Just one designers ramblings about things that inspire me, observations, and advice about marketing.

Archive for May, 2010

Sharing and Marketing are kissing cousins.

So lately i’ve been wondering about how things seem to happen for some people, and for others, well… maybe not so much.

I was struck lately by a blog post by David Airey called Self-employment advice for designers. In it he gives some excellent advice for those starting out, and actually much of it applies to everyone,  I highly recommend it.

But what struck me particularly about this post, is the intro in which he states that he has been self-employed for 5 years. I think he has been in the design industry at least as long as I have, but has only been self employed – working under his own name – for five years. He’s done an awful lot in that 5 years and it shows. At his 5 year anniversary, working on a totally different continent, I know his name. I know his work. I know his book. I read his blogs. I follow him on Twitter. And chances are, that you do too.

Now why is this? Well certainly, first and foremost he is quite talented and skilled at what he does. But what does he do that many of us don’t? He provides others in the industry with interesting and valuable content. He offers excellent advice, shares articles, and writes great content that is downright entertaining and interesting to read.  In short, he is an excellent marketer who is extremely generous with his knowledge and his expertise. and because of that, he has positioned himself as a trusted expert in the field and people pay attention.

Design is and has always been a highly competitive industry. But keeping everything you know inside for fear of someone stealing ideas or running off to steal your clients is not a healthy state of mind. Nor is it the way to get noticed and grow your business.

If you have talent, ideas, great customer service and can be innovative and inspriring to others, tell people about it. Share what you are good at, shout it out loud and market your expertise.

Sharing your knowledge and providing advice to others does more than just make you feel good about yourself. It helps to establish your value as an expert. Do people flock to follow newbies on twitter to learn about new articles or technologies?? Not usually. Usually people flock to those who are strong at what they do, and who are experienced and have the confidence to provide real honest advice to others without feeling territorial of their knowledge.

Getting out there and introducing yourself to people isnt enough to build your reputation as an expert in this highly competitive industry. You ( and I include myself here) need to use the skills that you posses as great communicators to write, to pose questions, to provide advice, to create a stirring and get people interested.

Its a difficult time out there. meeting people definately helps, and we all should be doing it. But at the end of day you can’t force people pick up the phone and call you. You need to position yourself as that expert that people need to call, because they know that you are the person who can help them creatively solve their problem.

Monday Rambling

Well its another Monday, this one seems all buffed up and ready to shine. The sky is blue and the sun is almost blinding after starting the morning with some light fog that gave the early hours a little bit of dreamy mystery.

It feels like a summer day, slow to start, and still like a cat, tense with energy and waiting to pounce. My morning walk had that same kind of energy. Within the wood, there was not much going on overhead, the birds were fairly quiet, and so I walked in the cool damp, knowing that later I would wish for that coolness again.

The soft pine needles and mud muted my footsteps. Dappled sunlight tricked my eyes and and lulled me into a bit of a trance. Step, step, step, step, stream ahead, jump, jump, jump to each stone to cross without getting wet. Then step, step, step almost to the edge, I see the open sky through the trees and BAM! Into the sunlight that lit up the world. the brightness woke me out of my trance and the sounds of dozens of birds singing and calling treated my ears to a festival.

The meadow was filled not just with birds, but with puffballs that were, in their former lives, dandilion flowers. Each poof composed of tiny seeds waiting for enough of a breeze to take them on their journey. But this morning, they were too damp to take to the air, each soft round fluff ball patiently waited for the morning sun to dry them out, with a glow was other-worldly. Each tiny hair on each tiny seed was covered with dew making each one look like a soft, feathery, luminous snowball.

Tree Swallow, BroadView Farm, Derry, NH

Inquisitive Tree Swallow

The tree swallows even seemed to shine more brightly than usual, or maybe it was just because they honored me with some eye-level aerodynamics.  Their metallic iridescence never fails to inspire and amaze me.

Now to carry that feeling with me all day and hope that it powers my creative pursuits.

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