Thursday, August 24, 2023

5 Things.

Touch wood. And don't jinx it.

But lately, I've been busier than a bread knife at an Oneg Shabbat. GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company has been in business since January 15th, 2020--the day after Ogilvy fired me for being old (there can be no other reason. I was making them more money than I cost them. I was doing good work on important brands. And after some intense therapy, I had all-but cured my harkening back habit.)

There are five reasons I've stayed busy over the last 43 months.

1. I have a good network of agency colleagues and clients who helped send work my way.

2. I have a creditable portfolio that prospects admire.

3. My clients like my work. They hire me for more work and they recommend me to friends. About nine out of ten clients come back for more. 

4. I advertise. I do this through my blog and my thrice-weekly GeorgeCo. ads. My thesis behind being brash about my work is simple. 

A portfolio shows what you've done. A blog and frequent ads show what you're doing and what you can do. It's a form of showing, not telling. The methodology we're all supposed to subscribe to.

5. This last bit is the hardest. And I've boiled it down to two words: Honesty. Trust. 

Honesty is what I deliver.
Trust is what I expect.

I am unfailingly honest with clients. I do what I say I'm going to do. I do it on time. As I promise, I help them find their "north star" and their voice. And I over-deliver.

I expect to operate based on trust. I did the lawyer-thing when I started GeorgeCo. And I don't do work without a signed scope. But I also don't work with people who give me that icky huckster-at-a-carnival-feeling. 

I got into a Gypsy cab once and almost died from the ride. I'm avoiding the professional equivalent of slipshod and shady.

In fact, along the way, I've hired just one permanent employee. She has an official title on her LinkedIn. But she's really my "mensch meter." I didn't want my desire for revenue to cloud my judgment. So I hired her to see through the flotsam and jetsam of prevarications.

So far, after about one-hundred clients, I've had just one try to stiff me. And my brother, the Sonny Liston of litigation, took care of that and got me paid.

The world is a brutal place. And advertising can be a nasty business. There are probably people reading this who believe there's no place in any business for either honesty or trust.

But brands at their most elemental are promises. A set of behaviors and elements that are consistent so that people know what they're buying.

Without trust and honesty a promise is as meaningless as mush.

That's how I've been doing what I'm doing.
And trying not to get mushy about it.


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