Richie Manu was interviewed for a feature in Ignite Magazine, a print publication focusing on creative thinking and inspiration.

Ignite Magazine: Richie, your new book, You:Rebranded, works on providing creative methods to help you or your business to stand out from the crowd – if you could give one piece of advice to a freelance creative, what would it be?

RM: First bit of advice… Buy my book :)  It will challenge you to rethink how you brand and differentiate yourself in competitive fields where just your knowledge is not enough to make a mark.  One of the key factors is to focus on the memorable qualities that make people want to do business with you and more importantly make clients and prospects remember you. Your competitors will no doubt be a match for skills and qualifications, so you must draw on what really makes you distinctive. 

Also have a think about how people describe you when they are referring or recommending you. One final but equally important thing is staying connected. It is vital to stay on the radar of clients or employers with regular communication even when you are not doing any work for them.

Ignite Magazine:If you could work on a project for any client/company of your choosing, who would it be and what would the project be on?

RM: My early work as a designer involved doing CD and album covers, marketing and promotional material for the music industry.  It was a real buzz doing work that you would stumble upon in a record shop.

I am still driven by creative projects for creative people, especially when we collaborate and there is a natural flow and connection. More recently I have been doing major design projects for clients in renewable energy and companies driving new technology in smart metering. I also love projects where I can learn a lot about sectors that are new to me.

Ignite Magazine: As you work primarily as a creative, did you find the writing side of the book came easily to you?

RM: Much of the book ‘YOU:Rebranded – be seen, be heard get noticed’ draws on creative principles and innovative techniques to stand out from the crowd. Naturally I was writing about stuff that I had been doing for clients for years, so really, that part of the writing came naturally. What was more challenging was learning to write in a way that would keep readers engaged. I wanted to ensure that readers were not just reading, but thinking about the content at the same time. I punctuated the pages with graphics and diagrams that would give some form or dimension for seemingly complex concepts. It was quite rewarding to be able to apply visuals to the chapters to support the words.