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Stand out in a crowded market: How to build your personal brand as a designer
Concrete action items to help you crush the competition, establish credibility, and skyrocket your career as a designer
Welcome to Learn Primitives!
Here's what you'll learn:
You. The market. Your brand.
What is perceived value
Examples you can use now
and much more…
Let’s dive in…
As a designer, you have a unique set of skills, talents, and experiences that set you apart from other designers. However, with so many designers vying for attention, it can be challenging to differentiate yourself and establish your credibility. That's where personal branding comes in. By building a strong personal brand, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field, differentiate yourself from others, and grow your career.
Your personal brand is the way you present yourself to the world. It's the way people perceive you and your work. By creating a strong personal brand, you can differentiate yourself from other designers and establish a reputation as a thought leader in your field. Here's why creating a brand for yourself is important and how it can help you grow in your career.
Your personal brand is this important “thing” that often gets overseen. Designers often think they don’t have time or that they have nothing special to offer. Working on yourself or your personal brand can actually be a daunting task, a blocker for many. It is really easy to get lost in the process and end up not even knowing where and or how to start.
Let’s go, don’t be shy — expose yourself! You have so many things to share to the world, you just need to start.
Creating perceived value
Basically, your value as a professional is determined by how much value you end up creating. The more value you create, the more your value goes up which in return has an impact on the number of opportunities, you get. By being active and by working on your external and internal brand you will get more chances to achieve your career goals. Regardless of how much experience you have, you can still add value and the more you create value, the more you will become valuable.
In simple terms, eminence means the quality of standing out…. standing out as a designer, a leader, and someone who thinks, shares, provides value, and does not just follow along.
Some concrete action plans you can use to level up your unique brand
You. The market. Your brand.
You need to think of yourself as a brand. You need to know what makes you special and unique. Who are you? What are your unique capabilities and not someone else’s? How can you create value in the industry?
Identify your strengths and unique skills as a designer. What sets you apart from others in your field? What do you bring to the table that others don't? Use these qualities to create a strong value proposition that communicates your unique brand message.
In a crowded marketplace, differentiation is key. By creating a strong personal brand, you can differentiate yourself from other designers and establish a unique identity that sets you apart. This can help you stand out from the crowd and make it easier for potential clients or employers to find you.
How does one create value or, how does one create additional value in a field where there are so many others competing for attention? Well, to really appreciate eminence you must consider how it is that you create value. Each and everyone one of us is different and we all have different personal capabilities.
What to do = add value
Who = it's for you. It’s for everyone
Why = more opportunities + more possibilities
Develop a Portfolio
A portfolio is a powerful tool for showcasing your work and establishing your expertise. Make sure your portfolio is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and showcases your best work. Consider including case studies and testimonials to demonstrate your skills and experience.
Remember that your portfolio is there to showcase your best work. It should demonstrate your skills and expertise, as well as showcase your unique style and design philosophy. Make sure your portfolio is visually compelling, easy to navigate, and showcases your best work.
Consistency is key when it comes to building a strong personal brand. Make sure your branding is consistent across all channels, including your website, social media profiles, and portfolio. Use the same colors, fonts, and messaging to create a cohesive and recognizable brand identity.
Consistency helps you create a recognizable and memorable identity. Consistency ensures that your brand message and visual identity are cohesive and easily recognizable across all channels, including your website, social media profiles, portfolio, and other marketing materials.
It will help you establish credibility and trust with your audience. By consistently delivering high-quality work, using the same branding elements, and communicating your message consistently, you create a sense of reliability and professionalism. This consistency builds trust and encourages potential clients to choose you over competitors.
A strong personal brand can also help you establish credibility in your field. By showcasing your expertise, experience, and unique perspective, you can position yourself as a thought leader and establish a reputation for excellence. This can make it easier to win new clients, secure job opportunities, and earn the respect of your peers.
But I’m not special!
Everyone is special and everyone has something to offer. Look around you. Look at fellow designers or colleagues you know and respect and who you may feel have achieved eminence. Do they have anything special? In fact, they are probably quiet, reserved, and extremely ordinary folks. They, however, have probably worked hard and have put in that extra time… all of this doesn’t happen by itself, you need to go out and get it.
The more you increase your capabilities, the more you will increase your market value.
Visibility / Establish a strong presence on Social media
Creating a strong personal brand can also help you increase your visibility in your field. By establishing a presence on social media, blogging, and speaking at industry events, you can reach a wider audience and build your reputation as an expert in your field. This increased visibility can help you attract new clients, build your network, and grow your career.
Social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can be powerful tools for building your personal brand. Use these platforms to share your work, connect with other designers, and showcase your expertise. Be consistent in your messaging and branding across all platforms.
Use these channels to share your work, network with other designers and potential clients, and build your reputation as an expert in your field. Don’t be afraid to build in public.
Building relationships with other designers, clients, and industry professionals is essential for growing your career. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with other designers on social media to expand your network. Remember to be authentic and genuine in your interactions. Build relationships with other designers, and don't be afraid to ask for feedback and advice.
Finally, creating a strong personal brand allows you to be yourself and showcase your unique personality and perspective. By being authentic and true to yourself, you can attract clients and opportunities that align with your values and goals. This can lead to more fulfilling work and a more satisfying career overall.
Continuously learn and grow
Finally, it's important to continue learning and growing as a designer. Take courses, attend workshops, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in your field to stay competitive and continue building your personal brand.
We are always only a perception of what people think of us. Our reputation super-seeds us.
We are our reputation. We are our brand.
Through increasing our awareness of others, we must also think hard about what it is that we are making people aware of. Not us, but the image of us. Our brand. Just like a product brand, you need to manage your own brand. The perception of what you leave behind is what will make them come back to you. It is the reason you become a trusted source. A go-to person. People will follow you, they will ask questions, and — they will trust you.
Keep looking for new opportunities to help and go beyond your day-to-day role. This is a great way to learn, get challenged, meet new folks, and — get exposure.
Stop thinking and start doing.
You have something to offer. You have value to add to others. Whether that means solving a problem or providing unparalleled customer service, a stakeholder that sees value will share this with others. There is no secret sauce here and no one size fits. Value is what you will bring to the table.
You, your brand, have something to offer. Everyone has an audience, you just need to put yourself out there and find yours. Trust me, you won’t regret it! You are a valued asset.
Good luck and have fun!
Hey, Mitchell & Pascal here! Thanks for checking out this week’s free edition of the Shaping Design newsletter. We strive to send you the best tips and our very own unique perspective each week. Subscribe to get each article!
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