by | Sep 18, 2007 |

Make your 15 minutes happen now

Let’s face it: once you’re April Greiman, Edward Tufte or anyone else on the AIGA list of medalists, you can kick back in a (well-appointed, loft-like) cave dug into the side of a mountain and hungry acolytes will hunt you down.

Until then, it’s up to you to draw eyeballs, and I don’t mean the kind Daniel Johnston is partial to (although, hey—it’s worked for him) . So how do you create some kind of presence? How do you bridge the gap between Talented Neophyte Sans Cred and Design Elder?

Promotion, promotion, promotion. (The good kind, not the cringe-inducing sort.)

Here are a few things to think about while carving out your territory. They’re all web-based (because that’s where I live) but feel free to apply the spirit of these ideas wherever you find your canvas—just be sure to color outside the lines.

1. Be fruitful and multiply.

Sure, you have a portfolio website. Maybe even a blog. I’m assuming you’re on Facebook and LinkedIn. But do you have a Flickr account, a Squidoo lens, a Clipmarks presence?

Why not sign up for an IMDB account and rank great movies, so people can get a sense of your taste in moving pictures?

Or create a clutch of lists on listography that talk about your top 5 all-time designers, things to think about when hiring a designer, or that just give them a sense of the “you” behind the name? I’ve gained scary-ridiculous amounts of traffic from StumbleUpon alone–not to mention hours of high quality time-suckage, and even one real-life friend).

The point is to proliferate. Be everywhere, usefully. Help people find things and learn things at the same time they’re learning about you.

If nothing else, it’s a really generous way to get your Google juice!

2. Zig where others zag.

At a recent meeting of my designers group, we discussed schwag and merch—specifically, how turned off we were by the relentless onslaught of t-shirts. Seriously—I know t-shirts are the new album covers, but is there no other canvas for our creativity?

There is at Draplin Design. And Coudal Partners. You don’t have to be big to think outside the box: these bookmarks and the Mom-ergency kit have a high coolness-to-cost ratio.

3. Don’t forget the other (online) media.

This is one of those “do as I say” things, but a great online video or podcast is a surefire route to traffic and presence. Do a mashup. The Original Design Gangsta got a tres decent amount of traffic. And I still revisit this ad agency’s video invite for a summer BBQ (What can I say? Make me laugh and I’m yours.)

Bottom line: make things that people want to watch, read, see, save and link to. And make sure you’re ready for your shot when it comes!


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