Self promotion today is easier than ever. We are in what is know as the ‘Digital Era’ so things like social media and websites are easily accessible to those whom have access to any means of technology. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube are all great starting points when you want to self promote. You can use images, text and even video. This means you can show a diverse range of work through a simple page. It’s basically your portfolio, a gallery at your fingertips.
When you begin to promote your work, your brand and yourself you will begin to see a lot of traffic. This means a lot of people will be viewing your work at any second on a variety of platforms, depending how often you updated them. You never know what could happen. Thanks to social media the possibilities are endless. You could be recruited by upmarket brands like Vogue and Apple to design advertisements or guides. It all depends on how active and persistent you are. If you want to make a name for yourself, you will. You have all the means to do it, it’s whether you’re willing to or not.
There are also industry based websites and social media platforms you can use. Websites such as Vimeo, Behance, Freeshot, Google+ and LinkedIn are great starting points for potential employers and/or recruitment agencies to see you and your work. These are what I have been taught as the ‘fundamentals’ of graphic design when it comes to putting your work out there. You can gain a lot of industry based traffic through these websites, rather than individuals whom like your flat vector of Gandhi on Instagram. I used all of these websites and I recommend them to any starting graphic designer.
Another way of putting your name out there is through competitions. This will help you gain a lot of knowledge; not only about your competitors but what’s it’s like to think on your feet and work within a tight deadline, something we as starting designers are yet to experience.
Speaking of competitors, you could collaborate. Obviously they become your ally and not your enemy, but working with other designers on projects is not only a way of scoping out their design methods, but also looking at their skill sets and maybe reflecting on yours. Working with other people usually makes you think ‘oh my, how are they so good at that? what am I doing do wrong?’ But, in this instance, it’s a good way of developing on your skills and maybe helping yourself, and them, balance one another. For example, if you’re really good at contemporary graphic design but don’t have a clue regarding traditional methods, yet they are really good with traditional methods and maybe not as strong with contemporary, not only are you helping one another but you’re also gaining experience as well as industry knowledge. If they’re a well known graphic designer, you can steal a little bit of their spotlight and ask for a Twitter promo, again, thanks to the digital era they can boost your traffic with the click of a button.
But not all advertisement is contemporary. You can use traditional means such as business cards and word of mouth. These two things are priceless and can help boost your business within hours. The only problem with this is that it works on a small, local scale and your target audience won’t be very broad; something the internet has the upper hand on as you can appeal to an international audience and connect with people who live half way around the world, again, dependant on time difference.