Networking with designers is a great way to build friendships with some fellow creatives. Having contacts in the design industry can help you in so many ways. From getting feedback on a design project to landing a new job, knowing other designers is the best way to improve. So, how can you do it effectively? In this post, I share 5 unique ways to network with other designers.
Twitter has been my favorite networking tool thus far. I can message, converse, and make new friends in a short amount of time. Sharing someones content and engaging in conversation with them is the best way to break the ice. Sharing thoughtful, interesting tweets is another way to spark the interest of other designers. Argue points, discuss industry happenings, and share your opinion.
After meeting new friends on twitter, I often find myself adding them on skype and then I have yet another contact whom I can exchange ideas, work, and feedback with. Always remember, networking is a two-way street. Always give before you wish to receive, don't act like an annoying person having everything in it for yourself.
Posting your work, and giving feedback is another way to meet other designers. Dribbble is invite only, so that is the only reason it isn't #1 on this list. Quick Tip: Check out our Dribbble Invite Giveaway Here.
On dribbble, I find myself learning more than I am teaching. Pay attention to critiques and feedback. It is a great way to discover things that you may not have seen at first in a design. Spot something that you think needs improvement? Engage in the conversation. It often makes the designer who shared their work both pleased and excited to speak with your more.
A lot of times, what I will do when I am really troubled over a decision or a career choice, I will email a more experienced designer for advice. Granted most are very busy and do not have much time to respond so be patient and respect their time. However; most have enough time to write back, if even a little and share some crazy good advice. I learned so much by emailing creatives with more experience and made some great friends this way. Never be intimidated by designers more popular than you. Put yourself out there and be brave!
DesignerNews is another great site to converse with other designers. All the latest news, websites, and design articles are shared here. It has a comments section on each post. While at times some people argue, mostly it has some good conversations about certain design issues. It is a great place to learn and network. Also, this site is invite only, but there are alot of invites around so send out a tweet and I am sure you can get one.
I know alot of my previous tips were for online, but another great way to network is away from the computer. One-on-one conversations are powerful and lead to some amazing ideas. I personally don't live near too many designers, but I am constantly trying to find some to meet with. If you get the chance try and connect with local designers, it is a great way to make some new friends in the industry!
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Tips & tricks for freelance designers along with updates on freebies, new products, and the upcoming UltraLinx Design & Resource Store, all in one tidy Newsletter!