If you landed here, it’s because you are interested in understanding what motivated me to help entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Let me tell you…

A rainy day

It was a morning in March 2015, one of those rainy days that marked the transition from winter to spring.

During those years I was following up on several of my own projects, and I was finishing up a presentation to send to potential investors.

At the time I was a dreamy greenhorn with ambitions of becoming the next Steve Jobs.

I liked being with other guys who wanted to build something and who, like me, with their minds looking to the future, we spoke in codes misunderstood by most people.

I was absorbed in my thoughts when that silence was interrupted by the ringing of my phone….

I looked at the number on the screen, but it wasn’t listed in the phonebook:

«Hello..»

«Hi Simone, my name is Paola and I got your number from Francesco and he told me you work with computers.»

«Hi Paola, my pleasure, how can I help you?»

«I have a retail store and I need some help with the internet part…you know, I don’t understand much about this stuff here…but Francesco told me you are very professional.»

While I was listening to her voice, I had a feeling that something was wrong, like a knot in her throat and difficulty in speaking.

We set an appointment for 5:30 p.m. that afternoon.

I reached the address, which was in a suburban but rather high-traffic area. I got out of the car as it continued to pour down rain, and it was starting to get dark.

I looked up in search of the retail store and was impressed by a sign with some neon letters flashing intermittently.

Focusing more closely, I discovered that Paola’s store was just that. It was a women’s clothing store consisting of two storefronts.

I stood for a moment with my umbrella in the rain watching the storefront windows.

The three mannequins were illuminated only by the light of three small spotlights, which shined from above. Rain splashes had settled on the underside of the storefront windows, which made it even more difficult to see the accessories arranged at the bottom.

This is not good, I thought to myself…

I decide to ring the doorbell – «Din-don»

Paola approached me politely, but her tired eyes masked something else. She began to tell me about her store and showed me first-hand the quality of her products.

She told me that that business activity she had created with sweat and sacrifice, and until 2012 everything had gone well, being able to live comfortably with her son.

«But then the economic crisis overwhelmed me, and the taxes, you know people think otherwise and stop coming into the retail store.» Paola continued «Look here, in the warehouse I’m completely swamped by clothes, I have no more space to even move. I had bought them based on past years but this year the sales were a disaster».

I listened to her in complete silence, then after a few seconds we sat down, she lowered her eyes, lost in the emptiness, said me:

«The truth is that I only have the last $500 left and that’s enough until the end of next month, then I will be forced to shut down permanently».

Boooom! A slap in the middle of my face would have hurt less. My stomach was churning. That was the real world!

I, who was usually used to thinking about the future and flying machines, had been brought back to planet earth in less than three seconds.

I collected all the necessary information, greeted her with the promise that within a few days I would let her know something.

I got into the car in the direction of home.

I felt drained, rethinking Paola’s words, alone, with the raindrops splashing on the car windshield.

At night I could not get to sleep, turning over and over in my bed, thinking about possible solutions to save her business.

And time was getting short. One more day spent would have meant one less day of life for Paola’s retail store.

I decided to take pen and paper, and draw a hypothetical scenario.

Basically, I should have had a very significant return on that $500 invested. A multiplication of the loaves and fishes. But I wasn’t Jesus Christ.

Two days later

After two days I went to Paola’s retail store.

I sat down and began with the necessary premises:

«Paola, maybe I am crazy, but if we succeed it could be a half miracle, I don’t want to give you false expectations. But if it is the last chance to be played, we must play it. Now. I have a plan».

On her face I could see a sketchy smile of hope.

This on the one hand calmed me because I knew I had his attention, but on the other hand it paralyzed me because if things didn’t go as I planned, I would carry the responsibility of failure on my then 25-year-old (blissful youth) shoulders.

And here it would not have failed a “startup” where eventual closure you put it on the table from its conception. But a mother and her son would end up in ruins (a few months later I found out that she also had financing in progress).

