There are more creative jobs and ways to connect than ever before. Between the exponential growth of freelancing and the growing number of social media sites, the potential for people to do what they love for money is growing.

For professionals who want to work in creative industries, or get clients based on their creative projects, the ability to showcase skills and experience is paramount. This is where having a collection of work readily available to share comes into play, particularly for visual elements. Many industries require portfolios and collections of work. A few of the most common industries that use visual portfolios include:

Although Behance isn’t a portfolio hosting site, it’s a great place for creatives to connect, learn from each other, and even apply for jobs. Since its launch in 2005, the platform has been a go-to place for people in creative professions to demonstrate their talents and connect with like-minded individuals. In 2012, when Adobe acquired Behance, they connected it to their portfolio program Adobe Portfolio, which makes it easy for users to feature their skills in a professional portfolio and on Behance.

In this overview, you’ll learn about what Behance is, the key components, and careers that benefit most from its features.

What is Behance?

Behance is a social media platform for creatives. This visual-based site is great for Designers and artists who want to show off their creative work and discover other creatives. A global community, Behance offers a place to both participate and to be inspired.

Graphic Design Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

Some of the most useful Behance features are the diverse creative community, the potential for feedback & new clients, the connection between the site and Adobe Portfolio, an unlimited number of projects & media uploads, Adobe Live, and the jobs board.

Professionals across many industries used Behance to display their work, although Designers are the most prominent group. If you’re looking for a creative community online, Behance might be a great place to go.

Key Components of Behance

Behance is a multi-use platform for showcasing your creative work. Designed by and for creatives, it’s a convenient way to connect with others.

In particular, these six features are key to understand as you decide whether to participate in the Behance community.

Creative Community

Behance is a social media site for creative work. As a user, you can search for projects, images, prototypes, people, and even mood boards. You can also Appreciate or like someone’s work, follow them, comment, and message them privately.

As a creator, you can post high-quality images and videos, as well as copy, to describe the details of the project. Other users can then follow you and give feedback on your work. You can publish projects directly from the Adobe Creative Cloud (from programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects) which means there isn't a duplicate effort to showcase your art.

Using Behance is free, and you don’t necessarily need an Adobe account to start, although the projects within the community are largely Adobe-based. If/when you join, the stakes are low and you have time to figure out your own rhythm before you decide if you want to purchase an Adobe subscription or use the paid features.

Feedback & New Client Potential

As an artist, feedback is critical to continue growing and improving. Because of the way Behance features are laid out, it’s a great place to begin getting comments and reactions to your work.

When you post a project on the site, others can leave comments and message you directly, like on other social media sites. The difference is that everyone on Behance is creative, meaning you’re more likely to receive constructive feedback because others understand what you’re trying to do. They can also add your project to a mood board, if they’re feeling inspired.

In terms of getting exposure to new potential clients, the ability to publicly share your work and have more eyes on it is a great way to build an audience. You never know when a commenter or message could be from someone who wants to hire you or collaborate.

Syncs with Adobe Portfolio

Behance is connected to Adobe Portfolio. If you already have a Behance account, you can auto-populate projects from Behance to your portfolio site. This saves you time and work because you can post your project in one place rather than having to duplicate it in both places. If you already have a portfolio, but not a Behance account, Adobe will create a Behance account for you when you publish a project on Adobe Portfolio.

You don’t have to use Adobe Portfolio to participate on Behance, and if you have your portfolio in Adobe, you don’t have to participate in Behance. That being said, the live syncing between the two platforms is useful because it allows your portfolio to stay up-to-date without the high degree of maintenance required on other platforms.

Unlimited Projects & Media Uploads

For professionals who work with many files, particularly images and videos, this feature is likely to be exciting. On Behance, there aren’t limits on the number of projects you can upload and share. Likewise, there isn’t a certain number of media uploads you’re restricted to.

For instance, if you’re a Video Editor who specializes in creating special effects, you can share as many video projects as you like. For professionals who have been in the field for quite some time, this is an obvious win because these kinds of projects and files often take up a massive amount of space. Having a free place to exhibit them means you can get exposure without having to pay to store them.

