7 Ways Designers Become (& Brand Themselves As) Creative Experts

Kathleen and Tara here. We want to talk to the designers out there for a minute. You want to be this amazing creative designer who works for yourself… but it can come with all this fear of rejection, self-doubt, and uncertainty (like “is this even a real job?”).

But you do it anyway because you love design, and you want to create a working life for yourself that you love.

One thing we’ve learned from working with, talking with and getting dreamy with other designers, is that it doesn’t matter if you work in a big city, small town, or somewhere in between – designers rarely stop at just being designers. There’s always a vision.

So what’s your vision? Is it to design for a certain kind of dream client? Who? To design within one very specialized kind of niche? What? To pair design with planning, consulting or some other kind of service? How? To infuse your design with more purpose? Why? To what end?

designer vision

All the questions!! But that’s how we do. We always want to give you a framework for thinking about what’s next for you and confidence owning what you can embrace now.

We started as designers. We still are designers. We love branding designers. So we got all fired up and wrote a how-to-do-it-guide… for the designers. It’s really how we shaped our work into a method that lets us do the work like creative experts, and it’s how we share what we know in a way that brands us (and gets us hired as) creative experts.

how to guide for designers

So how do you shift from being solely a designer-for-hire, to being a creative who guides their own process, shares their point-of-view, and is branded (and hired as) an expert? 7 Ways Designers Become (& Brand Themselves As) Creative Experts is the ebook we’ve made just for designers, and you can download it for free when you sign up for our Branding for Designers emails to your inbox.

The ebook has exercises, reminders, inspiration, plus the fill-in-the-blank scripts we use when we brand designers, that help you start to shape what being a creative expert looks like (and sounds like) for you. We know if you can get that creative expert blend into what you do, then everyone else will see it too.

expert branding for designers

Here’s a quick look at the “7 ways” in a nutshell:

1. Don’t just show your work… share your vision. What do you love to design? What kind of clients do you have the most impact for? What project or idea do you have up your sleeve, that you could share? What are you thinking about doing next? Surely you have at least one platform where you could start talking about this vision a little more – even if it’s simply in your conversations. (click to tweet)

2. Share your work too, just make sure it’s the kind of work you want to attract more of. If you don’t already have current design projects that reflect the kind of future work you want to be known for – then design a passion project. And show it! (click to tweet)

3. Define your style point-of-view and declare it! Can you put your finger on the style you love? Can you verbalize the design aesthetic that you’re most drawn to? Can you look at your work and see a common thread that people can expect from you? (Hint: your clients may not be able to describe it, but they can see it… so why not put words to this look and feel… it will make you sound like a creative expert, and it will make them feel trust in your choices that no longer seem arbitrary but part of your specialty). (click to tweet)

4. Try to narrow in on your dream client! Who are they? If you don’t know, how do you know when you find them? (click to tweet)

5. Then once they’re your clients, let them in on your creative process! Don’t have a creative process? Yeah, you do. You just need to get better at outlining it (for yourself, and them) and then sticking to it! (click to tweet)

6. Don’t forget to tell them what they actually get. Being a creative expert does not mean being vague. You’re still doing stuff. Ideas and inspiration are great and all, but what are they actually paying for? Don’t forget to clearly straight-talk tell people what you’re designing, packaging up, and delivering for them – and where that delivery ends. (click to tweet)

7. Blend you into what you do. The blend is your special sauce, it’s You: The Professional plus You: The Person. So be sure your style and your voice are reflected in your brand. That means talk how you really talk, set your own rules for how you work, and get your own design style (even personal style) into your brand look and feel. (click to tweet)

Designer Branding ebook

And if you would like to get our articles, worksheets, and checklists straight to your inbox subscribe to our newsletter below.

Get the “7 Ways Designers Become (& Brand Themselves As) Creative Experts” EBook by Tara & Kathleen, with scripts, exercises, reminders, and inspiration for the designer blending who you are into what you do, as you define your personal brand, build your creative expertise, and create your dream job.

If you’re interested in working with us one-on-one to develop your Brand & Business Vision learn more about how we work with designers.


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