5 Years of KDC: Launch Mode

Gotta love Facebook Memories. The sometimes-stalker-ish function reminded me a couple of days ago, on September 26th, that on that day in 2013, I had wrapped up my tenure as the editorial and content director at Lighthouse Media Solutions. A full-day meeting at the Boston Harbor Hotel with the entire editorial staff ended with the consumption of a fair amount of alcohol at the hotel’s bar.

I woke up in the pre-dawn hours with a mild headache, packed my bag, and hit the road before rush hour had a chance to engulf the city in a writhing mass of impatient drivers. Just as I walked in the door at home, I received a text from an acquaintance whom I hadn’t spoken with in months. It was one word: “Congratulations!”

“On what?” I replied, as I was beginning to think Facebook wasn’t the only stalker-ish thing in my life. How could this person possibly know that I was in the midst of major life milestone?

“Your new business!” she replied. “It’s in today’s paper!”

Like wow. This suddenly felt real.

As I was working out my notice with Lighthouse, I was using my spare time to get Kain DeFoe Communications going. Just a few days before the meeting in Boston, I had sent a press release to the Cape Cod Times. I had no idea they would print it within the week. Guess the news was out…big time. My phone rang throughout the day. The texts kept coming. Like wow.

Despite the lingering headache, I was tickled by the number of people who reached out to congratulate me, and champing at the bit to turn “JBI” into a business. There was no rest for the weary, or mildly hungover, on September 27th, 2013. I was in launch mode.

With the idea of going out on my own floating around in the back of mind for a couple of months, I had very intentionally been building my online connections on Facebook and LinkedIn. This proved invaluable when it came time to get the word out that I was starting KDC. What had been just a couple of hundred connections was now more than 2,000. When I shared the press release from the Cape Cod Times’ website to Facebook and LinkedIn, the encouragement from my online community absolutely blew me away.

I spent the next week or so taking the steps that would allow me to say “ta-da” to the world – well, the region. I built a website on GoDaddy. It took a solid day of learning how to use GoDaddy’s Website Builder function to get the site looking the way I wanted it to, and another few hours to fill it with content. Boom. This puppy was live.

With the digital world – well, region – now aware of my fledgling business, it was time to go old school, as in snail mail.

I ordered custom business announcements from an online printer – a simple card with your basic “Jennifer Kain DeFoe announces the launch of her new venture…” kind of thing. Once they arrived, I kept things really old school and hand-addressed the envelopes, thinking people would be more likely to open mail with a hand-written address. I dropped a hundred or so announcements in the mail on a Thursday afternoon.

My phone rang on Saturday morning. It was someone I’d sent an announcement to. I had my first client.

Like wow. This suddenly was real.