For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been uploading my work to various design networks such as Coroflot, Behance and Dribbble. Obviously, as I was maturing as a designer, no one ever took much notice except for the odd one or two probably looking for cheap designs. So I never gave these networks much thought, but just kept uploading and hoping for more Appreciations or Likes or whatever it is they choose to call it on their network. It was just a fact of life that some people just get 1000 Likes the moment they upload a new piece of work, and I didn’t.
But you know what, I’m starting to realise that, just as in product advertising, your exposure can only get you so far. In the end, what makes a product successful is having a good product to begin with.
Now that I’ve been designing professionally for seven years, even I can see the improvement in the quality of my work. And I think people are beginning to notice it as well. In the past six months, while my inbox has not been flooded with job offers or invites to network and to meet up, they have been trickling in perhaps once a month on average. And that is already a million times better than it was a year ago.
I’ve had a job offer from a fashion house in Kuala Lumpur through Coroflot.
I’ve had an invitation for a job interview from a major mobile network through LinkedIn.
I’ve had an invitation to a networking coffee through Dribbble.
And those are just a few of the major networking milestones I’ve reached.
I’ve also had a couple requests or enquiries about my illustrations via Etsy and my webshop and other small things like that. I appreciate every single act of interest, whether it ends up in a job or whether it’s just to say they like what I do.
I’m still nowhere near where I would like to be – the 1000 Likes the moment I upload something would be a fantastic goal to have, but let’s be realistic… – but you know, everything takes time. It starts with yourself and your work, and I do believe everything else will follow.
So guys, just because you aren’t getting the recognition you deserve (or think you deserve) right now, just keep on putting your work out there, and make sure it’s good work if you want good clients. Your time will come.