Designers and developers are always looking for a way to spread their work and get some recognition. Chances are the more your work is shared and spread across the internet, the easier it is to become a recognized and reputable designer, therefore more clients will be available.
The truth is, this isn't impossible to do. Sometimes a simple side project or concept can lead to an incredible amount of views and comments on your work. I mean, look at this guys redesign of iOS 7, he already has over 100k views on his dribbble shot, that is literally unheard of on Dribbble.
So in this post I will share some simple, but creative ways for designers to market themselves. Some are quite easy, and others may take a little bit longer, but they are all great ways that have been successful for designers before. So it is worth trying out right?
Redesigns are the first thought that comes to mind when it comes to social promotion and marketing for a designer. A simple little concept for what the google store should look like, led Oliur (founder of UltraLinx) to the front page of dribbble! That is some epic promotion in the design community.
Another benefit of redesigning sites is, it could lead to a complete new job. Some redesigners of facebook and xbox were offered to come visit the company and look around, they were even offered jobs because of their creative thinking and design idea.
The incredible facebook redesign led Fred Nerby to hundreds of thousands of views and an incredible amount of job opportunities. The fifa minimalistic concept was adored by fifa fans all over the world and got Rodrigo Bellão some much needed promotion on the internet for his beautiful work.
So as you can see by the few examples above, redesigning sites and services can often pay off big. So don't think your concept is too basic, or under developed. Try it out and see how well your ideas pan out.
Side projects are the most fun way to promote your design work in my opinion. It is simple, you think of an idea or something you want to accomplish that solves problems designers or developers may face. Then you create this. It is super fun and often times you can team up with other designers and developers to make incredible projects.
Some side projects are profitable too. They don't have to be very advanced either. This designer's one-page website led him to an extra $1000 a month in income, that's pretty awesome! Sites like designernews and hackernews, the top sites used by designers and developers for news and information on their fields were originally side projects!
Daily Dishonesty was a side project by Lauren Hom. It started as a fun way to illustrate her little white lies, but led to thousands of followers and some sales on her print works. Not to mention she is recognized for this, and probably get's plenty of work just from this promotion.
Another man known for his incredible side projects is Visual Idiot. Check out his dribbble page to view some shot's of his side projects. Some of his more joking side projects include the whether app and upside down kittens. He may not make any money from these side projects but it's his way of expressing his work and how he can add his style - this will inevitably lead to more clients for him.
If you are a designer with limited time, freebies are probably your best option for social promotion. Some of the top freebies led designers to thousands of views and followers. Like I said before, it may not give you a new job right away, but it leads to future opportunities.
Or it could lead to money right away. Premium Pixels is the perfect example. Orman Clark created the site with some of the highest quality design freebies around. Then he used that to leverage promotion on his premium wordpress themes. There you go. It isn't terribly hard to do, it just takes some creative thinking.
Whether it be a side project, or a complete redesign of an entire app it isn't impossible to socially promote your work on the web. Creativity is how you do it, and a little bit of hard work. Oh, and if you need more motivation, just think that 90% of these lead to more freelance work, full-time jobs, or some cash on the side to help you out!