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[Podcast] No-BS Strategies To Evolve Your Creative Business with Emily Cohen

[Podcast] No-BS Strategies To Evolve Your Creative Business with Emily Cohen

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In this episode, we go deep into the world of business strategy with Emily Cohen.

Emily is a self-described “brutally honest” consultant to creative professionals and in fact, she even named her book that!

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Her business book, Brutally Honest: No-Bullshit Strategies to Evolve Your Creative Business, is chock full of advice, insights, business best practices, actionable strategies, case studies and much more, but unlike many other books for our industry, Brutally Honest is designed for visual learners (like us!) and includes colorful info-graphics, checklists, as well as short & impactful sound bites to apply!

So if you’re looking for the tools & strategies to whip your business or team in to shape, this episode is for you.

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Transcript (Auto Generated)

Hello, and welcome to JUST Branding, the only podcast dedicated to helping designers and entrepreneurs grow brands. Here are your hosts, Jacob Cass and Matt Davies.

Hello, and welcome to JUST Branding. Today, we’re going to eat into the world of business strategy with Emily Cohen. Emily is a self-described brutally honest consultant and creative professionals.

In fact, she even named her book that. Her business book, Brutally Honest, No-Bullshit Strategies to Evolve Your Creative Business, is chock-full of advice, insights, business best practices, actionable strategies, case studies, and much more. But unlike many other books for our industry, Brutally Honest is designed for visual learners like us.

It includes colorful infographics, checklists, as well as short and impactful soundbites to apply. So if you’re looking for the tools and strategies to whip your business or team into shape, this episode is for you. So Emily, welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me. I’m excited.

Us too. So although I’ve introduced your beautiful book, which I’m a proud owner of, would you mind giving our listeners a little rundown of who you are, a little backstory, just so we know the lens of which we’re looking through?

The most important thing you need to know is I went to design school and was a designer for a few years. So I really get the creative mind. I just was not good at it.

So I ended up going to the business side and had been a consultant to creative professionals largely small to mid-sized teams from anywhere from two-person firms to 30, 40-person firms, helping them evolve their practices to take them to the next level. I’ve been doing that for a really long time, and I work with some awesome people across the world. And I’m really lucky to be what I’m doing because I love who I work with and love what I do.

And I help them with things like staffing and client management and project management and big picture thinking about their firm’s positioning and business plans and kind of all of this, the nitty-gritty that designers often hate doing is the stuff I love doing. So I just help them think better and smartly.

Amazing. We’re excited to have you, sir. I’m curious to like, when did this idea of writing a book come into your head?

Like it’s a big, big project, right?

It is just like a podcast.

I’ve noticed.

Yeah. So I always like to do like, I liked my clients to do. I continue to try to evolve my business.

And I’m always thinking about what’s next. And so a book has been something I’ve been toying with for a while, but my father also was a bookseller in Wall Street of Manhattan. And my father was about 90 when I decided to write the book.

And I thought, well, you know, unfortunately, he’s not going to live too long. And I thought it would give him a lot of joy to see his daughter have a book. So I thought it was better to do it sooner than later.

So that’s kind of the impetus of both. It was the next step in my business and that I wanted to please my father. And luckily he stayed alive until the book was published and successful, which was awesome.

And I named the publishing company after him. So it’s called Booksellers Daughter. So yeah, that’s kind of the impetus of doing this.

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Yeah. Yeah.

What was his impression, Emily, of it? Like, did he tell you what his thoughts were?

My father is kind of a whack job, so he’s a little bit quirky. His first reaction was, can I sell it?

And he did. He put it on Amazon as a used copy, the copy that I signed for him. So that was my father, and that meant he loved me and was proud of me.

He never says things like, I love you or proud of you, but he meant it by that.

That’s a great story. I actually saw in the foreword that you mentioned that as well. Like, he left you a few lessons as well in terms of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship, working hard and being comfortable in your own skin.

So did you want to shine some light on that?

I love talking about my father. He was just an individual. He was just who he was and didn’t care what other people thought.

And he raised me to believe that and raised me to be independent and strong. But because I worked at his bookstore from a very, very young age, and I worked, I wasn’t just like his kid. I was working.

I dusted the shelves. Because I had some creative instinct, I decorated the windows, and I mean decorated in quotes because I was a kid. And one of the lessons he taught was that there was never a chair in the stores.

He had two stores because you just were never allowed to sit. The customers, you always had to be busy and do something. Unfortunately, that also instilled a lifelong inability to rest.

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But he taught me how to work hard and that customers came first. And that I remember very specifically like if phone people called on the phone, I was only to talk to the live customers before answering the phone. And then I also was delivering books to Wall Street, like from when I was eight years old and I’d go into like literally the Twin Towers and all the buildings in Wall Street and deliver books.

This eight year old. So I learned how to talk to people pretty quickly.

It sounds like you had some business in you from the beginning.

Yeah, yeah, it was great. It was actually an amazing experience.

Yeah, it sounds like it. Well, let’s dive into this business world. It’s something that’s creators often struggle with.

We love the creative side, but the business side often struggles. So like there’s a, I’m just going to outline a few of the chapters of your book, which I have here for people watching this on YouTube, but it’s a beautiful book. It’s like you can see there’s all these lovely colors.

It’s actually multicolored, just for listeners, it’s like the spines, it goes from red to orange, yellow. I don’t know if there’s no green. It’s all like hot colors actually.

Yeah, it’s nine colors.

Nine colors. Yeah, it’s really beautiful. But there’s basically nine chapters, I believe.

So positioning and specialization, marketing and promotion, new business development, pricing and retainers, there’s proposals and contracts, staffing and operations, client and project management, creative briefs and also trends, industry trends. So there’s quite a lot in this book. And these are all these these words probably give creative shivers down their spine.

This is the business side. So like what from your experience, what do you think creatives struggle at most? I know you consult with a lot of agencies and creatives.

So like what do you think what area from those topics is I guess the hardest?

Yeah, I think there’s a lot of things that creatives can struggle with and depending on their skills. But I would say the biggest thing is a lack of direction of who they are as a company or who they are as a creative and what they who they work with, what kinds of clients, kind of a direction. Because a lot of times people are making decisions based on the latest fires and don’t have a foundation to make smart decisions.

So I think one of the biggest things is to that most creative struggle with is just defining who they are from a positioning point of view, from a specialization point of view, from a vision point of view. Where are they going in the future? Where do they want to go so that when they make decisions, they’re thinking about not the latest fire or maybe the thinking of the latest fire, but in context of the larger business decisions.

