I’m constantly willing to improve as a professional, so I always like to discover and use new things that can help me grow.
About two years ago I found dribbble.com website and completely felt in love with it. After using it for some time I found certain useful things that helped me a lot of taking my game to a whole new level. So if you’re new to design or looking for some tips to improve yourself, I’m sure that some of my thoughts might help.
WHAT IS DRIBBBLE
First of all, Dribbble – is one of the most popular social media type communities of talented Designers and design minded people, who share snapshots of their work.
“Dribbble is a place to show and tell, promote, discover, and explore design.”
But also, it is a powerful tool to showcase your talent, create professional network, brand yourself, collect expert feedback, find jobs and hire employees, inspire from others and increase your own value.
And it’s beautifully designed to make your pro social experience fun and memorable.
Dribbble has basketball terminology in it’s interface, so to me, being a basketball fan, it is even more exciting to use it.
So after I became a Player (authorized member of the community with an ability to publish my work), and tasted all the features of the site, I came up with 3 major “Dribbble moves” that, to my opinion, are very important to understand and use to increase your professional value.
#1 – SOCIAL PORTFOLIO
As I’ve already mentioned, Dribbble is mainly a social network for designers. It’s main feature is to publish Shots (snapshots of your designs) to your feed, so other users can like, comment and interact with your posts.
What I like about Dribbble, is that the size of these Shots is 400×300 pixels (800×600 Retina displays). This means that Players have relatively not a lot of space per posting to show their work, so work posted on Dribbble is highly concentrated with talent.
The other extremely cool thing about Dribbble is that you actually have to be invited to the “club” by a designer, who is already a Player, to become a Player yourself and to be able to publish your own work on the site. In addition to that, Dribbble tracks who was invited by who and can “punish” you if the person that you invited does not meet “community requirements”. This means that in most cases Players choose wisely, before they will give you their invite.
It all makes the quality of the community and the work published there much higher than on similar community websites.
So the biggest takeaway here is – being on Dribbble as a Player Designer shows recognition of you by professional community and helps people explore your portfolio in more productive brief way. And the social DNA of the site allows you to collect feedback and improve by communicating and interacting with other members of the community.
Using Dribbble as a tool to host your online portfolio is simple, productive and credible.
#2 – INSPIRATION TOOL
Since Dribbble is the site highly concentrated by talented designers and their best work, it became one of the best tools for inspiration.
You’re able to search Player designers by skills and location. Also, Shots are sorted by tags, color and name, that allows you to find exactly what you’re looking for.
When it’s not direct stealing, copying work and ideas of other designers is a great practice. It allows you to learn new skills, discover new ideas, study latest trends and increase your overall level of professionalism.
Dribbble is my favorite resource, when it comes to exploring all the things above, because I’m learning directly from some he best designers in the world, of things that I exactly want to learn.
#3 – CAREER ACCELERATOR
Just for your information, Dribbble is an award winning site for it’s job seeking features.
But even aside of any web recognition, Dribbble itself may be confident of it’s design career capabilities.
Since this community is just cool, you’re able to find frequently appearing job postings from some of the top and extremely cool companies (such as Facebook, Dropbox, Booking and many more).
The thing is, that as I’ve already told you, Dribbble is a prestige place to be a part of and most of designers there really earned their place and are very talented. Because of that companies consider Dribbble members as much more professional and desirable to work with.
Fact. I saw some job descriptions earlier, stating “…to have a Dribbble portfolio, that we can look at”. This means that companies value such an achievement as to be a Player on Dribbble and prefer to consider these designers over others for their open positions.
HOW TO GET DRIBBBLE INVITE
First of all, there are no hacks. You can’t break the system and get a Dribbble invite using any type of secretly hidden shortcuts.
Invites are given to Players by Dribbble occasionally, so Players can invite any designer to the community. However keep in mind that Players don’t get a lot of invites and those come to them not that often.
Note. You have to become a Prospect on Dribbble (turn on a switcher in your profile), so that you can show your intent to be invited and could actually receive an invite from the system (to get Drafted).
Check out Dribbble’s Help Center for more info.
Also you can’t get a Dribbble invite while being an “ishy” designer.
I mean that you actually have to be good at design and have a solid online portfolio in order to stand out among hundreds of Prospects and interest Players enough to receive their rare invite.
So first and the most important thing for you is to focus on your Portfolio. Work on your skills, create a couple of awesome projects and present them to show your skills, talent and dedication to the game. Portfolio is a must, if you want to become a Dribbble Player.
However, despite all of the things above, there is actually a way to speed-up the invitation process. The best thing you can do, after you create an awesome Online Portfolio, is to ask Players directly to invite you to Dribbble.
Players, who have spare invite, often publish an announcements online, that they’re ready to share one. So it’s up to you to find those announcements and to react to them. Search for “dribbble invite”, “dribbble invitation” and other similar keywords on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and of course Dribbble, and respond to those postings, to ask people if they would like to give you their invite.
While this process may be a bit time wasting, cause the competition is hight, eventually you’ll get invited, trust me. That’s exactly how I got my invite, and that’s exactly how I will give my invites as well, as soon as I’ll get enough free time to study Portfolios of interested Prospects.
The other important thing here is – what will be your message to a Player with an invite.
I suggest you to include:
– link to your portfolio;
– link to your Dribbble profile;
– short clear message explaining what you want;
Pro tip. If you want to increase your chances, pay attention to your attitude in the message to a Dribbble Player.
Be short, polite, kind, humble and honest. Value the time of other people. And I ain’t talking about being an ass kisser, I’m just encourage you to be a good person. And don’t be pushy, don’t force people to action.
Don’t say: “Please, please, please invite me!!!!!” or “Check me out, you HAVE to invite me because I’M THE BEST!”.
Instead, say something like: “I’d love to be considered for an invite from you. Here’s my portfolio LINK, my Dribbble profile LINK.”
Don’t tell people how good you are, let them to decide that for you.
Attitude makes difference between becoming a Player or being stuck in Prospect mode.
And one last thing, respect yourself! Unfortunately, a lot of Players abuse the community values by using the demand of Dribbble invites to satisfy their own profit. I wouldn’t be surprised, if someone would like to sell his invite. But even aside of such an extreme, there are a lot of Players, who ask Prospects to like their Shots, follow them on Dribbble and other social media sites, subscribe to their blogs or whatever, and even download their music or share their content LOL, in order to get an invite from them. So I encourage you to ignore these cheap people and don’t manipulate the situation by supporting these scammers. You’ll value yourself even more if you’ll get your invite during fair competition. And you’ll contribute to keep the high quality of this beautiful community as well.
I wish you good luck Dribbblin’ and get inspired.
Leave comment if you have any questions or tips. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience.
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