I'm a Designer, not a Salesman

Building the bridge between designers of that which are good, great, and beyond starts outside of Photoshop or the computer. Its about you and your voice; but you aren’t a salesman, you’re a designer—right?

It’s easy to be overwhelmed with this notion that great design trumps all, and in a way it certainly does, but we find a lot of times you need more than that. Without looking exactly at how designers get gigs, I want to hit on how you convince people you’re the right guy (or gal) for the job.

In fact, you are a Salesman

In fact, you really are a salesman. While great work sells itself, it wont land you the dream job or high quality work. The secret is selling yourself. This is beyond the typical catchphrase on your website: “Hi I’m a designer and I like…”.

Its important, also, to believe in your own artwork and stand by it.

When you are posting out for jobs, how do you present yourself that convinces people you’re someone who’s a great worker? A quality professional or teammate? Again, designs speak for themselves but they don’t describe the kind of professional you are. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Describe what you’ve done that have made your designs successful.
  • Provide statistics on success of your designs (clicks, tickets sold, traffic, etc).
  • What qualities do you have as a worker that makes you successful?
  • Do you have ways that make you more efficient?
  • Do you find ways to save your clients money, if so, tell them.

You’ll notice these things have nothing to do with what you like. Liking art, design, and coffee (seems to be the trend) wont land you those big gigs. How can you, as an individual, help someones company or business grow—share how knowledgeable you are in regards to branding, for example.

NOPATTERN by Chuck Anderson does it right. Great artwork, indeed, but looking at the about section of his website only reinforces why he has success and what that’ll bring to you. It is void of gimmicks.

Work on your Delivery

Next thing to think about is how you present yourself and your delivery. Delivery is vocal and bodily behavior during the presentation of a speech (according to dictionary.com). Granted not all interactions happen personally, but over the phone and webcam are still great ways to create great delivery. How to help your delivery:

  • Work on voice intonation. This will help you move points and be personable.
  • Maintain reasonable eye contact.
  • Talk with your hands to help describe and reinforce the things you’re saying.
  • Articulate your words. Sound intelligent but don’t use words you’re not used to (faking it).

Now your Art shines

When you drive your sale with the right moves, like what we listed above, you’ll find that your artwork will speak volumes and reinforce the things you’re saying. Clients’ minds will build the bridge between the things you’re saying and how they are preceiving your art. Its important, also, to believe in your own artwork and stand by it. If clients feel like you aren’t proud of the work you’re doing, you may hurt their trust in you (and your work) or, worse, think that you don’t know what you’re doing.

Muller, another well known designer, showcases himself similar to Chuck Anderson—artwork to bring you in, and professional bio in the about/info section. When reading and understanding him as a designer, you can’t help but feel that he knows his stuff; that’s the power of the pitch.

Remember you are a salesman…and a designer. Which comes first? Well, that’s different for everyone. Typically, your art gets you into the conversation, but the salesman in you seals the deal, so drive the sale—push for confirmation and be persistent.

What are some of the ways you sell yourself? Are you practicing your pitch and your delivery?