Ever wondered at an job interview why they ask you the wrong questions? As freelancer you get only projects you are not interested in? People always refer you as the technical/programmer guy, not the designer? Maybe your portfolio website targets the wrong audience.
I started thinking about this topic by reading about the job interview process at Google, and in the podcast about target audiences over at Boagworld. One thing most designers miss is, that you target your audience not only with the design, but mainly with the content of the site.
The wrong topics or the wrong target audience
Blogging about yourself and the work you do is one of the best things available to the professional today. It helps creating an unique profile about you and what you can offer to friends, colleagues, employers, clients.
This may seem straight forward, but I have seen that many designers write about the things they care about in a way only other designers can appreciate. This is useful to gain reputation and if your target are creative design agencies (like I do), but if you want to attract clients the behind the scenes talk is not the right way.
Same is true for your CV and your portfolio – if you want to be a designer just put design projects into your portfolio. I know it may be tempting to include other great work you did, but it will confuse your clients – do you remember the Unique Selling Proposition you learned in the marketing class?
Be true to yourself
So you are sure that you target the right audience but you still get the wrong job offers? Maybe you promote the wrong work you have done. I still wonder how many “designer” don’t see what their strengths and weaknesses are. They try to be or call themselves designers even when they are developers, project managers or simply are good at drawing. There is nothing wrong in being what you are, but stay true to yourself.
Look at the work you have done until now. Which one was the most successful? It often isn’t the one you enjoyed most, or maybe it isn’t the one you found interesting, but it’s probably the thing you do best. Don’t be surprised, just embrace it. And if you think you really want to do something different go ahead, but don’t promote it until you are really good at it