I’m having another identity crisis. The second in as many months!
In the middle of the first Covid lock down, I underwent a huge transformation and decided I was going to reposition myself as a designer who works with self-publishing authors. Read Bulletin #23 if you missed the epiphany.
Two weeks after redoing my whole website and (reluctantly) striping away all of my branding portfolio projects, leaving only the author and publishing projects, I got a message… someone in my network needed a designer for a rebranding project, was I interested?
Yes, the answer was yes, I was interested.
I was on job seeker and if anyone had offered me ANY job I would've said yes.
Problem was, I now had a website that looked like I only designed books and websites for self-publishing authors. Why, two weeks after I’ve committed to my new direction, do I get offered the biggest branding job of my career so far? Because the universe is fucked. Thats why.
If I hadn't gone through the mental minefield of breaking down my professional career and rebuilding it, this job opportunity would never have presented itself.
I was now facing a meeting with potential new clients without an easily accessible portfolio. What at first seemed like a nightmare situation, turned into me focusing on how I was going to impress them with my process, rather than the deliverables (the shiny designs at the end).
One thing my reposition made me realise is that I’m actually pretty particular about how I like to work with people. For example, I use stylescapes before any major design project is undertaken and I ask to be part of the ideation stage, rather than getting a shopping list of what deliverables are required at the end.
I spent some time studying then articulating my process so I had something to talk about in the meeting. Not having my portfolio to fall back on had given me the opportunity to focus on what makes working with me different (and hopefully more valuable) than working with any other designer.
It’s me. Working with me - Jess Kelly, is the only truly unique thing I can offer.
In summary it was a happy ending, they really liked the way I wanted to work with them and my proposal was accepted within a couple of days. It helped that it was the end of the financial year and they wanted to get the creative for the project paid for ASAP.
It’s a Lose - Win - Win situation. In some ways it feels like my huge epiphany was irrelevant but if I hadn’t had gone through the process, would I have realised that the process is what I should be offering people?
Who knows, but it leaves me with a website that is only 50% true at the moment. Do I really need to redo it? Perhaps I can just have a landing page that asks if the visitor is interested in books or branding? Then redirects them depending on their answer.
What do I even call myself if I’m selling a process rather than deliverable alone? A thinker, designer, visualise articulation specialist who can execute the work if required?
I like the idea of being a consultant so maybe I’ll just chuck that on the end of whatever I decide.