My first (non-paying) client - Clay Excavating - takes the cake as the most important client on my roster. Throw nepotism to the wayside, creating a brand from the dirt up - logo, business cards, billboard, newspaper advertisement and website - was one of the most difficult and important stepping stones I would take early in my career.
To clarify, this went down while pursuing a degree in agricultural communications from the nation’s best land grant university nearly 10 years ago. Using the skills gained in web design and layout, I used the student version of Creative Suite - archaic Dreamweaver, included - to create a brand identity that holds strong nearly 10 years later.
Free labor, man: it's something to behold.
While the logo has been applied to more fleet vehicles, yellow and green equipment, and Freightliners than I can count, the website became a mini-museum of a time when the AP Stylebook hailed Web site as a proper identification of an online property.
Read as: the site was not built with search engines in mind, wasn't responsive (which means it didn't open well on a smart phone or tablet), and a thousand other items too ridiculous to type.
Man, that’s embarrassing.
With projects, payroll, accounting, contracts, etc. etc. websites simply do not sift to the top of the priority list for small- and medium-sized businesses. It’s my obligation to create a site that not only meets the requirements and expectations of today’s digital-focused consumers, but also consider what happens after I hand over the keys.
Often, business owners are faced with plugins requiring excessive attention and unfriendly content management systems. Who has time for that? Not the man behind Clay Excavating, that’s for sure.
Creating a site on a user-friendly program aimed to grow with an organization is important. This allows us to focus on what’s more important: the content.
The goal of ClayExcavating.com was simple: we’re in business, we do great work, hire us. And, I think we nailed it.