November Monthly Payback Feature: Josh Miles

Who is Josh Miles?

Josh Miles is a self-proclaimed caffeine and Twitter addict. Professionally, he is the principal and founder of Miles Design, LLC where his role consists of driving brand strategy, business development, and firm-wide marketing.

Earlier this year, Josh authored the new Content Marketing Institute book, Bold Brand: The New Rules for Differentiating, Branding, and Marketing Your Professional Services Firm.

Let’s learn more about Josh…

On Following Your Dream

“I’ve been drawing and doing art since I was a kid,” Josh said. “My parents were always supportive of my art and passion. But my dad was a financial planner, so he encouraged me to think of ways to make my passion pay.”

Josh’s father was also smart enough to know that sometimes kids need to hear advice from people other than their parents.

“In high school I had a graphic design instructor who was grooming me for a free ride at the Art Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  During that time, my dad encouraged me to talk to one his clients who owned an ad agency. My dad’s client talked about the importance of getting a four year degree so I could learn how to sell, enhance my communication skills, and refine my creative art skills. I walked out of that building and changed my mind. I decided to pursue a four-year degree at liberal arts school, and that changed the face of my future.”

On Gaining Experience

They say experience is everything. And Josh would probably agree with that statement.

“I would encourage anyone who wants to start their own agency to gain experience first,” Josh said. “Don’t start your company right out of school. I was fortunate to work at an ad agency that allowed me to pitch work and talk to clients. Being involved in those conversations helped me learn how to speak the client’s language, build business objectives, and focus on the right audience.”

On Hitting a Home Run

As a designer, you and your client might have different opinions on what “looks best.” Josh explains how his first boss Larry Aull taught him how to keep the balance of power and maintain his creative freedom.

“At our agency, we often say that the client will never ask for a home run; they will ask for a base hit,” Josh said. “As the creative mind, you will always want the home run over the base hit, but you must show them what they asked for in the beginning. Show them their idea and also present your “home run” idea. Explain the differences and benefits of each version; let the client feel like they are in control.”

On Being a Good Leader

“Growing up, my dad was able to gently guide me to the answer without being so authoritarian,” Josh said. “I try to lead my team the same way. It’s never ‘my way or the highway’ at our office. I like to coach our staff and designers to find the path themselves.”

Click here to learn more about Josh and Miles Design, LLC.

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See you next month!

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