Headdesk turns 5 this week so we reflect on the past 12 months and set some goals for 2016...
With Headdesk turning 5 this week and the start of a new year I thought I’d reflect on 2015 and set myself a few goals for 2016.
If you weren’t aware, I started Headdesk in 2011 while studying at Coventry University. I was part of an entrepreneurship scheme and things got off the ground very quickly and snowballed into a full time job before I handed in my final coursework and dissertation. Now coming to the end of my 5th year of trading I feel like 2016 is the year to catch my breath, reflect and transform Headdesk into a creative outlet for myself as well as maintaining a profitable business.
What I achieved in 2015
2015 has been a good year for firsts and also a successful year for finally completing some goals.
At the start of 2014 I wrote a resolution on my blog to finish Headdesk’s new website that I had been working at the end of 2013. 2014 came and went and that didn’t happen. In fact, half of 2015 passed before I decided enough was enough and I brought in the professionals. Coding was cramping my style and I needed to focus on the look of the site and the content. In October 2015 I launched my new website and I couldn’t be prouder of finally letting go of the control and collaborating with others to achieve a goal that I had been sitting on for too long. Read my blog post about the new website here.
Along with the website came the relaunch of a blog which I have tried to start several times previously and lost interest in pretty quickly. To now be in January, still blogging and surprising enjoying it is a big achievement. Having a blog has taught me to share more and give Headdesk a personality. With the launch of the current blog, I decided to keep the blog broad so not to limit myself to specific content. This has given me the opportunity to contribute my thoughts on many things throughout the year including product reviews, app reviews, industry news and also share my experiences outside of the studio including days out and classes.
I produced my first ever wedding stationery this year which is something I’ve wanted to try for a while but because I started my career working within corporate industries it’s been difficult to expand into other industries due to the nature of referrals and the lack of variety in my portfolio. The opportunity arose this to create wedding stationery for Mr & Mrs Harris, which in fact lead to another wedding project later in the year. I challenged myself to step out of the corporate world which I’ve come a custom to in the past few years and create something beautiful.
I’ve worked for Arley Arboretum for a number of years now but this year was the year I was asked to take their marketing to new heights. They allowed me to take control and put a lot of faith in my abilities to be able to implement their social media budget in the most effective way possible. The whole year I’ve been trialing campaigns and each month I’ve tweaked the plan to make it even more cost effective. At the end of 2015 after a record year with almost triple the visitor numbers from the previous year, I put together a bad ass marketing plan for 2016 which I’m ready to start implementing this month.
I got back my creative self this year. At the start of the year there were a few things that got me thinking about pursuing my passion of photography again. I went to photograph an event at Boulder Central which really tested my skills and made me want to learn how to overcome difficult lighting situations in a technical way. With the purchase of a new camera half way through the year I really got back into photography and I’ve been busy snapping away for the past few months.
To expand my wedding stationery portfolio, gain more exposure within the wedding industry and ultimately obtain commissions to creative wedding stationary.
To learn new non-digital skills such as calligraphy, letterpress, hand lettering, ceramic painting, pottery and life drawing along with maintaining a high skill level across software.
To continue to blog frequently and regularly. My goal is to blog twice a week but that’s not to say I’ll not post more on some weeks when I’m feeling extra inspired and maybe skip a week when the words just aren’t coming. I would also like to start reading more blogs by other creatives and start leaving thoughtful and constructive comments.
To seek more offline forms of inspiration and creative outlets. This is something I began at the end of last year, I went to several classes including ceramic pottery painting and furniture painting. I’d love to find a local life drawing class to attend and also join a photography group this year, along with attending more creative events such as art galleries, theatre productions and shows.
To learn more about using Instagram and Pinterest as marketing tools.
To overcome feeling embarrassed to take photos in public. I’ve always been really inspired by street photography and documentary photography but I’ve never had the confidence to whip out my camera at the fear of some unusual stares. Taking photos for my blog has forced me to start to do this, with a frequent phrase going through my head in the tune of La Roux’s hit “I’m doing it for the blog…”
To make my space more creative. I’m constantly looking for new quirky things to fill the office with and last year I started to redecorate the studio with an industrial theme which I’d like to continue this year and create an inspiring space to work in.
To spend more time on developing designs rather than trying to get to the end product as quickly as possible. Sometimes deadlines and budgets don’t allow for this, but I want to focus more on creating well thought out designs where possible this year.
To keep my website portfolio up to date.
To simplify my everyday digital processes. I’ve been trialing loads of new apps recently and I’ve begun to create a process every time I take a photo for my blog, from editing and storing through to publishing across multiple platforms. I’d like to create similar processes throughout my daily tasks.
Projects I’m looking forward at the start of 2016
Creating brand guidelines for Ormerod Rutter and implementing them consistently
Launching Start Construction’s new website in collaboration with Deep Roots, creating a marketing strategy and creating awareness through social media.
I’ve just finished a billboard campaign for Franco Florenzi which I’m looking forward to seeing printed and installed at Worcester Warriors soon.
Implementing Arley Arboretum’s ‘bad ass’ new marketing plan for 2016
Launching Arley House’s social media from scratch and building an online presence for the new wedding venue at Arley Arboretum.