian name anyway?) now just tell me how I can get 5000 followers on Dribbble!
1. Make a proper plan (weekly & monthly) for Dribbble shots.
You have to plan how frequent you can post. If you can post 20 shots per week make sure you post 3–4 shots a day (icon and logo designers can do it easily). I know its hard for UI and product designers unless you are a superman like Johny Vino and super-women like Zhenya Rynzhuk. But if you want 5k follower within 3 months and also you do not want to spend a penny you should post at least 5 shots weekly. For icon designers, it’s very easy to post 8 icons in a shot and then rebound the shot with another 8 icons. And For UI/UX & Product designers it’s also easy to make a dark version of a white app and rebound it as V2.0. In the end, you have to find a way to put more shots, regularly.
2. Don’t have enough time or enough works to show?
If you are a busy guy like me that indicates you already have so many works to show but you never manage the time. In that case, just make a 800x600 shot and upload it with an Attachment. But if you don’t have that much work to show, no worries. Design concept projects (do some research for that). You can also participate contests at 99Design and Uplabs or anywhere else and then make shots out of them and post on Dribbble. I even know few people who tried hard at 99Design but never won and just uploaded those works on Dribbble and gained followers.
*If the contest is under NDA (specially happens in 99Designs) you cannot show that design on Dribbble or anywhere else unless you withdraw that design from the contest.
3. Make a follower base on a targeted niche/topic.
If you are good at logo and icon, stay with it and make yourself a big fish in a little pound. That will also help you to get more clients. You don’t need to do everything that others doing on the popular page — you only do what you are good at and what you love to do. In my case I did only UI, UX & Product Design related stuff — both for web and mobile. (Disclaimer - it’s not a rule, and you even can come out of your own rules sometimes . I posted a few iconography related works too but I never stopped posting my main topic.)
4. Taking 100% benefits of Dribbble Pro feature.
Dribbble Pro ($36/year) feature not only allows you to hide ad but also it gives a ton amount of others benefit. Apart from uploading the main shot you also can add 5 (max) attachments in your shot. And it’s the best way of telling a story and breaking the 800px/600px barrier of Dribbble. And how much of it is important? Look at my Stats — 53,371 shot views and 20,901 attachment views.
If you go to the Stats page you will able to see the analysis (only Pro members can do that) and also you will see your top 15 biggest fans and who you like most. Make sure you interact with them very well. :)
And also explore all the Pro features like Goods for sale and Playbook if you already have it. Also, make sure you are open to new opportunities.
5. Tags and uses of it on Dribbble.
Right now Dribbble allows 14 tags while you are uploading a shot. Make sure you are doing it right. If you are uploading a shot of landing page make sure to add 14 tags that are related to it. You can see the popular tags on Dribbble and also you can research yourself easily from Ubersuggest with few tags.
6. Best time for Dribbble post.
Everyone knows that between Monday — Thursday from 11pm to 2am PT posting on Dribbble is the golden time by now. But did they show you the real scenario? Here is my Google Analytics and now you don't just know, you also can watch it. According to my Dribbble profile, this is the result. So the time of posting on Dribbble is very important.
7. Proper use of comment, follow, like and bucket
First of all, Do not spam or do something that people (and Dribbble) do not like. Some people get blocked for overusing the like, comment and follow features.
If you go to the Debut page you will find the newcomers, give them a warm welcome! Only deliver 3–4 comments per hour and not more than 20 per day. And don’t burst into likes, for example - do not like 100 shots within 5 minutes. Who is mad enough to send away 300 likes on a day!
Bucket is a great way to save what inspires you. By using it properly you can hack some attention, too. But make sure you put only the good vibes inside the bucket.
8. Don’t just follow — make an impact.
If they have added their social profile like Behance and Linkedin etc on their Dribbble profiles, hit them there, tell them you really liked their work and that is the reason you want to stay connected. Most of them will be happy to make a new connection. It will increase the chance to get more engagement with the community.
9. Bonus points for designer’s networking.
Rebound shots from top designers
If you can rebound shots from top designers and add a little of your style, too, the chances are huge to get known by their followers.
Make connections with other designers outside of Dribbble.
Add them on LinkedIn, follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. There is a huge chance they will follow you back and it’s a good start of making a great friendship with other designers. You will grow your network on each and every social sites. The more you will connect the more your identity will become known.
Try to be featured on muz.li blog
They have a huge audience globally. They pick the most interesting designs from all over the internet and send them to their subscribers. So if your works are good and you are confident enough of your work, make sure to send them a link. If you are lucky enough to pass you will get highly exposed.
Conclusion — I have worked with more than 200 clients in the last 10 years. But even after all of it, I felt I missed something. Meaning no offense to people who don’t like Dribbble as a portfolio site. But a follower base is very important for your own self. Dribbble really helped me to keep going. It keeps me inspired to DO MORE.
Very often potential clients want to see your Dribbble profile rather than your portfolio site and many of them want to see Dribbble profile along with portfolio site.
So if someone says something against Dribbble, you better ask them for their Dribbble profile ;)
If I missed something please feel free to add them in the comment section. :)
My next step is to increase my followers to 20K and beyond, so if you want to follow the process and the progress you might consider checking in my profile sometimes. Happy Dribbling…