The career of the graphics designer is an endless adventure through the would of creativity. The designer’s job is not only related to creating compelling products but to also create a connection between the brand and the customers through visual elements.
Standing out in an industry overflown with competition is a difficult challenge lots of talented designers are left behind. Being good is not a strong factor for success on its own and if you’re in the design industry for a while, you’ve probably learned that the hard way.
What helps designers with an average portfolio and low experience get on the road of success so quickly?
Have you ever wondered what hides behind the prosperity of your competitors? Truth be told, talent is an invaluable part of your prosperity in the graphic design business but exposure, on the other hand, can get you a long way and here is why. There are many designers thought the world who present excellent ideas and can boost themselves with an extensive skill base, yet, less than 20% of them actually try to show their work to the world. There are lots of designers who have gotten into the industry straight out of college and haven’t really created an online portfolio or a proper resume. Working for a design agency might be a dream-come-true, yet, there are lots of freelance opportunities out there which could help you launch a prosperous career and present you with a ton of prospect clients.
Become an Influencer in a Design Community
Showcasing your work in a design community will help you create valuable business connections and get you the exposure you need to become a successful freelancer. There are lots of designer communities out there which can aid your career and provide you with valuable information about the industry’s latest trends.
- Behance: This is one of the world’s most popular community platforms which welcomes creatives from a broad range of niches. In Behance, you can showcase art in all its forms, be it web design, photography, motion graphics, 3d modelling, typography and lots more. Behance is a friendly designer community and a popular option for creatives who are just entering the online world of design as it is free for everyone to join.
- Dribbble: Unlike Behance, Dribble will require an invitation in order to allow you to showcase your projects and it’s definitely a platform you need to be active on to secure your success in the design industry.
- Forrst: Another invitation-only platform which gets its users through a selection process to guarantee only the most dedicated and talented designers are part of the crew.
- Hunie: Small invitation-only graphic design community which allows users to exchange feedback on their work. Despite being fairly new, Hunie has managed to keep a wonderful spirit of inspiration and has a community of friendly and motived design professionals, who are driven to success.
- Canva: This industry giant will not only help you design beautiful graphics is a smart and quick way, but will also give you the opportunity to gain exposure through different competitions and help you get lots of friends in its amazing design community. If you’re new to the industry, you’ll find Canva to be a great place to start out.
Gain Exposure Through Writing
If you’re good at expressing your ideas in words as well as graphics and you love helping others become better at what they do, you should definitely consider writing some tutorials. There are lots of ways you can contribute to different design hubs by finding pro-bono writing gigs or guest posting at a friend’s blog. If you have some previous experience you might even get a shot at some of the big names in the industry, such as Tutsplus, for example. A smart way to search for writing opportunities is to type “write for us +design” in Google or get through your favorite design blogs and see if they’re not seeking guest authors. Although, you’ll probably get no payment from the writing, you’ll be able to gain lots of exposure and present your skills to readers who might be interested in hiring you for a freelance design project.
Here are a couple of places you can get non-paid writing gigs and hopefully be able to showcase your work to more influencers in the design industry.
- Sourcebottle: Great place to find writing opportunities and get connected with big brands who seek contributors.
- HARO: Help a reporter out with some valuable insights on the industry niche you specialise in.
- StarNow: Here you can occasionally find magazine contribution gigs.