Digital Marketing for Designers: 9 Creative Ways of Standing Out

It’s 2020. The online world is bigger than ever. With so much information out there it can be hard for designers to find clients: here can help the Digital Marketing for Designers.
Digital Marketing for Designers: 9 Creative Ways of Standing Out as a Designer

Applying some of these simple steps will drastically improve your chances of getting your name out there and allow you to get noticed in your industry. The best part – without spending a cent.

 

The top result on Google has a 33% chance of getting clicked. The second? A mere 15% and it only gets worse as your page ranking falls. 

 

Don’t underestimate the power of SEO, after all, that’s a lot of potential business you’re losing out on. Here are some creative digital marketing tips to improve your chances of getting noticed in 2020!

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Table of Contents

1. Influencing the Influencers

Many experts say that influencer marketing is dead. Sure, it’s not as effective as it used to be due to the mass saturation from businesses in recent years.

 

As designers in 2020, we just have to find new ways to get noticed and stand out from the crowd now that audiences are more cautious than ever when it comes to influencer promotions.

 

With that being said, there are a few methods of gaining an influencer’s attention which is yet to be discovered by the masses.

 

All it requires is a bit of time, creativity and fairy dust, (ok, no fairy dust) and you’ll be on your way to getting noticed. The answer? In simple terms: provide valuable content in exchange for exposure.

 

First, you’ll need to find an influencer with a relatively large following. Not so big that they don’t give you the time of day, but then again, not too small. 

 

After all, you need enough exposure to make it worth your time. The second point to consider is finding someone in your niche.

 

What’s the point in spending hours meticulously perfecting your designs only to have them to plastered all over a makeup page. A relatively large influencer in your niche with good post engagement will go a long way in ensuring this method yields the best results.

 

Next, do your research.

 

Check their social media profiles, post style, audience demographics and anything else you can get your hands on to indicate the style of content that will draw attention; and what will be swiped by. Now for the fun part!

Creating Content based on Your Findings

For the best engagement, ensure that it resonates with the audience, whether that’s through evoking emotion or igniting inspiration; content that attracts attention through sparking a reaction will always work best and help you to stand out from the crowd.

Now you’re probably asking: ‘How am I going to get influencers to share this content that I’ve spent hours perfecting?’. Simple

 

Post it on your social media pages, tag them and send them a copy for good measure. If you have followed the previous steps in this article then your content will speak for itself. 

 

Chances are, the influencer will be more than happy to share your masterpiece. After all, it will be perfect for their audience.

digital marketing for designers: Creating Content based on Your Findings​
Influencer Marketing graphic.

The results speak for itself. 

 

As you can see, influencer marketing is big, and it’s only getting bigger. Research shows that every $1 spent on influencer marketing, yields a $5.20 return in media value. If you can get promotions from influencers for free, then that’s a 100% increase in media value

 

No brainer!

2. Become an Expert

Yes, an expert. Sounds big, I know, but it’s not as difficult as you think. 

 

Becoming an expert in your market will naturally result in attention. It won’t be long before other big influencers, and more importantly, potential clients start taking notice. 

 

Here are some simple tips to assist you on your journey to becoming an expert:

 

  • answer questions on sites
  • engage with others
  • leverage yourself as an expert
  • build your personal branding

 

First, you need to sign up for questions and answer sites such as Quora, and WikiHow

 

These are great resources for quickly gaining knowledge and can increase your understanding of a subject far quicker than YouTube videos or online courses.

 

Once you’ve taken the time to familiarise yourself with the subject and amassed enough knowledge to feel fairly competent in explaining your understanding, start answering the questions posted on the site by users

 

Be careful not to promote your own business and risk looking spammy. Ensure your answers are well written and genuinely helpful.

 

The trick is to compose a thorough, well-written response to someone’s question, preferably one that doesn’t have many answers from other users, and subtly include links to your site when relevant. 

