Understanding a client’s marketing needs can be a walk in the park, but promoting yourself? Let’s just say that walking a mile in your own shoes can be a lot harder than it sounds! So when the tables turn, and you suddenly find that next your client is you, try some of these self-promotion tips to nab a loyal following of your own:
You’re not a robot
Technical specs are important, but they should never be the overarching theme of your website. Just because you’re selling the world’s most advanced AM/FM radio toaster, doesn’t mean you have to sound like one. So don’t be afraid to get creative, and pour a little personality onto your pages! Fill your website with rockin’ imagery, helpful and entertaining YouTube videos and maybe even an Easter egg or two. Also, remember to keep things up to date, and share your work on sites like Dribbble and Instagram. Stay involved, and make your website a place people want to visit.
Someone answer the phone!
Email is all too often the online equivalent of being put on hold – no one actually expects a response! So when a potential client, customer or fan does send you a message, make sure to go that extra mile to be helpful. Don’t just answer their questions, try including helpful links in your response, and give personal insight in addition to your industry answers. If someone is a fellow designer, make sure to take look at their portfolio, and follow them on social media. People tend to value that “human connection,” and they’ll remember you for it.
Play nice with others
Want to be recognized by others? Try working with them! Collaborations are sweet, because they allow multiple parties to take advantage of collective skill, and they’re a great way to explore new creative outlets. Try teaming up with a writer or another designer, and see what happens when both of you bring your best to the table. You’ll not only wind up with some severely cool work and a new partner in crime, but their following will also suddenly become yours – and vice versa.
Treat your clients like good friends. No, you don’t have to invite them to your next Xbox party, but you should definitely treat them like more than just the guys who cut your checks. Answer their questions promptly, and make sure your responses are thoughtful. Use warm, personal language, and show that you value the relationship you’ve built with them. Giving away a freebie now and again wouldn’t go amiss either! The point here is to become the type of designer you’d want to have working for you.
There are literally hundreds – if not thousands – of other things you can do to promote yourself and nab a loyal following. Let us know what types of things you do!