I had a client meeting last week with some of my favorite clients, a veterinarian and his practice manager, who own four vet offices in Tampa.
We’ve been working with this client for three years now. We rebuilt their website and created a comprehensive content and marketing strategy for them.
And it’s working. Well.
Every six months or so, we meet for bagels and coffee to talk about what’s working, what’s not, what they can do in the future and where to focus their energy. They’re completely receptive to our research and recommendations because they trust our expertise.
Before our meetings, I always put together a thorough analysis of their website and social media activity. I come armed with pages of off-the-cuff recommendations and ideas of what else they could be doing.
We talk about what’s important to them; to their business; what they think sets them apart. And we devise strategies to help illuminate those things on their various communication channels.
It all seems so easy to me. I mean: I do this all day, every day. I make recommendations; critique and evaluate websites; assess social media positions. It’s all so very second-nature that I forget it’s useful, valuable knowledge. I find myself thinking, “why didn’t they think of this?”
Then my client forwards me an email from a competitor who’s trying to woo them, with a list of 5 “essential” things to do with their website in 2012. And of course, my client did those things in, um, 2009? (Seriously – they’re ridiculous things like “Make sure you have a Facebook Page!”)
And that’s where I realize: My knowledge is not general knowledge. It’s useful. Valuable. Essential.
I don’t concern myself with being impressive to my clients; with how much I know or how much I can spout off when asked – but that’s a natural outcome of my concern with being impressive in my industry.
I read a lot. I eat, sleep and breathe web design, social media and digital communications. I’m passionate about this industry. Really passionate.
That passion fills my head with ideas that I’m able to share with clients who ask.
Find what you’re passionate about and everything else will fall into place. Give yourself credit for what you know; for your passion and ability to provide excellent information and services to your clients. You probably know more than most of your competitors, and you definitely know more about your passion than your clients (that’s why they hired you).