Marketing through social networks & social media

The other night I was a member of a panel discussing "Harnessing the Power of Online Social Networks," hosted by Self-Employed Creative Professionals (SECP) in Portland. Others on the panel discussing the business advantages of social networking included writer Susan Rich of RichWriting Creative Services, Working Artists LLC founderAdrienne Fritze, and eMarketing Strategist Elgé Premeau. Christian Messer, of Whiplash Design, was the moderator for the evening.

I was asked to approach the subject of using online social sites from my perspective as the author of Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands. Panel members wanted me to showcase how I had used social networking and related media to market and promote my book. In doing so, I prepared a handout for attendees with the following examples:

MySpace - MySpace drives more traffic to my web presence and blogs than any other social networking site I've used. It allows a detailed profile, image storage, blogs - which I use to post my blog headlines with links back to my own blog sites - forums and actual social networking. MySpace is much more than simply social networking for teenagers. I have eliminated most interaction not directly related to my book and my work with the posted statement: The primary purpose of this MySpace page is to discuss and promote various aspects of graphic design.

FaceBook: Facebook is probably my favorite social networking site. For me it's actually fun, in addition to providing a great opportunity for posting a detailed profile - with links back to whatever sites you wish to post, networking, image galleries, article posting capabilities, blog auto-feeds, and much more. Again, it's very effective in driving web traffic my way. A design industry editor once asked, "Isn't Facebook just for college kids?. My response was: "Have you visited Facebook lately?" It's amazing who in the design industry is making use of the resource as a marketing and promotion tool. Facebook also allows members to establish a Facebook Fan Page which offers additional opportunities to market and promote ones efforts, products or business entity.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn comes across as primarily a technical information resource for job seekers and those seeking specialized employees. The specialized questions and answers, along with the recent addition of "groups." does make it a bit more interactive. I wish the navigation wasn't so "clunky." Still, making use of the detailed profile has been a great self-promotion tool. The more information provided the more successful LinkedIn will be for the user.

biznik: biznik - Business networking that doesn't suck - is one of the most user-friendly social networking/media sites. It's easy to connect with other members and to create an actual dialog with them. The detailed profile, ability to post articles and other aspects make it a value resource for the independent business person. Local "real world" networking events are an added benefit. As in many of the examples, there are additional benefits with paid memberships.

naymz: I'm relatively new to this site. Months ago I was invited by someone I know and I did little to complete the profile until a discussion with my fellow panel members. Less than one hour of work and a great deal of traffic was coming my way - primarily due to the blogs feeds to my personal profile.

Flickr: Referring to this resource as social networking may not be the first thing that comes to a individual's mind when visiting the site. The storage and sharing of images is it's main attribute. However, the creation of personal communities, groups and the image feeds to other social sites all become part of the online networking experience.

JumpUp: This site, from the Intuit folks, is an example of another aspect of social networking - the corporate-sponsored networking resource. JumpUp creates an avenue for a detailed business profile, interacting with other business professionals, creating a blog and more. My participation online also resulted in my work and book being featured in a traveling exhibit for the company. An online radio program is in the works.

StartupNation: I've been a participant on this site for some time. My primary reason for joining was that a designer shouldn't be networking only with other designers - one needs to be interacting with business people who may become potential clients. StartupNation provides an opportunity to mingle with business people through forum participation, forum postings, a detailed profile, blogs, articles and podcasts.

Adholes: This online networking resource is primarily for the advertising professional. It's a great vehicle for networking through forum participation, posting blogs and articles, and scheduling local meetups through groups. Besides, I like the name of the group, and their tagline: "Ad industry schmoozing without the expensive restaurant tabs."

Fast Pitch: I initially made use of this site for the press release distribution capabilities. Fast Pitch now includes greater networking opportunities, blog feeds and more.

Fast Company: This is the social networking and social media presence of my favorite business magazine, Fast Company. You can network, join groups, post articles and more.

