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The Foundation of Client Relations

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Developing client relations is like building a home, or at least watching someone build a home. When you know how a business or organization built themselves up from the ground level, you are privy to insights and abilities that allow you to market and promote their products and services in meaningful and effective ways. When creativity matches intimate knowledge the marketing campaign resonates with the company’s mission statement and works as a powerful catalyst to the company’s trajectory.

This awareness became clear to me during a recent visit to TerraVita Springs, my cousin’s working and educational 166 acre farm on the Greensprings of Ashland, Oregon. After observing regenerative design practices (such as using live edge in construction, composting toilets, and recycled jeans for insulation) carefully chosen seedlings growing in the 33 foot geodesic dome for summer farmers markets and restaurants, and future sites such as mushroom cultivation and bioswale, we sat down to organize and write the preliminary copy for their website.

Together we developed the visual framework of their organization by structuring the information in a logical way that made it easy to navigate and prioritized their goals and aspirations for the business. We teased apart programs from events and workshops, wove in their philosophy in subtle ways, and placed pictures of the farm throughout to tell the story of their company from its beginning stages, leaving room for growth as the months and years go by.

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While the snow swirled through the conifer forest outside, we jammed on this project, wrapping up the outline and all the copy of an entire website in a single (long) afternoon. I don’t think the website would have come together so quickly if I hadn’t visited the site and walked through the projects, all in their various stages of development. Looking at the bones of this organization, I was better able to ask the whys that enabled me to promote their company like a well crafted biography.

The parables of house building and marketing are as follows:

Location determines which community they want to serve.

Foundation will clarify where their support comes from (seed money or donors).

Infrastructure such as insulation and beam support tells you how they protect themselves and how they expect to grow.

Design reveals what they value and their level of creativity, innovation or perhaps utilizing tried and true methodology. If you look at it carefully, the “look” of a product, company, or house, exposes what is unique and what they have determined is their best aspects.

Windows (i.e., a company’s visions and values) reveal adaptability to seasonal change and what they hope to become by how much light they allow to enter.

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