As I write this, I am entering the final stages of creating a new online presence for The Design Partnership. After well over a year of working for existing clients, plus picking up new ones through recommendations I consider myself quite fortunate to have got this far without any sort of website proper.
Which makes me ask the question; why is it so hard for someone who designs, creates and develops websites for a living to actually put mouse to pixel and create something... for yourself?
This, I believe, is the crux of the issue. "For Yourself". That means: no one has said to you "I need this turning around within a week"; no one is giving their comments on your latest draft; no-one is saying, just as you think the job is near completion, "There's just one more thing I wanted to add..."; and finally, no one is paying you to do this. This is unpaid, off-your-own-back work. The time spent doing this "unpaid" work, could be better used finding more "paying" clients, or getting on with this fiddly last minute amends for [client a]. Well, sort of. Obviously, clients come before all else. However, there is a 'chicken and egg' syndrome with regard to finding new clients. I have met with a few people recently who were noticeably confused that, as a graphic designer, I didn't have a website, or at the very least an online portfolio of some sort. Which made me realise that I have been lucky before, but if I want to grow this business, like any other, it needs a little TLC, a little nurture.
So that is why folks the phone is off the hook (metaphorically of course!) and it's headfirst into the world of 'Self Designing'!
And I'll share a little insight into what made it a touch easier this time around...
I gave myself a brief.
Not just "I need to throw some examples of work online... now" kind of brief, but a full creative brief. The kind I receive all the time from clients. And yes, maybe the time I have spent designing and developing this website could have been spent trying to woo potential new clients. But hopefully the time and effort taken to create this site will show and it will be something I am proud to show potential and existing clients and then, it may just start to pay for itself.