Freelance designers are in a tough spot. We have to create great business that makes us customers, and then we have to go out and market that business to make sure potential customers actually see it.
We’ve all seen those designers who seem to have a huge fan and following, and whose work attracts others like moths to a flame. Are they just better designers than us? of course not. They have mastered many basic principles that set them apart from their peers, but anyone can easily adapt to them.
Today, we’ll explore exactly what makes these people outperform the others in terms of platform building, and how you can learn from the examples they set.
It takes a certain kind of confidence to bring out the air of a “rock” designer. People should feel that you are in a position to lead, not only in business or design, but in conversation as well. This includes knowing how not to talk to you and always being able to turn the focus of the group discussion back to yourself.
This doesn’t mean you have to turn yourself into a brag. It is essential to create certain social cues that distinguish you as someone who is listened to and respected. This is a particularly difficult problem for creative professionals, because we tend to be a rather modest and often shy bunch.
If so, make an effort to speak, stand upright, and make frequent eye contact during client meetings and networking events.
A little exaggeration in your emotional movements and expressions when interacting with people can make a big difference in how customers perceive you. In fact, it can be the deciding factor in whether you get the job or not.
Yes, may Feel It’s a little strange to start “acting” a bit, but it doesn’t seem so strange to others – believe me. It just feels weird because it’s not your comfort zone yet.
Tell great stories
Storytelling is something we all do as human beings, but only a few have mastered it enough to help them communicate and attract customers. Whether it’s in person, in print, or online, when you test the work of a master storyteller, some patterns become apparent.
The first is the fact that the story itself is finely tuned to elicit a specific response from the listener. Everything in the conversation or copy relates to the main objective of the story, which is usually to form a lasting relationship with the person they are communicating with.
The way to build a great deal of stories is to test and develop each one as you tell it to a growing number of people. When you hear someone’s great narrator, it’s possible that those stories you hear for the first time have been tested on dozens or even hundreds of people before they ever reached your ears. There are no fillers or unnecessary words that take up your time. Each word has earned its place in the story.
Standup comedians are perhaps our closest modern version of the ancient tribal storytellers, and masters of this method. In writing, study the great authors who can convince hundreds of thousands of people to buy with a simple and engaging story.
As a designer, the idea of telling stories to market yourself and your skills can be intimidating, but it makes a huge difference between a designer destined for an unfulfilled career, and a designer able to take control of their niche and work with the best clients. .
Have you ever been in the presence of someone who, even after a few moments of talking to them, can make you feel like you two are old friends who have known each other for years? This is not usually a coincidence, although it is true that some people may have a more natural ability than others to make connections. But anyone can learn how to improve their success rate in communicating with people.
A true master conductor can make you feel like you’re the only person in the room, Zoom chat, or if they are really Good, newsletter list. This is something that usually cannot be faked. It always comes out eventually if someone is trying to trick you or snatch money from you in a dirty way.
Today’s top designers are too community builders, or people who dedicate themselves not only to serving their clients and creating great design work, but also to building a community of design enthusiasts eager to hear what they have to say.
Khoi Vinh, former director of design at the New York Times and current chief designer at Adobe, is a great example of this type of designer. His audience reads his blog and listens to his podcast not to sell him a fake product or cult of personality, but to hear his thoughts on the state of the design community and interact with him as one of his most accomplished contemporaries.
The reason great community building designers like Vinh don’t seem to be trying to get anything out of their readers is because, in general, they aren’t. They want a real connection, not just a temporary engagement that will only benefit them.
Major community builders want to deliver as much value, or even more, than their audience wants to give back.
This is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to building an audience. Community builders interested in establishing a real connection with people don’t just leave them hanging or wondering what happened after the chat. They make an effort to foster a real connection.
Often, at various networking events, people simply collect each other’s business cards, and then do not call anyone they met, even if the conversation seems to go well.
Sometimes this is because things haven’t gone the way this or the other person thinks it is, but it’s often because people don’t know how to proceed, or even that they should.
A lot of times, people expect the other person to be the one they connect with, but if you want to be a master community builder, you’ll have to start taking the first step. People will appreciate the effort, and will think of you more because of it.
Being a designer with loyal followers means making friends and providing value to people. This is.
It’s not about trying to cheat people or snatching up some easy opportunity. Don’t try to connect with everyone – just the right people.
Finally, don’t forget that audience building is a reciprocal relationship. Carefully choose the people you like, follow, or allow yourself to relate to. develop a keen eye for influencers; People who can deliver the same value you do for them.