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Graphic designer’s guide to Twitter:
How to get Twitter followers, increase
traffic, & get clients
April 6, 4:46 AM
SF Graphic Design and Branding Examiner
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Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Orma / Orma Design (a San Francisco Graphic Design firm)
With 13,297 Twitter followers combined, the following graphic designers know a thing or two about
using Twitter to effectively promote their design businesses: Lawrence Anderson
(, a San Francisco graphic designer at Designed By Anderson; Jacob
Cass (, an Australian freelance graphic, web, and logo designer at Just
Creative Design; and Grace Smith (, a United Kingdom freelance web and
blog designer at Postscript5. Moderated by San Francisco copywriter and graphic designer
Stephanie Orma ( of Orma Design, the three designers share their
personal Twitter experience, tips, and advice including how to get Twitter followers and land design
How long have you been twittering?
Lawrence Anderson: I have been twittering since mid December.
Jacob Cass: Probably around a year now, I signed up for it but didn't really get into it until about 3
months after getting an account but very glad I did!
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Grace Smith: I started my Twitter account in late December 2007, so around 1 year and 3 months.
Why do you Twitter?
Lawrence Anderson: I got on Twitter in order to gain more exposure but somewhere along the way
it just turned into an interesting way to receive information, send information, and network with my
colleagues in a very unobtrusive way.
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Jacob Cass: I use Twitter as a marketing device for my blogs and also to connect with my readers
Jacob Cass: I use Twitter as a marketing device for my blogs and also to connect with my readers
while also getting links to other great resources.
Grace Smith: I twitter because as a freelance graphic designer you can miss having that connection
to people you would have if you worked in an office. It means you can connect with like-minded
people within your industry and those from related industries. I love the conversational nature of
Twitter and enjoy interacting with such a wide mix of interesting and insightful people. It is also like
a huge RSS Feed, as each day there are hundreds of amazing links tweeted to useful information.
What’s the best way you have found to get Twitter followers?
Lawrence Anderson: I started by adding other designers I knew from the branding and logo design
field and then tweeting relevant design articles. I was very sure to thank people for ReTweets and
respond to anyone who contacted me. This created a good follower snowball effect. So, I would say
start by adding an avatar, telling people who you are in your bio, and then adding a niche group of
people you know. Then just tweet out helpful info instead of just "I am doing…"
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Have you gotten graphic design jobs using Twitter? If so, how?
Lawrence Anderson: I have in fact gotten clients through twitter. By using my guidelines outlined in
the article (TweetDeck's Search Feature) I have gotten the leads. I then followed up with my
standard quote process. But, I have gotten a lot more RFPs than signed clients since I tend to be
more on the premium service side and I find that the internet tends to attract more of a priceshopper group.
Jacob Cass: Indirectly... every post I write gets sent out via a Twitter and then people click through
to read my site and see I am a designer and it goes from there. But I know for sure that I have
gotten at least 2 or 3 jobs from Twitter.
Grace Smith: I receive quite a few inquiries into my design services on a consistent basis and have
so far worked with several people who directly contacted me from Twitter. It is an organic process,
where we have followed each other and conversed, building up a personal connection, which has
led to them hiring me for design projects.
Has Twitter helped your graphic design career?
Lawrence Anderson: I think there hasn't been a very direct or pronounced affect on my career, but it
has made it easier to stay up to date on the trends of the industry. Which, I think has helped me
stay connected to what's going on without getting too distracted from my professional work.
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Jacob Cass: I leave links to my Twitter profile on a lot of blog posts, all my profile pages and am
genuine, not spammy and provide great resources while helping others.
Grace Smith: Be yourself, show your personality and instead of following thousands of people to
begin with, build up a small network of people you actually interact and converse with. Provide value
to those people and your network will grow organically. Twitter at its core is about sharing; sharing
links, information, insights and up to the minute trends. This doesn't however mean sharing what
you had for lunch!