 

By doing this, you’re not only helping the person asking the question, but you’re also getting attention to your links, exposing yourself to countless readers.

How to Become an Expert in Digital Marketing for Designers

Below we can see a graph showing the exponential growth of Quora. This platform is one of the most used in these times and is a great opportunity to be known as an expert in a specific sector.

 

As mentioned earlier, interacting with the community is a great way to turn traffic on your website, portfolio, blog, and more through your link.

How to Become an Expert in Digital Marketing for Designers
QUORA’s rapid growth since 2015

This process can also be used in other “social” platforms where many people are looking for information to learn certain skills (like digital marketing for designers). 

 

Another very populated place to use this strategy is definitely Facebook: in this case Facebook Groups

 

You can subscribe to various Facebook Groups that deal with a specific topic and get in touch with many people who need help.

 

By continuing to be present in the groups and responding competently to the various questions of Facebook Group members, you can become a very active member with a good reputation, which at the same time will lead to an increase in authority in the field.

 

Join all the Facebook Groups in the industry that you consider valid and promising and make your experience known right away, share your successes and experiences and help the community, you will surely be rewarded!

3. Speed Up your Website

Website load speed is vital when it comes to converting clicks into clients. If your website is taking more than a second or two when loading, users aren’t going to hang around.

 

As well as the loss in clients, Google will also punish you for slow load speeds and will lower your website’s ranking. So it’s pretty clear that you can’t afford to neglect even just a few seconds of your users precious time.

 

There are sites out there like GTMetrix that allow you to test your website load time. GTMetrix will run tests from different locations all over the world – vital information for your business. So how fast is enough?

 

Research shows 40% of visitors will abandon websites if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. What’s even more shocking is that 80% of those visitors won’t return based on their poor experience.

 

This is detrimental for your SEO ranking as it ultimately demonstrates to search engines that your site isn’t worth displaying on the front page of results.

Digital Marketing for Designers: The User Experience

The user experience within your website plays a very important role in your digital marketing success. If the user experience within your website is poor, the user will leave and never return.

 

For this reason, it is also important to know the “User Experience” in-depth and study this subject with devotion. Valuable experience will make your user become a recurring user and, consequently, a recurring customer.

 

There are many factors to take into account in the correct User Experience of a website and certainly, as mentioned above, the speed of loading a web page is very important, as is the ease of navigability and content finding.

Page load time vs. probability of bounce

Offering a well-groomed User Experience means developing a positive interaction with the customer: in fact, the user who is in front of a website that responds well to his needs is a satisfied customer, who will return. 

 

This is the first step to be taken with a view to customer loyalty. Customer loyalty (or in the case, for example, of a blog to build reader loyalty) is a fundamental step to increase success in the world of digital marketing for designers.

4. Have a Content Marketing Strategy​

As GaryVee said: “the more content I put out, the more luck I have”

 

  • How often do you update your website?
  • Are you active on social media?

 

If you haven’t been getting attention online it’s most likely due to users being unaware of your existence (I know, the truth hurts). 

 

Don’t wait for your customers to come to you; go out there and post on your website, social media and interact with your audience.

 

In order to drive more traffic to your website, it is crucial to keep your site fresh, exciting, and full of newsworthy information to grab readers’ attention and keep them coming back for more.

 

Websites that provide highly informative content typically have better conversion rates resulting in more clients.

 

You could create content for your own blog or social media channels and hope people find it amongst the vast ocean of other websites with the same idea as you.

 

It’s becoming obvious that this will produce some pretty unsatisfactory results. Alternatively, you could guest post on someone else’s site which already receives a large number of readers every month.

 

This is a win-win situation.

Digital Marketing for Designers: How to Create Content

The owner of the site receives high-quality content free of charge whilst you, the author, get the credit.

 

Over time, this exposure from larger websites will help you to establish a large group of faithful readers; a powerful asset which can be leveraged to gain clients or increase brand awareness.

