Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I know what I don't know!

When I start working with someone, I have a "fixed cost" of discovering what their entreprenuerial style is. I do this so I can build exactly the tools they need, and avoid charging them for work they don't need. Over the course of an often lengthy conversation, I uncover whether they go to mixers, whether they like making cold calls, or direct mail campaigns, or deal just with friends.

Nika, my business development coach, uncovered with me that this "backstory" can come to the front, and make the early stages of my work go much more smoothly.

We got to have this conversation because I suddenly realized yesterday what I really do for work. Here's how that came about:

In an email to a prospect and I wrote "think of me as a sort of freelance art director." I wrote a couple more sentences and suddenly couldn't stay in my chair. I jumped up and started pacing. A beat had formed in my head, and was growing stronger, and wouldn't be denied: BIM-bim BIM BIM-bim-bim! What did it mean? Why was I so agitated? What secret was at the fringe of my awareness?

BIM-bim BIM BIM-bim-bim
BIM-bim BIM BIM-bim-bim

I let the rythm continue, and I sat down. I re-read my email to capture where I'd been headed with my thoughts. I read:

BIM-bim BIM BIM-bim-bim
Freelance Art Director

And the drums stopped! Well, folks, that's what I am: a Freelance Art Director for Entreprenuers and Small Business.

Knowing that's my job, now I get to explore how I do that job. Two early realizations are that I do accept the responsibility to archive all the work, so the client doesn't have to, and that I readily identify what is the client contact style of my client. Meet n' greeters need a strong business card, and lots of them. Broadcasters need a consistent email marketing tool and strong identity through their direct amil campaign. Hobby businesses need to offload "sales" onto a website. I know these and the other types, and I already support them in how they want to run their business. Now I have a new tool to initiate our transaction so they know I'm not trying to upsell them, or do work that has little or now value for them.

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