Today we had the pleasure of having Lee Fairbrother come in to talk to us for this weeks afterlife session. Lee is the creative director at Accelerate, which is a digital agency based in Hammersmith, London.
As part of his talk, Lee gave us 25 tips which he though may be useful to us.
- Make a plan.
What do you want to do?
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson
However also be wary of the fact that plans can change also, so you should learn to move with your plans.
- Your portfolio is your life story.
Your portfolio needs to be new, exciting, and have your personality all about it.
Tony Cullingham says that portfolios should:
Show craft skills, writing, design, art direction and photoshop skills
Show ads, games and business ideas
Show a surprise on every page
Show that you are an enriched person who takes an interest in culture, creativity and humanity.
It should say “You’ve got to meet me”
- Know the industry
Their are lots of different types of agencies in the industry, however the big four are: Advertising, Brand, Digital, Print.
Research the agencies, research the different types of roles, know their accounts and their work, know their creative directors, know who is winning the awards.
- Never stop learning
Read everything, do tutorials, watch videos, go to meet ups, store your knowledge, share your knowledge.
- Understand the difference between idea and execution
An idea is better described as the strategic driven concept in answer to a given brief. The execution is the creative output of the said concept (the ad/design/film/etc). You can’t have on without the other – if you do it’ll usually be rubbish.
Always have a strategy and create with purpose.
- Focus on the benefit
How is it going to change the end users life? Visually communicate that point as simply as possible.
What is the purpose? What is the point?
- Never under estimate the power of simplicity
- Scamping/Sketching = Strength – Attachment
Through sketching you lose any attachment you have to specific ideas.
- Pretotype then prototype then build
Pretotype: The art and science of faking it before making it. Where it refers to an innovative product or service. Fake door: put advert on internet, counted how many click that ad got. Mechanical turk: using a human to prove a product works. Impersonator: Elon Muss, taking a current product and editing it and using it as your own. Pinocchio: Creating the most creative version that proves it works, and then talking to people about it. One night stand: Stand that pops up for a day. MVP: Minimum viable product.
- Good is the enemy of great
Too many people in the industry settle for great. Good is just a step away from average, you need to push to get to great and award winning.
- Build a network + meet other creatives.
Go to meet ups
Ask creative/design directors for their advice
You can speed date – creatives
Stay in touch with the people around you
- Find your mentor – today.
They can offer your guidance.
Who? Depends on what you want to do.
Know when its not working.
What do mentors get out of it? Creating a contact, tapping into the future mentees network.
If you don’t ask, you won’t get.
- Get yourself out there.
Brand yourself but remember taste and trend.
You need a website – a great website. Squarespace as a recommendation.
Get your foot in the door. There is no such thing as originality but you have to find the closest thing too it.
- When you find a job, make the role your own.
Ask yourself honestly, do you want a job or a career?
Push the boundaries of what is asked of you.
Ask questions – lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions.
Expect to hear no.
Don’t be afraid of anyone, they’re just people.
Hard work doesn’t often go unnoticed.
- Your biggest asset is your team around you
Create thinking environments with purpose. An environment where everybody is able to feel comfortable coming up with new ideas, no stupid ideas.
Change the scenery.
Consider every idea.
Never make fun of anyone who has an idea.
Make notes/scamp/save all that thinking. Wait for them to finish.
- Present better than Don Draper
You also work in sales. A great commercial creative is also a great client manager.
Practise both selling and public speaking.
- Be resilient.
Stay strong – Karma is a bitch.
- Radical Candour.
Giving feedback to a person you know well enough to be honest with, and about understanding that feedback.
Don’t take feedback personally.
- Choose when to take advice and when to leave it.
Listen to advice – decide which parts of valuable and leave the rest behind.
- You should get paid in more than money.
Knowledge, accounts, team, leaders, opportunities.
Understand what else there is to offer.. Equity/shares/promotion/bonuses.
Don’t sell yourself short.
- Know when it’s time to move on.
Don’t hang around waiting for things to get better, they usually don’t.
“This is your life and its ending one minute at a time” – Chuck Palahniuk/Author fight club
- Procrastination will kill you.
Take it head on. Know what your vices are and avoid them. Find a new environment. Get started. Ask for feedback on whatever it is you’re doing – good or bad, it will keep you going.
- No matter where your career takes you, don’t become a dick.
Theres a lot in the industry. Break the cycle.
- Work hard + Be nice + be on time = success.