Digital Marketing for Designers: How to Create Content
The power of articles over adverts

One of the most effective strategies that can be used now, in a world where content marketing is increasingly used and requires more and more time to be implemented, is that of Content Pyramid

 

Content Pyramid is a strategy widely used also in the field of digital marketing for designers and consists in creating a content pyramid, starting from the largest content (for example a YouTube video, a podcast or a blog post) and then segmenting it into smaller content.

 

All this smaller content, which are excerpts from the main content, can be reused, for example, in social media, creating many ideas:

 

  • carousel graphics on Instagram
  • infographic for Pinterest
  • tweet on Twitter
  • video stories on Facebook and Instagram
  • and more…

 

Try using this strategy for your content, you will have many advantages, including saving a lot of time and managing your content in a more organized way.

5. Optimize your Images

Ensuring your website’s visitors see an image resolution appropriate for the screen size they are viewing it on plays a massive part in ensuring fast page load times.

 

In fact, image optimisation is so important that it deserves a whole section all to itself. There’s no doubt, your website needs images. Without them, it would be a barren wasteland of text on a screen.

 

The question is: how to provide high-quality images without taking a toll on page load speed? The answer: optimisation.

 

In a nutshell, image optimisation only downloads the necessary sized image based on the device it’s being viewed on.

 

For example, if your website is being loaded on a 95 inch 4k TV your website will display a higher quality image than if it was being viewed on the 1-inch display of a smartwatch. Simple, right?

 

Well, actually it is. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to serve perfectly sized images, no matter the device. If your website is built upon WordPress, a simple plugin is all it takes. Other platforms like Webflow have image optimisation built-in.

 

How easy is that? It’s not just us telling you to speed up your website; Google is too.

 

In 2010 they put out a statement on it’s Webmasters Blog which reads, “Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.” 

 

So it is clear. Faster websites fair better in search rankings than when compared to their slower counterparts.

Digital Marketing for Designers: BeFunky Photo Editor

There are plenty of online plugins and tools to help you optimize your images for the web. You can use software like Adobe Photoshop or an online tool (which can save you time and money).

 

In this regard, I recommend the BeFunky tool. This is a real online photo editor and the great thing is that it is completely free. 

 

It allows you to work on your images and modify any parameter, such as for example:

 

  • crop and resize
  • rotate and cutout
  • background color
  • exposure and vibrance
  • and more…
Digital Marketing for Designers: BeFunky Photo Editor
This is the interface of BeFunky Photo Editor

With BeFunky you can also improve the image using filters, or adjust the brightness and contrast of the colors. Give space to your creativity!

 

Now that we have seen this point on marketing for designers, the importance of optimizing images to have a website, we are ready to show you the next important step: the use of outbound links.

6. Use Outbound Links

Outbound links are exactly what they sound like: links that will send your readers from your website to other sites across the internet.

 

Commonly these are used to verify facts, backup sources, or simply point readers toward resources. Simple, right?

 

You’re probably asking: ‘How will using outbound links increase your chance of getting noticed?” First of all, they will increase your website’s relevance.

 

Search engine algorithms can learn a lot about your site entirely based upon who you link to and how.

 

You can think of your links as providing clues to crawlers about the industry you’re in, the problems you’re attempting to solve, the competitors you have, and how relevant a page will be to people searching online.

 

Ultimately, you’re helping to structure the web.

Digital Marketing for Designers: Backlinks and Networking

If you provide backlinks to high authority pages, you are building a search engine’s trust in your website and demonstrating that you are a legitimate player in your field.

 

This increases a search engine’s confidence when serving up your page as a result for their users.

 

By including outbound links to relevant, high authority sources, you can boost your own reputation in the process.

 

Think of it as a form of association – you are appearing as if you’re operating in the same circles as the biggest names in your industry. 

 

Using outbound links helps to establish a network with other bloggers, journalists, websites and companies. Endorsing their work will encourage them to do the same in return. 

