I’ve been self-employed for 18 years now, and I truly love being self- employed. What I love about it, though, may really surprise you. It’s not just the freedom to work when and where I want to work. Or even the chance to work on a variety of projects. Or even how much I learn about my client’s products and services as I am helping them choose the best solution for their needs. Although all of those factors weigh in, there is something way more powerful about the work that I do with my clients.
What I love most about being self-employed is helping my clients figure out what they REALLY want and seeing their delight when the solution exceeds their expectations!
Having worked with big Fortune 100 companies and teeny-tiny startups, with mid-level managers and C-level executives, I have seen over and over that MOST clients have no idea what they really want.
That may seem shocking, but when clients contact me they THINK they know what they want. They ask for it directly. Then, I begin to ask them intelligent questions on how they want their idea implemented, and I really listen. I connect the dots and make sure I am understanding them correctly. That is often where the disconnect is revealed, if there is one (or more). Yes, professional butts have been saved. Repeatedly.
If they had hired a less-experienced person, then they would have gotten only what they requested, and would find out later that it was money wasted (for design and materials implementation). Heads would have rolled.
Some of my clients have been shocked when, upon realizing a disconnect so large it didn’t make sense for them to hire me, I suggested they use another vendor. I am not sure why this surprises clients. Why wouldn’t I do that? I am building long-term relationships with my clients! Steering them in the wrong direction just so I can make money would be short-sighted. Making sure my clients are successful is a win-win that helps everyone.
In addition, I pride myself in being professional, skilled, resourceful, reliable, and a huge asset to the clients who hire me. Creating a long-term, positive relationship with them is also a reason why they speak so highly of me. You can read some of their testimonials here. When you do, ask yourself: do we feel this good about the creative person we hire?