10 ways Google+ is Better than Facebook for Creative Freelancers

10 ways Google+ is Better than Facebook for Creative Freelancers

November 25, 2011 by

People are understandably hesitant about using Google’s recent addition to social networking in the form of Google+.

Surely having a presence on Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter and more, is enough for sharing content and promoting ourselves! Facebook alone can prove to be an enormous time-burner.

I’ve spent a lot (I mean a lot) of time researching Google+ and I’ve had had plenty of experience on Facebook, including writing some guides on it. From this, I’ve discovered a wealth of great things that highlight Google’s new project. What Google has on offer is something that really will, and already is, shaking things up in a big way.

Even though Facebook has its uses, particularly in engaging with a source of already established friends, the benefits Google+ can provide for creative freelancers like us are really worth noting.

Here are 10 ways Google+ is better for creative freelancers than Facebook:

1. Better for a portfolio.

Google+ is ideal as a secondary portfolio for your work. Images can be presented with more variation and there are some great editing features through Google+’s Creative Kit to add further variety and tweaking. You can also have a set of 5 recent portfolio pieces right at the top of your profile.

Sharing your work is really good because you can choose exactly who sees your updates and various albums (art directors for example), and you can add Google’s ‘+1’ feature to images so that they can be bumped up to the top of image searches in Google, for added exposure.

For videos, as Google owns YouTube, videos can be integrated easily within Google+ too.

2. A better system for people actually looking for creatives.

Art buyers and others looking for talent will want access to a stream of new work from people they are interested in following. The ‘circles’ element of Google+ allows users to organise streams into various groups so that they don’t have to see every update from everyone. Buyers can filter through just ‘illustrators’ for example. This is what the creative industry needs.

3. More professional environment.

Google+ is attracting a more professional crowd, mainly for its features and benefits for businesses.

This is where creative freelancers need to be to make the most of a presence of other professionals that can work with them and provide work for them. For the time being, Google+’s user-base is smaller, which means being able to stand out more too.

Google has made it easy to reduce clutter and noise on Google+ through allowing users to restrict the content they see and take out elements within profiles themselves. This combined with the fact that the interface and overall design is cleaner and better designed, adds to the professionalism of it.

4. Integration with other Google products and services.

Google+ has the benefit of being part of the Google family, and this means being able to integrate them into the system. A lot is yet to come, but things like Google’s superior search engine, Gmail, Picasa for pictures, YouTube and Documents will bring big benefits to a presence on Google+.

5. Better security of personal data.

As well as allowing you better control over who you share things with, Google+ is much better for security than it’s less experienced Facebook.

With Google’s ‘Data Liberation’ tool, you can be very explicit about what gets shared, and where, as well as what doesn’t. There is total control for all your creative work, and all your information on Google+.

6. Have critique circles.

The circles feature in Google+ is great for being able to share certain updates with people you’d like to gain feedback from over your work. On Facebook, sharing work means all your friends see it, which is impractical.

7. Ability to bookmark.

Google+ allows you to bookmark content you like that come through your friend’s feeds, as well as your topic-specific Sparks feed from around the web. If you see something that inspires you that you want to keep, you can share it with one of your own circles, names something like ‘Creative Inspiration’ and be able to refer to it later.

8. Better for collaboration.

Adding people you want to collaborate with to a specific circle, if they to do the same, allows you to send through updates that can be shared with the ‘team’ you are collaborating with. This also allows you to manage projects with multiple people involved, in a similar way to Basecamp, but for free.

Apart from chat, Google+ ‘Hangouts’ is another method for collaboration, which allows groups to discuss projects via a simple video feed.

9. Better for building a focused professional network.

Because Google+ allows you to follow the updates of anyone, you are in a great position to build connections through being aware of people’s content, and then engaging with that content. Engagement is what builds relationships and builds networks.

This kind of interaction is restricted in Facebook through only allowing people to see the updates of people that have accepted them as a friend.

Google+ even allows you to share content with people who haven’t yet chosen to follow you. If they have selected ‘Incoming’ under their ‘Home’ page, this opens up their stream to people who have them in their circles. This is another way to get your work and your brand out there and build a network.

10. Great for getting inspired.

Google+ has some excellent features that allow you to specify certain topics you want to follow in real time from over the web, for one, in the form of the Sparks tool.

Use Google+ to follow well known creatives if you wish, to see their own streams of content, that you can categorise into specific circles.

The photos area in your profile allows you to see all the pictures coming through from you circles, which can provide for some very quick inspirational reference as well.

These aren’t the only cool elements on offer that I’ve seen, so have a look at Google+ yourself.

If you want in-depth guidance on using Google Plus properly, check out our new course on using Google+ tailored just for freelancers that we are launching…

What else do you think creatives can use Google+ to benefit from?

About the Author: Alex Mathers

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

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"Your blog inspires me so much, and helps me feel somehow not as insignificant, despite the plethora of artists around the world."Natalie, artist

  • http://www.roxannemartin.com Roxanne Martin

    Thank you for the info; I’ve been seriously considering Google+

  • http://www.mattrichardsillustration.com Matt

    Good points, I’m still dipping in and out of Google+ although I do find its reader a handy way of searching though hundreds and hundreds of blog posts I follow.

  • http://www.richjohnsonstudio.com Rich Johnson

    Very informative! Thank you. I was wondering how google+ could be used for creatives. Facebook is okay but it can be a vaccum.

