It's a good day. The sun is shining, I have a pot of chicken soup cooking and I have finished, for now anyway, the Freshet Creative website. Oh lordy, it's been a grind.
If you ask any creative professional how they feel about creating communications content for themselves, they will likely give you a loud groan and roll their eyes. A well-known Edmonton creative agency told me they hire out their bio stuff because they dislike doing it themselves. I follow a couple of other creative agencies and they are always posting memes about speaking on their own behalf. The struggle is real.
This site has been through 3 different iterations now. The first was a quickie I put up as a placeholder until I created a more developed idea. The second was influenced by input I received through self-employment training. All good advice, I guess, but not really "me" or "my clients". And now I have posted something closer to what I had initially envisioned. There is a real push these days to create websites that make SEO the number one priority. The second priority is creating the "sales funnel" with a hard marketing focus. And depending on your purpose, both of these approaches could be valid, but for me, not at the expense of user experience, interface design and brand authenticity. Since I have been working under the banner of Freshet Creative, I have been re-evaluating how I think about marketing. Guess what, guys, I'm not really into it. The act of trying to convince someone that they need your product or service, even if they don't really, is exhausting. Sisyphean, really. That doesn't mean I think you should hide your organization or company under a bush, but I do think that if you have a product or service that people want, then educating, promoting, entertaining and engaging are better ways to get your message out there. Who wants to cold call 50 contacts a day for a gig? Not this gal. So with this approach in mind, I pared down the website to showcase my past, current and future freelance work right upfront. I've thrown in some About info, a list of services, a blog page and contact. That's it. And I'm sure there is an SEO expert that will look at it and say "There aren't enough keywords... etc." And I get that, it's just that I want to say less and show more.
My new approach when "marketing" myself will be producing great content, sharing it and making sure the right eyes see it by using targeted advertising. The rest will be offering to share my knowledge through free and paid classes and now that COVID has hopefully calmed down, get out and meet folks at events and in my community. That's it. Not trying to convince people that I'm the greatest, which I'm not, but trying to find decision-makers who like my vibe.
I've pared down my offering as well. I'm only going to do the things I feel I'm best at like website design, content creation and social media management. I also want to share my knowledge with folks so if they want, they can do some of their creative work themselves. I could offer more services such as brand development and strategic planning, but I feel that there are better choices for those services out there.
I'm also recommitting myself to finding the clients that I really want to do work for: social and environmental non-profits, cooperative, social and green businesses, personal care providers, artists and craftspeople. I value the work that these organizations, companies and individuals do, and want to do all that I can to help them fulfil their missions. By helping people understand their important work, transforming their audience into their community, and telling their brand story, I think I can do that. So take a look at my new site and if you feel like it, let me know what you think. If you or someone you know is in need of an unmarketing website designer, content creator or social media manager, feel free to give me a shout!