Mark's Expert Q+A

Describe your favorite self-promotion. Did it work?
Starting a blog. I read Seth Godin’s ebook Who’s There? and it was like a door opening – here was a way to market my business by sharing what I knew, and attracting people instead of interrupting them with advertising or sales calls.

It worked very well indeed – not only did it bring in plenty of clients, it also led to new business opportunities I’d never have dreamed of when I published my first blog post. And not just clients, but also but collaborators and business partners from the other side of the world. Plus an invitation to speak at HOW Design!

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I’m not a designer, so I’m living in the alternative universe! I’m a poet and a Creative Business Coach, which gives me the perfect mix of creating in solitude and working with inspiring creative people.

What does Boston bring to mind? What do you plan to do while you’re there?
As a poet myself, when I think of Boston I think of your great poet, Robert Lowell. So I’d love to visit any sites associated with Lowell. Suggestions welcome!

Can you tell us a little more about your Conference topic? What personal or professional experiences led you to this topic?
I’ll be speaking about Giving and Receiving Feedback on  creative work – I’ve been on both the receiving end as a writer, and know how challenging it can be to take feedback on board. And when I’ve facilitated conversations between creatives, managers and clients about the quality of creative work, I’ve seen how charged the atmosphere can get! So I’m aiming to give the audience – as managers and creatives – some new ways to approach the conversations, so that everyone gets the job done together – without too many bruised egos!

I’m also leading a group session on coaching creative performance, where I’ll look at the kind of skills it takes to get the best out of professional designers – again, based on my own experiences of coaching and being coached on creative work.