Learn how to promote yourself via your website and social media in this tutorial.
What have you done recently to promote your work and talents? By the end of this video, I’m going to convince you that there’s more you could be doing. And hopefully, inspire you to take the next step.
I’m Anne Ditmeyer, and I’m a designer, creative coach, and consultant. My online presence and self-promotion is how I’ve gotten most of my jobs and worked with awesome clients over the past eight plus years.
Big Idea, Number 1: Self-promotion leads to networking.
Networking is the best way to advance your career. In the past, networking involved going to a physical location, and giving out your business card, and probably involved some awkward conversation.
The truth is, in-person networking isn’t always conducive to all personality types, particularly introverts. No matter how far you are into your career, networking is essential for growth. Having a strong, recognizable personal brand will help you get noticed and serve as an invitation to engage with others.
Big Idea, Number 2: Process is as important as product.
Wherever you share your work online, it’s not enough to only show the finished product. What was your process? What problem did you solve? What decisions did you make along the way? It’s not enough to only show the final deliverable. Describe the context, constraints, insights, and challenges of the project.
Companies are looking for people who can solve creative problems. They want someone who can think critically and communicate, not just someone who can make something that looks pretty.
In addition to a website or blog, you can also consider sharing posts about a project and lessons learned on Medium or in a long form LinkedIn post. At the bottom out, add a short line of text that describes you and the work you do with a link back to your website.
Big Idea, Number 3: Make yourself easy to find.
Do you know how much time I’ve lost trying to find basic contact information on a website? It may sound obvious, but if a visitor to your site has to work hard to figure out how to contact you, they may get distracted or give up.
Here’s a portfolio that does a great job of balancing great design with the functionality. It’s just a single-page website, but look at how many ways a designer makes it easy for people to contact her. You also want to connect the dots between your various accounts.
Speaking of which, this brings us to Big Idea, Number 4: Think creatively about your social media profiles and headers.
Designers know the importance of details. Social media bios, avatars, and headers are a great way to show off a bit of your personality and skills.
Most people play with their Twitter or Facebook headers, but did you know LinkedIn has them, too? Here’s a default LinkedIn header. It’s fine, except there are 3 million just like them and tells you nothing about the person. These next three are all designer profiles, but they all look distinct and tell you something about the individual. Also, consider being consistent across different platforms.
Big Idea, Number 5: Cultivate every opportunity no matter how minor it may seem.
There are currently people searching for someone with your profile, instead of talents. They just need to be able to find you. It’s not enough to talk about your work online, engaging with others can be a great way for people to get to know you. You never know who may be paying attention or how a minor connection will pay off big in the future.
I wanted to leave you with a story. The reason this video exists is because a student tweeted about one of my online courses, along with one by Jeremy, who is the Director of Education at Aquent Gymnasium. I was familiar with Jeremy’s work already, but it wasn’t until the student tagged us both in a tweet that we ever thought to hop on a call together. The rest is history.
Here’s the thing, creative people are usually super busy and self-promotion often becomes a low priority. But suddenly, it’s been five years since you updated your website. So I’m going to ask something of you right here, right now. Set a timer for five minutes and get started on one of the things we talked about. Ready? Go!