So I think that’s one of the biggest things. I mean, I think creative struggle, depending on the creative with lots of different things, obviously pricing is one of them positioning, managing clients is another one. But yeah, primarily, I think the root of all my clients problems is not having a vision.

So if you’ve noticed a client has this problem, how do you actually go about, I guess, giving them that vision or giving them the tools to make that happen?

Yeah. Well, first of all, I can’t give them the vision. I only can facilitate a good discussion about that because that vision, you know, honestly, most of my clients want me just tell them who they are.

And that’s not that’s not what I should do, because if I just tell them who they are, they’re not going to live and breathe it. So I really just had really good conversations with them and dive deep into what their strengths are, what their passions are, you know, what their core expertise is now, because it’s easier to leverage what you already are doing. It’s hard to start fresh.

Right. And and and I have some hard conversations with them. So, you know, one of the things I hear a lot from creatives and I love this is that most creators will say to me, I specialize in social good or in, you know, environmental work or in, you know, nonprofits or in NGOs.

And that is a very common thing I hear almost every single time. It’s like the burning joke in my family that I’ve never had a client that doesn’t say they specialize in that. And so what I talked to them about is everybody says that and also branding, no offense to the JUST Branding podcast.

But, you know, everybody says they do branding and that means a lot of different things. And everybody says they do branding. Everybody says they do, you know, social good.

And so that no longer becomes a specialization. So I have some conversations about, well, what let’s dig deeper. What makes that even more different than that?

You know, I like to look at personal passions, too, because sometimes we have things going on in our lives or just things that we’re interested in that we’re not leveraging. Or we’re not thinking about how can we bring that kind of excitement or that passion or those connections into our regular life? Like I had a client that was on the side was a tattoo artist and a BMXer.

And what we realized is that he was really good at this kind of subculture. He had a lot of connections in the subculture. So we decided that would be his area of specialization.

And it was this moment of genius. Like, we just started looking at what he who he knew and the circles he traveled in. And then we’re like, can we special is that a specialty?

What does that look like? Who else is in that space? So I have a lot of times deeper discussions about, you know, they get kind of personal about what they’re interested in on the side, just to see if there’s something there.

We look at the work, you know, we make some. I try to help them uncover things that are going on in their lives and in their work to see if there’s common themes. And then I push back a lot.

One thing I find, Emily, is that a lot of creative business owners, they like the concept of growth as a thing, right? So, like, I don’t know, you know, I get contacted from time to time by folks and do a bit of coaching and stuff. And I often find that they sort of say, you know, look, you know, Matt, I want to expand.

I want to get to 50 people or 100 people or whatever they’re at, right? And so you’re like, kind of like, well, why?

Why do you want to do that?

And it’s just the thing that kind of lodges inside people’s heads that to be successful, they have to grow. Do you find that? Like, what’s your kind of response to somebody who just sort of just has the growth bug?

Yeah, I actually don’t have a lot of clients nowadays that do that because most people want to they don’t want to have the burden of employees sometimes now. And I’m feeling a little bit less that. And that’s just, I think, a COVID maybe.

I don’t know. It feels like in the last year or two, people seem to want to scale back. Because the bigger I think what they’re finding is the bigger firms are finding there’s more.

As you get bigger, there’s more aggravation and it doesn’t mean more money. So I think the firms that do say they want to be bigger. It’s a lot of times driven by the wrong thinking that bigger isn’t always better.

Like you’re saying, sometimes it is, but it doesn’t always mean more money. I think the one thing I would like to communicate is bigger does not mean more money. But when they do, I just ask them, what are their goals?

Like the why, exactly what you just said, what is the reason for that? What is the reason for the growth? Because along with growth, there’s lots of different pain points.

There’s a kind of general rule of thumb that as you grow your team by five, every five kind of new hires changes the whole firm. So every time you grow from five to ten to fifteen, those are big milestones that completely change how you run your firm. I think it’s less common, which I’m kind of grateful for, because I don’t always love growing just to grow a stake.

It reminds me of a chapter in your book, I think it’s a staffing chapter, where you have the different structures of businesses and what principals do at a different stage of the journey. I think that’s pretty interesting. But rather than going into staffing, I want to look back to positioning, because you kind of were trickling into positioning.

If you don’t have a vision, this can be like, it just means you go off path, right? But to actually understand what your vision is, it’s kind of like you have to look at both yourself and the company, as well as the customers and the marketplace. So it’s a bit of a like a, you know, if people are familiar with Icky Guy, it’s like kind of like finding that sweet spot in the middle, like to find that vision or that purpose that will drive you.

So how do you help these companies or creative businesses with their position in their specialization? How do you get to that point?

Well, I think that’s sort of what I just mentioned, is kind of going deeper into their business and their passions and looking at the work they have. I would say the one thing I don’t have them do, and it’s one thing you didn’t mention. I love the way you’ve made a list of like who they’re asking and talking about.

One of the things you shouldn’t ask is your employees. Like the first thing people always ask is their employees. And their employees are not always going to be with them, unless they’re really going to guarantee that these people are with them.

A lot of times they’re looking for their, they want to make their employees happy and they create a business model that only works for their employees and doesn’t work for themselves. So I really have them do it personally, whoever the owners are or the leadership team at least. And I don’t even like look at ask the clients necessarily because the clients have a different vision.

Like it’s not their company, it’s the owner’s company. So I really try to get very close to the owner and really ask some really tough questions about what is the kind of work you’re doing now? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Your expertise now? What are the things that you love and hate? What are the pros and cons of different things?

But I will say I usually try to push people towards a specialization in an industry rather than a service or being an expert in a process or in a point of, or like a philosophy. I don’t think those are really positioning. I think really what specialization is, is really landing on an industry or a few industries.

So I really try to get them.

But not social good branding.

They’re not social good. I mean, you can go deeper in social good. I’ve really had some luck because I love social good.

I care about the world just like everybody else because it’s, you know, I don’t want to curse, but I will say it’s ****. So I think it’s all really good, but that doesn’t make you an expert anymore because everybody does that. And everybody says they do that.

And it’s like also restaurants, like everybody says they do restaurant branding, but everybody does that. And so it’s really hard to win work based on that because so I like to go deeper. Is there some kind of like social good that you, you know, especially like I have one client that might be looking at like, I don’t want to give it away, but you know, I try to have them have certain industries that they care more deeply about than others so that they can become even a deeper expert in an area of social good that really resonates with them and that they have some experience for.

And we just do the pros and cons, like what works in this industry, what doesn’t. Every industry has pros and every industry has cons. So we just have to weigh what you care most about and what you can communicate.

