This article has been contributed by Todd Turner.
As a graphic design company, increasing your exposure is crucial to your success. It’s only through getting your name out there that you can find clients, and therefore success, as your business grows.
If you are looking for creative ways to drop your name without resorting to traditional advertising venues or spec work, consider using some of your graphic design talents to help with a local nonprofit’s fundraiser, and watch as more people become aware of what you have to offer.
Fundraising is a good venue for the talents of a graphic design professional because companies taking on a fundraising campaign need professional, effective graphics. If their logo, flyer or website is lacking the right graphic touch, they are going to struggle to raise their target amount of money.
These are the companies that need your services. Consider this fact: according to Charity Net USA, today’s nonprofits are in desperate need for a professional brand identity; they say this to nonprofits:
“There is nothing less professional than not having a professional identity. If you do not establish a clean, high-quality, and consistent look and feel to your materials, you will have a much more difficult time gaining the trust of potential donors — and signing them on to support your cause.”
As a graphic designer, you are perfectly poised to meet this need. Fundraising tends to target more affluent businesses and customers, as these are the ones with the extra money to spend on the fundraising items.
By donating your graphic design services to a fundraising campaign that is aiming for your target market, you will automatically begin increasing brand exposure to the services you offer.
So why does donating your graphic design talent work well in this way? The answer is two-fold:
Before you donate your services to a fundraiser, stop and think of the value of what you are offering, and the potential return on that investment.
Here are some steps you can take to maximize your donation and increase the visibility of what you have offered:
These steps will improve the visibility of your donation and your opportunities to use that donation to gain future business. Soon you will reap the rewards that come from a name that is well known.
Donating your graphic design talent to a fundraising event provides benefits outside of the chance to market. Consider the inspiration you can get from a new, unique project. When you are working on something that is not for a paying customer, you can let your creative juices flow.
Consider trying out some new colors or new layouts as you work on the fundraising design. Your donation gives you a chance to break away from your normal line of work.
Donating your time and talent can also increase your confidence. Seeing that people love and benefit from your designs is a huge morale booster. The pressure is low and the returns are great when you volunteer your services.
When your graphic design renown begins to grow, you will find that there are numerous people and organizations looking for a freebie. Your time is valuable, so don’t give it away unless you stand to gain something in return. Make sure you are carefully choosing the organizations you work with. Here are some guidelines:
First, make sure the fundraiser has a large enough audience. You need to be certain that your donation is going to get the word out about your services. You need a large number of eyes on the project you produce for the company.
If the organization’s audience would have little need of your graphic design services, look elsewhere for a chance to donate.
Finally, choose an organization that is a good fit for your style and technique. If you specialize in logo design but the company wants a complete website graphic design overhaul, you may not do your best work. If you are donating your time and talent, you want to enjoy the process.
With all of the benefits that this type of donation brings to your graphic design business, you really have no reason not to donate. Take the time to find the right organization, and create a beautiful design for them. In the end you will have the chance to deliver excellent work that earns you future paid jobs.
Todd Turner is the President of LogoMagnet, a custom design magnet company that produces and distributes magnets for schools, non-profits, sports teams and more.