Saturday, April 28, 2007

the myth of online portfolios

How many design professionals, in a moment of weakness, give in to subscribing to an online portfolio web site?

I'll confess – I have myself, and the grand total of referrals and inquiry, let alone business developed from them, is... $0.

The sites ( and DirectoryM) aren't necessarily the most appropriate for a design firm to advertise on. Then again, neither are the yellow pages.

If you're a generalist firm, then perhaps they are a good option for your firm ( and then again, maybe not). But if you consider how many new clients you develop as a result of your web site, versus the relationships you nurture, then the answer should be fairly obvious.

A firm that specializes won't need a listing like that in a directory. Clients will seek you out as your expertise and reputation grows.

So... resist the siren song, so you don't get lost in the crowd of a directory. Invite your potential clients to come to your web site on your terms, not somebody else's.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Six degrees of separation?

Relationships are key in the design field (well, anywhere, really... but let's not get too philosophical here).

So I was wondering... perhaps one of the BSCO designMatters readers knows somebody who knows somebody who knows the person at Revlon who chose to use Altered Ego Fonts Verve on the new packaging for the Revlon Limited Edition Collection makeup line.

If so, I would appreciate knowing who that individual is, and how I might be able to contact them for an interview for here and for the Altered Ego web site.

Whoever can help me make the connection... there's an Altered Ego Font of your choice in your future! Contact me through the Altered Ego Fonts web site.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Duct Tape Marketing

Guy Kawasaki summarizes Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide.

Think modular: "...effective small business marketing is a system—not an event—composed of simple, effective, and affordable techniques."

Read the top-ten list that the author distilled from the book. Then apply it to your design business, and recommend it to your clients!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Curious Obsessions: what designers collect

What do

Have in common?

They all collect things, really cool and beautiful things. Objects that remind them of art, of branding, and inspire.

Sarah Whitman of HOW writes:

...83% of designers said they collect at least one thing (usually more), from toys to thimbles to teapots. Designers seem to be predisposed to collecting objects, likely because of their keen eye for details and deep appreciation of aesthetics.

For an quick tour of what inspires designers, and why they collect and obsess over these curious items, visit How Magazine's online site.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"Being" a leader

I recently asked several staff to attend a brainstorming session on how we can collaborate to eliminate errors. How I lead the meeting will make a difference in how they approach the challenge.

Grace Andrews has an excellent article on how to be a leader. Not in the "how do I" mindset, but "how do I be a leader." She writes:
All things of value as a leader are in the being – being in the moment, being an example of the behavior you'd like others to use, and being a catalyst to create the environment where that can happen. True leaders are the molders, the teachers and the nurturers of the culture in their organizations.
Lead with passion, lead by example. Your employees will follow!