So I typically like to land on two or three industries. And usually two of them are like ones you’ve already in or you have some proven work in. And one can be really fun and new and different, or one that’s kind of cool that just makes your staff and everybody happy, right?

But it might not be the most profitable. So there’s always, I always try to include an element of joy and fun in the positioning. And then the writing of it is always, I always tell people not to have a writer write that positioning.

I really think writing should be authentic to you and you should, you and your team should write the writing. So, you know, write the positioning. So it really sounds like, I’m sure you’ve been to a million creative sites as, you know, podcasts and you’ve met all these people.

After a while, the voice all sounds the same because they have this beautiful crafted, you know, writer write this stuff. And then, but it doesn’t sound real. I kind of like the positioning that’s much more authentic and really sounds like somebody wrote it, like a human being, you know.

So I often have my clients which they hate. Yeah. And then they can have a writer and make it sing, but…

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So just to recap, you work on their vision, you work on what they actually want to build and what they want to grow and then you move into how they’re actually going to position themselves based on themselves first. But are you looking at the clients or the marketplace?

Are you comparing anything else to actually find that sweet spot or is it purely based on what they want to do?

It’s all of those things. It’s everything. We’re looking at what kind of work they’re doing now, where they have an expertise, what the trends are in the world right now, or if they’re geographically based.

Everyone has different things that are going on in their region, if they want to be more regionally focused, if they want to be more nationally focused. We really look at every single thing to see if there’s common denominators around all of that. It’s sort of like a mishmash of looking at everything.

Like I said, I like to look at personal passions, what’s going on in their lives. But first, I look at the work and I look at their clients to see what’s kind of common themes are.

So for our listeners, if they were going to apply this to themselves, if they were feeling lost and they weren’t really sure of their niche or their positioning, you’d say to look at what your passions are, see what type of work you enjoy doing and apply this to your business rather than just having like one, I guess, well, kind of shoot for everyone. Is there anything else you want to add to people that want to go through this?

The one thing, I think the one thing that creators will push back on, and I’m sure you hear this a lot, is they’ll say, well, I want to just do, I can do anything. I can design anything. I don’t want to be put in a little bubble or a little hole that says, do you only do this thing?

And so I like to tell people that doesn’t mean that. So if you land on a positioning or specialization, it doesn’t mean you can’t do other cool work and do work outside that industry. It just means that you can build an expertise and you’ll know.

This is the most important thing. If I could communicate that is that the reason why I like to be, have a vision and a positioning and a specialization, I sort of lump them all together, although they were slightly different. Vision is much more of like a longer term.

Where do we want to be? Where do we want to land? I really like to tell people that without positioning and specialization, you don’t have a path to go get new business.

So what happens is, and this is my big point, most people get business from referrals, right? Which is great. That means people love you.

I love that people get referrals. But the problem is you’re letting all those people that are coming to you drive the direction of your business. And then the business ends up in a different direction than you didn’t anticipate.

And sometimes that’s good and most times it’s not. You end up in doing work that you don’t actually love or an industry you don’t love. So what I like to tell people is that this just gives you a direction to say, I will take on those referrals, sure, but I want to go after the kinds of clients I want to work for or my firm wants to work for.

And without that direction, you don’t know where to start new business. And I think it leads to many firms not doing new business because they don’t know where to start.

Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. I think the other thing with niching or specializing in to use your language is that if you do it right and you become known in that industry for being the best to deliver the results that that industry needs, and you understand the client, the customer really well, and you understand the problems that that customer has, and your work is seen as being amazing, then you can charge more, you can become the go-to, because if I’m in the oil industry, I want the best agency that’s delivered the best kind of results for other oil companies. So I’ll come to you.

So I think you’re absolutely right with that. And it’s obviously not just a creative thing, right? A lot of businesses struggle to sort of double down and focus.

But when you do, and I’ve done this a lot with some of my clients, when you do focus, suddenly you see… And when people start coming to you because you are known to be… Suddenly you’re like, oh, I get it now.

But before that point, everybody gets really scared because they’re like, hang on, if I just position my business in this way, I’m going to be excluding all the other stuff which currently is picking the lights on. So you’re kind of in this kind of rock and a hard place. And you’re like, but I have to say to people, look, do it, right?

As you exactly what you said, it doesn’t mean you’re going to exclude anything that comes up. Of course, we’re all opportunists. It just means that you’re not going to kind of push on that.

You’re not really going to advertise that necessarily.

Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly it. Yeah.

No. And the beauty of it is not only you commanding higher fees, which always is lovely, but it’s all like these people that is a community of people, right? There’s associations and conferences for every single specialization in the weirdest ways.

Then you can meet all these same people and they all know each other and they all refer you. And so your business just grows because people all say, Oh, she’s, if you want an expert in this space, that’s the only firm to go to is this. And the other thing, and I’m sure you’ve discovered this, Matt, is that then you know your competitors and they’re no longer competitors.

They’re friends. And so you end up competing against the same people over and over and you kind of help each other out. And instead of being competitors, you’re much more peers and colleagues.

And so I have clients who compete in the same industries, but they share clients like, Oh, you should have worked with this client. I’m too busy right now. Or this client’s got a pain in the neck.

And I think you’d be better with them than me. And that happens all the time, right? So they’re always, or like, I need to have, I’m looking for a designer, a writer in this particular industry, and they can refer.

So there’s so many benefits that people don’t realize that come out of this kind of focus. Yes.

I think the key word here is focus, and I had a great example as part of our, I run two group coaching programs, and one of them, we went through this exercise just as you have specified in terms of finding what type of people they would like to work with, and they found out they love working with tradies, so like electricians and people in the trade, right? And they changed their whole business from being branding to branding for tradespeople. And we found out that the marketing, we’ll jump into marketing next, but when they had this clear focus, they knew how to actually market to these people.

And they found out rather than, they weren’t hanging out on social media much, they just went to the pub. So his marketing efforts meant that he can just go to the pub and that’s how he ran his business. So-

Oh, that’s wonderful, right? I have a very similar story. One of my clients specialized in the running industry and would meet all his clients at races, right?

And if he went to visit them, they would take a, instead of going for like a coffee, they’d go for a run before they had a new business meeting. It was like brilliant, right? I like the pub idea though.

That’s cool. That’s cool, yeah.

I’d probably prefer the pub over the running. But yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, just to kind of latch on to, just to latch on to another point that, another pub, pub’s on the brain now, another point that you just made.