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Jacob Cass: Not too sure about that, probably not as a designer but maybe indirectly because of
the links that get shared (i.e. links to other articles that teach me things).
Grace Smith: I believe while not directly affecting my career, it has helped build brand 'Grace Smith'
and increased the visibility of my freelancing services and portfolio online. I recently launched my
first blog at and this has had an amazing start due in a large way to the Twitter
community embracing my writing and insights. So personally while Twitter may not have affected my
career path it is helping me create a strong, unique brand both as a person and as freelance web
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Do you think all designers should Twitter?
Lawrence Anderson: Honestly, I don't think all designers should twitter. I tweet to network with
fellow designers mostly because 1) it's fun to me and 2) I do a lot of sub-contracting, so it's helpful
to my business even if I don't get clients from it. If you want to just gain clients you should focus on
real-world networking. That's where I have achieved the most success.
Jacob Cass: People use Twitter for different reasons so you should really sum up why you are going
to get an account and then go from there.
Grace Smith: It's a completely personal preference. Twitter is a valuable personal branding tool,
which can help to grow your network and interact with people you wouldn't have access to
otherwise. It's great fun but you have to make sure it isn't replacing your other promotional activities
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otherwise. It's great fun but you have to make sure it isn't replacing your other promotional activities
or affecting your actual workload. I personally think all designers can benefit from using Twitter to
build their brand and connect with people, however it's an individual choice.
Twitter mistakes to avoid?
Lawrence Anderson: Don't bad mouth clients. Sometimes you don't know who is listening :-)
Jacob Cass: Spamming. I hate it. Not a fan of auto reply messages either.
Grace Smith: Often the biggest mistake people in general make on twitter is to go on there to
forcefully sell their product/services. It's perfectly acceptable to link to your own products/services or
blog posts but there has to be a balance between self-promotion and the value you add in other
ways. People don't want to be given the 'hard sell', they are on there to connect with like-minded
people and share ideas and information, you have to think long-term and remember it’s a social tool
so be social and join in the conversation.
Best newbie Twitter tips?
Lawrence Anderson: Twitter newbies should try using StumbleUpon to find very new and relevant
articles to tweet out to their followers. Also, as I mentioned before, you will want to get a custom
avatar and bio up before you start following people because most people won't follow back if that
person has no bio or avatar.
Jacob Cass: Be yourself. Help others. Don't spam.
Grace Smith: Firstly, concentrate on your profile: Use your own name, it's a social network and you
are there to strengthen your credibility and using your own name makes this much easier. Twitter
has also indicated that you are 'more likely to turn up in a Twitter search if you use your real name',
thereby increasing your visibility. Craft a good bio with a link to your website or blog and use a real
picture of yourself as this helps establish there is a credible person behind your brand. Create a
custom background for your profile as this aligns your branding with who you are and creates a
subtle yet consistent marketing message. People are extremely unlikely to follow you if they know
nothing about you, as just like in real life, first impressions count!
Follow on Twitter:
Lawrence Anderson
Jacob Cass
Grace Smith
Stephanie Orma
For more info visit Stephanie Orma's websites:
Orma Design & She's SO Creative
Connect with Stephanie: LinkedIn
Follow Stephanie:
More About: Creative Marketing В· Creative Folks В· Graphic Design В· Twitter
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Jenny Leonard says:
Thanks for the informative article!
Find me on twitter! @razviti
May 29, 11:51 AM
Traci says:
Kinda hard to share this article on twitter when the link is longer than 140 characters.
Regardless - great article!
May 20, 2:24 PM
Carol Ackerman says:
Stephanie -- Thank you for this wonderful article and for posting it on LinkedIn -- love your
April 10, 4:01 PM
James Tucker says:
great article. will pass along to my graphic artist clients.
April 7, 7:51 AM
Rick says:
check it
April 7, 7:11 AM
Lawrence Anderson says:
Thanks for featuring me in your article Stephanie. Nice to be in good company too.
April 6, 10:42 AM
100 characters left
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