 

Here is an example:

Digital Marketing for Designers: Backlinks and Networking
Example of an email for outbound links

As you can see, digital marketing strategies aimed at networking are also used to obtain backlinks: it is important to be always available for contact with other web users.

 

Writing an email can make the difference and you will surely get answers and you can also create a link with the interlocutor. Don’t be afraid and launch yourself into this experience!

7. Get Featured on Other Sites

Getting featured on other people’s blogs will allow you to be seen by a whole new audience.

 

It allows people that actually care about your content to find you, especially if the website is trusted with lots of monthly visitors. Many people will attempt to email website owners and ask for a feature in a post.

 

The problem with this is websites get hundreds of emails a day. The chances that your email is even read are slim. This is where this method comes in handy.

 

First, find a website that has featured someone else in your target market fairly recently. This is a good indication that their audience is appropriate for your content.

 

Next, get in contact, giving feedback regarding the featured article. Then once you have started the conversation and built a rapport, get back in contact, explaining who you are and that you would love to be featured.

Digital Marketing for Designers: Build Relationships

By using this tactic, you should be able to get one to two features a week; more than enough exposure to start getting noticed and gaining clients.

 

Press is also a powerful tactic when it comes to gaining attention. The question is, how?

 

An easy way is to pay a PR agency who has a performance-based pay model. This ensures you only pay when you get results.

 

Alternatively, you can get press for free by building relationships and connections with reporters.

 

By continually helping them out with their stories and giving them feedback they may decide to return the favour and give your business some coverage.

Digital Marketing for Designers: Build Relationships
Build relationships with other business owners. Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Alternatively, you can get press for free by building relationships with reporters.

 

By continually helping them out with their stories and giving them feedback they may decide to return the favour and give your business some coverage.

8. Use Google My Business

Standing out in your local area is also a valuable source of new clients. For this Google My Business really is your best option.

 

Not only will it boost your online visibility by showing your business’s location and contact details, but it will also allow customers to leave feedback and suggest improvements. 

 

To use Google My Business effectively ensure the following:

 

  • Complete your business information and add a description
  • Upload more and better images
  • Respond to all Google My Business reviews
  • Use posts to promote events, offers, and content
  • Create and upload videos
  • Add a short name to allow you to be found easier

 

Google My Business also helps you to be found more easily (if you have a physical location) by your customers by registering your location on Google Maps. 

 

This is a powerful digital marketing tool for designers that I strongly recommend to consider. You can monitor many Google features in one intuitive platform.

Digital Marketing for Designers:​ Find Clients on Google

Google My Business also has great potential in the collection of new customers. With this tool you can:

 

  • find customers for free on Google
  • attract customers with a well-designed business profile
  • offer customers other ways to find you
  • transforming searches into clients
  • and more…

 

Pro Tip: users in the network are increasingly interested in finding your company or location on Google, because this means more transparency and truthfulness in their eyes. 

 

For this reason in this guide on digital marketing for designers we have also given prominence to this spectacular free platform that is Google My Business.

Digital Marketing for Designers:​ Find Clients on Google
Google My Business Dashboard

With all the tips you’ve read in this article, you’ll surely have many new notions to put into practice right away to make progress in the world of digital marketing for designers.

 

Nowadays a designer must also have transversal skills (we also talked about this in our article 8 Top Tips on How To Become a Successful Freelance Designer) and one of these important skills is definitely digital marketing!

Conclusions

And here we are! We’ve reached the end of this exciting article on the Digital Marketing for Designers: 9 creative ways of standing out as a designer. Now it’s your turn!

 

Try your hand at these top strategies: test your skills in digital marketing and interact with others. Write us on our Instagram page if you want to get more insights!

 

You want to write an article for us? Visit our page dedicated to authors and get in touch with our staff!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alessio Marchetti

Alessio Marchetti

Founder of Desircle Co. I'm a passionate marketer and CrossFit addict. I founded this brand in 2016 to get out of the 9-5 job trap and started sharing what I learn on the way in this blog and through social media.
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