You know, the whole conferences, connections, networks that exist within specialty sort of areas, so industries, verticals. One other thing that I’ve found, and this is outside of creative, so it may not be as relevant, but perhaps it will be, is that if a community does not yet exist, right? As in, so I’ve got one client right now that I’m working with, and we realized that we did insights groups, the global company, we did insights groups across the world, and we realized that these people were desperate to connect with each other, but they couldn’t, there was no platform.

So like you said, without giving everything away, we’re building a platform, we’re building a platform, and as a brand, we very much see ourselves as the connector of the people who want to be connected based on what we’ve heard from them. We can now provide that for them. And so, and in return, listen to what they need to say, be there, be facilitator of the discussions, really kind of leverage the insights that we get out of it as a brand.

So it’s really absolutely right. Once you focus, once you know your zone, your area, and if your ecosystem, if the ecosystem doesn’t quite exist, then you can build it and you can become that brand to do that. And I just think that’s so powerful.

Yeah, no, I think it was great. I think that’s really, I mean, I think there’s a lot of communities for a ton of, first look deep to make sure that community doesn’t exist. People always don’t think that communities exist and they do.

But for the most, but every once in a while, you’re going to encounter that one thing where that community doesn’t exist or is not strong. You know, I remember years ago when I first, like, I was consulting with in-house creative teams, like within corporations and they didn’t, there was no community of in-house designers back then. And that was amazing that didn’t exist.

You know, now it exists, you know, quite a lot. And there’s a lot of in-house people talking, but for a while those people didn’t even talk to each other. So I love that kind of thing too.

Anything you do to build community and contribute to the community is amazing.

Okay. So, so far we’ve talked about getting your vision, finding out who you want to work with and your, like what you want to grow and build. We’ve talked about more positioning and specialization.

And I guess the next stage in your book and in real life is the marketing and promoting and getting the awareness out there. So like, what are some, I guess, marketing must haves for creators?

Yeah. So, so when you’re talking about marketing, you’re talking differently than new business. I want to make sure, because a lot of creatives confuse marketing with new business and they’re two separate things.

So is that what we’re talking about? So marketing, because creatives, I can talk to both in a similar way. When I talk to creatives about what they’re doing in terms of marketing and new business, especially when I ask about new business, they always say this, I swear to God, almost all my clients say this, well, I’m working on my website, or I get a lot of business through my SEO.

I always ask, well, how long have you been working on your website? Because they’re like, I can’t do any new business until I finish my website or until it’s updated. I’m like, well, how long have you been working on your website?

And they’ll say, oh, two years. So for two years, they’re not doing anything to do their business other than do their website. So I would tell you that a website is not new business.

It’s a marketing tool, and it’s not the way to get new business. So I’m not a big fan of SEO even. I don’t want to get clients coming to me through SEO because they’re often, unless you’re really tightly positioned, you don’t necessarily have qualified leads coming through your website.

So marketing is not, and designers have a tendency to do this also, to design some cool item, like a wine bottle or some kind of origami device or like every Christmas I get all these stupid things that are just mass produced, because creatives just want to design a poster and that’s cool, but that really does not get you new business and it’s not a marketing thing. So personally, I think your website is the most essential tool in terms of a marketing, it’s like your arsenal in your marketing arsenal website, a social media presence, kind of your essential tools and your email blasts, like sending out quarterly email blasts so that everybody just remembers you’re around and you’re reminding them you’re out there, but that’s it. You don’t need a whole lot else.

What you really need to do is really be much more focused on building relationships one-to-one and meeting new people and reaching out, staying in touch with the clients you know. So personally, I think most creatives lean towards marketing when they should be leaning towards relationship building. And while our marketing is essential as an arsenal for our, within our tools of stuff, it’s not something that we should rely on solely for new business.

Whoa, like I totally get that a lot of people on the podcast are probably like burying their heads in their soup right now thinking, what the heck has she just said? But here’s the thing folks, right? I’m going to support you, Emily, all the way on this one.

Thank you. Just from personal experience. So I think a lot of creatives thinks that their portfolio is the thing.

That’s, I listen to designers a lot and they’re like, oh, you know, we’ve got to make our portfolio phenomenal. And then if someone sees the style that they like, then you know, they’re going to, basically that’s the thought process. The truth is, this is my view anyway, that that isn’t how you get new business, like you said, that that isn’t how people still won’t know about you.

Even if you have the world’s brilliant, most brilliant portfolio, they still, how do you know the right clients are going to know about? You have to use, you have to find the problem that you’re solving and you have to go all in on that. And what I found, and see what you think about this, Emily, you talk about relationship building, which is interesting.

So I’d love to sort of explore that a bit with you. My kind of, for me, the thing that’s really helped me and my business, I mean, I don’t, I’m not creative, but more consultant is speaking, right? Is speaking at events.

That’s the thing, right? So I speak at events. And then, and when I say events, I’m not talking about events are filled with people just like me who are designers and creatives.

I’m talking about events filled with people who are like business owners and em-managers or HR managers and really uncomfortable situations with people using jargon that, I have no idea what it means. However, I get up there and I slog brand strategy and I slog kind of some of the things that we talk about in JUST Branding all the time. And say there’s a hundred people in the audience.

I’m just hoping that there’s one person in there who maybe doesn’t even have the problem that I’m trying to solve today, but will have it at some point in the future. And that’s literally, if you just think like that, if you think who’s my audience. So for me, it’s like Maverick CEOs who wanna make change happen, but for some reason their leadership seems not aligned.

And I stand up and I tell them loads of stuff about brand strategy, thinking around alignment and how it can bring amazing things to their business. In two years time, I’ve had people like two years later, call me back, call me back. And the way that it works for me, and I’ll shut up after this because it’s not about me, but I would like to hear your feedback and get some personal coaching with you right now, is I do a talk, people who often follow me on LinkedIn, I make sure I’m churning out good content, they can subscribe on my website.

And like you’re saying, email blasts going out. And so I’m on top of mind. And if they like me and they like my beard and they like my poor sense of humor, I’m in line.

And as you say, they’re not even enough to sell. They’re phoning me going, Matt, when can you start? And I’m like, whoa.

So is that how it’s done? What else could we do? Is that the thinking?

Add some more stuff to that.

I mean, I think it’s so important that I put a whole chapter in my book about it. I think speaking is a critical tool to be an, Bill, if you are positioned as an expert to your clients and like you said, not speaking to designers, fellow peers, although that’s really good for staffing, you really need to speak to your clients. If your position is an expert and you also have a lot of patience.

