Welcome back! Today we’re introducing you to our digital strategist Christian, who works on our web design and copywriting. Christian is a new addition to our team with a brilliant talent for words. Christian studied at Ramapo College of New Jersey, graduating with a BA in Spanish Language Studies in June 2020, in addition to studying at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain, during the summer of 2019.
In addition to being a spectacular coworker, Christian is an avid music listener and collector. He also enjoys travelling to new places near and far, painting landscapes, and practicing piano. He answered a few different questions for us to share a little more about what he does and what is important to him!
What made you decide to pursue business and design after getting a Spanish degree?
The great thing about pursuing a degree in a second language is that there is a wide variety of fields that you can potentially go into. Being an educator is one, but going into a business-related field is another natural fit. The conversational and communicative nature of language is not limited to English, Spanish, or any language; improving communication skills in one language improves communication skills in others, as well. For a position like mine, excellent communication skills are key!
How do you regroup and recover from bad days?
Typically, I’ll try my best to keep a level head and avoid overanalyzing what made the day a bad one. The best thing to do is to recognize the shortcomings you might have had and make a plan to avoid re-making any mistakes you might have made, but also to realize that most things are simply out of your control. More than anything else, be kind to yourself - you are a human being with a life, a mind, and emotions, not a robot!
How do you stay self-motivated while working remotely?
Realizing that working remotely is an incredible privilege which not everyone is afforded to is a quiet motivator for me. Truthfully, the prospect of working from home was worrying to me when it first became the rule of thumb, but I’ve now grown to appreciate it and the benefits it offers. I organize my day by writing out all of the tasks I need to get done, and then tackling them one-by-one. I get a real sense of accomplishment by checking off each task on the list!
How do you inspire trust in your clients?
Listening to all of our clients’ concerns and doing everything within my power to make sure that their voice is the number one way to inspire trust in them. Being prompt and courteous in all my communications with clients helps to expedite that process.
What has been your most significant achievement so far?
More than anything else, completing my degree has been what I would consider my most significant achievement thus far. There was no small number of obstacles that I had to face in order to get my diploma, and finally receiving it was a moment in which I truly felt proud.
What media platforms do you recommend small businesses use to get the most bang for their buck?
You can’t go wrong with Instagram and Facebook. Both of these platforms attract different user bases, and hundreds of millions of unique visitors per day. Both platforms are completely free to use, with the option of paying for advertising available on both. LinkedIn is also a great tool for marketing and networking.
What are the most important skills you use in your day to day work?
Knowledge of various file sharing networks, like Google Drive, Infinity, etc. is incredibly important in my daily work. Since I am working remotely, I have to be up-to-date with all the latest workplace technologies! Being in close contact with clients means that my email writing needs to be top-notch as well. Being concise, comprehensible, and collected is key!
How do you approach the creative process?
When it comes to designing websites for clients, I am usually provided with a brand guide, which acts as a sort of delineator for me. From that brand guide, I will begin the process of building the website using the files, fonts, colors, and other design elements which have been laid out for me. When it comes to company logos, I like to incorporate aspects of the logo in the design of the website. For example, if the company’s logo contains a lot of lines, I will bring lines into the design of the website, in order to create a feeling of consistency across the board. Another key part of my creative process is trusting my own eye - if I’m not immediately in love with how something looks, I change it!
How do you incorporate feedback into your designs?
Just as I trust my own eye with my designs, I trust the eyes of my team to deliver solid feedback to me whenever possible. Whenever we have a group meeting over Zoom, the beauty of working remotely allows me to go into my website editing software and incorporate the changes they recommend that I make. This real-time collaborative process allows for us to have four pairs of eyes looking at the same page, which is invaluable for any creative process, including creating a website!
What core values should professionals have?
Be transparent with your clientele about what is and what isn’t offered to them. Have the wisdom to know when a client is in over their head, and the wherewithal to realize when something isn’t working. Don’t let your pride get in the way of progress. Honesty, both with yourself and your client, is not optional!
What are your hobbies?
Aside from spending time with my friends, I enjoy practicing with my more creative side, whether that be practicing piano, painting, writing, cooking and baking, or trying to learn a new language, whenever I get the opportunity to do so. When the weather permits, I also enjoy going on hikes and nature walks to clear my mind and breathe fresh air!
What’s something you taught yourself lately?
Taking a calculated risk that might not pay off is better than stagnating in your comfort zone.
How do you measure success?
For me, success is measured by a combination of different factors: Making enough money in order to be able to live comfortably and safely is one, and doing something meaningful, impactful, and enjoyable to make that money is another. What is it to be successful if you’re not sharing the benefits of that success with other people?