Opportunity knocks at the oddest of places: you could be at a big conference for design professionals where potential clients are everywhere, or at a coffee shop talking to a local business owner in need of creative services, or even at at a music festival that’s perfect for spreading the word, guerrilla-style, about your skills.
You know your online portfolio proves your design chops, but sometimes taking out your smartphone or tablet to showcase your website just isn’t convenient. Often times, you’ll be in a situation where you’re pressed for time and need to make a memorable impression on the spot.
Every Opportunity Counts
Whether you’re a graphic designer, web designer, artist or photographer or any other specialist, you know how important it is to stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting your name out there. And when it comes to assembling a portfolio kit together to send to potential employers, you’ll need to include not just your contact information, but also samples of your work.
In this post, we are showcasing some inspiring ways you can use print products to spread the word about what you do, while “wowing” someone who could use your creative skills somewhere down the line.
1. The Business Card
The first obvious go-to for any creative professional is a Business Card, but thinking outside of the box will make a huge impact on potential clients. Your business card isn’t just a way to pass along your phone number on a rectangular piece of glossy cardstock; it’s also an opportunity to give someone a sense of your capabilities.
Here are some tips to make full use of your Business Cards:
- Use your card as your canvas and showcase an example of your work.
- Take advantage of double-sided printing and use the back of your card, too.
- Alternate sizes or materials that are related to your craft, style or interests are also good ways to give someone an idea of your personality, creativity, or business. Instead of the standard high gloss UV coating, try using a matte finish instead.
- Rounded corner cards or folded cards are also interesting ways to make your business card stand out.
Everyone loves freebies, so why not give away free Stickers of your work, logos, and other designs? Many artists bring them along to music festivals, trade shows and other events to stick around or hand out as fun self-promotional tools.
Graphic designer and illustrator Charlie Wagers designed these die-cut Stickers in the shape of a pocketknife – a handy tool he’s been known to carry around – to hand out at an art, design and music festival.
3. Greeting Cards
The holidays are the perfect time to say “thanks” to your clients for their business! Sending a Greeting Card is a great way to stay fresh in their minds the next time they may need your services. Alternatively, you can also design free cards to give to friends, family and clients as a way to promote yourself.
If you’re looking for a way to promote yourself but feel a business card is too small a canvas, a 4 x 6″ (10.16 x 15.24 cm) or 5 x 7″ (12.7 x 17.78 cm) Postcard will give you plenty of space to get your message across.
Many creative professionals leave their Promotional Postcards at local art galleries or coffee shops as freebies that also function as advertisements. Whether you’re a painter, graphic designer or photographer, postcards are a great way to raise awareness of your upcoming show openings.
- Use the front of the card to show your work and print the gallery’s name and address.
- Show dates and your contact information on the backside.
- Before leaving your promotional items anywhere, make sure you have the approval of the business owner or manager.
5. Booklets & Brochures
Networking events are ideal for bringing booklets that are portable, but still provide enough estate to show examples of your work. A half-page booklet, CD-sized accordion fold booklet or even a DVD booklet using bookweight paper are all perfect for when you’re on-the-go. A handful of them can easily be thrown into your bag and taken to trade shows or conferences.
Full-page or landscape sized booklets are also great for self-promotional portfolio kits to send out to ad agencies or other companies who may be hiring and may be interested in seeing your samples printed on a larger scale. And when it comes to printing your resume, Brochures are good alternatives to the standard letter-size page.
People often tear out interesting magazine ads or pages featuring our favorite bands or actors, then tack them up onto their walls for inspiration or to represent who they are and what they like. Take advantage of this.
Creating self-promotional Posters to give away at events or public places is a great way to inspire others with your own designs and advertise yourself. An 11″ x 17″ poster is the perfect size – it’s affordable to print; folds or rolls up into a manageable size; and can be displayed on a wall without taking up too much space.