So one of the things you said, and I say this in my book, so I haven’t heard anybody else say this, I’m loving this. It’s two years. It’s two years from when they meet you to when they turn into a client on average.

Every once in a while be a moment like where they call you right away. But if you have patience to know that what you’re putting out in the world in terms of speaking and thought leadership comes back to you in two years or more. I mean, I spoke at conferences like 10 years ago.

I spoke at a Creative Mornings in Brooklyn, like, I don’t know, like 15 years ago. I still get clients from that, right? Cause that’s my target audience.

15 years, a video that was 15 years old, you know, like my clients tell me this all the time. Whenever I say the two year mark, they don’t believe me. And then they call me back and they’re like, literally the next day they’ll be like, I asked this client how they remembered me from two years ago.

And they’re like, it’s just the magic number two years. So part of it’s, yeah, speaking.

I didn’t even know that was a thing. So like that is honest, honest truth.

I think it’s proven.

Brilliant, I just proved it.

But the thing is you can’t like, so like you said, putting out content there is kind of important. Just reminding them you’re out there. So we might have a disagreement on this.

So Matt, you’re like, maybe debate this. Like I do think content marketing, so writing thought leadership posts is important. The challenge is I think people again rely on that instead of doing other things.

So as long as you’re not doing that in lieu of building one-to-one relationships. So when you’re at conferences, don’t be a wallflower. You know, when you meet people, follow through with them.

Right, so a lot of people just think, the two-year mark means that they’ve stayed in touch with them over the two years. It doesn’t mean you spoke two years ago and they don’t, they will remember you two years ago, although they might. It’s more just, they’ve seen you spoke somewhere else.

Like, so it’s cumulative. Like, they see you speak at several different events. Like, I’m sure after I speak at this podcast, somebody will be like, I saw you speak at this other podcast and I keep seeing you around and I’ve been meaning to call you.

This is just what happens, right? So, but don’t rely only on one type of thing on your website or on like written content or thought leadership content. Like, do all of these things.

They’re all really important and they all work off of each other. So yeah, I do believe in that. And I think speaking is incredibly important.

And I personally think you have to vet those opportunities because there’s a ton of opportunities to speak and just vet them carefully to see if they’re all your target audience. Because sometimes we speak and not realize we don’t get the due diligence to know that, hey, I’m speaking to the wrong audience, you know?

I don’t know if I disagree or that we’re not in alignment on that between you and me. I think content generation, you know, you can do the classic inbound sort of marketing sales funnel stuff. For me, I’m less keen on that.

Like, you know, Jacob might disagree. But like for me, I kind of feel that what marketing lacks often is just like being real. Like no one likes to feel that they’re just as part, they’re in some sort of funnel, just shifting through gears, right?

People want an individual tailored experience. And you know, I think you need to respect, you need to respect people. So like for me, like catches where suddenly you’re going to kind of like, I don’t know, like, for example, I’ve got a survey form on my website.

And I literally say on it, like, you’re not going to enter my sales funnel. I’m not going to call you in two minutes. Like, you know, this is just a free tool for you to use.

It’s free. It’s for you. If you like it, great.

If you don’t, fine. I don’t care. It’s a free thing.

People that want my content will enjoy it because it’s designed for them. But if they’re not, that’s fine. But I don’t need to hook or trick or sort of put them through the ringer.

If they want to subscribe for emails, they can. But do you know what I mean? So I guess what I’m trying to say is, like, you know, I think maybe we’ve gone a bit too crazy on the automation.

I don’t know. People will disagree. But, you know, on automated emails, flows and, you know, Pardot and Salesforce and all this stuff works in some industries.

For me, I just kind of think, respect people. You know, they’re not machines. They’re not there to just, you know, rinse money from.

But maybe it’s just my approach. I kind of just like to give stuff away. And so my philosophy on the content side, personally, is just try and keep my advice would be keep the audience in mind.

Who is your audience? And think about their problems and offer them things that helps them. Exactly.

And you will either offer something small that’s deep, and it will help them in one small thing, and they’ll come to you for the rest. Or you’re offering something like large and thin, if you like. And they will then come to you for the debt because you can’t do both.

So you’re either offering a method, which is really high level. And everyone’s like, oh, that’s a cool method. How do you use it?

Say, ah, well, give me a call and I’ll show you. Or I’ll show you something really deep. How does that fit with the big picture?

Well, give me a call. So, you know, do stuff away and stuff’s always changing. Contexts are always different.

You know, that’s how I roll. But Jacob, you’ve been remarkably quiet on all this. I know you are the SEO king.

You know, you’ve got a lot of kind of affiliate things going on. You know, what are your thoughts on all the stuff that Emily and I have been talking about? Because I guess what I sell is probably slightly differently to what you sell and probably what other people sell.

So give us a different perspective.

Yeah, I was just letting you roll with it, Matt. I have different, well, I would say different. I think there’s…

Slides are valid, right? It’s really, at the end of the day, it comes down to it being a tool. It’s marketing.

It solves the problem, right? That’s the purpose of it. How you go about getting that client.

Yes, you can automate. Yes, you can do one on one. So it’s really about what works for you.

Some listeners may not want to be speakers, you know, and they may be introverts and they may not be at that stage yet. So they have to put other tactics into play. So it really comes back down to the individual who you’re trying to target.

How my strategy works is I do have a very wide casting net. Yes, I’ve been in the game a long time. So I have a lot of SEO clout with the search engine.

So I have an inbound marketing strategy that is more automated. Yes, I get lead gens and I have an email sequence that teaches people about branding. I give a ton of resources away for free.

I don’t sell anything at all. So I don’t have any upsells. I don’t have any like, download, buy this book for $7 and upsell or anything.

I don’t do any of that. Give everything away for free. And I have done that since 2007.

I don’t have anything. I don’t sell anything at all. So that’s my approach to it.

And then I do, if I have like a small link in the signature, it’s like book a free call. That’s the only marketing that I really do. So it’s value, value, value.

If they like what I’m doing, yes, that’s when that call happens. So that’s my strategy. It works for every…

It comes down to what you’re trying to do, I guess.

I think it goes back to your vision, right? It goes back to where you want your company to go and what kind of clients you want to work for and what qualified leads to you. Yeah, it is.

And I think what I get concerned about is that they rely on all of that stuff, like all the SEO and all this kind of inbound stuff, without thinking about it’s about relationship building. As long as they’re continuing to build relationships and not avoiding relationships, like really building this one-to-one connection with as many people as they can, that has much more impact in the long term for really authentic, meaningful relationships with your clients, in my opinion. But I agree that some of the stuff, you know, everybody, not everybody’s comfortable with speaking.

