Advokate’s friends

Advokate’s friends

Call me sentimental, but I really wanted to send thank-you cards to my customers in recognition of my first year in business. I realize that so many folks who set out to start something don’t get this far, and it’s really because I know so many great people.

In writing the note inside each one, I realized that one of the reasons Advokate is still
advokatefriends2going is because I actually know these people. I know their wife’s name, or whether their cat died recently, or how their daughter is doing. I know what they’re trying to accomplish and they keep in touch with me about where they are with it, and how I helped. It didn’t feel like some obligatory clerical thing, writing those notes – It felt like taking a minute to connect and be real about my gratitude and to acknowledge who they are and what’s going on in their lives. I’m really glad I did that. And I’ve heard from them, and in a good way! I mean, sometimes you put your heart on your sleeve and send it out – a love letter sent – and kind of hold your breath, not knowing if people are going to open it and be like, “Well Kate’s a big fat cheeseball. Barfity barf!”

But the tale of Advokate’s friends goes on. Earlier this week I had back to back appointments with potential new clients. I know I can help people, but I still get nervous. What if I can’t think of anything to say? What if they’re mean? What if they think I’m stupid looking?

But – and this always happens – it was like meeting a friend for the first time. In both cases, we hit it right off, and being myself and connecting with them as real Kate and getting to know what they needed, I really enjoyed spending time with them. We’re the same kind of people, on the same page, trying to help each other out – and we get each other. That’s pretty awesome. Another newish client stopped by my home office to drop off payment the other day. Asking her about mutual friends and her move, it’s not this formal client-professional relationship. It’s real.

So Advokate is basically this: I get to hang out with new friends and play on the computer. And it works! It’s helpful to people!Yay! I had an email come in today from one of those new clients to say he’s going to his first networking event on Friday, and hadn’t thought of that as a way to build his business before our meeting. (This guy is charismatic – networking is the perfect way for him to build his business!)

I love that. The feeling that I’m making a positive difference in people’s lives is the best feeling ever.

Kate Austin-Avon

Kate E. Austin is known for her creative advocacy. She is a regular speaker on branding and social media with educational institutions and Chambers of Commerce. She owns and operates Advokate, LLC. Currently she serves on the boards of the Glens Falls Business Improvement District, the Jackson Heights Elementary School PTA, Lower Adirondack Pride, and is on the World Awareness Children’s Museum’s Advisory Council. Originally from Killington, Vermont, she studied art at Hartwick College and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art from Empire State College. She is a mother of three.