April 6th, 2010
by Lorrie Thomas
As the Wild Web Women at Web Marketing Therapy continue our quest to help companies put the pieces of the web marketing puzzle together so their web marketing work CLICKS, we are super-grateful for the healthy collaborations we are fortunate to have with other passionate professionals in this wild web world. I had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Rachlin, a web designer based in Los Angeles who, like Web Marketing Therapy, is dedicated to making a meaningful impact for clients through smart web marketing execution. Web Marketing Therapy is the support/advisory bridge that marries the art and science of the web with healthy web marketing strategy. We have three designers through our team, but MANY times we partner with other agencies like Amy’s firm. There is no competition in cyberspace, it is all about cooperation for helping companies implement healthy web marketing solutions and I love smarties like Amy. Speaking of being a smarty, I met Amy Rachlin through my partnership with SMARTY, a women’s entrepreneur group. We have a very similar philosophy about client relations, design and collaborative projects (bringing all the best brains together to help a client) As a business owner, wild web woman and web designer, it was fun to learn more about Amy. Enjoy the healthy dose of entrepreneurial inspiration!
Meet Amy Rachlin, Visual Storyteller:
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Please share a professional phobia or obsession….confession session!
I’m obsessed with seeing what inspires my clients – colors & typography & shapes – it reveals so much. I love learning the language, the dictionary, that each client uses to describe what they want; its like getting inside their heads while we work together – and that means earning their trust. Each time I start a new project its as if they’re taking me on a little road trip, pointing out what grabs them… Then its my job to show them what they showed me.
What is your favorite word or phrase? Why?
“Managing expectations” I like my clients to know what they’re in for from the start; to have a concept of the steps we will walk through together and the timeline involved. I never assume they understand the creative process – I feel its my job to educate my clients so they can be a participant in the adventure of creating their vision. Otherwise they are passive bystanders, they’re just rubbernecking while I flash design in front of them. That’s only interesting for a second – we’re creating something to speak to them for as long as their business exists. Sometimes longer…
What do you believe successful “wild web woman” traits are?
Paying attention and getting invested – I can’t help my clients from the surface – we have to dig IN.
How do you indulge yourself (every once in a while!) to stay healthy and balanced?
I swim, swim, swim! The water is my liquid meditation.
What are the top three most vital marketing ingredients that have helped you become the professional you are today?
Integrity, consistency, and a sense of humor.
Where do you find inspiration to continue growing your business?
From the other professional women in my world – and from my team at my Studio. I love that feeling when someone says something unexpected – such as something hilarious that I might not have thought of. It’s those kinds of moments when I realize I’m surrounded by people who are going to stretch my mind. The best.
When you are faced with a setback or an enormous business challenge, what do you do to keep moving forward?
Literally, deep breaths while I get my bearings. Then, if it’s a setback, I examine what happened and where the ball was dropped so I can learn from it THIS time. If it’s a business challenge, I break it down into digestible sections that can be brought back together. I also use that time to decide where I need to ask for help or additional input. I take my ego out of it.
Who is your personal role model? What about this person do you truly admire and aspire to?
I have a number of them, some are parenting role models, some are professional, some are exceptional friends… what they all have in common is patience and confidence. They leave self-doubt at the door, they ask for help when they need it, and they allow for ebb and flow. As a result they flourish.
What has been your biggest achievement recently that you are proud of?
I have been an integral part of bringing together an amazing creative development team. Over the last year we have developed a kind of short-hand in communication that enables us to work together smoothly, even when we’re pooped. I believe it is going to be the cornerstone of growing our agency.
What are your goals for this upcoming year?
To take our agency to the next level. We love our entrepreneurial clients and will always support their amazing endeavors, but now we’re looking to add established companies to our roster. To be the ‘agency of record’ for _____________.
What is your ideal work outfit? (We work in our PJs whenever we can, what about you?)
Gee, I’m still in my PJ’s as I type this and it’s 1pm. I guess that leaves hats? Ideally whatever I have on is comfortable enough to wear in front of my computer, but allows me to get out for a walk in public and look like I have some style commensurate with my design abilities. Oh, and clean hair is always a bonus…
What do you think is the most challenging part about being a female entrepreneur? How do you overcome this challenge?
Personally, I don’t find being a female entrepreneur as a particular challenge; my field doesn’t feel like its dominated by gender. As an entrepreneur I’ve had to learn to embrace that I may not always know what’s coming – even with all the planning and goal-setting – and that’s a huge challenge for me because I am not about suspense. I like to know.
Thanks for the great interview Amy! Readers, you can learn more about Amy on her website amyrachlin.com