I attend a lot of industry related events. I'm a member of AIA SMC, ASID CA Peninsula and NKBA NorCal. I try to keep my ears open for trends and speak with the other people attending as though they are people, this results in my learning a lot about what's going on in the industry locally as well as nationally and beyond.

I hear far too many very talented and experienced designers and architects saying they aren't getting work, most of them aren't using the tools available to them. It's true that you are never likely to book a job from your online presence, but you can bet that today's clients and employers are checking you out on line - your online presence has to be there to be found.

If the your prospect, referral or potential employer can't find you online but can find that the other candidate does great work, also wears a size seven, likes red and hates Steampunk they have an advantage over you, and you've given them that advantage. Building and maintaining an on-line professional presence with a dedicated domain and website, blog and in social media is much like taxes: it doesn't matter if you like doing it - if you don't do it you'll pay a very high price.

We all need to get on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and claim your personal name, claim your business name with a Facebook Fan Page, and a LinkedIn Company Page. Don't worry about selecting a name of your business unless you already have one get them in your own name and post something-anything-to build up a professional online personae to each of them at least twice a month - twice a week or more is better.

Look for more "Field Notes" with suggestions about building a business in the creative industries twice monthly.