And you just have to take it step by step what you feel comfortable about without avoiding the stuff that you still have to do to get your business, you know, growing.

I just want to put this in perspective for our listeners. So I did a TEDx talk like about 10 years ago, and that’s like the only live talk I’ve done in 10 years. I kind of stopped after that.

It just scared the bejesus out of me. And I really did not like live talking and being on stage. And even in the past few years, like I’ve never really…

Yeah, I didn’t even like being on video.

You’ve got to check out Jacob’s TED Talk. He’s got such an awesome shirt on. It’s all about what you wear.

It’s like… yeah. But it’s still good.

Yeah, I built…

I hope we’ve not confused both.

Yeah, I just wanted to share that the point of that is that you do build up to the confidence, right? You may not be comfortable yet in speaking, but as you grow as a creative and you get more confident in front of speaking, at least it could start with things like your stories or profile pictures and then getting comfortable on video or podcasts and so forth. So you’ll get to that stage.

Yeah, it’s a marathon of experience.

I was just going to say one thing about speaking. You don’t have to speak. Go to the conferences.

It starts small. Just meet the people that you want to talk to. So just even going to attend a conference and being active, not just passive attendees, goes a long way into starting to build relationships.

So even if you don’t feel comfortable speaking, at least start attending.

But we’ve talked about, just to recap, we’ve talked about finding your vision, positioning, specialization, a bit of marketing, a bit of new business development. So we’ve covered a few things from your book. The next one is always tricky, so pricing.

Did you want to dive in a little bit about pricing and I guess some strategies around pricing work for creatives?

Yeah, you want to cover everything. That’s great. So one thing about pricing, I would tell you, is not to worry about it so much.

I mean, honestly, we worry too much about pricing and what we should more worry about is do our clients love us? Do the people like, so what my clients do is they try to get the price first or try to, well, I believe that you should get the price first, so I’m not meaning that, but they’re focused too much on what is that magic number for the client and they don’t focus on does the client love me? Because if the client loves you, then price is just a conversation, right?

So if the client wants to work with you, they’ll tell you, hey, you should charge more because we’re kind of a pain in the neck client. I mean, that happens a lot. If your client wants to work with you, they’ll tell you if you’re too low or too high.

So the first thing is I tell people, don’t worry about it so much, spend more time worrying about does the client love me? Have I built a relationship? That’s the first thing.

The second thing is I think that, I’m a big believer in confidence, showing confidence in our numbers. So I always talk to people about confidence comes in how you communicate about numbers, how you talk about numbers. The more confident you are, the less negotiation on nickel and diming you’ll get.

So personally, I like to round off my numbers. So instead of 23,500, make it 25,000. So rounding off our numbers is a great tool to show that we have value and we’re confident behind our number.

It’s not based on hours, but based on value. I think those are like, that’s like my like people love that. That once I make them do that, it makes even a huge difference for their business.

If that one little thing rounding off numbers makes a huge difference. I love hearing that. And that usually does happen.

And even thinking about how you frame your numbers. So instead of saying, this is my fee, you can say, this is the creative investment, right? Just how you talk about numbers is completely different, that it’s an investment in their business, right?

And don’t price hourly. You know, pricing hourly is just the wrong way of thinking about things. And I know it’s hard to price by value because value is an unknown, but it comes from, and value is not, there’s no, I would say the one thing I would say also, there’s so many things I would say about pricing, is there’s no magic number.

So get that out of your head. There is no magic number. There isn’t.

There really just isn’t. Like a logo for an event, that’s one time, versus a logo that’s an event that is yearly, or a logo that’s for like a small audience that all investors versus a logo for a large audience that is not really important. They all have different mean, like they have different values.

And there’s no right or wrong number. There’s just the best number for you that shows value. So the lower your price, the less value you have.

So don’t be afraid of the higher numbers because that will just position you in the right way and tell clients that you have value and you have results. And the more you specialize, the more you can command higher fees. So just be confident in your numbers.

When you say don’t charge by the hour, I agree, but I’d be interested to ask you why. What would the reasons be that someone should detach themselves from that traditional, most hard-loved, taught in most educational systems sort of process of things? Why should we move away from that?

Okay, so I’m a big believer in tracking your time. I believe in tracking hours and having an hourly rate internally. So I’m not saying don’t track your time because I think tracking time is incredibly important and it is a pricing strategy because you want to look at historical records to say, how many hours do I typically spend on a project?

So you’re at least covering the minimum hours. But the client should not see the hours. And the reason why is the minute they see you either are charging by the hour or your numbers look like you’re charging by the hour, they will treat you like a pair of hands or a vendor.

And they won’t value you as an expert. They will just think of you as somebody that just is like, hey, that shouldn’t take this long or can you do this in an hour? They treat you differently.

So I think it changes the conversation and changes the relationship. And it’s always that goes back to that Paula Share story from Pentagram. I don’t know if you guys know that story, but it’s like the classic story.

So I can tell you the story. She’s from Pentagram and I’m reframing this. So it’s not exactly, I mean, it’s not Paula Share’s words, but she’s known for the, when she designed it when Citibank and Travelers merged, and then she was doing the branding for them.

She was in a meeting with the two CEOs of both entities. And she was talking about their branding and creating a new logo. And she literally drew on a napkin, on a napkin, the typeface, the city, city lettering, with the umbrella right on the napkin.

She did that in like five minutes. Does she charge five minutes for her time for that logo? No.

That answer was no. So that’s not an hour. Like you don’t charge just because it took five minutes.

It was years of expertise and experience that went into that solution. Right. And so that’s what their client is buying.

They’re not buying your time. They’re based on your expertise, your value, your insight, your success rate.

Yeah. Picasso has a similar quote. I’m probably going to butcher it, but yeah, similar vein.

But you said something earlier about how to get, you need to get your clients to love you. So can you explore that or explain that a little further? How does that happen?

So I call it building the love. That’s your number one focus as a business owner. You should be building the love.

And that means like love. Clients should adore you as a human being and as somebody that they trust and admire and want to work for and be friends with. But not friends where you go drinking at the pub, friends, but friends that you talk to about business challenges and just huge respect and value, right?

You have always had different friends. You have the drinking buddy friends, and then you have the friends that you go out and talk seriously about your marriage problems or whatever. You know, you want, that’s very similar.

Not that I have marriage problems, but.

So, and building, if you build the love with your clients, then price is a conversation, then contracts are a conversation. Everything is just a conversation. And if you make a mistake, which we all do, we’re human beings, we make mistakes.

