7 great ways to promote yourself for free

Self-promotion is hardly a black art – follow these seven common-sense rules and you won't have to spend a fortune.

It might not come naturally to you, but if you want to get anywhere in design then you'll have to do a bit of self-promotion along the way, whether you're screen printing your amazing flyer design or preparing some impressive letterpress business cards. However if you're strapped for cash, there's still plenty you can do to get your name out there; just follow these tips and big yourself up for free!

01. Tweet wildly

Since Twitter is now essentially a platform for self-promotion for anyone and anything, use it - because your competition will be. It's free, doesn't take up much time and even a basic announcement is better than nothing.

02. Network...

Make sure you attend at least a few events each month and talk to people, especially other creatives. If you're not normally the overly social type, just follow these tips on how to network and get out there. It'll pay off eventually.

03. ...and then keep in touch

Ping your friends and colleagues once in a while to see what they're up to, even if they're working in a totally different creative area to you. You never know when refreshing their memory might lead to new work.

04. Update your website

Vital, this: refresh your design portfolio website whenever possible. Despite Facebook, Twitter and so on, for many potential clients your website is still the best way to judge your work.

05. Update your blog

If you're going to have a blog on your website, make sure you update it regularly. A neglected blog makes a worse impression than not having a blog at all.

06. Talk at an event

With a healthy portfolio of work under your belt, a great way to boost your profile is by talking at a design conference. This enables you to show off your work as well as your skills and expertise; find out how to get started with our designer's guide to public speaking.

07. Use print runs wisely

If you're printing up work for a client and there's spare capacity left on the print, use it to print some promotional material.

Words: Tom Dennis Illustrations: Miguel Montaner

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 225.