6 Essential Marketing Tips for Designers

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In today’s world, there are so many artists out there looking to get noticed. With design software readily available, everyone is a designer these days. But to those designers serious about getting your name out there, here are 6 essential tips that will ensure some more exposure and more sales.

1.) Write articles and tutorials

One thing’s for sure, people love to learn. And learning for free! Writing good articles and tutorials will drive traffic to your website and get yourself some exposure. It helps establish yourself as an authority on the subject and builds trust and loyalty. Don’t make the mistake of writing an article about cliche subjects that have been covered many times before. Choose a niche. Write a unique article about how to get your work published in magazines and publications for example. Which leads me to my next tip:

2.) Submit work to magazines, books, and other publications

If there was an article out there with tried and true methods of getting published, you know it would be hot. First of all, your work needs to be good. And it needs to fit the publication’s criteria. But keep your eyes peeled for “Calls for Entry” and Submissions. Every publication needs content, so find their editors and submissions contact information and show them what you have got. At worst, your stuff will be rejected. But even then, they at least saw your work! If you can get published, that’s a huge amount of exposure.

3.) Participate in Forums

As with writing articles and tutorials, this can help establish you as an expert. Provided you offer good advice and are a good forum member. What makes a good forum member? Being nice, not spamming, intelligent posts, and lots of them. You can link your site in your signature and drive a little traffic that way. But more importantly, people will know who you are in that particular community. It takes work and motivation, but it’s worth it.

4.) Upload your work everywhere

It’s a given to have your own website with examples of your work online. But it’s extremely helpful to post it in dozens of other places as well. Do some searching online and you’ll find places to put your stuff. Examples like Deviant Art and Portfolio Magazine Online are just a few. This creates even more awareness about you or your company. Remember, the more sites you have work on, the more exposure. Simple, huh?

5.) Create free resources

Nothing drives traffic more than free resources. Determine what kind of people you want to see your work and then target them with free stuff. I see designers who give away free fonts, Photoshop brushes, and other goodies to other designers. Why? For a few reasons: It drives traffic to your site and people become familiar with you and your brand. If your stuff is good, people will tell their friends and you’ll become a household name.

6.) Publicity Stunt!

Do something clever and put it online. Keep your eyes peeled for trends or current events. If you are smart enough and quick on the draw, you can publish something online and enjoy a nice spike in traffic and exposure while that trend rides itself out.

For example: Rob Dobi’s “Myspace Sold Out” and “How to Dress Emo” mini sites are perfect examples of this. Not only are they a cute satire on their respective subject matter, it’s also a clever marketing piece. People who end up on those sites find a way over to his design work or merchandise and spend their money. Smart. Now you do it!

Conclusion:

These are pretty general tips and most are common sense really. But each of them takes work and motivation; lots of it. There is no easy solution to getting exposure, it takes effort and determination. So get your head on straight and come up with your own marketing plan. And then go do it!

Also, if you have any suggestions or additions to this list, feel free to add them in the comments section.

About the Author, Jeff Finley

I'm a partner at Go Media, a Cleveland web design, branding, and design studio. I started Weapons of Mass Creation Fest and wrote the book Thread's Not Dead, teaching artists and designers how to start a clothing company. I'm also writing a new book called Wake Up: The Morning Routine That Will Change Your Life

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