Networking Tips for Web Design Jobs
Web design jobs are effectively media jobs by nature. Because web design encompasses a large range of possible streams, you need to evaluate what sort of networks you need in your field.
Streams of Web Design Jobs
Web design streams are based on your type(s) of work, and the industries in which you work. The nature of the business directly affect the types of networking you do.
This is an example of one person’s range of web design work:
Type of work: Digital graphic design.
Industries: Advertising, website design, T-shirts, logos, cartoons, illustration.
As you can see, this person works across a range of industries and is probably a very experienced graphic designer. Each of these streams requires a different range of contacts. The networking needs break down as follows:
- Advertising: Art directors, copywriters, agency management, media sales, other graphic designers.
- Website design: Web design company managers (probably several, for freelancers), web design outsourcing, other professionals in web design.
- T-shirts: Multiple contacts in different ranges. This is a major outlet for graphic designers, including a lot of passive income potential.
- Logos: Client base, advertising, industry contacts like T-shirt printers. A commonly outsourced form of graphic design, and a lucrative one for top graphic designers.
- Cartoons: News media, syndication outlets, publishers, literary/media agents, some legal contacts for copyrights and royalties.
- Illustration: Publishers, literary agents, media contacts, authors, online and e-book related publications groups.
Each of these streams represents an income source. Many web designers operate in multiple areas of web design, and their networks are considerably more complex.
Networking Options and Relationships
Some of these streams interact with each other, but others don’t. As in other media, “who you know” does matter. Some people in these fields maintain large, extended networks, which are particularly useful in creating business relationships and acquiring information.
In business terms, advertising and website design are the most common elements in the person’s work. Of the streams above, the advertising, web design and media contacts are the most extensive, creating the broadest range of possible business opportunities. They also relate to all the other roles.
As a web designer, however, you have other advantages. Your work can translate to all media.
- The T-shirts are potential advertising stock for products. So are the logos, cartoons and illustrations.
- Some web design concepts and products translate very well into other media, like animation. The cartoons could become good media products. These can become high-value commercial products.
- The same applies to products which can be used in web design. Illustrations, for instance, can become excellent web design templates, incidental images, or features of a high-quality presentation.
- Base your network on possible product outlets and business potentials.
- Recognize that specialist networks can only do so much.
- Consider all possible applications of your products, both as whole products and as partial products for other media.
- Extended networks are the most flexible, and usually the most reliable.