People remember and with every project you work on you’ll leave more than just great work.
- Love it
A designer solves problems by problems by blending art, science, math, psychology, and many other disciplines to create something for the world to use.
Lee also talked to use about how we can price ourselves when doing freelance work. He said to look online and see what other junior designers offer. Don’t price yourself against a agency though.
Good is the enemy of great – blog.
Lee’s talk was extremely useful and full of invaluable tips which I will definitely be referring back to in the future and also taking note of, and working on now. I feel extremely lucky that we got to have a talk from such an inspiring person and it made me feel extremely motivated for the future.
Today, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture hosted by the Google Digital Garage team. The workshop is part of a series of workshops that I had the opportunity to sign up to, and aims to help you increase your online presence as part of your profession. I thought it would be really beneficial to attend.
The event was organised by the centre for entrepreneurship at the University, and was hosted Mike from the Google Digital Garage team. They offer free tips and advice to people through presentations and free one to one mentoring sessions during the week at the Tramshed in Cardiff.
- Building an optimised and consumer friendly website
- Boost your social media presence and content
- Manage your online presence on google
The United Kingdoms online economy is booming, 77% of people in the UK have brought online in the last few months. On average, we each spend £2000 per person online shopping every single year. Therefor if you have a small business with a strong web presence, it can create twice the business growth and job creation, and could cause a 50% increase in sales.
Build an optimised and consumer friendly website
If you build your own website:
- You will have full control over your brand.
- You will also have the opportunity for advanced options.
- However, the problem with building your own website is that they can be difficult to create and very costly.
If you use other web platforms, for example eBay and Not on the High Street, to advertise your brand:
- The set up is really quick.
- It’s often free, or low cost, to use.
- However, its likely that you will have less control over customisation of your page
So the advice is to not put all your eggs in one basket, you can’t rely on just one platform. Advertise across many.
For a website, you need your own domain name, this is your URL web address. To get this you need to register online, this can be quite simple and easy to use and once its done you get storage for your website. However there is a cost associated with registering a domain name.
Best practices for building a successful website
- Clean purpose and goal.
- Clean layout and navigation. (What message do you want to convey to users?)
- Strong call to action.
- Fast page loading time (A good loading time on average is 3 to 5 seconds. Any more than this customers are likely to click off.)
- Mobile first design. (Have a look at test my site.)
Mobile design for success
- Prominent call to action.
- Simple and clear navigation links.
- Streamline form fills.
- Optimised for small screens.
Maintaining digital presence
- Use Facebook, twitter, linkedin, youtube, google plus.
- There are 38 million social media users in the UK, who each spend 1 hour 29 minutes on average on social media each day.
Start with your audience
- Where are they?
- What do they do?
- Who do they follow?
- Take influences from the successes.
Write an effective social media bio
- Keep it relevant,
- Keep it clear & consistent,
- Show your personality & have fun.
The power of youtube:
By 2019 of data online could well be video data, greater than 50% of data is viewed through mobiles.
Creating great youtube content: Be a thought leader, create sharable content, identity potential collaborators.
- Be creative,
- Build an audience,
- Interact with the audience,
- What do your audience want to see?
- You are only limited by your imagination.
Managing your online presence on google
Google my business – this is where business owners claim there business and form the knowledge panel on right of screen when you google a business.
link to slide goo.gl/kIIHNY
Part 2: Reach new customers online.
- Optimise your presence on google for search.
- Gain consumer insights and find new customers
- Understand the benefit of advertising online.
Optimise your presence on google for search
Why search is important?
- Google is the biggest search engine online
- New consumer purchase journey: Stimulus > research> purchase> experience (online feedback etc)
- Search is at the heart of the purchase journey
- When you do a google search you are searching googles index of the web
- 4 out of 5 consumers use the web to find local information
- 50% of consumers visited a store within a day of their local search
What is search engine optimisation?
- improve your websites visibility of organic
Optimise your movie SEO
- avoid uncommon mobile software
- optimise your content to the screen
- create easy clickable links
- avoid pop-ups if possible
What are your customers searching for?
You can view what your customers are searching for on websites like Google Trends and Google Analytics:
- Who is coming to my website?
- How did they find me?
- What are they doing on my site?
- What are they worth to me?
Overall I really benefited from going to this lecture and it was definitely worth taking time out of my evening to go. It helped me realised the benefits of the internet and social media, and the points made will definitely be ones I will be thinking back to throughout my career.