Rants

A Reluctant Extrovert

Duckface Selfie!

In the nearly seven years One Pixel Off has been in operation doing digital development and production for advertising agencies we have done nearly no self promotion. All of the work we've been awarded has found its way to us through word of mouth. I like to think that the reason we've been able operate like this and grow the company is the quality of our work. It has however become clear that the time has come to be more vocal about our achievements and capabilities.

Why have we been so quiet for so long? I'm pretty sure it's my fault. As founder of the company it was inevitable that it would inherit many of my own personality traits and foibles. I'm an introvert. I'd rather make things, than talk about it. If I can earn attention for the good quality of my hard work I’m okay with that, but it's out of character for me to draw attention to myself or my work just for the sake of getting attention.

It could be the stereotypical "strong silent type" heroes of the action movies I watched as a kid made a strong impression on me. Working hard and being quiet about it always worked out for them. The universe they lived in always did right by them.

Being quiet about what you can do and have done is of course downright unnatural in the advertising industry. Advertising is all about drawing attention, and when agencies aren't drawing the public's attention for their clients they are drawing their potential clients' attention to themselves. Agencies and their clients know that if you don't talk about what you've done then it might as well not exist, regardless of how well crafted or clever it may be. This is the reality of the universe we live in.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one sees it, does it make a sound? The fact is for all practical purposes it doesn't matter because no one saw it, and if someone comes across the fallen tree later it's very unlikely they will think about what sound it made.

Through conversations over the last couple years it became clear that the people who engage us are only aware of the previous work we've done with them, and maybe one or two projects we did for someone they know. Which makes sense since we have only done business by word of mouth, but it also meant they were completely unaware of the vast majority of our work. It seems so obvious as I type this; of course they wouldn't know about it because we weren't talking about it. Duh!

What's more when we have had an opportunity to tell a client about our other project work they are taken aback by the breadth of work and the number of brands we've worked for. After the fifth or sixth time seeing the surprise on a client's face it finally got through my thick skull that doing good work alone was not enough, and by not talking about it we were doing ourselves a disservice.

Because of this we are forcing a change in the culture of the company, and in myself. Going forward we pledge to be extraverted. We will talk about our projects, our experiments, and our culture. We will blog, and we will be active on social media. We will speak at conferences, submit our work for awards, and participate in industry events. We will actively try to draw attention to our work and our capabilities, because it would be wrong not to.

What won't be changing though is quality of work.

Clayton Partridge's picture
BY: Clayton Partridge
Founding Partner

Clayton is a developer, and likes to make things out of other things.

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