Lots of people are complaining about lack of privacy on social media, especially in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica Scandal (and numerous other privacy violations committed by Facebook).
But while lots of people love to complain every time their personal data is exploited, very few hold privacy as a value.
And even fewer digital entrepreneurs seem to value privacy in business.
But I am a Libertarian.
I believe privacy is an inalienable human right because without privacy, one can never know true liberty.
Both my agency and my consulting practice are built on privacy.
I insist on NDAs with all of my clients because I know how important trust is to a professional relationship. If my clients don’t feel they can trust me with confidential business information, they won’t be honest.
Without full honesty, we can’t do the work that is necessary to truly move a business forward.
I am a strategist.
That means I need to know things you wouldn’t reveal to a virtual assistant you found on Facebook.
I need to know revenue numbers. Goals. Struggles. Failures. I need to know your profit margins and overhead.
Before I insisted on NDAs, clients weren’t forthcoming. They hid things from me.
It is impossible for me to do my job and get the results you’re looking for if you don’t trust me.
When you work with me or my agency, we enter into what I call Client-Consultant Privilege. Your business information is 100% confidential, and will not be shared with anybody outside of the company.
I won’t even reveal that you’re a client if you don’t want me to.
This means I don’t have a portfolio available.
And while some people assume this costs me a lot of business, it has only cost me bad clients; clients who see strategy consulting, systems, and web design as either unnecessary or commodities that just anyone can do.
In the 20 years since I started my web design practice, I have never once been asked for a portfolio by a 7 figure business owner.
I only get asked by entrepreneurs who are struggling to hit their first 6 figures, or those who have hit 6 figures, but don’t truly understand the value of strategic work. (Those are the clients I would’ve turned down on other grounds anyway.)
This may leave you scratching your head.
“Ysmay, if you don’t have a portfolio, how do you manage to stay in business?”
1. I’m damn good at what I do. I get results for my clients they never expected. Not only do I have clients who have been with me for 15 years, clients refer me so much business my agency currently has a 100 day waitlist. In this day and age it’s unusual for coaches and consultants to have clients for more than a few months let alone years.
2. I am a damn good closer because I know strategy and business operations inside out. I recently closed a $20k contract with a multi-7 figure business in one strategy session. This client never heard of me before they found my website. They booked a strategy session (priced at $1,000). 15 minutes into our call they had a monumental breakthrough, and booked two VIP days on the spot. They later told me that one call generated an additional $10k in revenue.
I wouldn’t be able to get these kinds of results if my business wasn’t built on privacy.
If my clients didn’t feel like they could trust me with their deepest, darkest secrets, failures, and financial statements, I would be limited to giving clients half-baked, watered down advice just like most of my competitors.