BY KENNETH RICHARD
An exciting new networking site for creatives, The Dots, launched last week in the UK on boarding such great firms as Net-a-Porter, Wednesday, Condé Nast, Vice, Harrods, Hearst Magazines, Purple PR, and Stylist. We were immediately smitten with the businesses and reached out to chat with founder Pip Jamieson to learn more.
Congratulations on the launch! It’s really exciting. Can you tell us about The Dots outside of its catchy name?
Best described as a ‘LinkedIn for creatives’ The Dots (www.the-dots.co.uk) is a professional networking platform designed to help creative professionals and companies showcase work, network, collaborate and connect with commercial opportunities.
Our complete focus is on connecting creative individuals and businesses to commercial outcomes – be it an amazing new contact, client, job, freelance opportunity and/or collaborator.
Oh and I’m so happy you like the name. We wanted to capture the essence of what we do. The Dots was perfect. Join the dots … connect the dots. People automatically finish the phrase, in essence connecting the dots behind the phrase itself – which always makes them smile.
What inspired The Dots?
When I worked as the head of marketing at MTV, I was finding it really hard to connect with amazing creative talent and service providers. At the same time my colleague, Matt Fayle, who was digital director for Viacom in Australia, was constantly being asked by creatives for advice on setting up and running online portfolios.
After discussing the challenges that both of us were experiencing, we realised that the common factor in all these cases was that they all wanted their online presence to lead to something; if you were a creative business you were trying to build your brand, promote your projects, connect with clients, service providers or hire talent; if you were a creative individual you were trying to build your personal brand, find collaborators, find a job or a freelance opportunity.
Our vision was not only to create a platform that was easy for creative individuals and businesses to promote their work online – but most importantly connect that work to a commercial outcome – connecting our users to a client, job or collaborator – essentially helping them make money.
How are the needs of the creative community different?
We recognized that people working in the creative sector have different needs and networking preferences to those in the corporate sector. A standard CV doesn’t cut it; you need to see the work they’ve created. And while there are lots of portfolio hosting sites out there, what we focus on is connecting that work to a contact, job, collaborator, workspace, course or client.
On the flip side an issue for companies is finding the best creative talent and attracting new clients. The Dots provides them with a targeted platform for not only recruiting the best talent but also helping them to promote their own brand, picking up clients and sourcing service providers.
You’ve been in this business since 2009, as a co-founder of the Australian platform The Loop, how have you seen the industry change since then?
What has been magic is to watch how the creative industries are increasingly being recognized as a significant driver of growth and innovation – before the recession that wasn’t the case. With this recognition has come greater support and resourcing for the sector as a whole and put a higher value on creative services.
What are your long-term hopes for The Dots?
The Dots’ is on a mission to connect one million creatives and creative businesses to commercial opportunities by 2018 – I won’t rest until we’ve achieved that goal.
That’s a spectacle goal and from I’ve seen, confident you can reach it. What can somebody find on The Dots that they wouldn’t expect?
Only a week old we’ve managed to attract over 1000 incredible brands to the platform (http://the-dots.co.uk/
It is an impressive accomplishment with being live for just a week. You’ve a lot to be proud of. What other part of this project are you the most proud of?
Although the platform has only just launched, I developed the technology with my previous business in Australia. For me, our greatest success is that we helped 192,000 + creatives and creative business connect with commercial opportunities and I must admit it’s so exciting to have launched the product in the UK so we can help the 1.6 million people and companies that work in the British creative sectors do the same.
Ok, let talk about that 1 million mark, more than confident our global readers will wonder when you will be available in their country, what are your international plans?
We’re planning to expand in Europe shortly and then the US in 2015. This will open up even more opportunities for creative professionals looking to work overseas and will also widen the talent pool for companies. Exciting times ahead!