When I first began working, I’d go into the studio at 9am and would usually leave again at 6.30pm, missing the odd lunch hour on the way. At the time, I thought these were normal hours, and still do, despite my 9-5 friends telling me I should’ve been walking out the door at 5pm regardless of whether the work was done or not. I left business development to the heads and waited on projects being handed to me. Bliss.
Now as an independent things are different. You’d be forgiven for thinking that a designer’s role is now that of business development first, and actual design second. To an extent this is true, as the sheer number of other creatives out there looking to secure the same clients as you can be overwhelming. One look at twitter and facebook is enough to tell you that – and that’s before you even get into the creative-focussed portfolio sites and social hubs baying for your attention. Just to keep up, a creative can be fooled into thinking he or she has to become a social media whirlwind.. I got suckered into them all. A Behance account. Twitter; Facebook, Krop, Carbonmade, Veer, as well as all the usual routes of self promotion like good old letters and mailouts. This constant barrage takes time, and while used well it can feed back into client gains, you still need to find time to do that work too which means tipping into an unhealthy life/work balance. Suddenly the good old days of 9-6.30 seems far away.
So now I'm scaling it back and being more strict with how much time I spend online. It’s time to find a more targeted promotional track and take some time back for me and my family. The behance updates are less frequent, and there are days when you just don’t see me on twitter. Facebook is gone, as are the other, superflous hubs. I don't need them, and I don't miss them. I’ve gone back to a more personal way of reaching out to clients. While you press the ‘like’ button on Facebook, I’m sketching out ideas, and refining my work to make it better. For me, the route to better clients isn’t social media, it’s good work. If the work is solid, the word will get out there regardless of how many followers you have on Twitter.
As the Mighty Pencil says: “The key to illustration success isn’t Twitter, it’s talent.” Use it, but don’t rely on it.
Published by: stevenbonner in Articles