get sophisticated clients

i was lucky enough to talk to a media consultant this past week. she makes a living studying the impact of social media campaigns for businesses, which is something that i am very interested in. i asked her a ton of questions about her career journey, and in return she asked me a lot of questions about my own business ventures.

today, i’m thinking about one of the things she told me in our meeting: “get sophisticated clients.” “are you interested in doing innovative things?” “yes, of course,” i replied. “well, that means you can’t waste your time with companies that aren’t interested in innovation. you need to find clients who are looking for cutting edge stuff, especially if you are providing cutting edge stuff.”

previously, i had been spending time working with small businesses and teaching them how to run their social media campaigns. this was all fine and dandy, but many of them were uninterested in social media as a whole, along with anything that was different from what they were already doing. “this is not going to help you in the long term, because the kind of work you will be doing will be a little bit basic,” my new friend told me. so, currently, i’m taking this to heart and continuing my search for “my people”, the tech-savvy folks who are looking to become better managers.

your big break

today i had a big break, and it would have meant nothing if i hadn’t had been working on my own projects in the meantime. i met someone with a lot of resources, and they asked me “what do you do?” and i showed them my interview series, grounded in ongoing research that i do with the seriousness i bring to every job. they were impressed, and handed me their card.

this is a huge deal. one of my favorite quotes is from louis pasteur: “fortune favors the prepared mind”. if we are given an opportunity, we are more likely to grab it if we have primed our brains to receive it. this is why i always advocate for folks to work on projects, no matter how small or silly they seem. having a body of work to show for your interests separates you from the swaths of people who just talk and do nothing.