It's become apparent that people don't actually know what it is that I do. It probably doesn't help that I can't often articulate all it is that I do very well, especially when asked on the spot and usually just offer a generalized 'elevator pitch' remark... But it's time I figured it out so we both know what it is, I actually do.
First of all... what do you think I do?
Many think I just design logos OR just create advertising... I've even managed whole business launches and all design and marketing aspects for certain clients and still had them ask me if I could recommend someone for graphic design! -Me hahaha, I can recommend ME! LOL!
The issue arises in the fact that I'm a bit of an anomaly in the field of design and marketing... a rare find. For example, you have a new business, instead of finding a graphic designer, a web designer, a marketing manager and a signwriter (all either individual professions or under an agency) - you would just come to me and I would take care of it all for you! Which I only realised in the last couple of years was actually a rarity in the design and marketing profession. For one person to be able to do all of these things, and to do them well + the ability to project manage the outsourced work!
So, what do I actually do:
First and foremost, I solve creative and marketing problems for businesses. I do this by understanding what the problem is, creating a solution and following a plan to resolve it. I either directly resolve the problem myself using my specialist skill set or I contract out to others and project manage the solution that way. Pretty straight forward... but it's my skill set that gets confusing for most!
My personal skill set includes (but is not limited to): > Graphic Design for Digital and Print: This is all kinds of creating visuals in the correct formats with nice design for print big and small and all types of digital formats. Think business cards, flyers, posters, rack cards, signage, booklets, brochures, branded items, adverts, stickers, banners, flags, billboards and specialty items like the face-hole board for the ABs Experience Rugby History street party as well as games like Apple Sack for The NZ Cider Festival, etc > Logo and Banding Design: I create special and unique logos for my clients and design branding elements to compliment their business so they can have a streamlined and consistent brand style to build trust with their customers and engage potential new customers
> Copywriting: writing engaging text for the purpose of advertising and marketing
> Website design and build: including SEO integration using self-manageable websites like Wix > Advertising & Creative: Whether you need a radio advert or a new campaign to promote your product or event; I create the ideas and work with suppliers to fulfill it.
> Marketing consulting for business: Marketing is EVERYTHING you do with your business and I help people understand the importance of this and provide strategies and ideas on how to do it right > Supplementary Photography: I have always taken photos, including products, people and landscapes. Now I offer it as a service, a quick snap here and there to help my clients. Using either a point and shoot Nikon or my S7 Smartphone (which I take all my Creative Nelson photos with!) > Project Management: Not only do I do the design and marketing, I project manage the WHOLE, ah, project. Eg. Photoshoots: I will find the photographer, organise the shoot and create the plan for the day, pick the location and direct the shoot. > I Make Things Look Good (Professional): If you have a new idea or product you want to pitch, I can help you to work through the process from planning through to design and presentation. I also help with product launches, professionally presented documents and getting documents into the correct format for their output. > Business Launch: Starting a new business? I can help from the logo and branding, right through to all the marketing planning and materials and all the bits and pieces of design and marketing that crop up along the way. > Whatever Else you Need for Design and Marketing for Your Business!
How did this come about:
Opportunities provided to me as a child and throughout my life to pursue various creative endeavours meant I was adaptable and had a natural aptitude for learning new things - I would get good at them, then bored and move onto the next thing... always questioning, growing, learning and trying new things.
Study, researching, reading, self-teaching and learning: I have a fantastic library of books at home and continue to learn as much as possible in all sorts of areas. I tried my hand at journalism, fashion design, painting, landscape and architectural design. I learned to write well and use the English language properly and have always been a keen speller. I asked lots of questions at school and played with paints, pens, pencils and computers right from a small child. I only briefly did art at high school, but came back to my creative side working for a newspaper in Whitianga in 2007 as the graphic design and sales and advertising consultant, which reignited my passion for creating. In 2010 I studied briefly at Design and Arts College in Christchurch, and while I only stayed for a few months, I learned the key skills in the Adobe Creative Suite I needed to progress my skills and how to draw with pigment liner. In 2014 I studied Visual Arts and Media at NMIT and graduated with all As - it was easy to achieve by then and gave me the confidence I needed to grow my creative based projects and businesses.
Over the years I had plenty of work opportunities where the business couldn't afford to hire someone to do each individual job, and because of my 'can-do' attitude, I was left to figure out how to do all the individual jobs myself. At the time, this felt like a lot of pressure, but now I see it as a blessing that has made me a unique find and an asset for small businesses. I honed my graphic design skills and developed my website design knowledge, worked with a range of suppliers and developed connections and insight into many areas of design and marketing. I learned the fine art of managing events, how to communicate with the media and advertising agencies and to push the boundaries in contract negotiations. I developed time management and organisational skills; managing and often implementing all the design and marketing aspects of multiple businesses at one time with constant demands and deadlines to meet. I attended workshops like the Ford Marketing Workshop with speakers from Ford, Google and JWT + evolved my photography skills. The opportunities were endless and I embraced them all and learned as much as I could.
Always pushing myself to try harder, do better and learn more and to always keep growing as a person in all areas of my life - mind, body and soul.
I have a mentor who runs a very successful creative agency and has a similar skill set to me. He gives me support, confidence and guidance in how to use all of my skills to benefit my clients and my business in the best way. He tells me stories from his own experiences that help me realise that certain client situations are normal and helps to put my mind at ease. I always question and listen to people who are more experienced than me, learn from their mistakes and triumphs and take on their advice and recommendations. Real world experience is so important - tertiary education can only provide the foundation. In my opinion, it's actually experiencing real world situations that put everything into perspective and develop the necessary skills to be good at your job and that is why talking to people who are actually successful business people in the industry is so important.
How does this benefit you?
Well, I've done the leg work for years and years; my whole life has been a mish-mash of creativity and problem solving and you get to benefit directly from my experiences and knowledge. By working with me, I keep things simple and you only need one point of contact for all your design and marketing requirements. Easy. If there is something that I haven't done before, it doesn't take me long to figure out how to do it, who can make it happen and what is needed.
My curious mind can find answers swiftly. These days I know so many people that, along with the internet; solutions to design and marketing for business problems are only a click, call or email away. (If I don't already know the answer, that is!)
Hopefully this clarifies a few things for you (if you managed to read this far down!). Thanks for reading! Amanda Sears