Adobe Live

One interesting Behance feature is the ability to watch and record live streams. As a user, you can watch live streams from a number of categories, including Graphic Design, Photoshop, Illustrator, Fresco, Photography, Illustration, UI/UX, and Motion.

As a creator, you can create live videos for concepts such as tutorials and walkthroughs for your followers and audience to learn from. This can be a good way to demonstrate your skills in action and get people excited about your work.

If you’re an Adobe subscriber, you can also view premium Live content streams. Similar to Patreon, you can pay a small monthly subscription and watch the extra content from your favorite creatives.

Jobs Board

A fairly new feature, the Jobs board allows you to look for full-time, freelance, and internship positions in your field of interest. You can see postings and job information as you do on other job boards, with the added benefit that you don’t have to wonder whether the business is looking for a creative professional. Since they’re posting the job on Behance, they’re looking for someone with a fairly specific skill set.

As a creator, you can indicate what kind of opportunities you’re interested in and the compensation you prefer to make. You can note your rates, as well as if you want a part-time, full-time, or contract role.

Careers that Benefit from Behance

Behance is a great networking tool for creative professionals.

The primary goal of Behance is to create a collection of your work, similar to a portfolio, that highlights what you can do. Free to use, the benefit of Behance versus other social media platforms is that it’s specifically for creatives. You’ll become part of a like-minded community.

These are some careers that could benefit from using Behance to create an online presence:

  • Graphic Designers create designs for digital and print projects. They usually work with private clients or businesses, and can also coordinate the production of items with their design on them. Graphic design portfolios are largely graphics-based and represent a selection of their best designs, making them an ideal candidate for the Behance community.
  • Web Designers design and create websites. Their main goal is to create an aesthetically pleasing and potentially high-converting website for individual clients and/or businesses. Portfolios from web designers often offer a combination of graphics, samples of websites they’ve designed, and explanatory text. These kinds of images are what Behance is all about.
  • Illustrators & Concept Artists create drawings, paintings, and other illustrations for creative projects. They produce custom art for clients, books, or even concept art for products, depending on their specialty. Artists must maintain a visually appealing portfolio of their best artwork to engage new clients and projects. Some of the most creative and captivating art on Behance is created by Illustrators and Concept Artists.
  • Digital Designers create digital assets for businesses, like logos and branding elements. They often work on a freelance basis or on marketing teams. Design portfolios are highly visual and demonstrate a range of projects that display the individual’s design skills. Behance is a great place for highlighting their work.
  • Video Editors work closely with multiple forms of media to create professional videos. They often add sound and graphics to video projects, as well as work with raw video footage to get it ready for editing. Their portfolios focus on videos and specialty skills they bring to the table (such as creating special effects). With its unlimited storage and a dedicated area for motion graphics, Behance is perfect for Video Editors to share their work.
  • Photographers capture life’s special moments and turn them into tangible memories of a specific time. With all kinds of specialties, taking photos and working with them is what unites the profession. It stands to reason that photography portfolios demonstrate a creative’s skills and the special touch they bring to their images. Since Behance is built on images and creative inspiration, Photographers are always a welcome addition to the community.
  • Fashion Designers imagine, sketch, and bring new clothes and accessories to life. From shirts to dresses to hats to handbags, all textiles begin with a design. In this often cutthroat industry, it’s important for fashion professionals to maintain a portfolio of their work not only to get new opportunities, but also to show their growth and development over time. Behance offers a unique opportunity to inspire and be inspired by other creators, especially with the mood boards feature.

Do You Need to Purchase Behance?

Behance is free to use. You don’t have to sign up for an Adobe subscription to start posting projects or exploring the platform.

On the other hand, if you want to connect Behance to Adobe programs like Photoshop and Portfolio, you’ll need a subscription for those. The all apps Creative Cloud subscription is about $53 per month, and a single app like Photoshop typically runs about $21 per month. If you elect to purchase a single app subscription, you can still connect it to Behance.

A new feature that’s in beta testing right now is supporting artists through subscriptions. The feature is only available to Adobe subscribers at this time, but if you’ve already found creatives you love and want to financially support through Behance, you’ll need an Adobe subscription for that.