Looking Back over a Decade

by Ross Barber-Smith

Photo by Ray Tarantino

It’s hard to believe that another decade is ending, and a new one is beginning.

For me, it’s prompted me to look back at my business and think about all of the artists I’ve had the privilege of working with over the last 8 years.

Thank you…

I have so many thank yous to give – both to clients, and to others in the music industry who have offered words of guidance, referred other artists to me, and who have trusted me with their projects.

I’m truly grateful to all of you, and I’m thankful that we’re able to help each other grow and prosper.

When I first branched out into web design full time, it was hard to see where things would go… initially, it really was a case of just trying to make it through each day, each week, each month, hoping that I’d be lucky enough to find new projects to work on. Of course, there are always still elements of that (ask any small business owner or freelancer, especially in the earlier days of their career!) but I’m beyond grateful to the clients who refer other artists to me, as recommendations are such a huge part of what keeps a small business going, and growing.

I’m thankful to the other industry professionals who have offered advice when I needed it, and to those who have shown any gestures of support, no matter how small. It all means a lot, and really helps – especially on the tougher days!

Reaching a turning point

Part of me feels like I’ve been doing this forever, but another part of me feels like things are only just getting started… and that’s probably in many ways down to starting to grow confidence in what I offer to my clients, believing in my own value, and finally being really happy with how my OWN website looks!

I think for a long time, that was something that held me back. Deep down, I knew that I did a good job and client feedback affirmed that. But because I had always put my clients first, my own web presence was being neglected – and in turn, that was holding me back.

So, when I finally decided to do something about it, and make the change, I felt almost reborn after redesigning my site. It sparked something in me – almost instantly, I felt so much more confident, and wanted to start reaching out to people I would never have pitched my services to before.

And my only regret? That I didn’t do it sooner!

Looking forward

For 2020 and the coming years, I’m looking forward to building more relationships within the industry – both with artists, and also with management companies, labels, and publicists.

I’d love to build some solid partnerships with other like-minded people in the music business and find ways that we can help each other and in turn, help the artists we work with develop their careers.

I’m also looking forward to finding ways that I can help the artists I already work with – whether that’s connecting them with other artists for collaboration opportunities, or introducing them to someone who can help them with the next step of their career. It’s something I already do, but something I would love to do even more of over the next few decade.

I believe we can all succeed together – there’s room for all of us, and it’s so much more beneficial all round to HELP each other, rather than looking out for only ourselves.

What about you?

I’m not really into the whole new year resolution thing, but I’d love to hear from you and find out what you’ve learned in your career over the past decade, and what you’re going to focus on in the next. I’d love to hear from you, and hey, maybe there are ways we can help each other out!

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