Book Review: New Media for Designers and Builders, Steve Mouzon

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Those of us in the architecture and engineering world realize that the way we market our services is much different than many other professions.   Steve Mouzon’s new book titled “New Media for Designers and Builders” presents the larger picture of marketing our profession in a increasingly complex digital world but also serves as a very thorough technical manual on how to utilize various social media tools to increase your marketability, on-line presence and bottom line.

The first half of the book describes how marketing for designers and builders has been irrevocably changed by the advent of Twitter, Facebook and blogging (just to name just a few) and why this is a good thing.  The second half of the book focuses on the technical aspects of marketing in the New Media environment.  Mouzon covers the basic topics you would expect to find in a book on social media such as blogging, Twitter, Facebook, websites and list serves but with special guidance for the architecture and design industry. Mouzon goes a step further by describing how other strategies such as publishing, public speaking and idea cards (a sort of modified business card) can help to “feed” your other marketing interfaces (such as website or blog).  The end goal is a robust and diverse marketing approach where your numerous different marketing medias feed into one another.

The book itself (or e-book more accurately) is a testament to the interactive nature of social media.  The hundreds of links throughout the book enable you to dive much deeper into nearly all of the topics discussed.  The accompanying New Media website should also provide an informative forum for readers to share feedback and experience.

The great thing about Steve’s approach is that the marketing strategies he presents don’t leave you feeling slimy like the proverbial used car salesman.  At their core, his strategies simply seek to connect people to information and ideas.  However, the by-product of these interactions is increased visibility and increased marketability for you the blogger, speaker, tweeter, etc…

Despite the many great tools and strategies this book describes, I did have a a couple of minor criticisms.  First, this e-book was definitely made to be read on an i-pad.  Unfortunately for me, I have a Kindle Fire.  The scrolling and page format seemed to be a slightly akward fit on the Kindle.  To be fair, part of this problem probably lies with the Kindle platform itself not being particularly suited to display a highly graphic e-book.  Second, the book profiles several designers who have utilized new media to launch or propel their careers.  These individuals are usually the face of their company or freelance authors, advocates or designers.  What the book does not address, is how these same strategies can be utilized at the company level (i.e.  How can multiple partners and employees present a unified  marketing approach)?  Despite these minor criticisms I would highly recommend this book to any designers looking to enhance their marketability in the age of New Media.

The book should be available from the I-bookstore and Amazon in the coming days.   The book’s webpage can also be found here.

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