The Best Client I Have Ever Had: Priest Holmes
I have managed businesses for nearly 30 years. I have owned bars, nightclubs, a home theater company, a food truck park, and a marketing firm within those 30 years. I have had the pleasure of working with a wide array of clients, each with diverse characteristics and needs. I have seen the best side and the worst side of clients, I have met some that have turned into dear friends and some I would prefer never to work with again. Throughout my 30 years of servicing clients, there is one client that stands out amongst them all. One client was hands down the best client I have ever had, Priest Holmes.
I had the opportunity to work with Priest on two separate occasions. In 2003, Priest contacted me when he wanted my firm’s support in creating and executing a strategy to speak directly to fans and grow his community service efforts, and again in 2017 when he wanted to create a new and improved digital brand for himself and his foundation. These were two very different requests that required unique approaches and 100% buy-in from the client. A tenured business owner understands the importance of gauging the odds of success for any business opportunity before jumping in feet first. The characteristics that Priest brings to the table, and each of his projects, make the odds of success more likely. Priest has five distinct qualities that make him the best client I have ever had.
Priest knows exactly what he wants, and he states the goal at the beginning of the conversation. He is precise, organized, and clear about his expectations. He does not attempt to sell you on the goal, and he does not change the goal or alter the goal once the project has started.
This allowed my team to create one plan, so we could stay focused on the end goal.
I was able to work a solid, consistent strategy without constant change and redirection, which ultimately can attribute to lost time, money, and the failure of a project. Priest also reiterated the goal in every meeting, this purposeful characteristic kept everyone focused and goal-oriented.
Priest was highly engaged in the entire process. Building a brand takes continuous review and feedback. Priest provided detailed feedback at every step and every phase of the project. He proofread all the content that was created for his website before suggesting changes or giving the green light. I have never had a client personally put the time and effort in to ensure their site was a true representation of their brand. He literally read every single word and reviewed every single design. He did not blow off the importance of his feedback, and more importantly, there was a purpose behind every change and suggestion.
Priest also made it a point to be present at each and every meeting. He asked thought-provoking questions to gain a real understanding of the decisions I made and the direction I was taking on his project. If he disagreed with a decision, he articulated why and gave me a chance to explain my point of view. Oftentimes, he agreed with me once he understood my rationale.
Before I began working on his brand, Priest asked what terms he should understand. He wanted to educate himself on my terminology, so he could relate to me on my platform. This is extremely rare, and it allowed the project to move forward quickly.
Priest also used relatable terms. Since he played football most of his life, he referenced football often. This is helpful because it allowed me to use football references as well. I wanted to make the process easy for him just like he was trying to make it easy for me.
These small efforts made communication seamless for both parties and reduced the chance of misunderstandings.
Priest’s knowledge of business and how the market works made building his brand for fans, future opportunities, the press, and the market a breeze. Most customers only have two target demographics, but Priest knew exactly who and what he wanted to target. He understood the details needed to achieve the stated goals and this allowed me to go to work.
Just an insight into his thought process. Priest asked me to collect every article ever written about him along with who wrote it, when it was written, and the purpose of the article. This type of data allowed me to compile statistics, journalist’s writing trends, and build a website so comprehensive you get to know Priest the individual and understand the brand he is building. No other athlete in the world has a website like Priest.
View the “On The Field” pages which include his journey and statistics.
Priest had complete trust in me and my process. If he disagreed with a strategy I presented and I held firm in my belief of the strategy, Priest would trust my expertise and give the strategy a chance. Back in 2003, a journalist wrote a negative article about Priest. Priest was completely unbothered. I suggested to Priest we put the article on his website because I had an idea I wanted to execute at the end of the season. Most clients would have flat-out nixed the idea. Priest said, “Absolutely, put it up there.”
After a record-breaking season, I called the journalist and asked if they would be open to eating crow and having Priest interview them live. The journalist in good spirits agreed and we turned the event into a fundraiser.This type of support from your client makes you go the extra mile for them. That is a small glimpse of working with Priest. He believes in you and lets you work. This is invaluable in marketing.
Life Changing Experience
I have taken my experience with Priest and applied what I learned to my client intake process. The five characteristics Priest exhibits have become commonplace characteristics in my day-to-day business operation. Purposeful, engaged, relatable, intellect and trust are not just experiences I’ve had with Priest, they are now how I determine which projects I take on. I ask clients what their goals are during the first conversation. I want to determine right away, whether or not what they are asking is achievable. I ask each client to review and sign a specific section of our agreement to make sure they understand that we need their feedback to move forward at every phase of the project and they are required to sign off at each phase before proceeding to the next phase. I then send them a list of industry terms, so they can familiarize themselves with some of our basic terminologies. I actively listen while communicating with potential and current clients, so I can determine whether or not their understanding of their place in the market is accurate and realistic. I then build trust with each client by sectioning their projects into phases that are measurable and goal driven until the final goal is achieved.
Priest was an amazing client and beyond being a pleasure to work with, he ultimately changed the way I do business for the better. His footprints are all over my intake process, the manner in which I engage with clients, and to this day, one of the best clients I have ever had.