What do you when you wake up one day needing to reinvent yourself?
You have just spent 8 years developing a successful career, reaching the height of your chosen profession, as Head of Design for a major organisation. It comes to a sudden end!
Today’s Entrepeneur was faced with such a dilemma.
Gareth had started out in 2004 working for a design company, producing multi media based graphic design. He progressed to work for designpool, where he stayed 6 years, becoming head of design. The work was varied and challenging, ranging from Websites to Annual Reports. One interesting aspect of his role was teaching students, Graphic Design, at degree Level.
Being Young and Naïve, He decided he needed the challenge of starting his own business. Throwing caution to the wind he proceeded to go freelance. Like so many before him, he imagined his excellent reputation would gain him work!
Big fish little pond springs to mind here!
Money does not last long when contracts do not materialise, as he quickly discovered. A flyer here, a bit of branding their was hardly going to pay the mortgage, and did little for the morale. He had been important! People looked to him in his previous life for how to do things. The phone was not ringing.
How to get past the receptionist?
He found that the prospect, if he was lucky, of a message being passed on to the decision maker was hard enough, but on a piece of scrap paper, referring to him as some bloke, I think he was called Garth Martini, and did some design stuff, deflating.
What to do?
He decided to deploy some initiative! After all he was from the creative industry.
He came up with an unusual Company name, one they would not forget. Sherbet Lemon was formed. Yes I too was baffled when he cam to me for help in 2010, and I had to ask, why?
Sherbert is the name of his beloved dog. It is a Lemon Bassett Hound. And so the name was discovered.
At least people would remember the name when he rang back.
He now found himself on the “working for nothing and hoping to get noticed, road to nowhere fast”
I am sure you have travelled that road!!
He decided it was better to offer 2 hours free design time to a prospective client, than entering bidding wars. If people liked the work, this would enhance his self employed reputation.
200 emails, innumerable phone calls to prospects later, work started to come in. Slow but regular. His reputation was growing!
Nearly 3 years on and he has won some excellent contracts, covering, Print, Branding, Packaging, and Web as well as Design.
He has worked with major clients such as M&S, Clintons, and even James(dragons den)Caan.
Gareth has embraced social media, and demonstrated you have to get your message out their.
Past reputation counts for little. You have to fight for survival, and constantly look for new innovative ideas to promote your business.
A super lad, a super company.
Look for his #winawebsite competition, like his site!
As always, Geoff Reeves, FYCreatives, Blackpool 01253477147