Numbers matter. Numbers don’t matter.

How I reached more than 100,000 views on Behance.

I decided to write this article to provide some answers to many questions that I previously asked myself. For example:

How do I reach 100,000 views on Behance? 
Why are some profiles so popular? 
How do I get featured?

Check out the results on my page – Lorenzo Bocchi on Behance.

My Strategy in 2016.

Behance is a part of my daily routine as a Designer. Finding great designs and adding them to my Collections is a very important part of my job.

At the beginning of 2016, I decided to climb the ranks in order to be more easily discovered by setting 100k views as a goal.
In this article, I’ll explain how I achieved that result.

First and foremost: you need to be smart and play by the rules.
I did some research and I saw that usually, the “famous brand redesigns” get around 20k views each. So I did this elaborate formula and I set the goal on 5 redesigns of 5 famous brands.

Starbucks App Redesign ~ 16K V / 1.3 A

The idea was to make the most out of it. At the time I was switching from Photoshop to Sketch and I needed to practice as much as possible. 
Also, when I worked on client projects, I usually had many restrictions.
I thought it would have been a good idea to get the most from that experience and use this side project as a playground to push my skills a bit further.
Not only that, but because I’m also front-end dev and I wanted cool web projects to build, I decided to create a website out of it.

I wanted to push myself to do the best with these Sketch files and at the same time give something to the community, so I gave the files for free to download.

I could have just given a link straight to download, but instead I sent people from Behance to the website and from there, they had to “Pay with a Tweet” in order to get the files.

The free files and the Twitter community increased exposure to the whole project.

Maximise exposure through other channels.

A few months back I read an article that was saying something about the Behance community and apparently 90% of the views that you get on Behance profile are coming from outside of the platform.
This is something that made me wonder.
Let’s take Ramin Nasibov for example, who has over a 1,720,000 views on his profile.
A break down his numbers on social media:

Facebook – 34k 
Instagram – 229k 
Twitter – 133k

Try to imagine the exposure that you could have on one of your projects if you could share it on your social media channels with those numbers.
But let’s be real. Ramin is a design legend and is doing an incredible job daily on these social channels to reach those numbers.

Unless it’s a part of your personal branding strategy to do what he does, let’s be more realistic.

In my experience, what helped me reach the 100k was mostly Muzli, CSS Design Awards plus all the other websites and blogs that re-published my work such as like Abduzeedo.

LinkedIn Redesign ~ 23K V / 1.3k A

Unfortunately, Behance is not able to provide detailed analytics. Even if I cannot measure the direct traffic, I’ve seen exponential exposure on my projects after being published on these websites.
So let’s connect the dots.

Redesigning a famous brand is the kind of projects that people like to see because people already know the brand, and you have amazing assets to play with in the first place.
This is the type of project that can easily be shared by the community.

The process is pretty easy: do something that the community would like to see and the community will share it. It’s that simple.
On top of that, don’t forget to give more if you can like how I gave sketch files.

How to Get Featured.

I always wanted to be Featured on Behance and apart from the first Freebies the following 4 were all featured on the Interaction Gallery.
Assuming that the quality of your work is high enough to be featured by the Behance Curation team, there’s another important factor to the equation: the numbers.
My profile has better projects than Freebies that have never been featured.
This is still a theory, but I think the way it works is that you have to reach a minimum amount of views to pop up on Adobe’s curation team’s feed before they decide whether to feature it or not.

Withings iOS Redesign ~ 23K V / 1.8k A

I’ve never seen a project with 100 views being featured and if you think about it, it makes sense. Imagine how many projects are published on a platform that counts a community of 6 million creatives.
They need to filter projects in a meaningful way.

Number don’t matter.

This is something really important to me because if you are a designer, you are probably attached to your work and fragile when it comes to recognition.
So don’t give up. Don’t let the numbers bring you down because they don’t matter at all.
You can have amazing designs on your Behance profile and have low views and just a few appreciations.

The numbers you see on Behance are not determining how good you are, so don’t let them take over on your self-esteem.

I’ve been there many times along with many other designers. These numbers are not defining you as a designer. They don’t matter. Reaching a billion views on a design platform doesn’t automatically make you a good designer.

Let’s take PokemonGo for example. When the game came out, every single website was talking about it. I saw an incredible number of awful PokemonGo redesigns in those days achieving crazy numbers.
But this goes back to my previous point, design the smart project at the right moment if you want to maximise the exposure of your work.

The Scam.

Just like everything else in life, there are people that play by the rules and people that don’t.
Behance’s algorithm is tricky. The way they count views and appreciation is based on the IP of the computer that reaches the project.

This is pretty simple: if you visit your profile with 4 of your devices, let’s say iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone you have 4 views.
Same thing for the appreciations.

Let’s say you use a VPN on your computer, you can easily change your IP, and add 1 view and 1 appreciation for each country.
Now let’s make it more modern… Let’s say that you have a tool that can randomise your IP and then refresh the page on your browser, you can have potentially infinite views on one of your projects. Same for the appreciations.

Facebook OS X ~ 34K V / 2.1 A

But here is where it gets funny. Let’s say that you have 422k views and 26k appreciations on your profile (pretty nice numbers huh?!), how many followers are you expecting to see on your account? If you see the most visited profiles you can define a ratio that makes things realistic. It’s rough, of course, but it usually works around these percentages.

10,ooo Appreciations (10%)
5,000 Followers (5%)
1,000 Comments (1%)

These numbers add up if your users are real. You can fake views and appreciations, but in order to have followers, they need to be a part of the Behance community.
I can say the same for the comments. More views means more comments.
You can easily see the scam when the followers and the comments numbers are too low compared to the other two.

Real Data = Real Clients.

The “why” you should give a f@#k about faking numbers is pretty simple. Fake numbers don’t bring clients.
With my 100k views in 2016, I got around 25 legit project offers that lead me to 3 pretty big projects that I brought to my – agency The Friendly Agency
I had the chance to work with an amazing startup that flew all the way from London to Sydney to work together on an amazing project.

I’m still working with an Israeli Cyber Security startup that is looking to expand in the Australian market, and I’m also working with another game–changing startup that for obvious reasons I cannot mention.

Stefan Michalak from Wantfeed
Always remember: real work, good work, bring real results. So focus on that.

Tips & Tricks.

In closing, I’d like to give you some tips & tricks that I found interesting.

  1. Like your own Projects.
    It’s sad, I know… But it’s important.
    This is gonna bring it again in the feed of your followers.
  2. Edit your Projects. 
    There are two reasons behind this. First of all, it works like the self-appreciation. Let’s say that you have 5 projects and your followers have seen just 2 of them. Making changes bring them all up in your followers feed, so you can have the chance to show something that they have potentially missed.
  3. Change the Cover often.
    Aside from that, maybe the cover you chose is not catching someone’s eye. 
    Just change it sometimes, this will make your project pop again in the feed and will give you another shot to get some more views and some more appreciations.

We live in a moment where numbers are becoming more important everyday to give value to your own brand which may be true, but don’t let them take over you.

Work hard, don’t give up and remember what your goals are.