Creative Communications Contractor and Consultant
Thirty + years ago, after ten years working for local companies, I decided to trust my intuition. I was certain that there was an unserved niche for a local marketing and communications firm and proceeded to set up shop in our den.
On the first day, I put on a tie, came downstairs, poured a coffee, pulled a chair up to my desk to make a To Do list, and launched a small business. At first, I sought work that I could do by myself or with collaborators who could bring other expertise. Good things began to happen.
It wasn’t long before we rented a suite in the Union Square Building that was just large enough for four. We soon purchased the building, expanded the business to the point that we occupied both levels and opened an office in the Columbus area. Twenty years later, it was time to simplify. The building was sold. Once again I was working alone or with collaborators.
These days I work from a loft doing things I enjoy for people I like and respect. The tools of the trade have made it possible for independent-minded contractors and consultants to perform a variety of services by teaching themselves to use the tools. Much of the work involves writing and graphics for print and the web.
I am not a graphic designer. It has been my good fortune to work with several gifted designers whose visual brilliance adds tangible value to brands and projects. The good ones are born with their talent, explore it on their own, study under experienced teachers, then apply that combined talent, knowledge and experience to commercial and personal works.
The rest of us can teach ourselves to use the same tools that designers use, but we will never be able to use those tools to craft unique visual solutions to branding objectives or create personal masterpieces of artistic expression.
Some of my favorite tools are shown at right. These companies create products and services that make it possible for contractors to provide communications and marketing support to their clients.
I rarely wear a tie, but I still make lists. Typically, I am working on newsletters, capital or other fundraising campaigns, websites, ecommerce sites, Etsy shops, online forms, marketing or technical literature, collateral, advertisements, or annual reports for small business, foundations and other nonprofit organizations, education, and professional firms.
Spoke to (our Vice Chair) this morning. She is totally amazed how you took all the different ideas expressed at the meeting and put them into a cogent, meaningful statement. I told her that’s the reward of working with a professional.
Recommended Tools of the Trade
All the apps and tools for print, web, audio and video production are available in one subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. There are occasional issues, but Adobe support has been willing and able to help correct problems.
For ecommerce, the Shopify platform has been consistently secure, stable, reliable, flexible, and well-supported since we started using it in 2010. We use Shopify for everything from hardware to fashion wear and from art to parts, as well as online giving for a nonprofit organization.