Going Social as a Creative: 4 Steps to Leveraging Social Media

Shopping your portfolio around to different agencies, brands and companies used to mean multiple trips to the printer, pounding the pavement, breaking through gatekeepers and shuttling your physical book to all ends of the city. Nowadays, things are different. If you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace the power social media has in helping promote your work and strengthen your personal brand. By engaging hiring managers and starting conversations with others in the creative space, you can leverage social media to your benefit and save a lot on printing costs along the way.

Step 1: Branding

Begin by creating consistent social media profiles that highlight your professional interests and are mindful of your personal brand. As I outlined in another post, your social media presence/footprint is a “strong representation of you, so it should explain who you are, what you do and what you’re looking for. Show your personal brand, and let your personality come through a bit.”

Step 2: Content

You put a lot of effort into your work, so make sure the content you share reflects who you are and where you want your career to go. If you have a portfolio, use imagery of your work and post some of it to your feed. What you say about the piece is important too, so talk about it — but be concise. Your viewer/reader is scrolling quickly.

The “Stories” functions on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are great ways to showcase video content. Let’s not forget about your animations, cinemagraphs and motion graphics work. They can live in the social space too. If you have the ability (and legal rights) to share conceptual/ideation sessions and process — do it! We love peeking behind the curtain!

Step 3: Engagement

Every freelancer or full-time job seeker — hell, any savvy social media user — should be engaging with other users with similar interests. You can use it as a source of inspiration and also apply that thought to self-promotion in the creative space by following agencies, companies and the key players within them.

Take that one step further and engage with the people you follow. Like, repost and comment on their content and point them to your profile. Without being overbearing, comment about how you genuinely relate to their content, work or creative process. If you do your homework, this is one way to get them to notice you! In the same way that you check out someone’s profile after a comment on your photo, they’ll do the same and check out yours.

Step 4: Promotion

Now that you’ve made the effort to build your profile, enhance your content and engage with members of the community, it’s time to talk about your work. Regularly. But keep in mind that there’s a fine line between promoting your work and pushing your work on others in the social landscape. To err on the promotional side, share well-rounded content not related to your work. Post about a weekend adventure or a new happy hour spot. Give your viewer insight into who you are beyond your work. After all, we know that creativity is a lifestyle!

Bonus Tip: Don’t make your followers click to read more. Make sure the important information in your Instagram and LinkedIn captions stays above the third line. On Twitter, keep it under 120 characters if you are including a link to your work!

There is truly no substitute for networking and there never will be. However, methods of networking have and will continue to change. It’s up to you to be at the forefront.

Engage. Evolve. Create something great!

Brian is the Recruitment Manager at Creative Circle New York. He brings over 10 years of experience in the creative staffing industry, leading recruitment efforts and partnering with creative professionals and agencies, startups and companies in need of creative solutions.
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