Friends First

I was talking to a friend recently, a fellow entrepreneur, and I said I’m really focused on finding the “right clients” right now. He said, “the right client is the one who writes you a check.” Believe me, I appreciate that point-of-view and recognize the kernel of truth in it. Without capital, your enterprise grinds to a halt and soon enough you’re out of business. That’s how it works in the real world. Yet, there is more to the story, and more to pursuing new business than the transaction itself.

Bonehook exists to help friends (new and old) build their brands and grow their businesses. Therefore, we seek client-agency relationships where both parties make an investment in one another. In the best of cases, agencies and clients grow together and become successful together.

I’ve spent many years working for clients that made products or marketed services I don’t care about or believe in. That may not be the political thing to say here, but it’s true, and I’m a big believer in letting truth, not politics, guide my decisions. Here’s the deal, I have no interest in allowing that kind of thing to pollute these waters.

It’s important to stand for something–something other than making money. When you do, a certain percentage of people will no doubt recoil, but others will find common ground with you. And that’s the point. I’m perfectly willing to repel some in order to find the kind of business partners that I’m truly excited to go to bat for, day in and day out for many years to come.

The question that remains is where to find these partners, and I suspect that will always be the question. So far, the answer has been to find them among existing friends, and via introductions to friends of friends. That’s a strategy that has only just begun to play out, but I’m already aware of the need to reach beyond these comfortable circles to make new friends.

But how? Will I find like-minded people that might become clients someday at industry events and conferences? Yes. Will I find them in online networks? Yes. Will I sit next to them at one of Portland’s community tables and engage them in conversation? Yes. In fact, if you’ve read all the way to this point, please take a second or two to introduce yourself in the comments here, via email or on Twitter. Who knows, we might soon be friends.

3 Comments

  1. I whole heartedly agree. It is the direction things have been going for a while and I feel people are finally starting to catch on.
    I’m glad that you mentioned the very important point that these new friends may not become direct clients of yours, but they will lead you to them via the avenues you mentioned.
    Well done my friend.
    Emily

  2. Shawn says:

    We’re putting 4-5 trade shows on the calendar for next year just to walk and meet people in the industries we want to do work in. Much of this is coming from the experience we had with a client at a trade show this year – and we walked away with 6 decent leads to follow up on.

  3. Great post, David… Beautifully expressed!

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