GOOD Magazine: I'm fairly new to GOOD. It's another publication that allows its readers and members to socially interact. My profile, with pertinent information posted, has drawn traffic to mt site and blogs.

Zoodango: This site recently went through a major update. I haven't yet checked out all of the features.

Ziki: The site allows you to network with others, post links, and revieve auto-feeds from blogs and Flickr. The blog feeds are especially effective in bring me a great deal of traffic.

Small Business Online Community: This offering, from Bank of America, is somewhat new and evolving. A forum allows for customer interaction, articles are posted by experts and more is offered on a regular basis.

Goodreads: This is a great social networking site for readers and authors, offering so much more than just the opportunity to connect with others around the world.As the author of Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands, Goodreads provides yet another marketing tool for my book with my own author's page. Authors can post a detailed biography, make note of upcoming book-related events, share writings or book excerpts, participate in discussion groups, and promote their own books.

This is far from a complete list of the sources available for social networking and social media. As mentioned earlier, these are just the resources I put into play in marketing and promoting my book, Identity Crisis!. As you can see, from each page example, I have taken the opportunity to establish a somewhat consistent look in the content and imagery used in each profile. The photo of me is the same in many, my logo is an identifying mark for most, the same book cover image is featured, mentions of the book are always included, and website, or blog, addresses are used with consistency.

Still, it the examples presented should give many people ideas of where they might look for added marketing opportunities.

For a look at portfolio sites check out my earlier piece Marketing logo design efforts with online resources.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Industry expert Jeff Fisher cited in
The Designer's Guide to Marketing and Pricing

Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based identity design firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, is quoted and referenced in The Designer's Guide to Marketing and Pricing: How to win clients and what to charge them from HOW Books. The volume, by industry experts Ilise Benun and Peleg Top of, provides designers with examples, case studies and worksheets for creating business plans, establishing a marketing strategy, and the successful day-to-day operation of an independent design business.

Designer and author Jeff Fisher is quoted in the book in regards to the need to "have passion for the cause" when doing pro bono work for nonprofit organizations. His first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success, is also listed as recommended reading in the newly released book from Benun and Top.

Jeff Fisher has received nearly 600 regional, national and international graphic design awards for his logo and corporate identity efforts. His work is featured in over 100 books on the design of logos, the business of graphic design, and small business marketing.

Fisher is a member of the HOW Magazine Editorial Advisory Board, the HOW Design Conference Advisory Council and the UCDA Designer Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. His book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands, was recently released by HOW Books. His first volume, The Savvy Designer’s Guide to Success, appeared on bookstore shelves in late 2004.

(* If I don’t "toot!" my own horn, no one else will.)

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Marketing logo design efforts with online resources

At speaking engagements, while participating in online forums, and via email I am always being asked for suggestions on how to market identity design services online. I've covered a variety of methods I use in a previous bLog-oMotives entry. In this post I am specifically addressing online resources I have used to give exposure to my own logo design efforts. Each of the Internet portfolio, or gallery, options has resulted in potential logo design clients coming my way.

Logopond: My favorite web presence for showcasing, and viewing, logo design work is Logopond. Access to the site is free, as is participation. Participant contributions and advertising support the site. Design professionals and students can establish a profile, create a portfolio of work, comment on the work of others, participate in a site forum and more. Those seeking logo designers are free to peruse the site for potential designers. In addition, the first Logopond Awards competition is currently being conducted. A "sister" site has recently been launched to feature the work of illustrators.

LogoLounge: Many in the design industry are probably familiar with LogoLounge due to the four books being marketed under the same name (Volumes 1- 4). This membership-based site allows identity designers the opportunity to upload a portfolio of images that, for the $100 annual fee, are then also considered for upcoming volumes in the book series. Some identity-related content is available to anyone visiting the site. However, membership does have its privileges. Submissions are regularly considered for the next volume in the LogoLounge book series.

Veer Ideas: Veer Ideas is a place to share and explore ideas, from tiny sparks to big concepts, from workday challenges to world-changing what-ifs. In this website section, online type and image resource Veer allows designers and artists to post portfolios of work.

