If you’re reading this and nodding along, you’ll know there’s a game to be played – one of savvy marketing and self-promotion. You finish a project, and you know you should be sending the info and pics to those creative magazines and blogs. But something stops you. Why would anyone want to read about you? And do you really want to open yourself up to the scathing blood bath that is other designers?
I get it. It can often feel like a scary playing field. Like you’re stood on the sidelines, hoping to be picked for the A-Team, but secretly wanting to stay hidden from view, where it feels safe and warm. You might even loathe the idea of shouting about your work as it might feel arrogant. Whatever the reason, if you don’t put yourself out there, how is anyone going to know who you are and what you do?
I’ve known countless unheard of, talented designers over the years who are creating brilliant work but are paralysed by the PR and marketing process and all it might entail. If you’re one of them, allow me to put your mind at rest. I’m a qualified journalist with two decades of experience in journalism, public relations and marketing communications. I know how the machine works.
The following tips will help boost your confidence, make you realise you deserve to be heard like everyone else, and get you on track for sharing your work in future. And hopefully result in lots of positive press, awards and recognition – the benefits of which will help boost your reputation, your clients and your freelance business.
1. Know thyself and thy strengths
Before you can pitch yourself to journalists or win awards, you need to know who you are and what you’re about. Because if you can’t confidently talk about yourself, how will you get anyone’s attention?
Confidence will get you places. Believing in yourself and having a purpose, knowing who you are and what you stand for – these will all help you to win bigger projects, build a network and gain publicity in your favourite magazines. If you’ve not yet done so, figure out what makes you unique.
One way to kickstart this process is to sit down and write your “pitch”. Yes, your sales pitch and why you’re so awesome. You could base it on a ‘value proposition’. What does that mean? It’s the sole reason why someone should hire you. It’s a clear positioning statement that explains how you solve other people’s problems or improve their situation (relevancy), deliver specific benefits (quantified value), and outlines why clients should hire you and not the competition (unique differentiation).
Type it out on screen. Jot down ideas. Keep leaving it and coming back to it. The more you play with this statement, the more you’ll understand your strengths and weaknesses, your value and your worth. Once you’re relatively happy with it, add it your About page …….