In Chapter 3 of The Business of Creativity, Keith Granet describes the best practices of marketing for a design business. He considers why keeping yourself "front and center for all kinds of stakeholders" is vital so that projects will naturally come your way.
Marketing is incredibly important to the well-being of your business and exclusivity is overrated as he declares, "You never want to be anyone's best-kept secret." He prefers "soft marketing," which is building and maintaining relationships that build a solid foundation of networks that will generate work.
“Every member of your staff—from the mail room to the executive suite—is part of your marketing team.”
In this blog post, we share Keith's advice about making everyone on your staff a marketer. He learned an incredibly valuable lesson early on in his career working in the mailroom at Gensler, now the leading architectural firm in the world, when he was able to bring in a significant design commission on a chance bus ride. Even while working in the mail room, he had a business card that he was able to share with a prospective client and he benefitted from this early success throughout his career. Engaging the entire staff in marketing efforts can be remarkably beneficial to your business.
Five Ways to Make Everyone on Your Team a Marketer
It is important to cultivate a fair, open, and vibrant culture among your staff where everyone's opinions and creative ideas are valued and heard. In such an environment, your staff feel empowered, motivated, and will naturally take great pride in your company's successes and high-profile commissions.
Make sure all of your staff is armed with business cards so they can share the company in possible chance encounters that may bring in significant work. On this note, it is important to make sure your staff is aware of all past, current, and future projects so they can speak with authority about the work of their colleagues and the company as a whole.
Give your team the blessing to network outside of the company by maintaining contact with former colleagues and classmates and support them in pursuing new networks and professional organizations. Allow them to attend events, meetings, and conferences that will benefit the work but also create new business connections.
Always publicly thank the individuals on your staff for bringing in new projects so that they understand that everyone has a stake in the success, growth, and financial security of your business. It is also important to give credit to all individuals working on current commissions.
Create great morale amongst your staff by making it clear that staff members will be compensated for helping the business to expand. Consider such rewards as bonuses, profit-sharing, raises, promotions so that your staff feels encouraged.
You will certainly see a marked improvement in your business once you engage everyone on your team to be a marketer. Read more about marketing and promoting your practice in Chapter 3 of The Business of Creativity.
This is the sixth in an occasional series of blog posts drawing from ideas explored in Keith Granet’s books The Business of Design and The Business of Creativity. To get more detailed insight on best practices for your design business, you are encouraged to read both books and they can be found at your local bookstore or click on each book image to purchase online.
The Business of Design
Alternatively, if you have already read either book and want to share your experiences using its advice, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.