As individuals, we are the result of every experience we have had up to this point and of the impact that all the people we have shared said experiences with have had upon us.
This is certainly true of my professional journey and how I found myself a few years ago sitting in a room with a bunch of extremely talented and creative professionals, which has led to Plainsight’s development from a one man (well woman) band to a network of people that can undertake pretty much any project, where the brief is to communicate a message in a compelling manner.
I could have written a big sale spiel to make you believe that we are the best thing since sliced bread, and that if you are looking for any sort of marketing support and creative input, we ought to become your first port of call…. Only to remember the first rule of sales and that ultimately, people buy from people!
So, let me tell you something about the people that make Plainsight what it is, and how we got to today.
My name is Alex Morris and essentially I am Plainsight Consultancy…. Sounds very pompous! Really, what I mean is that this is my own trading name. I have been acting as a Marketing Consultant under this banner now for 5/6 years on one level or another, adopting a slightly different role and approach depending on the clients’ requirements or projects I have worked on.
I come from a fashion retail background. I opened my first boutique at the very young age of 22 and at the time it was a surprising life choice, as I had never thought of me as an entrepreneur until then. But I took to it like a duck to water and even if it had not been my little girl’s dream, I caught the entrepreneurial bug and have never looked back, despite the various ups and downs that are typical of an entrepreneur’s journey.
People have often called me ‘a fashion expert’ but I always rejected that label. Don’t get me wrong, I looooove Fashion! I am Italian, fashion is in my genes. But, I see myself more as a ‘retail expert’ and even more specifically as a ‘consumer expert’. I get a kick from giving people not just what they want, but what they need, what’s useful, and making a difference to their life or business in the process.
About 6/7 years ago Mary Portas hit the small screen with Queen of Shops – and all of a sudden my vocation in life became very clear. I found myself thinking: I know that! I could have told them that! THAT was what I wanted to do. I wanted to do more than selling amazing clothes and inspiring confidence in women in the process. I wanted to use all the experience I had gained in over 10 years of running a business and help other businesses developing an identity. I wanted to help others shaping their business model and aid their growth. I wanted to turn the lessons I had learnt from my failures into the basis of their success… I wanted to make a difference – a real tangible one. And I have been about that ever since.
My first client put me on a train to London an hour into my new role to meet no other than the HR director of one of the biggest mining companies in the world. Trying to keep up with appearances and make a good impression, I was talking about various people I thought would be good to engage with on a business level. After a bit, he looked at me quite seriously and said… ‘Alex, how do you know all these people?’ And I replied: ‘I don’t know, I just do…’
I suppose that is what I do… ‘I do people’. Which is exactly the reason why Plainsight is what it is and why about 2 1/2 years ago, I was invited to a low key networking gathering with a group of freelancers.
The focus of the meeting was to find power in numbers.
Usually in the creative industry, a freelancer is someone who has specialized in a particular skill, to an extent where it is more financially rewarding to offer that skill as a service to multiple outlets rather than just work within one single environment.
However, it is also true that the bigger, more exciting projects are often not accessible to these extremely talented individuals, for the very reason that they are individuals – a one man band – when often bigger more interesting projects require multiple resources and a varied team.
The idea was to create a network of individuals that would want to work together, recommend one another and approach big projects as a team rather than as single individuals.
At the meeting, we sat in a circle, everyone introduced themselves, explained what they did, shared their experiences, projects they have worked on. I was the last one to speak and I just looked at them puzzled and said: ‘I am not sure why I am here, since I don’t do any of that… I just make stuff happen!’ One of the guys replied, ‘But that is exactly what we need’… And I suppose that was the day we embarked on the journey that has taken us here today.
You see, creatives don’t ‘do people’ – that’s why agencies have accounts managers!
This is how the idea of developing a concept that was a twist on an agency started. Essentially, Plainsight operates like an agency BUT there are some major differences. The result is the same if not better (since you have a team of specialists at your disposal tailored to the nature of your project), the process is slightly different while the price is probably the biggest difference – we are all freelancers working from a home office, with no big overheads – a set up that is only possible thanks to today’s cloud based technologies.
Now I should explain why ‘Plainsight’? Click here to read more about the reasons behind my business name.