I've been a designer on Ravelry for a year and while designing has currently taken a back seat for me, when I was active I saw a few venues that seemed to help gain exposure for the patterns.
• Have a few ravelers test out your pattern and have them post up the end result, this will give your design more popularity in searches right off the bat! There is a group called Free Pattern Testers who I'm sure would love to hook you up! :) Um, pun intended ;)
• Make the item yourself and post up photos linked to the project. This ties in with the first suggestion of more projects made for a pattern the more popular they are in searches. Share these items with the groups you are part of!
• Blog - blog about your items and link your blog entries to the designs. This is two fold - more blog traffic and more exposure for your pattern on your blog - heck, link your ravelry design shop to your blog and/or blog post as well!
• Join groups that support the kind of designs you make - birds of a feather flock together!
• Make your own team of your design name and invite your friends ! ☺ Over time others will join and the group will grow in popularity.
• If you have a lot of items you want to design - keep designing! The more diverse your pattern portfolio the more knitters/crocheters you'll bring to your design shop who will most likely find more than one pattern they like of yours!
I hope this helps! Let me know how these venues worked for you!
I'm in no way a ravelry guru, though I am trying to be more tech savvy these days. It can be a bit trying with how often things change in this realm ;) Thankfully I can go to my yarn and find something familiar when it gets to be too much ☺lol
Happy Crafting! :)