#buttermilkorbust Triad Startup Lab 2014: Week Three - Buttermilk Creative

#buttermilkorbust Triad Startup Lab 2014: Week Three

#buttermilkorbust Triad Startup Lab 2014: Week Three

#buttermilkorbust is a weekly recap of our experiences going through the Triad Startup Lab 2014 Session B. For less formal updates you can follow #buttermilkorbust on Twitter. Missed a week? Click below to get caught up:

Week 1 | Week 2

We can’t believe its already time to recap Week Three of the Startup Lab! Time sure does fly by… when you’re having fun… or working hard (or both!)

If Week 2 was about trying to figure out who we are and what differentiates us, Week 3 was about who we will actually go and talk to about those qualities- identifying our customer and then trying to figure out where those folks hang out.

So how do you identify your target audience so you know who you need to speak too? Well lucky for us at the Startup Lab we have an incredible resource: Abby Donnelly of The Leadership & Legacy Group.

To prepare for our meeting with Abby we read her book Networkingworks! so we could start wrapping our heads around this idea of networking. Believe it or not, the idea of networking is somewhat new to us. We’ve always been designers in-house, we have never had to worry about where our next project was coming from and up until now, we’ve really only ever networked with other designers and creative professionals. Abby’s book is filled with helpful worksheets to help us begin to identify who our target customer is, how to find them and how to speak to them.

When we got to sit down with Abby we started talking about referrals and the importance of teaching your contacts how to give a good referral. We further discussed how we frame our case to hire us. As we’ve discussed before, design is not enough. You have to speak to your prospective client in the language of solutions to their problems. What are their pain points and speak specifically about how you can solve them.

We also discussed with Abby which networking events we should start attending. Since our time is limited she helped us identify ones that would be the most bang for our buck- both time and monetarily speaking. We had already committed going to the next synerG On Tap event on August 13 so we talked about different format groups, smaller ones that are a little more business focused and not so social. Abby was kind enough to put us in touch with a few local people who organize BNI and Leads groups so we can join and start participating in some real networking.

We’re so glad we got to sit down with Abby and learn from a great teacher about the nuances and importance of networking. It’s definitely changed the way we think about who we are, who we want to talk to, and who we NEED to talk to.

So we ended another week at the Startup lab with all our assumptions turned upside down and  different people than the ones who started Week 2 which feels really good. It’s tough to continually question things you had initially thought were true about you and your business but it’s so important. And luckily we have the folks at the Startup Lab to helps us through those questions and revelations.