9. Key Partners

Now that my cards have been passed on to the first freelancer to volunteer in the participatory design trials, I've been left with some time to focus on the widening of my sector map and firm up the offer of Making Sense and potentially expand the outer boundaries on my current target audiences and key partners. I have recently cleanly established my target audience (and identified likely early adopters) as freelancers/producers/artists, however, as outlined in previous posts - Making Sense is an effort to materialise my own brand of creative freelancing strategies, and with that comes more opportunities than the development of cards. I am indeed working towards the development of a saleable product, but this process also provides me with a framework to potentially upskill and even mentor creative practitioners. During a recent tutorial, I had discussed with my mentor, Dr. Matthew Lovett, about how I had recently begun the process of approaching cultural/arts hubs to broaden the key partners involved in the public intervention of participatory design for Making Sense. This process was just recently initiated via conversations I held with ACW about Making Sense. In response to thois, in his classic 12-words-or-less-vehicle-of-revelations, he said...


"Have you considered business hubs as well?" - Dr Matthew Lovett

So, I returning to my previously established sector map, I can expand on this outer boundary by considering creative agencies, and business hubs; each of which engages with either creative practitioners, freelancers, or both, via their key activities (i.e. offering opportunities to individuals of my identified target audience for Making Sense)


To explore this expansion of my target audience and key partners over the coming weeks, I'll be reaching out to two organisations...


1). The Arts Council of Wales.

Although my cards are inherently centered around creative and new media workflows, the key message for my target audience, as unlocked by Sinek's Golden circle, is that it offers practitioners an organised way to tackle the nebulous workflows that come with freeform mixed-discipline creativity. The mixed creativity message is already a good fit, but to explore the value propositions of heightened systemic organisation within creativity I will be engaging in conversations with members of the ACW team to explore how this fits into their mission and if they can support me in disseminating any such mentoring scheme/training offer I am seeking to develop.


2). The Growth Hub, Gloucester.

As pointed out by Matt, there is potential scope here to apply the same offer via business hubs/networks as well. After all, jumping back to my observations during the competitive benchmarking, we now know that those kinds of the card-based resource is not strictly targeted at creative and artist and producers, but is also targetted at strategic consultants and team facilitators; the same strategic consultants and team facilitators that run business seminar workshops and mentoring programmes. On top of this, I have had a lot of experience with this kind of 'delivered by the creator' model. In 2013 my dear friend and pyka co-founder Miles Warren and I developed and launched an app called _loop - a digital platform for interactive and expressive sound manipulation, and our first creative expressive app. The day we launched _loop was the day we also launched a learning scheme called _looper. The premise? Educational courses for schools that reconnect young learners to their curriculum through creativity, powered by our app, and delivered by the creators. Back then, a strong USP and rare opportunity for learners. ...and all of this creative curriculum learning pre-dated the Donaldson Report, as well as the resulting Creative Learning Through The Arts Scheme. So, at a ripe and fertile time in Welsh education, we found ourselves at the front of the wake and as a result (to date) we have generated hundreds of thousands of pounds in revenue as a result of this successful business maneuver. So, by expanding the underlying principles of Making Sense into a seminar focused on the advanced dissemination of the underlying processes of this toolkit, at least at a scale that could work very well to my independent practice. So with this comes a value in being able to re-unpack this, and deliver seminars/workshops/mentoring programs that features and advance dissemination of the framework behind Making Sense. The big challenge here is communicating the value propositions for Making Sense to each of these (potential) key partners in such a way that is best suited to each sector; the arts, and business. Now given that Making Sense is a toolkit aimed at creative freelancers, it shouldn't be too hard to divide this between each hub:


So over the next few weeks, I'll be breaking out the introductory emails and picking up the telephone to get these gears in motion. In light of our current social circumstances... that being a global pandemic, I intend to document each of these remote engagements as much as I possibly can. I will consolidate the results of these collaborative encounters here as learn more about of the objectives/requirements each of these hubs are currently spearheading, and how I can mold my seminar offer around these needs in order to achieve product fit for this new element of the Making Sense business model.