It helps that I am optimistic and I have an acute sense of the lurking journalist, remnants from my days of reporting. And these two increasingly help us help our clients stand out in meaningful ways.
When I say finding diamonds, I mean unearthing the good stuff which lurks in our clients’ businesses. But this is stuff even THEY didn’t know they had! They often brush it off as everyday, commonplace and commonsense knowledge.
A perfect example happened to me yesterday when I met a client at her home office.
Arriving mid-morning, I was keen to hear her answers to a bunch of questions which I’d sent her a few days before. Those questions were the catalyst to get her thinking (about her business) before we meet.
Questions Bring on the Answers
We use this primer a lot because websites we build and develop need to present the client’s strongest points in order for them to be successful online. Without strong reiteration of what they’re really good at, and why they’re in business, a website will never succeed. It will be just another boring brochure online, same old, same old. That’s not our goal. Our goal is for every website we build to generate profit for our clients.
We Don’t Simply Accept Clients…
(And that’s why we sometimes need to choose our clients carefully. Not because we are snotty. Because every website we build and develop carries our name, we are careful we do not end up diluting our name or worst, bring shame to ourselves.)
Back to my client. There we were, ensconced comfortably on the sofa. I asked her to tell me more of how she started the business. Personal stories often bring out great gems. Then I asked her about her products. Initially she didn’t know what was special about them, other than them being bestsellers in their own right.
It takes experienced probing to get at diamonds sometimes. And it takes questions. Not tough ones but questions which demonstrate a keen interest in the product as if it were my first time knowing about them. She sold handmade items. This is 100% handmade, crafted lovingly by villagers whose only problem in life was being born in the wrong country at the wrong time. The products were of impeccable finish and took hours of crafting, polishing, cutting, sanding and glazing.
“This is what I want to know,” I told her, as I scribbled furiously into my notepad. This was the good stuff I had been waiting for.
Finding the Real McCoy
At a time when everything cheap and tacky is made in China, my client had products which is on the other better scale – handmade to perfection with pride. These craftsmen were also sustaining their trade and village with these products. And the best part is, each product is a unique yet affordable gift!
When I find gems like this, the journalist/copywriter/PR-wannabe in me hyperventilates because I can envision all those things I can write about her business and her products. It almost makes me tingle with excitement to know that this is genuine, not some made-up story. I believe highly in authenticity and her story fit, absolutely!
I realised that this is what drives me (and the company) to do. What we’re doing is not just helping small businesses gain a stronger foothold out there on the Internet, we help them tell authentic tales of their products and services. I never believe in making things up.
Why We Are Picky about Clients
Everything you read in this blog comes from the real fabric of experience, mostly people we meet and the stories they tell us. Using websites, we offer their stories to the world and believe, the optimist that I am, that these stories, told correctly using the right medium surely will help them gain more customers and ultimately, help them grow their businesses. It’s about working together long term. It’s not about dumping the website on them once it’s done.
That’s why we pick clients. Honestly and seriously. Think of it as marriage. It’s a commitment for now and the future. We are seriously interested in clients who want to grow their businesses, not people who think they need a website just to keep up with their competitors.
Everyone has a story or diamond to share. They may not know it but if you know how to probe and ask, the right story comes out at the right time. And that story helps you sell online. And that’s where we seriously can help.
To sparkling stories of your life,
P/S: Speaking of diamonds, I read in the papers a few days ago about making diamonds out of your loved ones’ cremated ashes! Gory or sentimental? It might sound weird wearing your grandma as a diamond pendant around your neck but it sure beats mining diamonds dangerously or wearing blood diamonds!