I was really shitting myself in fearof not succeeding and carrying a torment…

I got up and opened the door of the warehouse, took a skirt in my hand and told her:

«Paola, your money are here».

She looked at me perplexed, probably thinking that I had gone crazy.

I continued: «The first thing we need to do is to safe the business for the next 3 months, and to do that we need fresh money in the cash register. Your $500 will be used to create a Facebook campaign on selected accessories and clothes that will have a fixed price. But it will not be a sale, we have to make everyone believe that the store is doing well and healthy by doing a temporary promotion. To do that we have to revamp your image, we will start with your online image.».

Paola, began to understand by nodding.

«The work will be divided as follows, in these first twenty days I’ll create your website, the next day we will set off with the Facebook campaign for another twenty days, for people with certain interests in the brands you deal with in your store and only of an age well-specified, 25-35 years old, within a 20-mile radius from your store. In the meantime, however, you should make an extra effort».

«Which one?» asked Paola.

«Have the sign LEDs fixed, the interior lighting fixed, and get a paint coat of white: the clothes don’t show and the store puts a sadness on those who enter. Oh, and you’ll also have to be open every Saturday and the second Sunday of the month because people have not much time during the week and take advantage during the weekend to get around, especially now that spring is coming.”

I had been a little harsh perhaps, and I would have expected any response, but I said it for his sake.

«You’re right» she said.

Two days later, her brother-in-law fixed her display sign, replaced the interior lamps in the store and painted the walls in white.

The given word should always be honored

I was carrying out my own projects and Paola’s site during the first weeks. I was exhausted and slept three hours a night, but I had given my promise, and if there is one thing my father taught me, it was that “the given word must always be honoured”.

The website was completed before the deadline and we launched the Facebook campaign linking to the website where the products were featured.

  • On thefirst day, social posts received a few sporadic “likes”. It was still too early to say if the strategy I had thought of was correct, but I believed in it.
  • On the second day a few more “likes”, four shares and two calls, one to schedule an appointment in the shop, one to receive information. Budget so far spent $12.90. Paola meanwhile was constantly updating me via WhatsApp.
  • The third day was a Thursday, and the weekend was approaching. I checked the progress of the campaigns on Facebook: 15 shares and customers were starting to tag their friends under the post. Paola called me with a more relieved voice: «Hi Simone, a customer bought today, I have received many calls and I already have several appointments for this weekend». A gleam of hope lit up at the end of the tunnel.
  • Day five, Saturday evening 8pm, the phone rings:

«Sorry for calling at this hour but I just wanted to let you know how today has gone. I’m just telling you that I’m closing the shop now, Iwas literally stormed and my sister came to help me out. We made 11 sales today!».

I was stunned and overjoyed at the same time. I opened the screen of my PC to check the advertising campaign and saw that it had gotten as many as 52 shares and as many customers tagged their friends under the post

The campaign ended with this result (I have covered the names to ensure the privacy of all customers). Over 6 years have passed (at the time of writing this page it is 2021) but every comment left by customers I remember as if it were yesterday:

An ending with a smile

The months and years since that first meeting have been followed by a total rebirth of the shop, a complete renovation (to which an expansion of the building was added), new projects and work carried out together.

Thinking back on it still gives me the shivers: Paola trusted me, and I perhaps aided by the folly of youth helped her out of that bad situation.

But in addition to economic satisfaction, there was an awareness on both sides:

Paola realised that she could exploit the potential of the Internet sooner, and that this would be the “new world”.

I have grown a lot and realised how crucial the Internet is for the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and freelancers. And how muchunexpressed potentialthere is in these businesses.

My Mission

I wake up every morning with one hope: that a company will not get to Paola’s point before contacting me.

Therefore, I provide my consulting services together with my team with whom I share the same values, and I disseminate online content to make entrepreneurs and freelancers more conscious of the importance of having a solid, effective and sustainable online strategy and presence..

