As I mentioned before, 97 Degrees West is the smallest agency I’ll be visiting on #TGAA. While it took me a few days to acclimate to the vastly different environment, I have to admit that things are going rather well here. Honestly, I almost forgot just how nimble and accommodating a small agency could be. For instance, there’s a lot less red tape to wade through when it comes to filling out paperwork and getting paid on time. After 10 months on the road, I can’t tell you how boring it is to fill out page after page, each and every month. I’ll certainly be glad when that part is over and done with.
Another distinct advantage smaller agencies have is their ability to hire contractors with extremely specific skill sets. While 97 Degrees West maintains a great in-house team, they also have a vetted list of niche creatives on-call, which makes them highly flexible and competitive with just about any project. If, for instance, they needed someone highly qualified in After Effects, they always have a trustworthy candidate at the ready. In fact, that’s how I first came across 97 Degrees West—or as they were known at the time, Blue Shoe Spoon Bend. I found myself on their shortlist of Copywriters and from time to time, they’d shoot me over some rather fun freelance work. That’s why I always encourage younger creatives to reach out to smaller shops. It’s easier to get in touch with an actual person and they tend to be more open to giving people a try.
This week, I also had the opportunity to take part in two great Q&A sessions. The first was with a company my friend works at, Appspire.me. They invited me in to chat about my travels and field a couple questions from the team. It was a great time from beginning to end. Then, for the second time on my journey, I was a featured guest in Professor Jay Newell’s Wednesday Wake Up Call series at the Iowa State University. I had a great time talking about #TGAA and thankfully, my webcam decided to work this time. In the Spring, students were forced to stare at my weird selfie for half an hour, because Skype wasn't being cooperative. I truly want to thank everyone involved, but most of all, I’d like to thank Postano for sponsoring both of these events, as well as all of my Q&A sessions going forward. It’s absolutely amazing to have them onboard for the project.