In this week’s episode we’re doing something a little different. We’ve had a couple of design topics lined up to chat about, but ended up getting totally lost in a discussion amongst ourselves about social media – how to build a loyal following around your creations and a mindset around chasing likes and followers. It’s a little on the marketing side of things, but so relevant for so many creatives out there.

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Show Notes for This Episode:

[1:00] This week we’re talking about engagement around your work, mainly social media
[2:00] Likes are important and we want to help you get more likes for your work
[2:45] Tom’s example with his Photoshop blog strategy
[4:00] The feeling when a piece of work goes viral on social media
[4:45] StumbleUpon’s irrelevant traffic
[5:30] The benefits of having a smaller core audience that cares
[6:20] Tom gives a shout out to Sue Hall who’s been following his work for over 10 years
[7:00] Deleting subscribers that haven’t opened emails in a long time
[7:30] Making the time for the people who matter
[8:40] Dustin asks what are few examples of types of interactions
[9:30] Tom tells us how he interacted with Meg from @meg_ladoodle and establishing a connection with her
[11:00] Allocate as much time as you can on making connections and establishing relationships
[12:00] Don’t be nice just for the sake of a sale
[12:30] The greatest fans come from word of mouth and referrals
[13:30] Make any interaction meaningful and treat that person as a friend
[14:15] The compounding effect
[15:00] The interaction with your audience must be genuine
[15:45] Just like a band, a creative can build an engaged fan base
[16:30] Tom suggest messaging all your followers at the beginning
[17:20] Ian wonders how many of his 238k Instagram followers are really engaged
[18:05] He believes that some brands will approach you based on the number of followers you have
[18:30] The importance of engagement rate
[20:15] Ian wonders what is the best strategy for connecting with his audience
[20:40] Tom is inspecting his own following and looking at who’s interacting most and tries to engage with them as well
[21:30] Giving value to others with no expectations
[22:00] Dustin’s worry of ever posting food on his Instagram and being judged by Ian
[23:00] Engaging with people with different beliefs than yours
[23:45] Tom suggests the best way to engage: genuine appreciation and thanks, followed by what you can do for that person
[24:50] Think how to engage with your existing followers, rather than gaining new ones
[25:50] The bigger the audience, the harder it is to engage with everyone and keep everyone happy
[26:30] Starting small helps in teaching you how to engage and scale it as your audience grows
[27:00] Filtering your audience and building an engaged segment
[27:45] Going viral is not as great as you might think
[28:45] Tom’s example of some of the Design Cuts Facebook posts going viral and why he doesn’t want that to happen again
[29:20] How going viral has been incredibly benefic for Ian
[30:00] Viralilty is short lived
[31:00] All the different levels of virality
[31:50] Getting more traffic and orders than you can cope with
[32:40] Fake messages from companies offering marketing support
[34:00] The importance of personal messages
[35:00] Being caught on the hamster wheel of social media validation
[36:00] Ian being asked to write people’s names in a beautiful script
[36:45] Tom suggests Ian should take requests to write of people’s names on their favourite objects
[38:00] Dustin shares his pleasant experience of dealing with Tom and Design Cuts for the first time
[39:00] The personalised video Design Cuts did for Dustin’s birthday
[40:00] Lisa thinks Design Cuts set the bar so high that other companies don’t come close
[40:45] Being nice and engaging with people is not hard, you just have to take the time and do it
[41:30] You have to be authentic and not have an ulterior motive behind your personalised communications
[42:30] Tom being a geek about helping others
[43:40] Have the intent of helping others and expect nothing back
[44:50] Tom is planning to launch an entrepreneurship podcast and you can find more information on his Instagram over at @tomrossmedia
[46:50] The benefits of having a small core audience that buys your monthly releases
[47:50] Getting 1,000 engaged followers is easier than getting 100K+ followers
[49:30] The importance of consistently releasing good products
[50:20] How Dustin got followers by sharing personal stories on his daily challenge illustrations on Instagram
[52:10] Dustin shares example of very personal stories that some of his audience shared with him
[54:20] Tom’s advice for anyone with a small following on social media
[55:00] Whatever you do, don’t say: “check out my feed”
[55:30] Don’t leave a link to your related site
[56:30] Provide value by answering other people’s questions
[57:30] You don’t need any special skills for making people happy
[58:00] The hosts agree to try stuff out and offer feedback on how well it worked out for them
[59:20] We would also like to hear back from anyone just starting out on social media and trying this out
[1:00:20] Screenshot the conversation, post it on your profile and tag us with #honestdesigners and/or #honestdesignersshow
[1:01:00] Tom suggest turning this into a competition and rewarding the winner (chosen at random) with a product under $30 from either Dustin, Ian, Lisa and the Design Cuts exclusive products
[1:02:00] Ian suggests looking at the stats and comparing before and after
[1:03:00] Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode

“A must for every creative freelancer (or those aspiring to freelance). Thank you for being so… honest! Such a wealth of information from people I admire who have ‘been there and done that’. Listening to the podcast every week feels like I’m among friends. Can’t wait for more episodes!”AG_GD