If you build a love, they will forgive you and defend you and be your advocates. So to me, we spend not enough time doing that, is making sure that our clients just know us as human beings and we get to know their lives and their kids, not like personally like socializing with them, just know their names, you know, celebrating their success. So whenever my clients do some kind of like get in the press or do a speaking, you know, I’m always promoting them and talking about how much I’m so proud of them because I am, I’m generally so happy for my clients.

I care about them so much and I share in their success, right? So I think that’s really important. So whenever my clients do anything, as much as I can, I shout it from the rooftops.

I remember one time I was, when I was seeing a client, as much as I can, I try to see my clients when they speak and I like to sit in the front row just to show them that they have a friend in the audience that loves them. And they always respond to that. You know, they just come up and say, I’m so glad they’re, it made me feel so much more comfortable.

I appreciate your support. You know, so anything you do to build the love, I do as much as I can, but authentically, like I’m not going to like somebody. I’m not, you know, then I don’t want to work with them in the first place.

But, you know, I want people to like me and I want to like them so much that they will defend me and advocate for me if I make a mistake. And then the best part is they’ll tell all their friends, right? Because they love you so much.

They want to tell everybody else how great you are. And so that, there’s so many benefits to that. And just being kind human beings and being authentic human beings is so important to the world in general.

I think too many of us are avoiding relationships like The Plague.

I think you’re absolutely right. Just as a side point, like I’ve been trying to get Jacob to like me for like two years now and it’s still not working.

How’s it going?

Offline, you can kind of, yeah, give me some tips on that. But like, no, I think you’re right. That’s such a bomb show you’ve just dropped there.

And I think we should just, like, just highlight it because, you know, this idea of building relationships, like, I have this phrase, people buy people. I say, I put this phrase. It’s a phrase out there, but I really endorsed it because people buy into you as a person, right?

Yes. As a creative leader or as a business leader. Amen.

Amen.

Well, yeah.

I mean, and the thing for me is that I think, what are your thoughts on this? Because it seems to me that a lot of agency or creative business owners, they think that people hire their firm.

For their portfolio.

That may be the case for some. But the truth is, in my experience, most of the time people are not hiring the firm, they’re hiring the figurehead or figureheads who are leading the firm. And they believe in those people.

And they believe those people won’t let them down. And those people have something to say and are great. And they love them, as you say.

So, you know, it’s hard to scale that. So no one likes to admit that. But that seems to be the truth for creatives.

What are your thoughts on that? And does that pose a challenge for scalability? And how do you overcome that?

I do disagree that they should only build above with the owners of the firm. Because that does impact scalability, right? So if they only want to work with the owners, then clients want direct contact with the owners.

And the owners are so busy, the principles. So I think the building of love should be across the team. So you should be in, if you have a larger team, they should be introduced to the people that they’re going to work with directly.

So I think that’s really, really important is that that love is spread throughout the company, not just with the principles of the firm. Because no offense, but some principles are not that lovable anyway, because they’re all business and, you know, or whatever. Their staff might be more lovable.

Maybe that’s my problem, Emily. Maybe that’s my issue. Anyway, move on.

So I think that’s one thing that I would say is I agree with that, but I think you just have to spread that love a little bit more.

Love that. That’s great.

So we kind of loop back when we’re talking about pricing, we actually loop back to relationship building coming down. So it kind of makes that whole thing a little bit easier. But in terms of the next step after pricing, it generally goes into like proposals, right?

That’s kind of like part of the secret source of business. Would you agree?

I actually think also that’s not as important. All right.

Great. Let’s do this. Yeah.

Can I just go back to building the love one more thing? I want to say about that is what you were talking about is they pick the people. That’s so true, right?

So we spend so much time worrying about what our portfolio looks like or what clients we work for or how much we’re pricing or what our proposal looks like or sounds like and not enough time building the love. If we build the love, then all that other stuff is not as important. The number one reasons clients pick you is because they do it as a person or they like your firm as an entity.

Just saying. Okay. So proposals, getting to your question.

Proposals, too many of… I always tell people this, we’re not in the business of writing proposals. That’s not our job.

So first look at your win rate. How many proposals are you winning versus losing? If you are losing, if you are winning more than 75%, you’re great.

If you’re losing less than 75% of your proposals, that means you’re writing too many proposals and you’re not doing enough to qualify the leads in the first place. So first look at how many proposals you’re writing. There’s some exceptions to the rules.

Like if you’re in government RFP situations, request for proposals. I don’t know if you have that in England or in Australia. So in RFP situations, sometimes you’re in RFP business because that’s what you do.

But if you’re not, if you’re writing proposals for clients, just look at your win rate, first of all. They should be short and sweet. Don’t write these ornate proposals that are like 50 pages.

No one reads them. I don’t know why creatives do this. They just spend hours writing proposals that don’t need to…

Keep it simple and sweet. Shorten sound, like sound bites. No one reads anymore.

And don’t let your portfolio be your qualifier. So if they haven’t seen your portfolio or seen your website, I think portfolio is an old word, if they haven’t seen your work on Instagram or on websites, if they haven’t done the due diligence, you should have done that before the proposal is written so that you don’t need to have all these qualifications necessarily in the proposal. Not always.

Sometimes you do because it’s going to other decision-makers that haven’t seen your work. But as much as possible, don’t rely on the proposal to sell your firm. You should have already sold your firm.

If you sold the firm, then the proposal, again, is just a conversation. So spend less time worrying about the proposal, but it should be short and sweet. I love sound bites, not too much narrative.

And use your design skills. Love of God, please use your design skills. I’ve seen the ugliest proposals out there.

Think about information hierarchy. You know, make sure that it looks like you want it to look and you’re using the words. And use the voice that you want to use.

And the other thing I would say, one thing I would say is, a big success rate for me is when you customize a proposal for each client. So don’t look for like the magic answer for the template, right, of the perfect proposal template. I like to use the client’s name.

Instead of saying the client will approve or the client will provide, I always use the company’s name. It sounds like it’s written to them and it sounds more authentic. So there’s just some tricks of the trade that I think help increase your win rate.

But writing less of them is also one of the best ways. You’re not in the business of writing proposals. You’re in the business of, you know, doing great design work.

And so you should have built the love before the proposal is written. So proposal is just a conversation.

So could I ask if we didn’t have the chance to build the love beforehand, right? Let’s say there was like an email out of the blue and you didn’t know where they came from and that love’s not there and they ask, it’s like a quick project, they want to get a proposal, right? What would the essentials of like a high quality proposal include?

