99designs:Crowd Sourcing For Companies And A Chance To Shine For DesignersIt’s tough out there in the job market now. But I think we are a little tougher. It’s been 5 months since I started applying for jobs. Looking for jobs is almost a full-time job itself. But we can always do a little extra, right? In between applying for jobs,  I’ve been helping out two local non-profits in the Washington D.C. area for the past month. I have to admit, it keeps me sane. There’s only so much house cleaning a person can do until they pass out from Clorox ™ over dose. Dance4Peace and Fairfax Symphony Orchestra have been wonderful by letting me help them out with marketing and media projects. But what if you don’t have access to local resources like that? How can you build up your portfolio?

ENTER CONTEST!

Search for contest in fields that you have interest. One part of marketing I love is designing and branding. I recently stumbled upon a website called 99designs. Similar to Groupon’s crowd-sourcing platform that I mentioned in Groupon: Bringing Deals and Business? post, 99designs is a site where designers can enter contest win clients accounts. Once the deadline is up, the company that posted the contest picks their favorite design. With more designs, the company has a better chance in finding a design that fits their needs.  We are all competing for a chance to be a rockstar. Sometimes designers just need a shot. With 99designs, it guarantees your design work will be seen. Watch this video below to see how the company XL Media logo contest brought him the perfect design.

The best part is the private feedback you get back from the company. As one project ends, another begins. So if you’re trying to have a constant To Do List, sign up for a contest and get busy. I’m starting to enter tomorrow! Now it’s your chance to shine.

Interested? Another site that you might want to check out:

GrouponBeing a recent college graduate, I’ve learned the tricks and trades of pinching pennies and it’s not just buying cheep beer. The new sensation that’s sweeping the online nation that has everyone’s attention (and so does my cheesy accidental rhyming) is called Groupon. Groupon is a revolutionary coupon-networking site for growing market of people that are always looking to save a buck.  The basics of this stupid-simple business plan are explained in the video bellow. If time is money then you might want to watch. It’s worth every second.

Genius right? Believe it or not, I’m not employed by Groupon. I’m just a fanatic of things that make cents. Companies like GAP have experienced the power of this piggy bank saver network.  GAP’s coupon was the first national groupon in all participating cities and the numbers were outstanding. But…is that good thing? At the end of the day, GAP had about 300,000 Groupons sold. Awesome, right? Maybe not, that’s estimated to be about $7.5 million revenue loss for one risky campaign. Was the PR and sales promo worth it?  This has done wonders for the participating businesses, giving them access to new customers while giving users bargaining power to receive unbeatable discounts. It’s a win-win situation. So who is making the money, Groupon or the companies? Listen to Andrew Mason, the new CEO of Groupon in the video bellow for a little background on how they make a buck by saving your loot.

So it works, but is it beneficial for nation-wide sales on Groupon? I want to hear your thoughts and comments.