If you landed here, it’s because you are interested in understanding what motivated me to help entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Let me tell you…

A rainy day

It was a morning in March 2015, one of those rainy days that marked the transition from winter to spring.

During those years I was following up on several of my own projects, and I was finishing up a presentation to send to potential investors.

At the time I was a dreamy greenhorn with ambitions of becoming the next Steve Jobs.

I liked being with other guys who wanted to build something and who, like me, with their minds looking to the future, we spoke in codes misunderstood by most people.

I was absorbed in my thoughts when that silence was interrupted by the ringing of my phone….

I looked at the number on the screen, but it wasn’t listed in the phonebook:

«Hello..»

«Hi Simone, my name is Paola and I got your number from Francesco and he told me you work with computers.»

«Hi Paola, my pleasure, how can I help you?»

«I have a retail store and I need some help with the internet part…you know, I don’t understand much about this stuff here…but Francesco told me you are very professional.»

While I was listening to her voice, I had a feeling that something was wrong, like a knot in her throat and difficulty in speaking.

We set an appointment for 5:30 p.m. that afternoon.

I reached the address, which was in a suburban but rather high-traffic area. I got out of the car as it continued to pour down rain, and it was starting to get dark.

I looked up in search of the retail store and was impressed by a sign with some neon letters flashing intermittently.

Focusing more closely, I discovered that Paola’s store was just that. It was a women’s clothing store consisting of two storefronts.

I stood for a moment with my umbrella in the rain watching the storefront windows.

The three mannequins were illuminated only by the light of three small spotlights, which shined from above. Rain splashes had settled on the underside of the storefront windows, which made it even more difficult to see the accessories arranged at the bottom.

This is not good, I thought to myself…

I decide to ring the doorbell – «Din-don»

Paola approached me politely, but her tired eyes masked something else. She began to tell me about her store and showed me first-hand the quality of her products.

She told me that that business activity she had created with sweat and sacrifice, and until 2012 everything had gone well, being able to live comfortably with her son.

«But then the economic crisis overwhelmed me, and the taxes, you know people think otherwise and stop coming into the retail store.» Paola continued «Look here, in the warehouse I’m completely swamped by clothes, I have no more space to even move. I had bought them based on past years but this year the sales were a disaster».

I listened to her in complete silence, then after a few seconds we sat down, she lowered her eyes, lost in the emptiness, said me:

«The truth is that I only have the last $500 left and that’s enough until the end of next month, then I will be forced to shut down permanently».

Boooom! A slap in the middle of my face would have hurt less. My stomach was churning. That was the real world!

I, who was usually used to thinking about the future and flying machines, had been brought back to planet earth in less than three seconds.

I collected all the necessary information, greeted her with the promise that within a few days I would let her know something.

I got into the car in the direction of home.

I felt drained, rethinking Paola’s words, alone, with the raindrops splashing on the car windshield.

At night I could not get to sleep, turning over and over in my bed, thinking about possible solutions to save her business.

And time was getting short. One more day spent would have meant one less day of life for Paola’s retail store.

I decided to take pen and paper, and draw a hypothetical scenario.

Basically, I should have had a very significant return on that $500 invested. A multiplication of the loaves and fishes. But I wasn’t Jesus Christ.

Two days later

After two days I went to Paola’s retail store.

I sat down and began with the necessary premises:

«Paola, maybe I am crazy, but if we succeed it could be a half miracle, I don’t want to give you false expectations. But if it is the last chance to be played, we must play it. Now. I have a plan».

On her face I could see a sketchy smile of hope.

This on the one hand calmed me because I knew I had his attention, but on the other hand it paralyzed me because if things didn’t go as I planned, I would carry the responsibility of failure on my then 25-year-old (blissful youth) shoulders.

And here it would not have failed a “startup” where eventual closure you put it on the table from its conception. But a mother and her son would end up in ruins (a few months later I found out that she also had financing in progress).

