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Putting Skype in the workspace to work: Kieran McMillan and DNA of Design

Now that Skype in the workspace is officially launched and open to the public, we wanted to hear from some of the small businesses putting it to the test.

Kieran McMillan is one such Skype user. Several months ago, Kieran learned about Skype in the workspace from a blog post.

“It struck me as a really good way to meet new businesses and promote my work,” says Kieran, an entrepreneur who designs digital products including Web sites, mobile applications, and content management solutions. He works with clients both on his own and, when the client’s project requires a team, under the auspices of his company DNA of Design, which he founded in 2010.

Kieran joined Skype in the workspace about two months ago.

“I was interested to see that other businesses like mine were creating listings too. It let me know I was in the right place,” he says.

When it comes to crafting opportunities (the listing that describes the actual service you offer), Kieran says precision is critical.

“It’s better to hone in and offer niche services rather than general ones,” he advises. Kieran has multiple opportunities on Skype in the workspace, each with a very specific offer.

He’s also been spending time perusing the platform for freelancers who can potentially collaborate with him. DNA of Design is made up of a network of freelance specialists around the globe that Kieran taps for projects as needed.

In fact, one reason Kieran uses Skype so avidly in his work is the dispersed nature of his colleagues. Kieran, who is British, lives in the south of France. His freelance partners are spread around the world.

“When I lived in London, I was working on a project with colleagues in Spain, the United States and Taiwan,” he says.

Kieran organizes daily Skype conference calls when he’s got a team project like that underway, and the team constantly chats on Skype as well. “I’m always on Skype,” he says.

“All my clients are Skype users too,” adds Kieran, who generally has three to five clients at any time. “Right now, I’m working with UNESCO in Paris, to create a knowledge base for radio projects. Essentially, we’re helping them collect answers to questions like how to better record radio interviews. We’re piloting the program in Africa. I stay connected to that client on Skype.”

Kieran also maintains an online number and uses Skype credit to call traditional phones.

“Most of my clients are in the UK, and I have an online number with a UK city code even though I live in France, so the call is local for my clients,” he says. “I travel between the UK and France frequently, and it’s useful to make outbound calls on Skype. I don’t need to worry about a mobile connection.”

Kieran also relies on Skype apps on his iPhone and iPad.

“What I like most about Skype is that it’s possible to work in real time across time zones and continents,” he says. “That’s really fascinating. Being able to work with the right people and right teams, no matter where they are. Skype creates a modern way of working. I like face to face meet-ups as well, but the fact that I can maintain daily contact with colleagues and clients is important.”

So far, Kieran’s seen Skype in the workspace add to his business by generating inquiries to his work.

“I’ve been contacted by quite a few people,” he says. “Some of them ask me about services I don’t currently offer, so that’s provided me some food for thought about ways I may want to expand.”

Have you used Skype in the workspace? What tips can you share?

Kieran McMillan photo.jpg

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