August 2nd, 2012
Besting Behance: A Guide to Creative Networking
The visual portfolio has evolved far beyond a sleek, black folio into a powerful online tool. If used properly, a digital portfolio can generate recognition, collaboration, and connections across industries. To achieve success, one’s work must be entirely searchable, shareable, and social. For this reason, Big Spaceship decided to venture into the creative networking space and grow our Behance profile. We received such a positive response that we’re sharing our experience with you in in numbers, strategy, and recommendations. We hope to answer the following questions for agencies and individuals alike:
- How much traffic does a feature on Behance generate?
- How does this translate into traffic onto your website?
- How can one optimize their Behance profile?
- How should marketers/recruiters use Behance?
Creative networking sites are abundant, but very few incorporate social, content curation, and career building features like Behance. While many sites maintain prestige through invite-only status, Behance manages to democratize the creative networking space while attracting top talent. But don’t fret, content is still king on Behance with almost 1.8 million public projects and 15x the traffic of other portfolio sites.
At Big Spaceship, we saw an opportunity to increase our role in the creative conversation through Behance. From June 20 – July 20, we grew our portfolio from 3 projects to 24. Here are the results:
Traffic on Behance
- 3 of our projects were featured on the Behance homepage
- In one month we received 78,299 project views
- Avg of 2000 project views per day
- 4,806 profile views
- 3,921 project appreciations
Referral Traffic to Bigspaceship.com
- Behance visitors were the biggest source of referral traffic at 50,043 referrals
- Accounted for 11.98% of all visits to site
- 3rd largest source of traffic, behind direct and Google search
- Visitors from Behance spent a long amount of time on our site at 4:10
- Very low bounce rate at 32%
Getting featured on Behance three times and being mentioned on their Twitter and newsletter led to huge surges in project views. The stats and graphs show how these surges translated almost directly into traffic for our website. While we hope our work speaks for itself, we optimized its presentation by exploring the functionality of Behance and using various links to re-direct visitors to our website. So, individuals and agencies should consider using Behance as both a portfolio and vehicle to drive traffic to your website. To maximize the utility of your portfolio, here are a few recommendations:
- Your profile text, colors, and overall personality should be completely on brand.
- Only display your best work. Use network statistics to see what’s popular, what’s not.
- Appreciate things, follow people, and utilize your feedback circles.
- Aim to have 6+ images for each project. Follow these guidelines to get curated.
- Optimize your project to get curated. There’s a lot of talented work on Behance. What can you do to make your project stand out? Have an eye-catching icon, push the limits of Behance’s functionality, do something completely custom, cater it to your niche audience.
- Make sure you use all 15 tags for your projects.
- Link back to your website whenever possible. Around 90% of Behance traffic comes from non-members, cater to this.
- Integrate your Behance portfolio with your LinkedIn profile.
- Set up a Follower account to be able to use all of the site’s tools.
- Understand the different geographic and creative filters for discovering talent.
- Don’t just post jobs, target specific people and message them.
- Appreciate things, start a collection of your favorite work, show people your interests.
Digital portfolios capabilities are constantly evolving, but it is essential to incorporate social into your online creative presence. After one month, Behance drove 50,043 referrals to our site, proving the power and ease of social platforms to drive engagement. We are still learning, but hope readers can use this post as an example of how to leverage their portfolio.
Moral of the story: Get on a creative networking site, get social.
If you haven’t already, check out our Behance profile. For more Big Spaceship networking advice, have a look at Don’t be a robot: 10 tips for landing an internship.