Landscape designers as a whole have not embraced Web 2.0. This next current wave of interactive web media seems to take too much time or requires geeky internet savvy. Not true. Designers say ‘Well I set up a Facebook and did nothing with it…’ or ‘I don’t have the time to figure all of that out’…or ‘I don’t even have a website’. To continue to be in business and ignore the power of the internet to network with like minded professionals as well as a tool to engage potential clients is to ignore the future.
A website is a mandatory tool in this day and age. ‘Google’ is a verb. If you can’t be ‘googled’ with a link to your information, you are putting your design business at a disadvantage. If you don’t already have a website, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are free, user friendly tools to build a website such as Homestead that you can use yourself.
A blog can be a substitute for a website if you want to update and can be hosted for free at sites like the one that hosts this one…WordPress or Blogger. Blogs allow you to post photos, link to other sites and comment on your work–they also allow people to comment on what they see.
With all of the hoopla about Social Media and Web 2.0 tools, how can do you make it work for you and your design business in the real world? Just start. Pick one Web 2.0 tool and use it. Don’t just set it up and park it. We’ve already talked about Facebook, LinkedIn, Land8lounge, Twitter, and some others.
If a Landscapedia portfolio isn’t your thing, you can share photos of your work or build a digital portfolio with sites like Flickr or Picasa. If you already have a PowerPoint portfolio, upload and share it on SlideShare.
There are tools such as Ping.fm that will allow you to post in one place and have that post update in some of your other social media pages as well. There are also tools such as Tumblr that allow you to display all of your on-line presence in one place.
Whatever you choose to do, do something, to continue to ignore the power of online connections is like ignoring the changing of the seasons.