Today’s web designer has a whole new world of Internet technology to deal with then they did a few years back. As a creative consultant, web designers must be concerned about their own image on the web in the same way that businesses have to be concerned about their brand name. With that in mind, here are a few tips that web designers should keep in mind when managing their online presence in the world of social media.
If there was one single piece of advice that could be given to creative consultants concerned about their personal brand image in the world of social media it is this: make sure your profile is completed. Your profile page is your business’s home page. LinkedIn profile pages are important to web designer consultants because it has a fairly high Google page ranking, meaning that whenever potential clients search for your name, your LinkedIn profile page will be right near the top. Just this month Twitter has updated its profile page customization options to add a wallpaper, list of recent images, and a host of other little design tweaks. Facebook also has some interesting profile features as well, and you should try to utilize the recently added Timeline features to its full extent.
One of the best features for finding new people in your industry to follow and find people who may be potential clients is to utilize the search features within LinkedIn and Twitter. With LinkedIn, searching for influencers in your industry and keeping tabs on competitors in your industry is important to make sure you are part of the web design conversation going on. In Twitter it is important to search for important hash tags or trending hash tags that may be relevant to your client base. In Facebook, search through the social networks of your colleagues and look for interesting people that you could connect with in the web design community.
Being a part of professional groups is vital to being discovered in your professional circles. It is not just enough to join these groups and be a passive spectator, however. Contribute valuable links and articles to these groups. Help out people who are asking questions. Become a recognized expert on web design issues. If a niche group does not exist on a particular social network, create one! Moderating a list or group is one of the fastest ways to be recognized as an expert in your online professional community.
Do not be stingy with giving recommendations and introductions for people in your professional circle. These things will promote good will with you within your social group and others will be more willing to recommend and help you out when you need it. Also, do not be hesitant to ask previous clients to recommend your services to future customers. This should not be out of the ordinary or extravagant to request recommendations for yourself from other people if you are in the habit of promoting others regularly.
Be a Part of the Conversation
It is important that you do not treat social media primarily as a distribution or broadcast platform. Sending out too many advertisements for your latest sale is not something that will go over well in your Tweets or your Facebook and LinkedIn social networks. Respond to interesting articles, statuses and posts with interesting and useful feedback. Show yourself as a helpful person. On Twitter, make sure you reply to other people’s tweets and be generous with your retweets. As you become embedded in the conversations, people will do you the same favors and you will find your social networks grow by leaps and bounds.