The Identity Archives Project: The IADP is an interesting project that has the potential to be a great resource with additional participation from the design community. It is another free logo-specific resource that provides an searchable archive of identity designs uploaded by designers. I have only posted a few images myself. However, a client did find me through the site last year.

designerID: Social networking comes to the design community with the designerID site. Design professionals may create an online portfolio, post a detailed online profile, submit news, and connect with others in the industry on this advertising-supported website. The resource is not identity design specific.

design:related: This site is another making use of a social networking model. With registration, designers may create a profile, publish a portfolio of work, connect with other creative types, indicate inspirations, post news and more.

Facebook: My Facebook profile and photo galleries have been an excellent method of showcasing my identity design work. The exposure has even been greater since participating in Facebook groups related to logo design. An international community of identity designers has been established.

Facebook Fan Page: In addition to the creation of an individual Facebook profile the web presence allows for any business entity or organization to establish a commercial presence with a Facebook Page. A portfolio of work may be established in the "Photos" section.

flickr: The flickr site isn't just for photo images. The creation of a set of my logo design images brought my work to the attention of numerous potential clients. Portfolios have been in place, in a wide variety of categories, for quite some time on My logo design portfolio has been a valuable marketing resource for several years now.

DesignHide: My DesignHide profile is the newest addition to my online marketing. The site, still in beta, defines itself as the "place for creative media producers, including web designers, graphic artists, videographers, print media producers, photographers, artists, and ad managers, to display their work with the end goal of attracting new business opportunities. We want to put the best creative professionals in touch with those seeking the best."

Coroflot: Coroflot is really the only more traditional online portfolio site on which I have identity design work posted. The website offers a job board and industry-related blog in addition to portfolios.

There are many other online resources for posting and promoting one's design work. As mentioned earlier in this piece, those listed above are just the online options I am currently using to give my own identity design work an international presence beyond my website, blogs, and books and magazines in which my work may appear.

Note: This entry originally appeared on bLog-oMotives.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

Toot! Toot!*: "Really Good Logos, Explained"
features Jeff Fisher LogoMotives efforts

Designer Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, has been recognized with the publication of two of his identity designs in the new Rockport Publishers book Really Good Logos Explained: Top Design Professionals Critique 500 Logos and Explain What Makes Them Work. Fisher's logo creations for Good Pig, Bad Pig and Shopping and F***ing are among the designs featured and critiqued in the volume by creative industry experts Margo Chase, Rian Hughes, Ron Miriello, and Alex White.

Owner Brett Bigham executed the original pig illustrations that were incorporated into the identity for Good Pig, Bad Pig, his Portland-based greeting card company. The logo previously appeared in the Spanish book Logos from North to South America.

Shopping and F***ing, a play by Mark Ravenhill, was represented by a graphic of a shopping cart, complete with the usual wobbly front wheel. The show was produced and presented in Portland by the triangle productions! theatre company, for which Fisher has designed over 100 logos in the past 18 years. The logo also appears in the The Big Book of Logos 4.

In Really Good Logos, Explained, the panel of internationally acclaimed designers critique and appraise over 500 examples of truly exceptional logos, and explain what makes them work. The insight provided by these four outstanding editors is - like the logos themselves - succinct, specific and effective. Their comments provide a rare and insightful glimpse into the inner workings of excellent design, and offer a new understanding that is immeasurably useful to anyone working within the creative fields today.

Jeff Fisher has received nearly 600 regional, national and international graphic design awards for his logo and corporate identity efforts. His work is featured in nearly 100 books on the design of logos, the business of graphic design, and small business marketing.

Fisher is a member of the HOW Magazine Editorial Advisory Board, the HOW Design Conference Advisory Council and the UCDA Designer Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. His book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands, was recently released by HOW Books. His first volume, The Savvy Designer’s Guide to Success, appeared on bookstore shelves in late 2004.

(* If I don’t "toot!" my own horn, no one else will.)

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives