In about a two week period, I suddenly had a lot going on. A website here, updates to an old project there, and some musings from a big company who knew me thinking “maybe we can use Kelsey for this.” Also in that time, I got the call that would dramatically change my life.
My Big First Client, BFC until I can reveal them, called because they had been watching me online. They needed a website and was I interested? To which I said I couldn’t take on a project of that size, or within their industry, while employed at ICG. I asked them if they REALLY only needed a website or if they needed more - knowing they were a bit of a hot mess online and needed some help. They realized it too and said it’d probably grow into a larger partnership. BINGO! I said sure let me send over a portfolio. Before I could, though, they called back and set up a meeting for me to come and present some work (in just a few days.) BINGO again!
I decided to make a full on powerpoint presentation. I was a pro at making RFP responses at my job, so why not treat this like an RFP? It was hard because I couldn’t show them all of my work, and had to explain that for 2.5 years, my work was ICG work. There was work that I couldn’t discuss much at all because it would have been a conflict of interest until I’d actually quit. They understood. I focused on areas where I could help and my passion for helping businesses rise to the next level. I talked about how I'd like to be their actual agency of record. I made makeshift Lever businesscards for the meeting to show them exactly what I meant. They loved it!
I forgot to mention that this meeting fell on the day I was heading to my best friend’s wedding in Denver. That day I woke early, put on my favorite fedora, drove out of town to present, presented by myself to 5 people in their corporate office conference room, drove home to the airport and flew out that afternoon. Then came days of drafting contracts, buying Lever URLs, checking state entity listings, talking to lawyers, filing with the State, negotiating and generally feeling like I had no idea what I was doing. I said a lot of prayers to make sure I was following God's lead in the situation. What made this scary process so great was my client. They are just the coolest, most laid back team. I couldn’t wait to get started.
Finally, upon signed contract in my gmail inbox, I said some more prayers, tried to regulate my breathing, and headed into my boss’ office to resign. It was a crazy week, but I had a peace about the situation and a signed contract in my inbox from a BIG First Client! It was also one of the proudest and most exciting moments of my life.
Even though this post is already too long, here are some key takeaways for any opportunity:
- MARKET YOURSELF - People are watching social media both consciously and unconsciously.
- HAVE YOUR WORK READY - You may only have a day or two to prepare for any opportunity. Keep a breathing portfolio file or folder that you edit every few months.
- PROPOSE BIG - Turning a website proposal into a marketing plan Better to overwhelm than underwhelm.
Hope that helps when your time comes!