Being a freelancer can be quite lonely, especially if you don’t have groups you can go to for support and companionship. Knowing how to network, and joining various online graphic design groups is the best way to combat this. 

To make your life easier, we’ve found some of the best graphic design networking groups. Have a look at our list below, and see which ones interest you the most. 

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Dribbble
  • DeviantArt
  • Behance Network

Finding the right graphic design networking groups

Knowing where to look for graphic design networking groups is especially tricky if you’re new to the industry. 

That’s why we’ve broken down the following sites into sections. If you prefer to use social media, or want to build an online portfolio, we’ve got you covered. 

Social media

The various types of social media are always worth a look. You can find some really helpful networking groups, learn some new design concepts, and build connections. 

Facebook

With the amount of groups on Facebook, finding one for graphic designers is just a few clicks away. 

Each group has their own rules and guidelines about what you can and can’t post. You can usually find these rules when you join, but they usually involve treating your fellow artists with respect. 

If you are a freelance designer, some useful groups might be:

At time of writing, the group had over 43,000 members and really excels at peer-to-peer support. Perfect for getting started on your freelancer career.

Instagram

While it’s not a hub for graphic design networking groups, Instagram is unbelievably good for getting your name out there, and connecting with like-minded creators. 

You can follow other graphic designers to draw inspiration from their designs. In addition, following specific hashtags lets you customise your feed so Instagram shows you people you want to connect with

Here are some examples of good hashtags you can use and follow:

  • #graphicdesigner
  • #designinspiration
  • #artistsoninstagram
  • #digitalart
  • #freelancedesigner

Once you’ve spotted a post or account you like, give them a follow and shoot over a message

See also: how to network on Instagram.

Art hosting sites

Certain websites let you upload your artwork, share, and talk about it with others. You can view what others have uploaded too, and develop relationships with these people.

Dribbble

If you’re after a type of a platform catered specifically to designers and artists, you might want to check out Dribbble

Dribbble markets itself as the “Twitter for Designers”, because it focuses on short, snappy images and comments. It’s also a great platform for networking and forming new connections with other designers and potential clients.

What is really useful, is the “Find Work” and “Hire Designers” tabs. This creates a drop down with multiple options. Each of these options are geared towards helping you find work, or create work for someone else. 

This little menu shows Dribbble’s dedication to help you find work. On the other hand, if you want to open a shop and sell your designs, you can do that too!

Even if you decide not to use Dribbble too much, check back every now and again. The perfect project could get posted, and you wouldn’t want to miss out — would you?

DeviantArt

DeviantArt is a well-known service among artists and graphic designers. Even their sign up banner refers to them as “the world’s largest art community”. 

Because the community is so large, you can post any type of content you like. It’s not uncommon to see dark, gothic imagery alongside a picture of puppies playing. 

Why not use the site to explore different art styles? 

If you want to use DeviantArt, be prepared to be a drop in the sea of artists who use it. Unless you direct people to your profile or heavily tag your images, it’s unlikely people will see you work. 

With the art hosting also comes a forum. While the design of the forum is a bit dull, the service it provides is amazing. Since there are so many people who have joined DeviantArt, there’s always someone online to chat with

This means you can start a discussion on any topic and have people respond from all over the world. 

Behance Network

Another way to showcase your work is on Behance Network. Like DeviantArt, Behance lets you upload your work and build a digital portfolio. Where it differs though, is being able to search for jobs

When you click on the jobs tab, you can see all the jobs currently available. Depending on the work you’re looking for, you can apply search terms and filters to narrow it down. 

If you just want to build connections though, you can do that too. Once your portfolio is built, you can comment on posts or even join the forums

There are livestreams you can interact with too. Perfect for learning different types of styles and interacting with other creators

The website is really clear and easy to navigate too, which makes it quite fun to use. Sign up is free, so what are you waiting for? 

BONUS! An app that lets you free up time for networking

Our last piece of advice is about managing your money. Life as a freelancer can be difficult, and you don’t always have a guaranteed income. So why leave your money up to chance?

The Countingup app is the two-in-one business current account and accounting software, showing you exactly where your money goes. 

It also has a bunch of super-cool and useful features. 

Need to categorise a business purchase for tax reasons? Done. Automatically.

How about sending customised invoices right from your phone? It’s got that too. 

Best of all? The first three months are completely free!

So what are you waiting for? Download the Countingup app today.

For more information for graphic designers, check out:

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