No. 193

Start Where You Are + Know Where You Want To Be

I had a call with a new client yesterday. A designer referred her my way for a conversation. They were planning to work on the client’s visual branding, but since she was still in the early stages of her business, she wasn’t in need of a custom website.

As I listened to the client share her story with me, I was struck by two things: her story needs to be shared and her mission will help give voice to so many people. But there was also something else I discovered along the way: this was a passion project for her. She didn’t have plans for how she would bring money in or what services she would sell. She only knew that she needed to do this.

In this situation, every business owner has a choice. You can make a sale or be a guide.

I used to hate sales calls. I convinced myself a long time ago I would never be good at sales because I wasn’t an extrovert. The advantage I did have and what got me through so many of those first calls was that I was an introvert who loves people. But even more than that — I loveĀ helping people. My first business coach taught me how to reframe a sales call to something new: a service call. For the last few years, my job simply has been to serve people, to guide them, to show them what’s possible and help them make the right decisions.

And so I told this potential client something unexpected. I told her not to invest in a custom website or even one of our smaller website packages. Instead, I advised her to start creating content and use YouTube to circulate it. If she really wanted some sort of landing page site, I told her, we could help her set up a simple website with a homepage and blog. But that’s all she really needed to get started. Nothing fancy. No big investments.

The most important thing is that she create. She doesn’t need a website to do that, and I wouldn’t want her to be pulled away from creating by the website process.

Maybe in six months she’ll need a fancier site. Maybe it’ll be a year or two. She understands the work she’ll do will have an impact and it will need a container. But right now, I did my best to reminder her where she is and what’s most critical to her future success: not the website we could build together, but her doing the work she is so passionate about and ready to give to the world.

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.