127) First Client

Greetings new reader!

I am glad you are here.

Have you ever wanted more control over your work situation?

For a lot of people, owning a business provides the opportunity to exercise that control.

In the spring of 2010 I formed a partnership with an internet marketing “wizard” named Larry. I met Larry at an association in Northern Colorado. Larry was presenting various strategies for helping start-ups identify, select and offer products using the internet as the primary marketing venue. At that particular time search engine marketing (local search) was the core focus.

Larry didn’t have a lot of academic training in business. What Larry had was a ton of experience helping Mom and Pops get their website found through local search through the process of keyword (profitable search terms) discovery.

Larry also could code HTML and possessed a natural affinity for learning whatever scripting and programming that was driving small business development.

At these two activities, Larry’s acumen was impressive.

I guess Larry liked me and after spending a few hours at his favorite coffee shop in Fort Collins, I confided in him that I had a potential client that had been developing a mobile scanning device. The scanner had some regional exposure but needed an online marketing presence to offer it nationally.  Some venture capital funding was in place and more ongoing.

After meeting the client, learning more about the scanner and identifying his goals and concerns, Larry and I spent the next few days drafting a formal internet marketing proposal.

The clients’ product development and traditional (offline) marketing team consisted of approximately eight individuals, who from early conversations had virtually no online marketing experience; although they had hired a focus group consultant who had completed one or two studies. The documents produced from the focus groups had identified some strengths and weakness of the product concept and along with our meetings provided a starting point for our internet marketing proposal.

Our client accepted our proposal to begin his online marketing in phases, as his financing became available.

In a way, I was riding on the coat tails of Larry’s previous work with some small clients in Northern Colorado.

As for my end, I had delivered our first client.

We were in business.

We were internet marketing consultants calling ourselves Stanley and Braun.

No more smokey hallways at my “smoke-free” room at Extended Stay America, no more apologies for being the new contractor on a learning curve, no more waivers for needlessly complicated design rule checks, no more suspicious facilities security teams, no more numb fingers (and wrist and arm) from 25 years of using a mouse, no more twitchy eyes from approximately 50,000 hours of staring at a computer display, and no more trips away from Nadine.

I was no longer a Mask Design Contractor.

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