While trying to come up with a new marketing plan, I had to ask myself “What is the benefit people get from working with me?” Now, I’m obviously going to give a biased opinion, but after some thought I came up with a couple of answers.
1. Accountability. When my clients work with me, the only one to answer for things going well or going bad is me. I’m it. I have a staff that I work with, but…I am customer service, sales, and in most cases the designer. I am who you get when you call. I answer the emails and the instant messages. You won’t sit on hold or get a call center from another country. You won’t get the runaround.
Whether it’s that I am just mortified at the thought of having to go to you, the client, and say, “There has been a problem with your project” and risk causing you stress and frustration, or it’s that I’m just good at what I do…the bottom line is that your projects get done with the same attention and care that goes into even my own paintings.
2. Since most of my clients are successful entrepreneurs who have worked in the corporate rat race at one point or another, and are now happy to call home their office, I can relate to how their day is scheduled and am flexible enough to be available for meetings at 9am or 9pm.
This is a new era. The stuffy corporate atmosphere is giving way to a casual, happier and more creative atmosphere. People have figured out you can work AND wear khakis! Here in Florida, you can make a million dollar deal in a flowered shirt and Burmuda shorts. Stress is a thing of the past, and self awareness and creative expression are quickly taking it’s place. We’ve figured out that by being our selves, we are able to earn more and enjoy the life we work so hard to maintain.
I work from a home office. I homeschool my children. I run my household. I maintain a small zoo. I juggle a lot and I have a family that shares responsibilities. My clients know that if they need me, I’m only a quick phone call and a short walk to the office away. Most clients wouldn’t think of calling unless it’s an absolute emergency (another rarity among Corporate Americans), BUT the fact that they know I’ll be available if they need me is priceless. Try calling any huge corporate owned design studio at 10pm because you just found a letter that got misplaced and realize you need some sort of brochure, ANY sort of brochure, designed, printed, folded and ready to hand out to a conference in 3 days…IF you get someone, you will most likely get the canned response of “Our turnaround time is 14 days.” (or something similar), and the odds of getting what you need done aren’t very good.
So, after that all came spewing out of me, I realized that maybe I’m on to something here. Maybe we are becoming a more pleasant group of creative and successful people…people who prefer to do their work on a laptop while sitting next to a pond instead of being trapped inside of a 6×6 cubicle listening to your next door neighbors sniffle, talk on the phone and eat loud crunchy foods…