Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Design > Branding/Marketing

Promote Your Brand

  • Print
  • + Share This
Pursuing a job should be like seeking out a love relationship. You have to know what your goal is, have a strategy to reach that goal, and then execute your plan. It’s great to be wonderful, but if no one else knows your greatness, how will you ever get a design job? Find out in this chapter from Stand Out: Design a personal brand. Build a killer portfolio. Find a great design job.
This chapter is from the book

Creating an integrated brand campaign.

  • Everyone’s comfort level for putting themselves out in the world to get noticed is different (although I tend to think that younger people, raised in the age of selfies and social media, are less self-conscious about self-promotion than other generations). Personally, I’ve never liked vying for attention, and to this day, I find the tasks related to self-promotion—cold calling, meet-and-greeting, and sharing my work and myself with strangers and people I’ve only just met—downright frightening. When I had my design business, I paid a full-time salesperson to initiate contact with potential clients. It’s not that I lack self-confidence, but quite frankly, the idea of being rejected hurts my feelings.

When I was single and looking for someone to share my life with, my good friend Janice told me, “Love will not walk up and knock on your door.” Conceding she might have a point, I started networking. I asked my friends and colleagues to set me up with people they knew, and after some awkward phone calls, bad dinners, and one minor stalking incident, a close friend introduced me to my soon-to-be spouse. Janice was right. I never would have found who I was looking for if I hadn’t taken control of my search.

Pursuing a job should be like seeking out a love relationship. You have to know what your goal is, have a strategy to reach that goal, and then execute your plan. It’s great to be wonderful, but if no one else knows your greatness, how will you ever get a design job?

My former student, Connor Paglia (who you met in Chapter 3) grew up playing baseball. He played all through college, until his senior year when he left the team to concentrate on finishing his degree in graphic design. As a student, Conner was disciplined, hardworking, and a team player (skills he learned, or at least refined, playing baseball). He was also generous, frequently sharing his design and production skills with anyone in class who needed help. His dream job was to work for Major League Baseball.

Just before he graduated, Connor read that the MLB was building a product team to work on third-party clients (consumer brands, not just baseball projects). Connor was well qualified for the position, but his goal was just to get an interview, to get in front of someone so he could demonstrate his devotion for the game and commitment to doing the work. He was confident that he would be a good fit because of the skills he had learned on the field, his branding and mobile design knowledge, and the professional experience he had earned through freelancing and design internships. Connor hadn’t even graduated yet, but he knew he had to take the chance and apply, because if he didn’t, his odds of landing the interview (and the job) were zero.

It’s not uncommon to want to shy away from exposing your creative efforts and yourself to potential criticism, especially from employers as huge as the MLB. But I can assure you that when you call upon the kind of courage that has brought you this far (getting through design school is no easy feat) and push past your fear of rejection (to reach your true love or job of your dreams), you will put yourself in a position to speak with confidence about your work and its value.

Connor got his interview, and as you know, he got the job with Major League Baseball. He did it by communicating his ideas, experience, and skills, as well as work ethic and dedication. His website and his other touchpoints communicated the type of thinking, aesthetics, and skills that he could offer. He had a brand strategy, and he promoted himself.

Remember: you only need to connect with one nice person (and there are plenty in our industry) who can give you a break in the form of a job, advice, or your next lead. This is no time to hold back or succumb to feeling intimidated. Devise a plan, develop your message, design the touchpoints, identify the audience you want to reach, and then promote yourself through the channels they use for communication. Reach, don’t wait, for your opportunity, whether it’s a great design job, networking with other professionals, or making a name for yourself in the public eye.

Just as you wouldn’t search for true love without a plan (going to a bar to meet someone is basic, but it’s still a plan), you have to think through and commit to a search process that you can execute. This effort has two objectives: to gain attention for your capabilities and to create an emotional connection to your target audience. You do this by showing up where your audience is most likely to hang out, with a consistent message about yourself and your brand. The more they see your brand, the more they will grow to trust you and buy into your brand story, and the less likely they are to be dismissive when you approach them for a job interview.

