Others are using your work as a free advertisement for their work – and you let them
by Tobias van Schneider
By relying on a social media network or an external design platform to showcase our work, we are doing the opposite.
Say you share your projects on Instagram. By directing your audience there to see your work, you are asking them to be distracted. They might be on your profile for two seconds before returning to their scroll or turning their eyes to a DM.
Say you publish your work on a design community platform. You are now promoting the work of thousands of other designers, as well as the platform itself. Someone may land on your project, but they are now surrounded by the platform’s menu, the platform’s logo and countless other profiles to click. On some platforms, they'll even show related projects from others directly below your project. You don't own the space or our attention.
Put your work on a portfolio tool’s subdomain and you are promoting that tool every time you share your site. Why not pay a few bucks for your own domain?
External platforms are useful only to extend your reach. They shouldn't be the final destination. If you promote your work there with nowhere to go for more, your audience will hit a dead end and move forward in another direction. You are not only forfeiting their attention, you're pointing them toward someone else.
The only place that’s fully yours is your own website.
It’s your logo at the top of the page. It’s your name in the URL. Every link and every image leads to more of your work. All of our attention goes to you.