  • Alex Mathers

    I agree with you on the Facebook front, it just doesn’t feel like a professional enough environment to consider using it as a place to attract new clients etc..

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  • http://www.jqscreative.com Jason

    Great post Alex, I think it’s great way to raise your personal brand profile, so I’m definitely looking to get a G+ account, soon!

  • Bruno Viegas

    i agree, more people should try Google+ for professional reasons.. i’ve recently created an account and I’m loving the way it is organized and the options it gives you too follow or share posts.

    Great post!

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  • http://www.paulund.co.uk Paul

    Thanks for the tips, I use G+ a bit but would like to start using it much more.

  • http://www.gregscottwrites.com Greg

    Nice post! I guess I’ll be devoting a little more time to my Google+’ing. I just noticed myself how you could put portfolio items on there, as well as links to published blogs, etc. Yeah!

  • Alex Mathers

    Yes Greg, it’s a really useful tool for freelancing types!

  • http://www.mike--bell.artistwebsites.com mike Bell

    Certaily looks useful .will get into asap

  • Alex Mathers

    If you’d like to follow our Google+ Guide launch, it’s here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Freelancers-Guide-to-Google/299350256753928?sk=wall

  • http://sunwei.photoshelter.com colin hyman

    A timely and apt piece of advice which may save me from wasting my time on Facebbook. Thank you.

  • http://enricofrascati.it Enrico

    Thanks Alex, as usual very nice tips, but what’s really really funny is that on your right column, under resources, the ‘key social media sites’ list doesn’t include G+ :) LOL!

  • Alex Mathers

    HAaaa! adding that now – thanks for pointing out – trying to stay on top of things :) :)

  • http://lesliscott.com Lesli

    Well thought out evaluation. Thanks for the insight :)

  • Alex Mathers

    Thank you Lesli :)

  • $teve Job$ zombie

    Umm no. Using G+ for a portfolio is a bad idea. You might as well just use Yahoo groups then. It shows lack of professionalism. Get a real site.

  • Alex Mathers

    The point made was that it’s great for a secondary portfolio that people can see to get a sense of what you do, before moving over to look at your main portfolio in more depth if they want more.

  • http://www.patriziacorriero.it Patrizia Corriero

    Thanks for sharing with us your point of view. Actually I have a google plus profile but honestly I coundn’t find any interest in it. There’s no discussion and comparison among the people respect to Facebook and Twitter..I’m not sure it can really works out for

  • http://drawingfordollars.com Christina Ung

    Great article Alex and thank you for putting together the ebook report as well!

    G+ is definitely more organized and useful for Creative Freelancers like myself. However, I find myself using FB more simply because I can’t keep up with both sites and FB is where most ppl are at right now. So I’m curious… how are you managing both FB and G+? Do you find yourself using one more than the other or have you completely abandoned one for the other?

  • Alex Mathers

    Thanks for the comment Christina,

    In my opinion FB is a lot better to maintain contact with personal friends, whilst slowly turning attention to using G+ as a professional hub and place to build solid professional relationships. It’s all gradual. Eventually I expect to use G+ a lot more.

    Alex

  • http://nonce kymesoul

    I think you can only have Google+ if you have a gmail account. It’s still puts into limit.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/linandara/Home Alexandra Cook

    Thanks for the email and for the article. I found if I use FB as a “page” it is better for a portfolio because then anybody can see it. Google+ sounds great but I’ve recently got enthusiastic about Google Lists and now “Lists will be discontinued on December 19, 2011.” Worring…

  • http://freelancefunnel.com Jeff Schoolcraft

    I included this post in my latest issue of Freelancing Weekly: http://freelancingweekly.com/issue-3

  • Ruslan

    Hi Alex
    Thank you for your email
    My name is Ruslan I have received your invitation
    I am looking for the art tips on your website however I am struggling to get any results

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  • http://www.julieshackson.com Julie

    Thanks for that really useful overview; I’d better get my Google+ skates on and improve my presence!

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  • http://www.domunique-design.com domUnique

    Hmmm….still not entirely convinced about Google+ to be honest. But that’s mainly because I’m a bit wary about any social media network to be honest. Still, when reading through your tips on G+ and such it seems like it might be worthwhile…so who knows.

    With me taking my first steps online as a freelancer (well, with my website at least) some more exposure wouldn’t hurt me. Maybe I need to give G+ a try…

  • Alex Mathers

    No harm in giving it a go!

  • http://www.markonegraphics.co.uk Mark

    This is just what I need. Just joined Google+ and am aware that I’m just scratching the surface. I’ve got work to do… Thanks again.

  • http://www.ulrichdesign.ca Travis Ulrich

    I don’t know. For reach, you’re way better off with Facebook and as a creative community I’d say get on Dribbble and not waste your time with Google+.

  • http://googleandyahooonly jon jifry

    facebook not fun not good not like google and or yahoo, facebook just a jok to attract crazy people and take undercover thier information, i donot believe in facebook.

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  • http://jennywilsonstudio.com Jenny Wilson

    Hi Alex.Spot on.People need more control over the targeting of their media output and the collating of input.Facebook is very messy in this respect.I’m a newbie to Google+ but the circles concept seems an alternative which I’ll be trying.

  • Alex Mathers

    good luck Jenny!