How Creating a Personal Blog Can Improve Your Portfolio and Get You New Clients
As a professional designer, you’re well aware of the many skills you’ve had to learn to be successful in your industry. With most professions, especially those that are prominent in the freelancing community, you’re expected to be a jack of all trades. Not only are you responsible for design work, you often have to be an accountant, a receptionist, a social media manager and even a travel agent. It can be very overwhelming at times. In addition to all of those things, I’m going to hopefully persuade you to become a professional blogger.
If you’re anything like me, you have a collection of websites and blogs that you frequent regularly. These websites provide quality content across a variety of genres. If you’re nothing like me, you may be asking yourself, “What’s a blog?” A blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. Yes, what you’re reading right now is a blog post! So now that we’ve gotten the definitions out of the way, let’s discuss why you would want to create a blog if you’re a graphic designer.
For starters, a blog is a great way to demonstrate your latest projects and provide examples of how clients can use your work. At first glance, you may be thinking that a blog sounds an awful lot like a portfolio. To a certain degree, they are very similar. A blog has the potential to be so much more than just a gallery of your latest design work. A blog can include text, audio, video, images and even interactivity. Writing a blog post can give you the opportunity to really engage with current and potential clients on a deeper level. You can have conversations with them via chat windows, offer suggestions on how to use your designs and products, collect data on what things your clients would like to see in the future and offer help and instructions to clients who may be experiencing difficulties with your designs and products.
A blog not only offers the chance to engage with clients, but it also gives them a look into your personality, design style and most importantly: your work ethic. Updating and maintaining regularly scheduled blog posts shows clients that you’re active in your field and you’re constantly growing and improving your skills. You can use your blog posts as an opportunity to show off projects that you’re working on to give clients a sneak peak into what’s coming in the future. You’re also sending the subliminal message that you’re reliable, trustworthy and you can commit to a long-term project. When clients are browsing through your website, and see that you have numerous blog posts they’ll subconsciously think about how committed to graphic design you are. It is very reassuring to a client to know that you’re truly passionate about graphic design and not just a random person looking to earn some fast cash.
Finally, maintaining a blog shows your complete competency in your industry. Anyone can scour the interest and steal pictures for their portfolio, but it takes true competency and enthusiasm to sit down and write extensively on a topic. Use your blog as an opportunity to cover frequently asked questions and provide clients with tutorials and information they’ll find helpful. You’ll look knowledgeable in your field, as well as save yourself the hassle of inserting the same question over and over again. When clients come to you seeking answers for commonly discussed topics, you can simply refer them to the appropriate blog posts that contain the answers to their questions. As a bonus, your regular clients will get into the habit of searching through your blog posts prior to asking you questions. This is a benefit to both you and the client. You don’t have to waste time answering tedious questions, and the client doesn’t have to wait for you to get back with an answer to their question.
There are so many great reasons to start a blog and propel your design business. You’ll be able to show your design competency through educating your clients, elaborate on your completed and work-in-progress design projects, and you’ll also be able to use your blog to connect on a deeper level with clients. As your blog continues to grow, clients will share your content with others, giving you potential new clients. The power of blogging has no limitations. You can create an online presence that represents your work and your brand exactly the way you imaged.