In recent years, the use of social media has become a necessity for every industry and web/graphics designers are not exempted from this trend. Hence the use of social media cannot be overemphasized. Some of the benefits includes quick and easy promotion, less costly – more effective, connecting with the design community, finding clients and opportunities, creates/build an online identity.
But like every other technology that has been invented, social media has its share of boons and banes. What I wish to achieve in my post is to give my opinion with regards to how one can avoid social media pitfalls.
Let us take a look at some of the negative aspects of social media designers can avoid.
1. Don’t Cheat on your Portfolio
Many of us are “9-5ers”, so do find it a little difficult to create a bespoke online portfolio. Well it took me over a year to have mine up and running, I had to devote a lot of effort by giving my self a deadline. The point here is that no matter how busy you are, create and find time to have an online presence even if you don’t know how to write codes. Yes you could use sites such as Facebook, Flickr, Behance to showcase your work, but never solely rely on them as your primary portfolio. It definitely would not impress potential employers or clients.
2. Don’t advertise your charges/rate
Yes, it is not advisable to post your fees on a social network. While it’s fine to discuss them with friends in private, online forum isn’t the place for such discussions because you might be perceived as either cheap or expensive and might hinder you getting a gig.
3. Get Personal
Don’t rely on one facebook account, it is very necessary to make a distinction between personal and private pages. Engage mainly with people who want to discuss your work via a fan link.
4. Quit Copying
With the advent of social media networking, design plagiarism cases are common to spot. There’s nothing social network users love more than exposing such activity, so don’t copy people’s work rather steal (ideas). Good artist copy, great artists steal.
5. Don’t be a bore
Nobody wants to listen to someone moaning about every design they’ve come across. If you do feel the need to critique someone’s work, be constructive. Comments along the lines of, “This sucks!”, “This is crap!” and, “Are you blind!” wont endear you to anyone.
6. Play nice
Don’t engaged in public mud-slinging. Its often difficult to take the higher ground, but when you start being nasty online, things can get out of hand very quickly. When you post your jobs and get criticized, don’t be overly compelled to defend your work by banishing others not to make comments or speak to them abusively.
7. Pick your personality
Don’t join Twitter without thinking the commitment through. If you have a clearly defined brand then you may want to create both a personal and professional persona. It is important to make sure that you decide which approach to use before getting started- its harder to make the separation later on.
8. Keep it clean
Avoid using swear words as difficult it might be to some as a bit of profanity is part of everyday life, but you must remember that not everyone reacts the same way. Make sure that you know your potential client and customer base, and predict what kind of language they’ll probably expect from you. Then be consistent
9. Never bad-mouth clients
This is the golden rule. If you become known as a difficult designer, it takes a lot of time and talent to shed that reputation. And remember, most of your comments will be archived for future clients to read, so there’s no going back.
10. It’s not all about you
Don’t just view social media as a new way to publish your work and increase your profile. Of course, you should publicize your creations, but its important to build quality relationships with your peers, too. (This is the part I need to work on) It’s good fun, and if they feel they know you, they’re far more likely to recommend you to others if the need arise.
Image by Totally How To
Information sourced from ComputerArts