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It’s here! The newly (re)versioned Portfolio is packed with new features that promote shared content development and teamwork. Ever wish you had a time machine so you could travel back to get a previous version of a file? Portfolio 2016 is your gateway! Struggle to coordinate edits among teammates during the creation process? Portfolio’s check-in/check-out will put an end to the mayhem that ensues with simultaneous changes. Try it for 45 days – on us, and read on to see how Portfolio 2016 will turbocharge your workflow.Portfolio 2016: Turbocharging Digital Asset Management


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In our first post, we covered the fundamentals around the art of self-promotion, including tips on what questions to ask yourself, how to build your visual identity, and the various channels to explore in promoting yourself.

For Part 2 in our series, we’ve interviewed four damn good designers we’ve worked with from all over the world on our Fontspiration project—a showcase of the designers’ favorite fonts to help inspire your own work. We asked our designers—Jose, Rosa, Amanda and Justin—how they self-promote, with questions running the gamut from how often they update their portfolio to the best places to showcase their work to how often they network.

One thing we found is that, not surprisingly, there’s no magic bullet, and everyone has their own preferences and does things in a way that works for them. That said, there are some common threads. We’d like to share some insights that stood out for us to help frame how you might think about your own self-branding efforts.

4 Damn Good Designers Tell Us: How to Self-Brand & Promote,  Justin Freiler's website

Justin Freiler updates his portfolio site when Jupiter and Uranus align.

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Last weekend, I was fortunate to attend the XOXO Festival in our hometown of Portland, Oregon. The festival brought all sorts of folks into town from all over the country and beyond.

The conference focused on the bringing individuals and businesses who are changing the way that they approach business. From Kickstarter and Etsy to Julia Nunes and Dan Harmon,  presenters focused on a people-centric, respectful approach to B2C selling. Heck, in this case, since many of the businesses were so small, you would even define it as C2C (Customer to Customer) selling.

Kickstarter and Etsy have clearly had a direct impact on the lives of many people, and have clear goals to connect fans (consumers) to creators. The business model seems to be working well for consumer driven products. It’s still to be seen how this could affect the B2B market (someone’s gotta make the steel beams that go into our buildings), but exciting nonetheless.

I really admire the way that Etsy has taken their corporate mission and pushed it into everything that they do, including registering their company as a B Corporation, ensuring that they are holding their business to the highest standards of corporate ethics.

The rise of Kickstarter programs to pre-fund development has been widely reported over the past year, with a significant number of consumer-driven videogame projects with one million US dollar plus budgets. This clearly shows the direct connection and belief that consumers are starting to have in the purchase and support of products that they use.

I’d like to see the translation of that into more areas of the consumer’s life. The “everything should be free” model on the internet is becoming a bit passee. Nonprofit Cash Music seeks to solve this problem, and described in their presentation how their framework can be used by artists to sell, stream or share their music directly to the consumer and ask for compensation directly. Definitely a more direct creator to consumer model.

The trust of the consumer is definitely a positive approach. I really hope that the business/consumer relationship is changing. For example, I’ve been working to create a more direct conversation between you and Extensis for years on the Extensis blog, twitter and basically wherever conversations happen on the internet for about 6 years now. We want to hear from you, and encourage you to let us know what you like, don’t like, and how we can make our products even better for you. Thanks for the feedback so far, let’s definitely keep the lines of communication open.

Some of my favorite quotes from the XOXO festival include:

  • “Work on some thing you’re passionate about because if it becomes successful you’ll have to do it all the time”
  • “A startup is like a cross country trip. Money is gas in the tank. You’re not on a tour of gas stations.” Matt Haughey, Metafilter
  • “We can’t spend our time worrying about [copycats]. Our time is best spent innovating.” Studio Neat founders Dan Provost & Tom Gerhardt
  • “2012 is the year of the game.” – Yancey from Kickstarter
  • “It’s inevitable that at a large company you are a specialized tool” – Ron Carmel, World of Goo
  • “Sometimes it’s best to jump off the cliff and build the plane on the way down.”
  • “If you are an artist, outsource everything that doesn’t pertain to making the art.” Jen Bekman
  • “The old distribution system is based on restriction… New system is about openness. It’s about trust an respect.” Jamie Wilkinson, VHX
  • “I know a lot about the NTSC standard, which makes me a hit at parties with the ladies” Josh Reich of Simple
  • “To be successful, a creator needs just 1000 people who will reliably buy their products.”
  • “The money will come. What you need to do is keep doing what’s instinctive to you which is ‘connect’.” Dan Harmon, Creator of Community
  • “Culture is a conversation.” Adam Savage, Mythbusters/Tested

Don’t take my word for it, this conference was innovative, interesting and thought provoking. I was amazed at how positive, friendly and engaging everyone was at the event.  I met people from all over the country, from whom I expect big things in the future (you know who you are.)

For more, see Anil Dash’s liveblog posts of the event, Wired, Willamette Week (featuring a picture of my back), New York Times, Medium, Kottke and so many more.

Andy Baio and Andy McMillan did a great job pulling this together, and it’s a welcome addition to ever evolving way that we connect with each other as people, consumers, fans and content creators. I look forward to what comes next.

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At Extensis, we pride ourselves on being where our customers need us to be. We like to be part of the conversation and are always here to answer your font management, digital asset management and web font questions.

We maintain a social media presence to help you answer questions and better connect with us. Here’s where you can find us:

  • Extensis Twitter accounts

We’d love for you to follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and add our blogs to your RSS feed reader.

Of course, if you have any technical support or customer service needs, please contact our teams directly. They’ll get back to you ASAP.

We also like to hear about conversations that include our software in other external forums and chime in to help where possible. If you see something that you think that we could help, please contact us, and we’ll help where we are able.