5 Tips for Growing Your Social Media Presence

Social media is an ever growing, ever changing platform for anyone out there with an internet connection making it one of the most powerful tools for a designer to get their name out there. However, navigating it can sometimes be hard and creating a large, interactive following can seem impossible. But here are 5 awesome tips to chase that feeling away and grow your social media presence:

  1. Post similar content within your feed to create a brand if who you are. Have a purpose for each and every post.
  2. Follow similar accounts who have similar interests and content as you do. Build and interact with this community as much and as often as you can!
  3. Be sure to use hashtags on all of your posts! The maximum number of hashtags you can have on a post is 30, try to stick to 20 or less. Be very specific on your hashtags, using only hashtags that have 500k or less posts.
  4. Know when to post. Study your analytics to determine the best time to post, according to when your followers are most likely to see your post.
  5. Reply to comments within your post as soon as you can. Interact with your viewers!

Contracts for Freelance Designers

Too many freelancer designers rely on “handshake promises” and “emailed assignments” and that should change. Especially because neither of those things would hold up in court, should you ever find yourself in that situation. The solution? Contracts. For each and every project you work on, you should have contracts that address the payment, ownership, responsibilities, and restrictions of said project.

The first contract you should have agreed upon is a project contract. This type of contract contains:

  • The scope of the project
  • Any important deadlines
  • A payment sections – including how and when payments will be made, late payment fees, as well as additional costs for project changes
  • Who will retain ownership of the finished project – note here that clients will expect to own the completed product, but make sure the wording is correct and NEVER sign a contract that allows the client to own the “method used” to create the project
  • What is considered completion

* Contracts can be drawn out as more of a template to be used over and over again, so make sure to put the effort in right away, or even hire an attorney to draft it for you!

The next contract you most definitely NEED as a freelancer is an invoice. This is a contract between you and your client specifically for payment, and will include what you are charging for and the amount. To increase the odds that you will get paid, and paid on time, you should include a genuine “thank you” message as well as the fees for a late payment.

The last contract I will talk about is an independent contractor agreement. This is a contract that you will probably see this come through when doing outside work for an agency, but you will also give out on occasion. If you ever find yourself needing to hire someone else to help complete a project, make sure you have this formal agreement in place. This contract is very similar to a project contract, it will include:

  • A description of the work being done
  • Payment
  • Expectations such as deadlines
  • Final ownership

Like I have stated in previous Freelancing 101 blog posts, if you have more questions a Small Business Attorney is the best person to seek advice from.

Daily Design: Place Cards

Before I landed on a graphic design major, I seriously thought that I would become either an Interior Designer or an Architect – I was actually enrolled at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Architecture before I had decided to take a gap year! So needless to say, decorating is always a fun time for me, even if it’s just sprucing up a table for family dinner. This past Sunday, my oldest sister’s in-laws joined us for family dinner, so of course I had to put a little more effort into the table decor. I went with cream cardstock and a liquid gold marker for the place cards, and I have to say – they look so good!

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Using Type as Imagery

As a challenge to myself from my instructor, for this particular project, we were not allowed to use photos as imagery (vector-based graphics were acceptable). As a challenge from myself, I decided to not use either photos or vector graphics, instead I chose to use type as the imagery. This project is advertising for an Autumn Street Dance in a small Midwestern town, I went with a carnival theme – big marquee lights and flags – and an Autumn-based color scheme. Take a look below, and let me know how you think I did! The first example is of a four-panel, gate-fold brochure and the second example is a postcard. Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 6.07.59 PMScreen Shot 2018-12-05 at 6.04.03 PMScreen Shot 2018-12-05 at 6.03.49 PMScreen Shot 2018-12-05 at 6.04.22 PMScreen Shot 2018-12-05 at 6.04.31 PM

Can’t Get Enough of Christmas

I know the last post I published hit on this too, but come on guys, I can’t help it when it comes to Christmas! Only 32 more days 🙂 The second weekend in November (9th-10), Sioux Empire Arts and Craft Fair had their annual Holiday Expo where I was lucky enough to share a booth with my close friends at Dakota Thread Heads. I kept it simple, not bringing anything custom made, but rather a stockpile of this year’s Christmas Card (which was the feature of my latest post) and Christmas themed 8×10 prints. Today I’ll share those prints with you!

One more plug, don’t forget to follow @hannahjohnsondesign on Instagram 😉

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