Superheroes? It’s a lie!

Last month’s reflection was a turning point for us, as it made us think about the whole year and about all the things we wanted to improve. This time we are thinking a bit differently, and we want to be more specific and objective in what we need to discuss and what needs improvement.

This past month we worked on a branding project, which we loved to do, not only for the project itself but because we truly believe in the idea behind it. Even though we loved it and were really happy with the final result, we realized our branding process still needs a lot of work, so we are finding ways of practicing and working on that.

organic/sustainable online shop [www.terrabatida.pt]

Last month, we had concluded that we had too many feedback moments with our clients and didn’t do it in a beneficial way. Something we did and now see that we should never do, is showing them sketches or many similar versions of the same idea, and letting them choose. We had created some “rules” to improve contact with our clients, to help us manage this project. Even with these changes, we realized that there are many things that we have to work on in terms of communication. We want so badly that the clients are present in the whole process that we let them control it instead of the contrary. We have to be the ones to answer to their problems in a decisive way, instead of showing them lots of options and letting them choose alone, that is why they hired us in the first place. Of course, we want the result to be what the clients desired, but we have to lead them in the right direction, because this way our ability to create and think outside the box is severely restricted, and we end up closing our options too much before we get to an actual concluded idea.

Right now, we feel like the best solution is to reduce the steps and feedback points. So we’ll have specific phases during the process where we’ll present what we’re doing based on the briefing, instead of waiting for approval at every step and change we make. We’re trying to be more autonomous, but also more confident. It definitely is not perfect yet, but with every project we take, we’re trying to find the right balance and the right process for us.

In our heads we’re superheroes, we can do everything and super quickly, with no mishaps or unforeseen problems. It’s a lie!

Another thing we discussed on the theme of processes and things that are not working are our timings. In our heads we’re superheroes, we can do everything and super quickly, with no mishaps or unforeseen problems. It’s a lie! That’s only in our heads because, in reality, when the time comes, we have to really strain ourselves to do everything and meet our deadlines. To avoid that, we decided to create another rule to control our deadlines and make them more possible: “No deadline can be shorter than 2 weeks”. Ok, unless it’s really quick. But from now on, all our planning is defined with at least 2 weeks for every deadline. We might even finish way before that, but it is the minimum we demand from the client and ourselves.

In February we decided to make a new investment. “Indústria Criativa”, a platform for creatives in Portugal, now has a freelancer dedicated section. We’re on a phase where we want to take new steps, find new and diverse clients. To really make use of it, we’re working on our portfolio, selecting and improving our best work, to then invest in the premium package and search for new challenges.

We also decided to invest in our Portuguese audience. Since we started we wrote all of our content in English, from our portfolio to our social media posts. We thought it would bring us more audience and take us further if we did that, but now looking back it makes so much more sense to us to invest in our own language since we’re looking for Portuguese clients and most of our followers and visits are Portuguese. We decided to keep writing our stories in English though, as we feel like this is a platform where writing in Portuguese wouldn’t make much sense.

Finally, we talked about how to improve our internal “relationship”. As we said, we work remotely and there are still a few things we have to work on. In January, our biggest problem was communication. There are many times where we don’t know what the other one is doing, which tasks and projects are closed, what we could improve in that specific task, etc, and all of these questions could be answered if we communicated more, if we always informed the other one of what we’re doing right now, every time we need help, or when we finally solved that problem. We think this will make our work better, and make us feel closer.

Another thing we’ve been implementing is a stand-up call every morning. We have some friends working remotely, and seeing them use this method and succeed made us feel it was a good idea for us, as it’s another communication moment in our days.

We’ll document our journey, and we hope you join us and find it helpful, even if it’s by learning what NOT to do!

‘Till next month,
96STUDIO.