The internet is the place to be when you’re working on establishing yourself in the graphic design industry, but there’s no shortage of competition, and standing out for the right reasons can present a challenge. The good news is that the same basic building blocks of brand image are just as relevant today as they always were – all you need is a fresh perspective.
Design a Great Logo
A logo is destined to become one of the most instantly-recognizable marketing components of any business, but in the graphic design industry, it’s even more important than that. Your logo is also a chance to show off your skills and creativity in a condensed format. It’s not uncommon for clients to commission a logo design, so give it your best shot, and you’ll be able to use it in your portfolio later.
Squeeze Value out of Social Media
Social media marketing is capable of achieving great rates of exposure and interaction, especially in a visual industry like graphic design. It can be fairly intuitive, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it in the hands of an amateur. Since social media can deliver such an immense return on investment, you should consider it one of your most important marketing avenues. In fact, it’s so important that many of your competitors will have hired a professional social media marketer to help grow their social footprint and exposure. If you have extra cash in the budget, this option can help you save time and improve results, but a DIY approach is just as viable, especially while there are tailored courses for this exact purpose.
Create a High-Quality Website
No matter what industry you’re in, web presence is key to creating a strong brand image. Your website will be the first impression you make on many potential customers, so make sure you fill it with the right content. You’ll need to tell site visitors a little about who you are as a business and why they should work with you, but try to keep the number of words to a minimum, and demonstrate your skills instead. Show everyone what you could do for them with smooth transitions, exciting color schemes, and high-quality imagery.
Get Into Content
Investing in a content plan that goes beyond the visual will be a big help in getting your business off the ground. The value of great quality images and videos can’t be understated, but the written word has the power to get you more clicks and views fresh from the search engine. Starting a blog is a great stepping stone towards a stronger online profile, as the content you produce will help to elevate your website in search engines – the most critical step is to get inside the minds of your ideal customers and their search strategies. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, there are a number of great design blogs already online, just brimming with information and inspiration for fellow designers.
Work on Your Skills
There are a myriad of graphic design services you could offer your customers, and it can be challenging to keep up with everything on the market. When building a reputation for your business, of course you should start with your strongest skills and emphasize them well, but you’ll also need to be open to up-skilling and servicing new needs. You might like the idea of focusing all of your energy on creative font designs or impressive Photoshop skills, but if you’re not looking for ways to improve your client offering and make your business more appealing than the next, you may find yourself missing out on the briefs that could really take your business to new heights.
Build an Unforgettable Portfolio
A portfolio is an essential tool for any creative professional, especially in such a visual arena as graphic design. Beyond getting your foot in the door, it will be one of the defining factors on your journey to building a strong brand image. If you already have plenty of professional imagery of your work, then you’re ahead of the game, but in case you’re short on case studies, you can always write your own practice briefs and use the results in your portfolio. You might even like to check out other well-made portfolios for inspiration – after all, there are plenty out there.
Use Your Customers
Generally speaking, consumers tend to be skeptical of sales pitches, which makes it difficult to win customers over with your own words. No matter how truthful you are, your happy customers will come across as far more believable and trustworthy to everyone else, so use them as your best weapons. Whenever you finish a job, make sure that the customer is completely satisfied with your work, and then politely request a testimonial for your website and social media. You’ll be amazed at the difference a few words and a photograph can make.
In such a fast-moving, competitive industry as graphic design, there’s always something you could be doing to contribute to your personal brand. Ultimately, a strong brand image goes beyond surface-level visuals and into the core of what you can offer your customers, so as long as you have the skills, you have the potential to design an amazing trajectory for your business.