[IRL] How to find clients, work and pump skills with the help of fake projects

Fake or side projects are works for non-existent brands or for real ones, but not ordered by them. The works that you come up with for yourself and make them for your pleasure. They help to maintain interest in the profession, to find customers, to pump skills, get a job and not only. The article is useful for copywriters, designers, programmers, marketers, SMM-schikam, as, incidentally, and welders, and seamstresses, motorists.

Looking for new clients

Fake projects are an excellent PR tool that can attract new customers. This happens in two scenarios.

According to the first, you are doing a project for a non-existent brand and posting your work on your blog, Behance profile, dribbble, or on other resources where you may be noticed. It draws the attention of a potential customer who needs something in a similar style, with the same technique or for a similar purpose. They turn to you - you get a profit. And it works equally well for specialists and for teams.

In the second case, creating something for an existing company that has not ordered anything from you. Coming up with an idea for a project from scratch or reworking an existing one if you don’t like the performance or just want to realize your vision. Spread out. Your creation is the representative of the brand, by hashtags, recommendations of friends, in any other way and offers to buy, or you yourself refer to it. If you could not sell, you do not lose anything, because you made this project for pleasure and development.

On other free ways to attract customers, read the article "How to attract customers with free" buns ": 14 working ideas"

SMM case "Pyshechnaya"

Probably the only person who did not hear the first day in marketing about how Setters led the Pyshechna account. In short: on behalf of the most famous in St. Petersburg pyshechnoy they posted on Instagram food-porn with donuts, where the key word "porn". But I suggest looking at the case not from the point of view of SMM, but as a side project. After all, no one asked the agency to keep the page - it was their personal initiative. As a result, this project brought Setters not only fame, but also new customers.

During the month of working on the account, we received almost a hundred offers to work, and many of them came from very large companies. Throughout the project, we kept anonymity and therefore could not seriously respond to such requests. But now we are already negotiating with a couple of clients.

- Creative Director Setters in an interview for Cossa.

Suit for the Olympic team

The creative director of the New York Fantasy Agency, Anton Repponen, in his free time creates design of clothes, furniture, gadgets, applications, and then puts it on his website. So in 2016, he decided to remake the design of the Estonian national team's costumes for the Olympic Games. Subsequently, this concept was redeemed, and it became the official clothing of the Estonian national team.

In my free time I try to do what I can't do at work - for example, photography or industrial design. I believe that if there are any ideas, it is better to visualize them, and not to keep it in your head - when they accumulate, you may get a false impression that you have a lot of them and they are cool.

- Anton Repponen about fake projects in an interview at Look At Me.

Apparatus employed

To get a job, you need experience. To get experience, you need to get a job. The eternal paradox and theme for memes "VKontakte". Any employer will now first ask your portfolio if you are a web designer at a digital agency or an engineer for a factory of measuring devices. Therefore, if you are just starting your career in a profession, you will most likely be asking the same question as I did a few years ago.

And then side projects come to the rescue again. If you haven't had any customers yet, create them. Fake work will help the employer to assess the course of your thoughts and professional skills. Therefore, it is better to show the portfolio, consisting of some fakes, than a resume, where you talk about stress resistance and quick-learning. Then, even without having the necessary education, there will be more chances to get a job than a graduate with no experience.

Personal example

After high school, I went to get a job as a creator in the best agency in the city, and the 20th in the country (in the AKAR creativity rating). And since I did not have any real projects in the portfolio, I showed fake works. And, by the way, they took me then, let them do an internship, but they took it, even though my education was far from advertising.

Pumping skills

Side projects help to try new tools, techniques and approaches that you are not allowed to use in real projects by conservative employers or blinkered customers. Working on fakes, you give yourself a blank check for the most daring ideas and go beyond the usual framework, pumping over professional skills. Suppose you are typing medium-sized landing pages at work, and in your free time you are trying to create complex hover and parallax effects on sites.

And if you do not like what you are doing now, do side projects that are not related to your main profession. With them, you can change the scope of activities or expand specialization.

365 Challenges

To upgrade their skills, some experts arrange 365 challenges, doing one mini-project every day for a year.

The copywriter under the name copyded creates and puts advertising posters on Instagram.

In Facebook copywriter Solomon Tsitsuashvili also one ad appears every day.

Illustrator Stefan Bucher made himself a daily monster challenge, according to which every day he drew monsters

Chill out

The customer requests to make unreasonable changes that spoil everything. Deadlines are burning. Most projects are routine. At work, do not give unleash the creative potential. And if clients dream and come across, it is extremely rare. All these are features of the advertising business that strain and may disappoint in the profession of any person, especially the creative specialty.

Fake projects help get rid of the framework, show what you are capable of, thereby releasing steam. They are like a valve that relieves excess pressure.

Sergey Andronov, art director of the Binary District, as well as the judge of the international award The FWA, says in an article about side projects for designers:

"A constant stream of unreasonable instructions and unreasonable restrictions can ruffle even the most seasoned designer. There are very few people who can take such comments philosophically. Because of this, designers burn out, lose interest in the work and eventually leave the agency.

Obviously, you need to get rid of such negative emotions, switch to something that brings pleasure, allows you to reach your potential and develop. "


Spread fake work on special sites where they can be recognized by the community and get an award. For example, for designers, this is logobaker, logolounge, where logos are sent or awwwards, where a professional jury will rate your sites.

Serve your fakes to "Fakestiwal" - the so-called advertising festival, invented specifically for such projects. It was created so that young agencies or advertising specialists could declare themselves. Reward it will bring points of trust from customers and recognition of the advertising community. And after participation you can sell your work to a real brand.


Vladimir Lifanov, the designer and founder of the agency Suprematika, "comes up with and draws different crazy things, dryuki" and puts it on the website created for this purpose: urobarbos.com.

How to create side projects

In order to "projects for yourself" attracted customers, helped develop and were just a pleasure, follow only three conditions:

Burn idea. You must be genuinely interested in your project if you want to create something worthwhile. Forcing yourself to work, you will not be able to invest enough effort and soul to achieve a good result and will not enjoy the process.

Do not impose restrictions. Do not limit yourself to time or tools for no reason. Lay on the implementation of ideas as many resources as needed, but not too much, so as not to have time to burn out. If you need too much money, hours or people, then the idea is not suitable for the side project.

Do not take risks. You do not have to worry about failure. The beauty of fake works is that you do them for fun - no consequences for an unsuccessful attempt. And feeling the burden of responsibility, you will not take the risk, give up the bold and unconventional solutions by which the project can shoot. Therefore, do not take loans, do not invest the amount that is scary to lose, and do not promise anyone transcendental results.

Watch the video: HOW TO Give a Great Presentation - 7 Presentation Skills and Tips to Leave an Impression (October 2019).

Leave Your Comment