Going to a design conference? Throw a few swag bags together and add a cool button!

If you're a glasses-wearing basement-loving Photoshopping designer geek, then you already know that you need to make more people aware of your amazing skills...

That is, if you want more clients. Clients are good. Clients give you money for your work.

I know, it's crazy!

Buttons are a great way to show off your l337 talents and have people gawking at those little shiny marvels of design excellence. Maybe they'll want to hire you so they can look just as cool as you... But if not, maybe they'll still want your cool buttons. Maybe.

Here are 10 spectacular ways to use buttons to generate more leads for your design business. Let's go!

1. Conferences
Designer Advertising Buttons

If you know you're going to be at a conference, then you've got to bring along some buttons! You can sell them or even give them away at your booth, if you have a booth. Even if you don't, you could start handing them out to everyone you see. If security asks, just tell them James told you to do it. That should give you enough time to evacuate the general vicinity.

2. Local Events

There are a lot of people and companies out there that need design work done. From oil & gas executives to furniture upholsterers, there are very few businesses that don't require business cards, pamphlets, logos or other such (unless they already have someone doing that work for them).

Check the classifieds, search Google and generally keep tabs on local events - like trade shows - that you could randomly show up to (the random part is your call). Open your mouth and talk to the people at the booths. Don't talk about your goldfish or how you memorized the entire hex to RGB conversion table. Find out what their needs are, Poindexter.

3. Local Businesses

If musicians can get CDs in random stores without the help of a distributor or a promoter, you can get your buttons in stores too. Bring your buttons along to hip clothing and accessory stores and see if they'll sell your stuff on consignment (leave some business cards too). Failing that, make their cute staff wear them. Failing that, ask if you can leave some by their business card holders. Asking is optional.

You never know what doors might open to you (literally or figuratively; careful not to bump your head). If you find a store that catches your attention, go in and see if any cross-promotion deals could be worked out. While you're at it, why not see if they need any design services too?

4. Concerts

You know who needs buttons? Bands! You know who needs design work? Bands! Go to some local concerts and show them what you can do (your buttons) and they'll be all the more likely to want to hire you. Just remember, these dread-locked guitar-slinging modern-day hippies don't always have a lot of cash on hand, so don't try to sell them on big budget stuff straight away. Start with the small stuff.

5. In Public
Designer Gift Bag

Think you're cool? Unless you're wearing your stylish buttons in public, you're missing out on some serious exposure, man! Wear them on your shirt or your blazer. Pin them to your guitar strap (uh, iPad case?). Pin them on your ball cap. Strategically pin them to places you know people are going to look... like your butt! But if you're going to do that, remember to remove the button before you sit down. Yikes!

6. Business Card Replacement

Business cards are so passé. Why not hand out business buttons, instead? All you need is your name, number and website address, and you're good to go! Just be careful not to stab anyone while handing out the buttons, okay? I hear that can be a bit of a deal-breaker.

7. Website or Blog

There's no reason why you can't take some killer photos of your buttons and then plaster them all over your blog or website (or both)! Online resumes and portfolios are the way of the future. But you already knew that, didn't you, Captain Kirk?

8. Email Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns are just as effective as they ever were, and a lot of people prefer their marketing messages come in that form. Too bad you can't email the buttons directly to people on your list, but you can't fax a halibut either. What are jpegs for?

Show off your beautiful buttons and entice people to click on the pictures so they'll be taken to a page on your website where you've strategically prepared more information about the services you offer. Duh.

9. Social Media

Knock - knock. Who's there? Value. Value who? Value be my Facebook friend? Hahaha!

Photos are known to engage well on social media, whether you're using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or even... that other one. Right. Google+. More like Google-! The social world is a great place to show off your work, so do it up girly man!

10. Videos

If all else fails, go with the button porn. If you could pin your pinbacks to cute kittens and have Rebecca Black sing about them, you'd probably get a lot of hits. But that would be inhumane. Nobody wants to hear Rebecca Black.

Make a quick video showing your button designs, show someone wearing them, and even better, direct your viewers back to your website.

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