You guys, leave it to me to decide to start my own freelance business and then immediately take on a project outside of my intended scope and even outside of my original field. But that is exactly what I did and I am so freaking glad. This project taught me so much about freelancing, writing, web design, etc. but what it really did was teach me about myself and how I want to show up to do this work everyday. I learned first hand that the best way to wow a client is to show up as authentically as you can, own your strengths, work through your struggles, and stay open to who they are and what they have to share.
I posted last week about the process I went through that landed me in freelancing, but what I didn’t share was the shove from the universe in the midst of it all. Somewhere in the middle of all of my dreaming and list making I decided to post on my personal Facebook page mentioning I was exploring returning to work and asking if anyone had any connections or whatever to let me know. Julie reached out to me basically saying she had some ideas of how I could help and support her and to let her know if I was interested. I cannot even explain to you what happened in my body at that moment. It is safe to say though that I knew this was my next right step. On top of that it was like hearing from Julie gave me the confidence I needed to allow myself to let my ideas and hopes and wants really sink in. Freelancing went from being a fuzzy, far off second thought to being the crystal clear path. I could see it and I could feel it in my bones.
Julie is an Enneagram 3. She has no trouble dreaming big and taking steps to make those dreams a reality. I’m a solid 2 but my wing is a 3 and I can dream with the best of them. You can imagine what happened when we got together. I did my best to make Julie feel supported so that she could share her visions and goals with me and then I fanned that flame and worked with her to create our path forward. That path looked like a brand new website.
After sitting with her, seeing her inspiration, talking through what was working and what wasn’t working, imagining the future of her business and growth…I left feeling like I had a pretty good grip on who she was and where we needed to go. I was so excited to get to work. I started scouring her social media and paying attention to what she was sharing but also what others were saying about her and her work. I spent hours with her existing site thinking through what was working well and what could be working better. I researched her competition and found inspiration from standouts in her field and others. Before I got lost in my own visions for what this could be I paused. I worked to distill down everything I had gathered and create a vision board for what Julie and I would be working towards. I used this countless times over the course of our project for inspiration, to help with a creative block, to make sure my ideas were on track, etc.
And then I started writing. One of the biggest challenges as a content writer, for me, is to make sure it is the client’s voice and excitement coming through in the writing and not my own passion about their project. If that makes any sense. I want it to feel like you’re sitting down with them and they’re telling you about their work. I don’t want it to be some random girl telling you about how great they are. It doesn’t take much for me to get genuinely excited for someone so I regularly have to check myself to make sure my personality isn’t guiding the work. With Julie this was easy. She shows up so authentically in all of her spaces that it didn’t take long to find a comfortable rhythm with her voice and her tone.
After spending many hours with the written content I had to find a way to pull it all together. I had to figure out how to display and present the content so it felt like the design supported the message and let it speak for itself. I knew I wanted to create a site that was clean and clear but full of personality. I wanted it to feel relatable and down to earth without downplaying her complete brilliance. I wanted it to feel professional and elevated but also totally human. Holding space for it to be all of the things that Julie is in her everyday life and how she runs her business was my goal. I needed it to be so much more than “just physical therapy and health coaching” because you get so much more than that with Julie. But how do you make someone see and feel that at first scroll? That was the challenge.
Sitting with the finished product I’m feeling so proud. I pushed myself to learn loads of new skills, I allowed myself to be creative, I worked through imposter syndrome, and I said yes to this every single day breathing a little more trust and confidence into myself. I showed up to every meeting, wrote every single email and text, answered every call, and put in the hours each day fully as myself. For the first time ever in my life I wasn’t Amber showing up to do the job of a teacher (or insert any other role here). I was showing up fully as myself. My process is not traditional, but it is me. I am convinced that the connection Julie and I made because we were each showing up in that way is what set this project apart. I was able to give her what she wanted and needed because I was open to hearing her and receiving her and then getting out of my own way and allowing it to happen. And knowing that is true is what makes this project so incredibly special to me. I will forever and always be grateful to Julie for seeing me, believing in me, taking a risk on me, and allowing me to learn for myself just how capable I am. The only one underestimating me at any step of this process was me.
And I’m not going to lie, knowing you can wow clients by being your full self (no matter how weird or woo-woo or emotional or whatever that self may be) only solidifies that this is the only way to show up from here on out. Work that honors my full self and my client’s full self is the only work I want to do.
If you want to learn more about Dr. Julie FitSmith and the incredible work she is doing please check out her brand new website! www.drjuliefitsmith.com and you can find all her socials links there too!
With so much love and gratitude,