Use Social Media to Propel Your Art Career

Use Social Media to Propel Your Art Career

Elisha-Rio Apilado

I dare you to Google me: The rules of (successfully) branding yourself on the internet.

How many of you own an ArtBistro, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Wordpress, Livejournal account? There are so many social networking websites out there that can be oh so useful or very deadly to your professional career as an artist (if not taken care of the correct way). You’ve got to be slick when it comes to branding yourself on the internet because the professional networking contacts you’ve made are watching. Just remember: The way you present yourself on the web is just as important as how you present yourself in person — most times even more important! You wouldn’t want a professional or future employer seeing an inappropriate photo of you on Facebook would you? Neh, didn’t think so.

So I’ve come up with a couple rules as to how to brand yourself online safely, correctly, and effectively. But before I begin, it’s important to always keep in mind that safety should always be your first priority. Don’t even think about giving away too much personal information; your address should NEVER be mentioned. Network safely. Be smart about it.

1. Google yourself (no seriously, do it). You know Google. It’s the way to get any info fast or the best way to research some topic for a school paper or maybe just a random thought. You can even type in a question and it’ll answer you. Google is man’s best friend. But it can also rat you out.

Google your own name. The results should reflect the kind of image you want to promote to professionals. Future employers may Google your name as they review the resume and application you’ve sent in before they make a decision whether or not to give you the time of day. Google can show what social networking sites you’re involved in, and possibly any activities/organizations you belong to. If you don’t really show up in the results or you don’t like what you see, clean up your act. Join some professional social networking sites like ArtBistro and create a professional, clean profile.

2. Hide what you don’t want to be seen. If you’ve got some inappropriate photographs from last night’s party on your Facebook and don’t want it seen by an employer, delete it. Facebook has privacy settings, make use of them. Even on Twitter. Watch what you type in. Keep it PG. Just remember that employers have access to these social networking sites and search them during their employment process.

3. Get linked to professionals on large professional social networking sites like ArtBistro and LinkedIn. Social networking has grown to be huge for professionals looking to network, so becoming a member would be a great asset to your online brand. Set up your profile by optimizing keywords — what you specialize in, in your industry — so you’re more detectable by recruiters and employers. Creatives, I know there are a ton of different industries so be specific. Remember what I talked about in my previous article? Learning what your greatest strengths are as a designer? Well, here you go. Use it! Snaz up your resume, link it to your ArtBistro profile — the more information, the better! To recruiters, the more experience, the better luck you’ll have of landing that job. Link up with other professionals in your field! Connect with people on your profile or those who’s work inspires you. Join groups to continue to build your list of connections. You never know when somebody may need an illustrator for a quick job.

4. Tweeting is not just for talking. Twitter is a great resource for following industry professionals, recruiters and potential employers. Follow those design companies you may be interested in, search them on Monster and keep your eyes peeled for any job opportunities they may tweet. Follow people who may share the same interests as you. Spark up some conversations. Remember, networking is key.

More: Grab a cup of coffee and converse through ArtBistro →

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