We’re delighted to launch our new “Meet the Members” series which profiles our members and the variety of services you’ll find on offer at Donegal Business Network.
Next up in our Meet the Member series is illustrator Ruth Graham. Ruth has worked with a wide variety of clients including: AIB, Concern, HSE, ISPCC, The Marine Institute, National Youth Council of Ireland and Sightsavers, creating images that educate, inform, persuade or inspire something positive.
How would you describe your business?
I’m an illustrator; I make creative visuals for a diverse book of national clients across sectors such as the arts, education, enterprise and tourism.
How long have you been a member of DBN; and how has membership has benefitted your business?
I have been a member just over 5 years. I was terrified coming in that first day to introduce myself, but now it doesn’t bother me at all. What I’ve gained in confidence is so helpful for all aspects of work and life. I also get business as a result of being a member, but it’s not only the quantity of business but the quality of business that’s important to me. The other DBN members know my ideal types of client from the relationships that we’ve built up, so I can do more of the work I love and less of the work I’m not interested in. I count all these Donegal-based business people – who are all experts in their field – as friends; I see them every week, we chat and I can ask for their advice when I’m stuck on something. That’s invaluable to me.
Would you say that DBN has contributed to your bottom line?
Yes – probably around 15 – 20% of my work is as a direct result of the network.
Making connections with people in the same industry as you is also helpful because there will always be creative ways for you to work together. You can pass work between each other (e.g. if you don’t have availability) or team up to take on larger projects. Sole traders don’t have to go solo.
Are there any podcasts / business books that you recommend?
I listen to the Creative Pep Talk podcast but that’s maybe niche for artists!
Why do you think networking is important?
Networking isn’t about having to do a hard sell; it’s about forming new connections and building working relationships with people where you try and mutually look out for each other. I only want to do good work with good people so for me it’s a perfect way to grow.
For more information on Ruth Graham see ruthgraham.ie or call: 0860680507