I was really shitting myself in fearof not succeeding and carrying a torment…

I got up and opened the door of the warehouse, took a skirt in my hand and told her:

«Paola, your money are here».

She looked at me perplexed, probably thinking that I had gone crazy.

I continued: «The first thing we need to do is to safe the business for the next 3 months, and to do that we need fresh money in the cash register. Your $500 will be used to create a Facebook campaign on selected accessories and clothes that will have a fixed price. But it will not be a sale, we have to make everyone believe that the store is doing well and healthy by doing a temporary promotion. To do that we have to revamp your image, we will start with your online image.».

Paola, began to understand by nodding.

«The work will be divided as follows, in these first twenty days I’ll create your website, the next day we will set off with the Facebook campaign for another twenty days, for people with certain interests in the brands you deal with in your store and only of an age well-specified, 25-35 years old, within a 20-mile radius from your store. In the meantime, however, you should make an extra effort».

«Which one?» asked Paola.

«Have the sign LEDs fixed, the interior lighting fixed, and get a paint coat of white: the clothes don’t show and the store puts a sadness on those who enter. Oh, and you’ll also have to be open every Saturday and the second Sunday of the month because people have not much time during the week and take advantage during the weekend to get around, especially now that spring is coming.”

I had been a little harsh perhaps, and I would have expected any response, but I said it for his sake.

«You’re right» she said.

Two days later, her brother-in-law fixed her display sign, replaced the interior lamps in the store and painted the walls in white.

The given word should always be honored

I was carrying out my own projects and Paola’s site during the first weeks. I was exhausted and slept three hours a night, but I had given my promise, and if there is one thing my father taught me, it was that “the given word must always be honoured”.

The website was completed before the deadline and we launched the Facebook campaign linking to the website where the products were featured.

  • On thefirst day, social posts received a few sporadic “likes”. It was still too early to say if the strategy I had thought of was correct, but I believed in it.
  • On the second day a few more “likes”, four shares and two calls, one to schedule an appointment in the shop, one to receive information. Budget so far spent $12.90. Paola meanwhile was constantly updating me via WhatsApp.
  • The third day was a Thursday, and the weekend was approaching. I checked the progress of the campaigns on Facebook: 15 shares and customers were starting to tag their friends under the post. Paola called me with a more relieved voice: «Hi Simone, a customer bought today, I have received many calls and I already have several appointments for this weekend». A gleam of hope lit up at the end of the tunnel.
  • Day five, Saturday evening 8pm, the phone rings:

«Sorry for calling at this hour but I just wanted to let you know how today has gone. I’m just telling you that I’m closing the shop now, Iwas literally stormed and my sister came to help me out. We made 11 sales today!».

I was stunned and overjoyed at the same time. I opened the screen of my PC to check the advertising campaign and saw that it had gotten as many as 52 shares and as many customers tagged their friends under the post

The campaign ended with this result (I have covered the names to ensure the privacy of all customers). Over 6 years have passed (at the time of writing this page it is 2021) but every comment left by customers I remember as if it were yesterday:

An ending with a smile

The months and years since that first meeting have been followed by a total rebirth of the shop, a complete renovation (to which an expansion of the building was added), new projects and work carried out together.

Thinking back on it still gives me the shivers: Paola trusted me, and I perhaps aided by the folly of youth helped her out of that bad situation.

But in addition to economic satisfaction, there was an awareness on both sides:

Paola realised that she could exploit the potential of the Internet sooner, and that this would be the “new world”.

I have grown a lot and realised how crucial the Internet is for the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and freelancers. And how muchunexpressed potentialthere is in these businesses.

My Mission

I wake up every morning with one hope: that a company will not get to Paola’s point before contacting me.

Therefore, I provide my consulting services together with my team with whom I share the same values, and I provide online content to make entrepreneurs and freelancers more informed about the importance of having a solid, effective and lasting online strategy and presence.