Here's what happened when I hired myself to promote myself
June 23, 2016
Through the generosity of a new connection I was offered a full page ad space in a magazine that goes out to 37,000 Oakville residents. What an exciting opportunity, I thought.
It's a funny thing that happens when you work in this business. I spend every waking moment building brands, websites, marketing materials and coming up with fresh ideas, taglines, visuals and words that all come together in the end to reach a specific target audience and allow my clients' customers to better understand who they are and the services they offer.
My Art Director friends will agree with me, that when it comes to branding ourselves often we are so close to what we do that it's difficult to be objective. It's that objectivity that we use to bring brands to life for others, among other skills such as creative thinking and problem solving, knowing the competition, research, research and more research. We dig deep into who our clients are, who they want to attract and execute a strategic plan to do this through visually compelling communications. Websites, advertorials, social media, billboards, magazines, logos, corporate brochures etc.
It's a fine balance to nail the most effective hierarchy of information and requires an experienced professional to successfully execute a brand. We are faced with the task of taking photos, words/key messaging, logos and video and balancing all of those things in such away that it creates a carefully guided experience for the target audience.
My business has been building over the last 2 years and lately it’s been a whirlwind. The timeline to come up with my company ad was short, but I tried not to let it rattle me. Surely I could whip up something that reflects my company and it’s offerings, right? I had to nail it. It had to be a perfect representation of what I do and why I do it, I thought. Easier said than done. I frantically started just randomly plugging key words into google and seeing what popped up online to inspire and idea.
After much searching and a very deep breath, I started to reflect on the last two years and what I learned about working for myself, vs. working in an agency. I realized that for me, it’s far more rewarding to work directly with clients on a day to day basis and particularly those who are just starting up a business. What I lacked from working in the corporate world was the direct feedback and actually witnessing the impact my work had on the individual I was working for.
I realized there is nothing better than watching the confidence level of the client change from a rather ‘unsure’ and ‘overwhelmed’ state to complete and utter confidence and excitement to get THEIR brand out to the world. It really is the most satisfying part about what I do and it’s what makes me excited to get up each day and continue to do it.
My clients really appreciate the value of what I’m able to bring to the table after being in this business for 18+ years. We also tend to form friendships throughout the process and a mutual respect and trust for what each of us bring to the table. A win-win situation!
My ad represents who I’ve worked with in the last couple years and how I show my clients that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look polished and present an image that will allow you to stand out from your competition.
The goldfish with the shark fin attached to it is relatable to those who have a small to medium sized business and are considering hiring a design firm to handle their marketing. I’m dedicated to showing my customers that they too can look just as legitimate, established and successful as any other brand out there regardless of what stage they are at.
The opportunity to connect with new people and guide their ideas while watching them transform from the goldfish to the shark is truly rewarding. I’m very happy with the simplicity of the ad and it’s message, but more importantly that it’s a true representation of why I’m inspired to keep doing what I’m doing.