Marketing, Social, Work audio, budgets, copywriting, development, editing, facebook, faqs, geek v nerd, genesis, guitar, jethro tull, journalism, planning, pr, production, seo, social media, strategy, twitter, video, web design
Every time I post a new blog entry, I also add a link to it on Facebook, on the premise that it doesn’t hurt to use all these different channels to tell people what I’m writing about.
In response to my last post, a friend of mine commented that he didn’t know I used to be a journalist – which surprised me.
So, I thought it might be a good idea to do a mini FAQs, answer in one place the questions and comments I most-often receive.
To my Mum, I’m a web designer. It’s an easy get-out but not even close to the complete truth.
For different clients, I provide different things. The vast majority are in the field of digital marketing: I do “things” to help them sell more products and services than they did beforehand. Things like web design and development, email marketing, social media, SEO… but I also do a lot of stuff that doesn’t fit into “digital marketing”. I provide copywriting services (useful to keep your blog up to date), have been known to discuss audio/video recording and streaming with clients. Occasionally I still got called upon to provide traditional PR services. In this day and age, that covers social media too, so experience in both camps is extremely-useful.
As surprising as it might sound: yes. There are times when I’ll work with third parties, people I’ve known and worked with years. But, as a rule, it’s rare I don’t play a considerable part in every single piece of work I provide for clients, if not do it all myself.
It’s an accusation I get a lot. Not always so directly but you can tell it’s there, underlying the question I’ve actually been asked.
I’ve always had the type of brain that adapts to different things: at school I studied sciences and arts. I suppose it’s a left brain/right brain thing. As a society we used to embrace polymaths and I think that time is coming again. Out and out experts in one specific field are important. I often use hardcore database people on projects because they’re quicker/better/cheaper than me. But selling digitally isn’t just about technology… it’s about psychology, it’s about marketing, it’s design… words… business planning. So having a broad range of skills and experiences makes me better at my job.
And, yes, I really did write the music and the script for a client’s hold music once.
Er, I try not to. I also play the guitar. Usually acoustic, which doesn’t require wires. And I do like a good book. Or to watch a bit of tele. That said, my TV died a month ago and, since then, I’ve been using an old iMac computer fitted with an Elgato TV dongle, to watch programmes. I like to recycle.
Or very definitely a geek. I define the difference in relatively-simple terms which are difficult to translate into polite English. Let’s say, I have a daughter, so have done something (at least once) most nerds haven’t.
A very good question, thanks for asking! Large agencies have their place and do a very good job for many clients. If a client works with me though, they get a couple of things that they won’t ever get if they work with a large agency.
If I can’t help a client directly, I almost always know somebody who can. And I work within a circle of trust. I’ll often send direct referrals to friends and colleagues, sometimes even if those people could be considered competition. Because I know that the favour will be repaid in the future. More often than not though, my clients trust me to get something “done” and are happy to pay me to get it organised for them.
I can if you want me to but I doubt you do. Because I have a background in journalism and training (did I mention I’d run courses on PR, journalism and digital marketing?), I’m used to explaining often complex ideas in plain English. Not in a patronising sense but in terms that a non-technical person can understand.
I can give clients as much or as little technical detail as they want, in whatever terms make sense to them, whilst ensuring they “get” what’s being done.
I never said I was perfect. I’d like a Jethro Tull greatest hits album to be taken into consideration too.
There’s this perception that people who work in the realm of digital have nothing better to do than work every hour they’re not sleeping. God, that would be dull. I make a point of telling clients – potential and existing – that I have a life outside of computers. If you don’t have experience of how the world works, how other people interact outside of “geekdom” (both on a personal level and through technology), then how can you expect to help and advise companies and brands who wish to reach these folk?
Yeah, sorry if it sounded harsh. I enjoy being geeky but there’s so much more to me than that. Anything else?
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