Write Your Brand Strategy

Per entrepreneur.com’s Small Business Encyclopedia on Branding, a brand strategy is “how, what, where, when, and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages.” Everything you show, say, or do (or don’t do) communicates something about your personal brand. For example, consider the Dos Equis man (born from a beer promotion of the same name). Many admire him for his air of mystery, women adore him, and he travels the world in style. His tagline (which would be his brand promise if he conducted his own personal assessment and analysis) says he is the “most interesting man in the world.” His brand message is broadcasted consistently and cohesively across multiple touchpoints in traditional advertising (TV, radio, and print), social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and online (website and YouTube); I’ve included some of “his” links on my Pinterest page: pinterest.com/ProfessorDMA/personal-brand-promo/. Dos Equis leverages many of these brand channels by developing personalized content to communicate his story. Take some time to think about how you will promote yourself by developing, maintaining, and leveraging what you’ve already learned and expressed about your brand. Use the downloadable worksheet found at the link on the previous page, or write your answers on a piece of paper. You’re putting together a plan to communicate and deliver your brand message.

Who

Identify your target market.

You’ve already done some preliminary research, and your creative brief identifies where you want to be employed. Now you have to drill down into the details. If your brief shows that you want to work at a digital design agency of 150-plus people, then you’ll have to identify those companies that fit the criteria; and start thinking about where they’re most likely to be located. The more details you have about your target audience, the better you can customize your promotion. Remember: establishing connections that will lead to work is not about how many people you reach; it’s about the quality and appropriateness of the audience you engage. For example, Margaret Grzymkowski (the feisty henna artist from Chapter 3) made, decorated, and personally delivered donuts, her business card, and a handwritten note to the owner of a company where she wanted to work. He responded promptly with an email saying he’d be in touch when a position opens up.

What

Formulate your brand message.

Your creative brief contains the information that will inform and inspire your brand message. Just as skiing, fighting bears, cooking burgers, and attempting to run for the U.S. presidency makes Mr. Dos Equis the “most interesting man in the world,” a unified message will communicate your unique value proposition clearly and consistently throughout all of your promotions. What is the one thing you want your target market to think about when they hear your name or see your visual identity? Set the mood. Develop a point of view. Stay true to your brand promise. Own who you are, and don’t be afraid to put it out there.

Where

Select your promotional touchpoints.

You can choose to do very little or as much as possible to get yourself noticed, but at minimum you’re going to need a website and a social media campaign to communicate and deliver your brand story. (You’ll learn more about both later in the chapter.) The world uses these online touchpoints to do business, and you should be using them, too. Conceptualizing and integrating a memorable campaign with today’s print and social media channels will help you stake out your territory, differentiate yourself from the competition, and demonstrate an air of confidence.

04fig05.jpg

How

Promote your brand message.

There are many, many ways to communicate your brand message, but you have to use the applications, channels, and platforms that your target audience is most likely to use. For example, if you are a mobile app designer, use web and mobile prototyping software to create your app, and then insert a link into an email blast or post it on your social media channels. If you’re a pattern designer, let your audience experience your shapes, textures, and colors first-hand by printing designs on cards or fabric swatches and sending a packaged kit via direct mail. They are two very different approaches, but each is appropriate for reaching and resonating with its particular audience. Not every form of communication works for everyone, so choose wisely.

04fig06.jpg

When

Time your promotions.

Think back to my analogy of finding true love. Do you share everything about yourself in that initial phone call, or do you hold a few things back to reveal when you’re on the first date? Likewise, your promotional plan might start with a trickling of key messages—some teasers or pings to gauge whether and how your audience will respond. Identify the date when all of your promotional touchpoints will be ready or in the pipeline to be completed. No matter what your promotion, schedule, or vehicle for delivery is, time your strategy and move the viewer from one channel to the next so they’ll have a comprehensive idea of what you have to offer. If you misstep and don’t deliver when you said you would, you can lose any trust you’ve built with your audience, and it could damage your brand.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020