7 great places to promote your graphic design work online
You’re a talented designer with a smorgasbord of ideas and a fresh business plan. If that alone were enough to give you a spot in your next client’s virtual Rolodex, you’d be set for life. In reality, however, you need to promote your graphic design work in various places to show off your skills. A cleverly planned marketing strategy can help you jump ahead of the competition and gain new customers, and thankfully for those on a tight budget, self-promotion needn’t be expensive.
Some graphic designers flit freely between print and web design; others prefer to create tangible proofs rather than digital images. If the second profile sounds like you, don’t panic: Wix can help you create a stellar online presence without breaking the bank. Wix has several premium tiers, none of which are particularly expensive, to help you create and promote your professional website.
To get started, pick your plan and then select from a range of customizable templates to craft your website. Add a portfolio section and then load your designs to make them easily accessible online. Once your site is up and running, you can Wix Events to plan face-to-face networking opportunities and use the app to send invitations to existing and prospective clients.
One of the oldest and most well-known portfolio sites on the web, DeviantArt started its online reign in the summer of 2000. Easy to navigate and full of intriguing art, DA is a hub for developers, graphic designers, traditional artists and hungry art voyeurs. The work on DeviantArt varies from edgy to whimsical, making the site an excellent choice for almost any type of creative professional.
Accounts are free and you can upload your work quickly and easily, which is great if you need an affordable way to promote your business in a hurry. Better still, you can use DeviantArt to sell prints and digital downloads, increasing your monthly income potential. You can also use the site to gain feedback and improve your design skills.
Popular and elegant, Behance is part of the Adobe family and plays host to millions of visitors each year. Behance’s sign-up process is particularly easy if you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber: just log into Behance with your existing CC username and password to create an account. Upload your very best work and include detail images to show off digital illustrations and complex designs. You can also share work in progress to demonstrate your creative process.
To maximize designer exposure, Behance automatically forwards submissions to other online galleries and assembles curated collections to make it easier for clients to discover new talent. If you want to get even more out of the site, consider attending a Portfolio Review event to meet other designers and present your work in person.
Choose Dribbble to tap into a network flush with seasoned pros from a range of creative backgrounds. Upload screenshots of your work and chat with industry insiders and other design professionals to improve your workflow and hone your artistic prowess. Especially useful for work-at-home creatives, Dribbble delivers a virtual roster of colleagues to help keep you motivated. If you enjoy meeting people face to face, you can use Dribbble to create a Meetup for designers in your town.
Essentially a social network, Dribbble also works as a self-promotion tool, so you get hired more frequently. Give potential clients a link to your portfolio or visit the jobs section to view on-location or remote vacancies and apply for new career opportunities.
Promote your graphic design work via Squarespace to reach prospective customers all over the world. Packed with features and incredibly versatile, Squarespace offers its members a flexible web design suite with options to suit nearly any type of business. Portfolio websites work particularly well on Squarespace, which has an easy drag-and-drop interface for new work and seamless connectivity for social media.
To keep clients and fans up to date, consider tacking a blog onto your website. Squarespace incorporates a beautifully simple blogging platform, which you can customize to complement the rest of your website. If you plan to write several posts a week and want to onboard other writers, simply add contributors to your blog and increase your team size.
Put Tumblr on your to-do list and spoil your followers with a cascade of creative images. Mesmerize your followers with moving GIF images, photographs, work-in-progress snapshots and finished projects. Ideal for visual media, you can also punctuate your Tumblr feed with videos and written posts to keep clients and fans in the loop.
Flexible and customizable, Tumblr has a simple interface and works flawlessly with various social media platforms. Follow other accounts, reblog posts to keep your finger on the creative pulse and use Tumblr messages to contact peers and clients. If you get stuck on a design concept, Tumblr also works well as an inspirational resource.
Promote your work on Carbonmade to get on the global radar and reel in new clients. Founded in 2005, Carbonmade offers graphic designers, illustrators and other creative professionals an inexpensive and whimsical online portfolio solution. You gain access to a plethora of professional templates and the world gains access to your artwork. In return, you pay Carbonmade a small monthly fee: simple.
Potential clients who visit the main Carbonmade site get an elegant splash page complete with a large search bar and an easy-to-navigate creative specialty list. Carbonmade also regularly selects portfolios for its featured section, making them easier for prospective customers to find.
To market your work effectively, you need to reach as many likely customers as possible. Every time you create a new account and showcase your artwork, search engines like Google index your name and make your designs easier to find. It’s like the real world: the more you “get out there,” the more people get to know you and the more likely they are to hire you for graphics projects. So go ahead and spread the word to gain clients and experience increased success.