We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Greiman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rachel, what do you attribute your success to?
My business wasn’t even profitable until I committed to serving an extremely specific group of people. I can pinpoint the month that everything changed for me, and it was when I chose to work with photographers and photographers only. It was a little scary. I was worried about how many clients I was saying no to, how much opportunity I was walking away from. It felt like a very practical inverse of the saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” This was, “You have to say no to most people so you can say yes to the right ones.” I changed it all: my website copy, the way I referred to my clients on social media and in emails, the podcasts I pitched. I didn’t even entertain the idea of writing for anyone else. And before I knew it, I had a waitlist. I was hiring other writers. I felt confident in what I was doing rather than feeling like I was guessing. I think that business owners—specifically personality-driven solopreneurs who are service providers—are nervous to repel clients by getting specific in their messaging and copy. They want to appeal to as many people as possible to make sure they aren’t leaving money on the table. But there’s a saying in copywriting: “If you’re writing to everyone, you’re writing to no one.” If your message is so vanilla that most people can find something to relate to, then almost no one will get excited about it. By choosing photographers as my one and only, they started to feel like they mattered and that I only had eyes for them. Truth is, I do!

What should our readers know about your business?
Green Chair Stories is a copywriting cooperative, a small team of writers who writes websites for photographers. We believe the best copy comes from working together: with each other, our clients, and the people they photograph. I started Green Chair Stories in 2014 while I was working full-time at a nonprofit as a writer and photographer. I had this beautiful velvet green chair in my office. I would interview coworkers, single moms, homeless men, sometimes even kids in that chair. And everyone seemed so comfortable in it; so authentically themselves. So I started a business hoping to photograph families and write for businesses with that same kind of honesty. Over the next two years, it evolved into a copywriting company. I made more friends in the photo industry and heard their frustrations with writing and wanted to create an offer to help them. At first, it was just About pages on their sites. Then Home pages too. Then it was the full site. Then I added a writer to my team. Then I created some digital products. Added another writer. I moved across the country and had two babies while doing all of it. Oh! And a pandemic. Every year and every step of growth comes with its own struggles and lessons. The lesson that has been the most valuable to me is one that I’m still learning. There are so many ways to run a business. Infinite ways. The best gift I can give myself is grace to change my mind, to pivot, and to make mistakes. Half of the fun of owning a business is getting creative and testing what works and what doesn’t. It’s seeing what other people in your space are doing and coming up with ways to do it differently. Sometimes that means wild success. Sometimes it means you waste time and money. I’ve had to accept failure as part of the process and redefine what success means to me over and over again. Which leads me to … every season in life calls for a new definition of success. What was important to me before kids is not important to me now. What I longed for with one kid is impossible with two. What felt feasible without a pandemic is ridiculous to imagine while living through one. And most importantly … just because that person over there can make this happen in their life doesn’t mean I should try to do it in this season of mine. In summary: keep your eyes on your own paper and be flexible as hell.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Let’s say my friend arrives in the AM. We drop her stuff off at my house, grab my dog and an iced coffee from Wash Perk, and then go walk around Wash Park to get the plane feeling out of her legs. Then we go home and work at my kitchen table until dinnertime and then get marinated pork burritos (smothered!) from El Taco de Mexico to go. The next day we decide to go for a quick hike at Chautauqua because she gets altitude sickness but loves the mountains. It’s a weekday so it shouldn’t be too crowded. We get Rush Bowls because it is dessert disguised as health food. One day we will work all day from a coffeeshop. I’m partial to Hudson Hill (the grilled cheese!!), but I let her choose Crema because she saw the cool black and gold wall on Instagram. We visit my in-laws in Arvada one night and sit in their backyard as the sun sets over the foothills. We eat burgers made from my father-in-law’s cows and drink wine. Their backyard is Denver’s best-kept secret! She leaves on Saturday, and my husband forces us to get huevos rancheros from Denver Fresh Mex because he goes there every single Saturday. We oblige and are grateful because it is delicious.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I started Green Chair Stories, I was working full-time at Denver Rescue Mission as their writer and photographer. That’s where the real green chair came from, as well as my realization that I wanted to do this kind of work forever. Brad Meuli was (and still is) the CEO of The Mission. His encouragement to me throughout my employment there, as well as his complete servant leadership, are woven into the fabric of my business. His example inspired me to be generous in all areas of my business: with my time, with my attention and with my energy. No one is insignificant and everyone deserves kindness. He doesn’t know it, but working for him as I made the transition to full-time business owner set me on a solid foundation with purpose far beyond financial gain.

Website: www.greenchairstories.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greenchairstories/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rgreiman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greenchairstories

Image Credits
https://www.ali-v.co/

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