The Social Designer
Earlier this month I wrote an article about self promotion online as a designer (read Speak to Me over at xheight). I summed it up to this sentiment:
Self promotion is not about pushing an ego onto others, it’s simply about making yourself visible and accessible.
One thing I realised quickly in my career is the importance of having a consistent public profile. There’s no point running a Tumblr blog if no one associates it with you. When Google+ launched a few weeks ago I registered my usual black & white headshot and made sure to link my profile across the web—from Twitter to dbushell.com—BOOM! An extension to my online persona.
But a Google profile is more than your normal web presence:
Google search for “Circle me”.
What you’re seeing in the first search result is the Google Authorship program in action. Because my blog links to my Google+ profile reciprocally, Google knows I’m the author of that page and shows my mugshot. With the right development I can link to my profile on every website I publish content for. See Graham Smith’s guide to Google Authorship for a designer-friendly introduction.
The second search result promotes a link I’ve shared as a +1 recommendation. (It happens to be my other blog linking to the same article, but that’s not the point!)
Open to the Public
No hiding now! Promoting yourself online is a big commitment. With such a strong public profile it’s a dangerous game. There’s a level of professional integrity that can be easily damaged with poorly written criticism (or a drunken tweet).
In reality though, the “privacy” of the past has always been an illusion. Whatever information I make public is just that; public. It doesn’t matter whether I whisper it in a friends ear or publish it online—it’s out there. For that reason I think this heightened level of online promotion will be a good thing. I’ll be far more conscious of what I make public and will wield a lot more power for self promotion.
For those working in the web industry, is it possible to stay behind the curtain?