Have you heard of that social media platform that allows you to create a virtual bulletin board for all of your favorite things on the web? You know, the one on which you casually spend hours collecting delicious recipes and creative crafts that you usually never get around to actually making?
You’ve probably figured out that we’re talking about Pinterest, which launched in March 2010 and quickly acquired 70 million users by July 2013. But did you know that there’s more to Pinterest than planning your fantasy wedding or decorating your cyber dream home?
That’s right—there are plenty of ways you could be leveraging Pinterest to advance your graphic design career. You’ve used it to benefit your personal life, so why not reap the benefits in your professional life as well?
The Pinterest potential
There are several strategies to utilize this social media platform to help propel your design career. We enlisted two graphic design pros to help identify five simple ways you could be using Pinterest to become a better graphic designer and even land more clients.
These are tips and tricks you can start doing NOW, so pay close attention.
1. Use Pinterest to find inspiration
One of the easiest—and most enjoyable—ways you could be leveraging Pinterest for your career is to peruse others’ beautiful designs for inspiration. When you work in a creative field there are times you get stuck in a rut and need a little artistic boost, says Jillian Pedersen, social media manager at Leverage-PR and freelance graphic designer.
“I’ve found browsing through hundreds of creative ideas surrounding a particular topic I’m covering really helps get the juices flowing,” Pedersen says.
Learning from the top names in the game is a great way to develop as a graphic designer. Pedersen suggests maintaining separate boards dedicated to different facets of design in order to organize your pins. Then you can easily refer back to a specific board for inspiration in a certain area.
Board categories may include: logo design, illustration or animation.
Action item: This list of Pinterest Boards for Designers to Follow is a great place to start building your network of design inspiration! Do you follow any designers on Twitter or Facebook? Track them down on Pinterest, too!
2. Use Pinterest to land a job
Whether you’re looking to land a new graphic design job or you’re a freelancer hoping to attract new clients, Pinterest can be a valuable tool in your job search.
If you have your eyes set on a particular company you’d love to work for, follow them on Pinterest! This is a great way to learn about the ins and outs of their company while also keeping tabs on the ongoing projects their pursuing. Keeping tabs on their activity may come in handy if you’re trying to impress a future employer in an interview.
Most major design blogs and websites have created a Pinterest account for their loyal followers. Another great tactic in finding a graphic design job is to follow these boards to be exposed to content specifically designed for jobseekers.
Action item: On your Pinterest page, click the search box on the top right corner of the screen. Type in “graphic design careers” and press enter. You will immediately be presented with a whole slew of pins covering everything from job options to portfolio tips. Let the re-pins begin!
3. Use Pinterest to collaborate with your clients
If you already have a job you love, Pinterest still has the ability to make your job easier. You know those clients who never quite know what they want, but seem to know exactly what they DON’T want? Pinterest serves as a platform on which you can work together to create a vision board.
Creating a secret, shared pin board will allow you and your client to collect concept images to develop the design direction of your project. This will give your client the ability to actively participate in the creative process. Pins on this board can align with any aspect of the design, from typography and color scheme to layout and usability.
Action item: Practice using secret, shared Pinterest boards by inviting some friends or family members to collaborate on a project with you. The subject of the board is up to you—think party planning, vacation ideas or extra help in decorating your new apartment!
4. Use Pinterest to showcase your work
One of the most powerful ways Pinterest can help boost your graphic design career is by allowing you to share your designs. Designers have quickly latched on to the social media platform and are using it as a living, virtual portfolio, says Jennifer Ayotte, Rasmussen College School of Design dean.
“The sheer volume of Pinterest users is helping designers get their name out there,” Ayotte says. The platform is intuitive for people of all experience levels and can be easily accessed from multiple devices, making it an ideal tool for promotion and branding.
As soon as you add a design to your website it should be pinned to your Pinterest board as well. Pedersen advises you to always include a link to your website in the description of your pins so people can find you because you never know when one of your pins will go viral. If it happens to catch the eye of someone who appreciates your personal style, you may just have yourself a new client!
Action item: Be sure to add hashtags in the descriptions of your pins. Pedersen says this increases the chances of users stumbling upon your designs. This tactic allows anyone on Pinterest to discover and re-pin your work—which will link back to your portfolio!
Propel your career through Pinterest
Now you know how simple it is to leverage Pinterest for your career development.
Isn’t it about time you start taking advantage of this tool to advance your graphic design career? These five quick tips will give you a great start in mastering the fastest growing content-sharing platform according to Business Insider!
Be sure to follow the Rasmussen College Design Pinterest board for frequent design education, motivation and inspiration!