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Social Media for Creatives

As a freelancer myself I know how much you can miss having other creative minds around you to bounce ideas off when designing. This is where Social Media can help you out. It can be a pain to keep track of many Social Media channels, but there are some that are specifically geared towards professionals and creatives, and so it’s worth having a presence on the ones that are relevant to you.

DeviantArt

http://www.deviantart.com/

A very active site for creatives. All creative fields are accepted so pretty much anything goes, which is one of its downsides. Worth having a look, particularly for someone whose works covers lots of different fields.

PROS
– Large, friendly community
– People actively ‘like’ and comment of work
– All types of work are submitted
– You can sell you work

CONS
– There’s a lot of unprofessional work on there
– It feels as though the average age is quite a bit younger than your ideal audience
– There is also quite a lot of work which isn’t SFW (safe for work), and I’m not talking about artistic / tasteful nudes, but rather just pure exhibitionism. As a result I don’t use it anymore, and don’t recommend it for any serious creative.

iStock Photo

http://www.istockphoto.com

Despite the name they actually accept quite a few types of work, photography, illustration(vector), video, audio and Flash. This isn’t really a showcase for your work, it’s so you can make some money. You don’t make much per sale, a few cents, but they can add up.

PROS
– High quality work is only allowed, everything is vetted first
– They will accept submissions for different types of work
– They have affiliate programmes with other sites to promote your work further.

CONS
– Payments aren’t huge, especially after you convert it to sterling
– Submissions process is a bit longer than it should be
– Be prepared to have some good work rejected, great for quality control but annoying if you’ve spent ages submitting work.

Behance

http://www.behance.net

Another professional site, although this doesn’t seem to have such a big audience. In fact I only found it through LinkedIn as they have a useful app that allows me to show my design work on my profile.

PROS
– Lots of high-quality work which is great for inspiration
– All types of work is allowed
– Highly customisable

CONS
– Doesn’t seem to have a huge user base
– The upload system is quite a long process

LinkedIn

Ok, this isn’t one you would normally associate with design or other creative field, but it’s very useful none-the-less. At first it can be a little daunting, wondering what to do once you’re signed-up. Once you get really involved I can assure you it’s addictive.

This is meant for professionals, and it’s all about networking. Not really customisable in any meaningful way, you should get involved in the Answers and Groups sections.

PROS
– This is really a good way to promote yourself
– Just aimed at professionals
– Spam etc. is really at a minimum

CONS
– There’s a lot going on, this could be a full-time job in itself
– Some of the paid features are, in my opinion, slightly over-priced.

So what else is there?

Of course there’s other sites available, including some of the more common ones (Flickr, Tumblr, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter) but for now I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with those, and I’ll write about each of them in detail some other time.

And what about Google+? Well I thought about adding it but to be honest I’m not sure if it’s going to take off, but I’ll keep an eye on it.

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