10 Ways Out of Work Designers Can Market Themselves Offline Part 2

The Hotcards list continues: 6 – 10

More shameless self-promotion techniques for creative risk-takers who know how to turn downtime into opportunity.


Design Cool Websites and Print For Free

The worst thing you can do after you lose a job is sit around and mope. You're depressed, but acting depressed just makes you more depressed about being depressed. Give yourself a week or two, and if that new job doesn't come rolling in, get out and put your skills to work pro bono.

If you're a tech person, there's probably a million people who've been asking you to help them with building a personal website or solving their computer problems. If you're a design person, how about putting together that CD artwork for your friend's band, or that print collateral you've been promising for your aunt's small business?

The logic behind this is that if you keep working, eventually, someone's going to start paying you for it again. By volunteering, you meet and endear yourself to all kinds of interesting people, and for a good designer, each new relationship is a just a job waiting to happen.


Viral Market Yourself With A Mini Sticker Campaign

Depending on your target market, many tech-types can find true diamond-in-the-rough opportunities with sticker printing. Stickers can be just like business cards, only with a youthful, counter-culture edge. Have custom stickers printed for cheap, hand them out to friends, and stick them up in unexpected places.

The sticker should feature your URL and not, of course, your home phone number. Unless you really want it to. If nothing else, the responses you'll get from a 'Drupal Developer Seeks Employment' sticker on a lamppost will be interesting.


Print Yourself A Presentation

If you're actively on the job hunt, get your dream employers to come to you. Rent a room at a nice restaurant. Print invitations to send to the top 10 or 20 employers on your list. Print fresh resumes, individualized cover letters, and personalized presentation pocket folders to put at every place at the table.

Don't be afraid to go all out with posters, banners, and other print collateral promoting you or your company's services. Then, knock attendees socks of with an evening of food, wine, and your best sales pitch. Prospective employers should leave with the feeling that they're competing to hire you, just like in the good old days.


Direct Mail Deals

In times of economic depression, folks are looking for sweet deals. So if your tech business has been losing clients, try making them an offer they can't refuse.

Send out a full color postcard mailer advertising special savings. Now that people are pinching pennies, they're taking more time to examine the flyers and catalogues that come in the mail.

Make your design something fun and nice to look at, something that would bring a smile to your face if you received it in the mail. And make a point of saying that you understand your customer's financial concerns. Maybe they won't jump at your offer, but when the time is right, they'll think of you.


Make the World More Beautifulerer

Newspaper and magazine printers are already jumping on this bandwagon. Instead of focusing on selling luxury items and lifestyles, the trend in print is now to offer weary consumers a bit of escapism.

Luckily, full color printing is ideally suited to fill this need. Whether you're printing or designing, focus on bold colors, beautiful images, and emotions, rather than products. During dark times, people will naturally gravitate towards the light.


That's all, folks! Think you've got a better idea? Let us know about it! Want to share a success story? Post it here!

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