[ photo courtesy ]
Bloody hell, how did it get to week 10? I’ve clearly not been keeping them weekly, but as that’s because I’ve been busy with good stuff to feed my brain, hopefully that’s no bad thing. The thing you’re most afraid of when you leave the comfort of a monthly salary for the brave new world of freelance is of course will I get enough work? And also if part of the reason for leaving the safety of permanent employment is to get variety and explore different opportunities, there’s aso the question of will I get the right work – stuff that interests me, the stuff I want to be doing? And so being behind on weeknotes because the answer to those questions is yes and yes, then that can’t be too bad.
Project Alberta has pretty much been wrapped up – thanks to some sterling team work and particularly excellent work by my partner in crime John Connell, the work’s been delivered to the client, who’s really happy – we just have our closing review call to answer any final questions. Because the client’s in Canada, all of our meetings have been via their very whizzy web-based video conference software Elluminate, which has been a huge help in the absence of face to face meetings.
One of the other questions you have as a freelancer is will I get paid? Happily, I’ve so far had the satisfaction of all invoices issued being paid on time, which I’m making sure I don’t come to expect, but it’s been very gratifying to kick things off on a positive note.
I’d not been working in an office since leaving Naked at the end of June, but this week I started a 3-month contract at Profero, where I’ll be spending 4 days a week until Christmas. One of the aims of being freelance was to get explosure to different agencies and organisations, different ways of working, and to soak up as much as possible from these opportunities. Profero have a lovely agency proposition: ideas that people can belong to – which is most definitely a point of view that strongly resonates with me. And the chance to work in a full service digital agency is already offering me new opportunities I’ve never had before. For a start, we’re making stuff. I’m working with creatives, UX specialists, developers, designers, project managers….all very different from my experience at both PHD and Naked, and it’s awesome to be able to soak up so many different points of view and areas of expertise.
I’m working on a cracking brief for ASOS, which is a brand I both adore personally and hugely admire professionally, and it’s a totally different experience to be applying strategic insights directly to a development process to stuff that’s actually being made, rather than at the high level, more conceptual strategic level I’d been working at whilst at Naked. It’s brilliant to be able to sit in a working session and absorb so much new stuff, process, thoughts, ways of working – this whole journey was about learning and exploration, and so far it’s shaping up very nicely. As well as ASOS, I’m working on a mobile brief for J&J Skincare and will be prepping an innovation session to inspire the M&S client team about digital innovation in retail. So far, so good.
Friday is my non-Profero, other stuff day, so today I’m cracking on in earnest on the bits I’m doing to help input to Project Southwold with Rattle. Also hopefully going to be doing a bit of thinking for Rebel Alliance, which is all very interesting.
In other news, last week I joined Jamie Coomber, Le’nise Brothers & Graeme Wood on a panel representing the IPA to discuss different ways that brands can take advantage of social media at a conference put on by an organisation called the Social Media Academy on Thursday 23rd, then spent the following day at Conway Hall for the utterly delightful Playful 2010. Playful was a cracking day, too much to write up here, especially when others have done so already so eloquently, but one of my highlights was Sebastian Deterding’s self-described “grumpy talk on ‘badge measles’ and the confusions, side effects and missing parts of gamification”: Pawned: Gamification and its discontents. I also had a couple of moments on the stage as part of the What the Foursquare? panel, which was marvellous fun, and which I’ve written up in greater detail in the previous post. A good time was had by all (and we inadvertently started the rumour that Dominik Diamond had died, sparked by his sudden appearance amongst trending topics, all the result of his appearance on a live recording of Shift Run Stop. Oops.)
And obviously, I still haven’t seen Inception.