Coaching: Strategy but for YOU
Since you are visiting my website, it is fair to assume that you already know a bit about who I am (if not: go here). Perhaps you even know that I have my own consulting business (client list, etc. are on my LinkedIn). But for those of you who didn't know that, quick recap: for the past 3 years or so I have been working with agencies and brands as an independent strategist doing everything from consumer research to comms planning and workshop facilitation. I've worked with Media Arts Lab (Apple), Beats by Dre (a few times over), Vistaprint, Butler Shine Stern & Partners, Deutsch (Taco Bell), and more.
While my business has been growing, I've also been trying to figure out how to offer a more accessible supplement to the high-touch engagements I do with my corporate clients. With support from some amazing collaborators (Whitney, Lenea, etc.) I've started to put together standard product & service offerings for Maud Projects, LLC.
The first, and perhaps most obvious offering to come out of this exploration was Coaching. I had a hypothesis that I could take my approach and methods of strategy and apply them to individual creative professionals to help them work better. So to test it, I collaborated with a few different solopreneur types to refine my processes and build out test cases. And the results were UH-MAZE!
Two of my clients gave testimonials here. One is a Creative Director who was rebranding her consultancy and needed objective help figuring out her “story” to attract clients that were a better fit. The other is a Producer who was feeling stagnant in his advertising job and wanted to explore other career options. With each of them I put together exercises to help us get insights that would lead to a strategic direction forward. (Not entirely different from my approach to a corporate strategy engagement: research first). With the Creative Director we did things like ask her clients why they chose to work with her and what about her was unique. With the Producer, we went back through his whole work history and pulled out everything that he enjoyed the most. This helped us find common characteristics for the type of work that made him feel the most fulfilled and led to our plan for how to bring more of that into his current role / what to look for in future roles.
The Producer just texted me last week to tell me he got his first freelance client! (A brewery! So cool.) But really, it's not even magic that coaching worked for him or could work for anyone reading this. Think about it: imagine how much you would grow if you had a dedicated and trusted collaborator to give an outside perspective on your work, hold you accountable, and point you in different directions. You would grow A LOT. And I get it. This is the exact reason that I work with a coach. I don't think everyone can (or should) be expected to know and be good at everything. In fact, the most valuable business skill I have developed over the years isn't how to scope work or network - it has been learning how to identify my own weaknesses and ask for help from the right people.
With creative professionals in particular, they have a tangible output that they need to focus on. Their imagination, their ability to create - that is their bread & butter. Their ability to stay inspired. It is no surprise then that the area where creative pros. (especially independent creative pros.) struggle the most is with business development. Things like monetizing or coming up with revenue streams, pitching, and personal branding. It has never made sense to me that brands and agencies get support with this type of thing all the time, but the people (like you, or me) who benefit from strategy work the most don’t!
So this is why I am offering it. I've completely changed my Work With Me page to reflect my Coaching service and to offer a little bit more detail about how we could collaborate. Maybe Coaching is something you need now? You can set up a consultation by sending me a message. If you're just looking for some quick tips, general advice or want to keep up with the other product & service offerings will be rolling out, subscribe to my newsletter below. I’m really excited – this is just the beginning.