Luke Williams has explicitly
designed an elegant mailer
to use as a leave-behind
and as a prequel. Its style
evokes the personal writing
style he uses to speak
directly to his website
To keep traffic coming to their own addresses, many professional portfolio
sites, blogs, and even software giants like Adobe sponsor contests for creative work
online. Some of these result in actual prizes, like software, web hosting, free upgraded
subscriptions, printing, and, yes, money. But all of these goodies are beside the point.
What they really offer is priceless: an immediate ticket to professional viability. If you
are both talented and lucky, they may help to catapult you into your future career.
Obviously, like winning the lottery, you really can't base your life on taking
first place in a contest. But even gaining a mention will drive traffic to your portfolio
and result in invitations to join useful public and private networks. Particularly if you
already have work in the wings that might fit the contest's rules or have time to make
the extra effort, you lose nothing from entering the arena. Should you actually gain
notice, you have the kind of news that gives you an excuse for mailing and posting.
You spent a lot of time researching target audience possibilities. Now is the
time to pull that material out. You know who you'd like to work with and for, and
now that you have a portfolio, it's time to let them know about you.