Instagram marketing can be a great option for many businesses, but what about for graphic and web designers? Instagram may not be the “go-to” marketing network for graphic and web designers, but it can certainly be a great marketing tool when used well. Its a visual network by nature, and thus, it compliments a designer’s day to day activities and work. Although the network will “degrade” your images down to a lower resolution and will likely destroy the actual look of your work, it can offer a lot of valuable marketing and networking in return.
What Should I Share?
When most people are beginning to consider a new network to use for marketing, they ask themselves “what should I share on this network?” That is an excellent question to ask, as you want to make sure that the network is a great match for you and for the people on it. We think these are the best options for things you should share on the network.
Your Design Work
This is going to seem like a no brainer for most of you, but there is more to know than just that. Presentation is everything, especially when it comes to photo-centric network. Don’t just post a screenshot with a vintage filter of a website that you are working on, get creative! Take a snap of just one section of your page and start a conversation about it. Take a picture of the site from a cool angle to help make it seem more interesting. Create a story around the website design by posting multiple images that all work together to create something compelling. Remember, you are a designer so you shouldn’t be afraid to get creative here, think outside of the box.
Your Completed Design Work
When you complete a website, you are probably going to share a photo and link on most of your other networks, so make sure you aren’t neglecting sharing a photo on instagram as well. Having a decent sample of your completed designs on your profile should help attract a good amount of attention and followers.
Your In Progress Design Work
After you have some traction and followers on the network, you can start posting more of your in progress work. Displaying in-progress work can help attract other designers to share or comment on your designs at their current stage, giving you not only a promotional channel but a new network for feedback as well. Showing off your work as you are doing it shows that you are real designer, and that you actually work to create your designs authentically.
Sharing photos that reveal a little bit about your personality and who you are aside from the work you do can be a great way to connect with others and build meaningful relationships or even establish trust with a potential client.
Your Desktop Set Up
This is an easy one, as it is always interesting to look at the creative environment that other creatives work in. This style of photo is generally only going to entertain other creatives, but this can be a great way to network and discover other designers on the network. Snap a quick screenshot of your desktop to show what apps you keep in your Dock or how organized your desktop is (or isn’t on a bad day).
Take things a step further and show people a snapshot of your office and let them get a bigger scope of where you work and what the environment is like. If you work from or work at an office, sending your followers
If you have a routine that you go through everyday, updating people with a photo instead of a plain text update can be a good way to drive more engagement on your social channels. If you have a more random day with new or different things popping up all the time, snapping a few pics of these things can help show your followers who you are and how you deal with things in your day to day activities. Don’t be afraid to show people what you really do.
Show off your tools, whether that means a taking a picture of you using your favorite photoshop brush or if that means taking a picture of your mess of assorted paints that you have surrounding you, you can start conversations with a simple picture. Don’t forget to show off your new tools as well, next time you get something in the mail or a confirmation email, be sure to snap a picture of that as well.
Don’t forget that one of the most valuable things that you own as a designer is your process, and many people (especially potential clients) would like to see that. Find a way to creatively show your followers the experience of your process. Don’t make it straightforward and boring, leave a few things unanswered or unshown to keep the mystery alive and have them wanting more, but give them enough so that they can get a taste and want more.
How To Promote Your Instagram Channel
Promoting can be the another big pain point, especially for freelance designer’s who are already spread to thin on their marketing or just simply don’t have the time for another channel. The great thing about Instagram is that it is set up for easy promotion. The site let’s you easily autoshare your images to Facebook and Twitter, helping you promote your images without much extra work on your part. Also, be sure to add links and invite your followers on your other networks to join you if they are also using Instagram.
Aside from posting a link to your images on your other social channels, you can use the images directly in your other marketing efforts. If you have a blog, which you probably should, you can use your images directly on your blog to help tell a story and to cross promote your channels. Don’t forget that you can take Instagram offline and offer people that you meet stickers with some of your photos on them or maybe you can even get a book printed to keep in the main lobby at work for your clients that come into the office.
This article was written for you by Chris Steurer, a freelance marketing consultant and designer for small and medium sized businesses. You can follow me on Twitter or circle me on Google+ to say hi and stay connected.