What do you get when you put a room full of diverse freelancers with real-world issues to be solved? You get a night filled with creative problem solving and zealous exchange of knowledge.
Intrigued by the idea of creating workable solutions to social problems, support communities and helping the environment, I took part in the Freelancer Impacthon organised by CreativesAtWork.
Here are my five key takeaways from the Freelancer Impacthon
1. Use creativity to make marketing work on a low budget
During the guest sharing by Stanley Kan, a digital marketing strategist, he touched on how to creatively run affordable marketing campaign. Founder of his own marketing companies, Stanley drew examples from his personal journey and provided valuable insights on how to make the most of one’s budget.
The stories he shared dispelled my misconception that marketing requires a large budget and it was beyond an average person’s reach. Fellow freelancers also shared their experiences on using marketing for personal branding. Encouraged by everyone’s sharing and actionable ideas, I was keen to explore how marketing would enable me to enhance my personal brand.
2. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life
The Impacthon challenges came from ComCorp and Common Man Coffee Roasters (CMCR). Peter from ComCorp wanted to look into changing Singaporean’s mindset of purchasing vegetables that did not look perfect because they are grown pesticides-free. Matt and Sarah from CMCR were exploring ways to integrate their mission and values of championing quality coffee and sustainability practices into their new product launch.
Motivated by the companies’ determination to do good for the environment and our community despite the business challenges faced, we were buzzing with energy to come up workable solutions for the challenges.
Even though it was close to 10pm on a weekday, the teams were reluctant to end our discussions. We had to be herded into the room by the organisers to pitch our solutions. After the event ended, many of us remained behind to continue the discussion with the companies and fellow freelancers.
3. Diversity sparks great ideation
To stimulate a real-world freelance working environment, we were spilt up into random teams and assigned to work with one of the companies on their challenge. My team and I were tasked to work on CMRC’s challenge. Coming from different backgrounds, we were able to tap on each other’s expertise and view the challenge from various perspectives.
I was surprised by the wide range of ideas generated. The younger teammates came up with high tech ideas such as using augmented reality to create buzz and educate consumers about the coffee production journey. The more experienced teammates provided feedback on the ideas generated based on experiences from past projects. Despite working on similar problems, each team came up with unique viewpoints and solutions for the companies.
4. Always keep the goal in mind
At the end of our pitch, the companies took the opportunity to provide us with valuable feedback on how we can fine tune it. I appreciated Matt from CMCR generous sharing of his perspective as a client and what he was looking out for in a pitch. He reminded us to assure clients that their needs were understood and to focus on one or two ideas during the pitch.
5. Have Fun and Make Friends
The Impacthon was a warm and friendly environment to connect with like-minded individuals. It was also an opportunity to get to meet and learn from people whom I would not have the chance to meet outside of this event. I had fun exchanging information and learning about different industries from fellow attendees.
I was also super excited to catch up with fellow courses mates from the previous Freelancing 101 Bootcamp. Even though the bootcamp was only two days, because of the interactive activities that were integrated into the programme, a sense of camaraderie had formed between us.
At the end of the night, I was inspired by the passion and sincerity of the group. The challenges brought up by the companies had me thinking about how we can step up to do more for our community as well as the environment.