How will I promote myself? - What do they want to hear?
For this section of work I thought I would refer more directly to each part of the Marketing Communication Mix that was referred to in the presentation as I feel I shouldn't neglect to look at different forms of promotion. The six ways of marketing your business are:
1. Personal Selling
2. Public Relations & Publicity
5. Direct Marketing
6. The Internet
So far i have been looking at building a business on creating Retail Graphics, the idea of using graphic design to sell anothers product, but how could i sell my design skills using promotion?
1. Personal/Direct Selling - Working face to face with a Client is probably the best promotional method available. In terms if retail graphics, most international retail graphics teams seek graphic designers to create something, being that their business is well established price becomes less of a concern. For local retail business that may be starting up visuals become less of an immediate need and so are less likely to seek out graphic designers to create new graphics. One of the key things as an aid to this is a business card, a business card that says something about your practice and in a way sort of acts to show what you can do for the customer. Having been looking at business cards during PPD I have a proposed idea that could work. It is time consuming, but depending on the prospect of good payment is sometimes worth the extra effort by building a relationship.
2. Public Relations & Publicity - I have become a regular blogger, this in itself creates a document of on-goings to which potential customers can view and acts as promotion through public relations. Other forms that could be considered as public relations could be getting involved with events, having established myself as a crafter an ideal form of promotion for business would be to get involved in craft fairs and sell product at local stores, for instance i am working on producing some cards for Paper Scissors Stone. I would like to consider working on a much more national scale and have decided i would at some point like to enter the D&AD competitions directed at retail, this would open a gateway to new contacts and experience.
The obvious downsides to public relations is its time consumption and costings but as a dedicated professional with a passion for design this is no obstacle.
3. Advertising - You can find in job sections of everyday newspapers a need for a graphic designer, often requiring lots of experience. Graphic designers often place advertisements not in newspapers but design magazines, personally i do not feel this method is the most successful, alongside each other it would be very easy to be overlooked, the same for television and poster advertising. I am very interested in website design and selling skills using the internet, with intentions of not only designing for retail graphics but selling my own product advertising on web seems an option to help aid my promotion internationally. Considering designing a business card hand directly to customers, could the business card not be used as an advertisement, placing in cafes and such might attract various people, but maybe in a more specific location such as the London Graphics Centre could the idea of a business card be more successful advertising.
Like Public Relations it would have its problems, producing business cards is pricy and cannot always reflect what i practice as it is a means of one way communication. It may also take time, putting a out business card and getting not only the right person to see it but for them to want to call you is incredibly chancy.
4. Promotions - This would be particularly useful if i wanted to sell a graphic design product where items could have an introductory offer or seasonal offers. In terms of offering promotions as a design consultant offering more the customer such as a complimentary business card design could work well. Offers however do not build brands and can have the opposite effect because it can make product look worth less, it is also important to remember that reducing price reduces profit. Offers do offer benefits of attracting new customers.
5. Direct Marketing - This is about tailoring and personalisation, making someone feel significant in what you have to offer. In Graphic Design this could be personally inviting someone to an event such as a craft fair, handing over business cards and offering coupons. This could be expensive again but offers high returns in the way of building relationships, specified markets and the success rate can be measured for future reference.
6. The Internet - Having established a firm blog to which i continually post to, updating a website for me would not a be a chore it would be enjoyed. Aswell as using blogs i would like to docuement my practice within a formal website, currently learning towards digital media i am soon to prodcue my own later this year, ths wil provide the basis of a publicly exhibited portfolio to which is cost effective, visual, credible, and unlike most other fors of promotion is 24 hours running. To be successful it needs to be well designed to reflect my professional practice and creating an interactive website to keep people interested. Another thing which could be considered linking back to the idea of promotion is to have something that is free among the website whether it be a flyer or even something random such as a character to assemble, it keeps an engagement to which the viewer starts to build up a relationship.
Badly designed website can result is drastically opposite effects.