And what else would you do to ensure that is a success in terms of building that love in a short term?

First of all, I would push back and say that there’s never, that there’s very rarely a chance where you can’t build the love. So I would call them and say, rather than just writing your proposal, I really would love to tap on the phone for even 15 minutes to talk to you, to get to know you, to make sure we’re the right fit for each other. So I always try to push back and tell people, even in RFP situations, I like to try to hop on the phone call and see if I can make that connection.

So don’t just go right to the writing proposal. But the essential tools, the essential components of a proposal are the scope of work, making sure that we tell them exactly what we’re providing in our fee. Like, what is framing our number?

What is our, how many concepts and to what? I always think about like quantity and the how, the what and the quantity. So like, how many concepts to what are you applying it?

Really walking them through exactly what you’re promising them. Because if you just say, I’m going to design your logo and I’m going to design, you know, whatever, your website without giving them parameters for that, they have no idea what that number is based on. So you have to show the parameters of your fee.

And I think we don’t spend enough time framing our numbers in the context of our deliverables and our scope of work. So I think spending a little time with that is really important. That’s kind of the main component to me of a proposal that’s often missing.

But then they have all those qualifications stuff that I don’t necessarily believe in. You should have some sort of section around, I love an objective section, which is like, here’s the stuff I heard you say is important to you. Here’s the stuff you’re trying to solve in your business problems.

So it’s the stuff that they’ve told you in their creative beep or in their request for proposal or in their conversations with you. They’ve told you who their target audience is or what their strategies are, what their problems have been in the past. So you want to reiterate the stuff you heard without making assumptions that are wrong.

So don’t rely on stuff you think about their business only that you heard, because you don’t want to get into trouble with things like, you think they need a new logo when they just designed a logo last year and their uncle designed it, whatever. You just don’t want to get yourself into trouble. But I really like to frame what are the key objectives.

So usually a proposal starts with an overview of what the project is, some objectives of what the project needs to solve, and then the list of all the components. That’s really important, what the end deliverables are that you’re delivering. If it’s a website, maybe it’s around the functionality of the website.

What kind of functionality is the website? How complex is it? Is it a WordPress template?

Is it a custom template? A lot of different parameters of that. If it’s a brochure, how many pages?

You have the component list, then you have the scope of work, which is the actual phases and deliverables within those main deliverables. What are you delivering to the client? Then there’s usually a fee section, or what I call a creative investment section.

Then there’s some kind of exclusion section. These are things that are not included, because clients always assume you’re including all this stuff and you’re not. I like to put in things like this doesn’t include photography or custom fonts, or even the usage of fonts, like having the rights to the fonts that we’re providing.

I usually put in some things that this doesn’t include printing or programming, or whatever it doesn’t include. Then just say, once we negotiate this and it’s approved, then I give them the contract. I will recommend that I do not believe that terms and conditions should go in a proposal.

A lot of times they wrap that into the same document, and I don’t think that’s the best way to do it. I think you build the love first, you negotiate the budget first, then you write the proposal. Once they’ve negotiated the fee, negotiated the proposal, then the contract comes after they’ve already said, yes, we’re going to work with you.

They’ve rejected all the other firms. Then you give them the contract or the legal terms. Then again, that’s another conversation.

They’ve already rejected everybody else. They are going to work with you. If they have different terms that you disagree with, it’s a conversation.

It’s a negotiation because they’ve already selected you. But if you give them the terms upfront before they selected you, it turns them off. It gets lawyers involved.

It frames the conversation in a way that’s not friendly. So I really try to avoid putting legal terms and conditions in a proposal.

Another question. Would you include case studies or actual work in a proposal?

If only if you’ve not built the love and it’s going to people that you maybe haven’t known before. But if you’ve built the love, if they already know about your firm and you’ve already either met them or they’ve seen your case studies on your website, you do not need to include that, honestly. Unless there’s a few exceptions and there’s a lot.

If they’ve requested it or it’s going to people that you haven’t met or other decision makers or other people, those are the main two reasons. If they’ve requested it and it’s part of the requirement of submitting a proposal. But keep it short and sweet.

You don’t need to put your awards in there. No one cares about the awards, especially like, well, I don’t want to go into it, I don’t want to insult some people, but there’s a lot of awards that have no meaning to clients. None of the creative awards.

If you want an award within an industry that they’re in, that’s cool. Like a hospitality award, that might be interesting to a client. But don’t list, like, you don’t need to give everybody’s bio.

You don’t need to do all that stuff. No one’s going to read that stuff, unless they ask for it. If that’s specifically what they ask for, you have to respond to that way.

But I usually don’t put anything in. I love case studies, however, Jacob. I will say the exception to the rule is I love case studies.

And not case studies where they’re just pictures of the work. Like, I have a client that on their website, it says case studies. I click on it, and it’s just pictures of the work.

That’s not a case study. You know, if you have metrics, success metrics of like, here was the, you know, problem. Here was the problem, here’s the solution, and here’s the results.

And like metrics, how did we prove our results? Not like a funny, you know, not a nice quote from a client. That’s not a metric.

You know, like really metrics, this increased attendance at this event by, you know, whatever. It raised brand awareness by this, you know. So I always love case studies, and as much as possible, I like to have a few juicy case studies that are not on our website, so they’re a little surprise elements.

So I always try to hold a few case studies that are not on the website just for fresh, new projects to science that they might not have seen before.

Yeah, some brilliant tips in there.

Emily, thank you so much for your time. We’ve gone through so much stuff. And, you know, you’ve given us so much value.

I’m just kind of mindful we’ve only partway through your book, and we’re kind of out of time. So I guess the follow-up question is how do folks connect with you and how do we kind of explore further thinking from you if we’re interested?

Well, I appreciate that question. So you can follow me on emilycohen.com, obviously. That’s where you can also get my book, which is out of print, but you still can buy the e-book.

And also you can follow me on social media. I’m very active on Instagram in particular, but I’m pretty much on all the platforms. So you can reach out that way.

And, yeah, that’s the best way to stay in touch with me. And also I’ve done a LinkedIn learning course and a Skillshare class. I’m doing another LinkedIn learning course that’s launching this in a few months, so that’ll be out.

And, yeah, so just different ways. I’m kind of everywhere.

Amazing.

Amazing.

All right.

Well, thank you so much, Emily. I love this conversation. And we really did go deep in terms of business strategies.

And there was no BS. And I love all your Westerns. So thank you so much.

It was a real pleasure. Cheers.

Well, thank you very much. It was really great.

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