One of my key decisions for 2020 was to move back to Dribbble from Instagram and I've already shared a few shots in 2020. So far it's been going pretty well. I’ve been seeing growth in my profile, getting in some good practise; and I’ve also gotten quite a few inbound leads. This progress has me thinking though. And I find myself looking back and feeling like I should have been posting and staying active for the last few years. Instead, I sat inactive and not posting or sharing the things I was working on.
Breaking out from this anxiety and getting into the groove of sharing frequently has helped to drastically improve the trajectory of my design career. Let me explain.
I used to put a lot more value in likes on platforms like Dribbble. Revelling in the recognition and often deleting any shots that didn’t meet the standards I had invented in my head.
I’ve since grown as a designer and realised that the likes on the platform are merely validation from other designers. The shots that reach the popular page are from those that frequently follow trends and appease other designers. This isn’t me slighting the well-lauded members of Dribbble. They’ve been consistent a lot longer than me, and that is to be commended.
Let’s get back on track though, to why the value of likes isn’t as high as it first seems.
Sure, getting to the popular page gets more eyes on your work and eyes are the valuable thing here (I’ll explain more in a moment); but consistently showing up has just as much value (if not more) as an occasional foray into popularity.
Getting your work out there every day increases the odds of you being within that first scroll someone will make on arriving at a site like Dribbble. And if you’re always working to improve your work and distinct style; you’re on the right track to find those clients that you’ll gel perfectly with.
Here’s a shot I shared back in December. Even now that shot has “just” 38 likes. But it caught the eye of someone at an awesome startup in London and we have been working together since. Those 38 likes mean nothing against a great client, that loves your style and pays your bills for months.
This isn’t a singular event either and I’m getting several messages a week from potential partners now.
Now we have established that it’s eyes that matter and not likes. Why aren’t you sharing all of the work that you can? If you’re serious about becoming a designer, you will need all of the practice you can get.
I still, twelve years into my design career, practice most days to make sure I’m always improving my skills and staying ahead of the curve. The bonus I have now is that I’ve gained the confidence to also share that practice and let it work for me. Dribbble gets a lot of traffic. Both from fellow designers and potential clients. So when you’re able to take advantage of that through sharing your practice and learning, you also get in front of the right people more often.
By always making sure you are showing up frequently. Getting feedback and learning. You are also able to gauge what works well and resonates, alongside building a bank of work. This in addition to the potential eyes and clients you can get means it’s a win-win to always be sharing.
I am sure me telling you that practising and sharing your work is important is not new information to you. But if you’re sat reading this and aren’t regularly sharing your work, that narrative hasn’t reached you. You’re letting your fear of sharing your work take over instead of your drive to succeed.
Ultimately, you need to be strong and harbour that drive you have to push past that fear; and get your work out there. So it can work for you.
So get over that inner voice telling you that you aren’t good enough and get out there. You never know what results it might have and the new journeys you could discover.