Since rebranding the studio, I have to admit that we’ve fallen into a bit of a rabbit hole…
There’s no shortage of advice – online and off. First, Let me share some of the gems I get into my inbox and social feed daily.
‘How to pick up 10 clients in 10 minutes.’
‘Funnel your social media.’
‘How you should be engaging on LinkedIn.’
‘Daily posts for your social media.’
It’s so easy to get sucked in – and I’ve been in the design game for years. I can only imagine how overwhelming it can be for someone just coming into this industry.
The trouble is, though, with so much conflicting advice, which elements should we believe? Is there even a correct path when it comes to marketing a design agency? I’m not so sure.
Why all advice isn’t good advice
There are a lot of ‘experts’ online who are more than willing to share their opinions with you. And across social media – particularly on LinkedIn – people know that most people on the network are there to try and get more business. It’s a natural hunting ground for those who have established themselves as experts in business growth, and those people will quite happily churn out post after post giving advice on how you should market your business and why you should hire them to help you do it.
Yes, everyone’s got an opinion, but although some might be really good (or at least well-intentioned), it might not necessarily be the right advice for you.
We’re all different – a quick search will show you the sheer diversity of designers online. We have completely different styles, skill sets, client types, design ideas, software preferences, and levels of introversion… so none of us can fit into a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to our marketing.
Some designers thrive in face-to-face networking events, and some hate them. Some designers do social media beautifully, while others don’t really ‘get it’. The trick is to find a marketing style that works for you – and excel at it.
How to find your own path
Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your own strengths, achievements and goals. Only you know what you’re good at – that might be creating great stuff online, or it might be networking in person. If you’re uncomfortable in networking, no matter how much you force it, you’re never going to get clients from doing that. But if you’re naturally good at persuading people that you’re the best designer in your niche, then that’s what you should focus on.
Something else to consider is where are your perfect clients? This is particularly important if you’re marketing online – you might be chucking everything at posting every day on Twitter (or whatever it’s called these days!) when your clients are all over on LinkedIn, or they might not be on social at all, but be favouring local networking events in your town or city. Maybe they are looking for designers via an online directory for your industry, or they might be sitting there waiting for you to email them so they can hire you for their new website design or rebrand. Find common ground between your preferred marketing techniques and where your perfect clients will most likely be searching for you, and you’re onto a winner.
Show, don’t tell.
Here’s a little bit of advice that really is useful, though. Remember to let your design speak for itself, whatever approach to marketing you choose. You can tell people what a great designer you are until you’re blue in the face, but they won’t believe you unless you can show them your work. So don’t be afraid to do that.
How do you stay calm when thinking about your own marketing?