There are so many opportunities for emerging designers and being able to seize what comes up starts with getting organized. You never know when someone from the press will reach out or a customer may want to buy your product on the spot. Since these moments can happen both on and offline, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for both because it could be the break that you need.
To prepare, you’ll want to put together a tool kit for your brand that includes the following information:
1. Your product
Wear your product when conducting business, running errands and all other occasions because you are your best sales person. If it’s a small item, take it with you and don’t forget to bring packaging. Now, if your product is cumbersome or something you can’t wear everyday such as an evening gown, make sure you carry pictures just like proud parent!
2. Brand folder
Create a branding folder on your desktop so you can easily access important information. When an opportunity comes along like a request from an editor or buyer, you can answer their email quickly.
Since you’re probably on the go, add the content from your folder to your digital devices with services like Dropbox, iCloud or Google Drive.
Your brand folder should include the following:
- Look book and line sheet in PDF format with a link ready to be sent. You can use services like Issuu to create yours for free
- Biography and professional headshot because people want to put a face to a name and hear your brand story
- A one-sheeter with your elevator and sales pitches that you can easily copy and tailor to the end recipient
- A document with links to your social sites, press clippings, reel and/or videos
- Press release in both Word and PDF because posting the content in an email may be easier or someone’s preferred format request
- Photos of your product
3. A digital and hard copy of your business card
Your business card is probably the first collateral leave behind that you give to someone. This means that it’s their first impression after meeting you and therefore, an important marketing tool that should look good and be relevant. You’ll want to make sure that your cards are up-to-date, include your social accounts and specify who you are (e.g. footwear designer) to give people a frame of reference and ground them in your brand.
You’ll also need a digital business card. All cell phone operating systems have an address book where you can enter your personal and professional details. For example, on an iPhone, you can include your basic information, your company name, website, headshot, and Twitter account. The benefit of having this filled out in advance is when you meet someone, instead of texting them just your phone number or waiting to follow-up later, you can send them all your information which they can easily add to their database.
4. Note taking system
When creativity strikes, you think of an action item or a piece of inspiration hits, you should have a resource that can track it in one place. Evernote is a comprehensive tool that allows you to take notes, frame grabs, document photos and write lists. You can also sync the content from your phone with your computer and other tablets.
Emerging Designer or have a resource to share? Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.