Case Study: From Throwing Marketing Dollars at the Wall to Investing in a Thriving Business
Jessica Fialkovich of Denver Transworld Business Advisors office signed up to work with me in the fall of 2014 after reaching full frustration in her search for a niche. Jessica and her husband, Al, have partnered together to run their business broker and franchise consulting firm for the last two years.
“We always knew the importance of having a niche, but we struggled with identifying the right industry,” Jessica said. “And, as a result, we were just throwing marketing dollars at the wall to see what stuck.”
As is often the case with my clients, Jessica and Al came to me for one thing, but we ended up working on so much more. Marketing challenges are rarely the consequence of one hurdle. Challenges run deep and affect so many things.
“After a short time working together, it became apparent Meghann was about to become our outsourced Chief Marketing Officer,” Jessica said.
Before I tell you about the exciting marketing plans we have in the works for Transworld Business Advisors, let’s start at the beginning.
Phase One: Picking a Niche
After completing discovery exercises and sitting down to hash out the details of Jessica and Al’s best client relationships, I was able to provide them with a document that clearly detailed what their target client looks like.
They went from seeking out owners of businesses valued at a specific amount to seeking out owners of family-held businesses between 45 and 60 who are ready pursue a new dream
“Truth is we still serve the same group of people as we did before,” Jessica said. “But now we know who they are and what they need. Since switching the way we talk about our target client, we’re getting more referrals and better quality leads. We’re also able to support our brokers better because we’re clear on who we serve.”
Marketing Help Is What You Buy, But Accountability Is What You Get
Once the niche was nailed down, I stayed on to work with Jessica and Al to develop a new marketing strategy. For some time, the company invested in Google advertising, print advertising, and a big print mail campaign, but they weren’t tracking the effectiveness of any of it.
“More than anything else, Meghann provides us with accountability. She makes sure we aren’t wasting our marketing dollars and that we have the right ROI. She really puts what we need to do in perspective.”
Jessica went on to describe a time when she was pushing me to help them create a video for their website. When I asked if their website could even support video integration, Jessica sheepishly said, “no.”
While we had a good laugh over the video, this conversation helped launch us into phase two of our work together.
Phase Two: A Shift in Marketing Strategy
Jessica and Al are in the process of building a new website that will support a variety of marketing tactics like downloadable white papers and webinars. All of these tactics will work to collect email addresses. The site will also support a refined print mail campaign that includes tracking links for better marketing analytics.
“Hiring Meghann has been one of the most positive investments we’ve made in the company,” Jessica said. “Not only are we making strides in business growth, but we’re saving $1,000 a month by eliminating wasted marketing expenses.”
Stay tuned! We are still working on things such as their content marketing plan, their power partner strategy, and more. Can’t wait to see what kind of traction their new web presence gives Transworld Business Advisors!
We’ve all heard it time and time again: “Collect testimonials from your satisfied clients!” And yet, so often as business owners, we ignore this sage advice, or the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ takes over and we don’t make the time to gather these important words of satisfaction. Just like anything else in our businesses, remembering to do things is made much easier if it is part of our process. Collecting testimonials should be part of our customer satisfaction process, and repeated with every client. Here is an easy process for collecting testimonials.
Show your appreciation for your clients from the beginning – Create an onboarding process to celebrate your new clients. Help them to feel special, appreciated, and excited to work with you. Surprise them with a gift letting them know you are grateful for their business, and include gratitude for them all the way along.
Strike while the iron is hot – ask for a testimonial when you’ve begun to deliver quality work/results. If you are selling a product, ask them for a testimonial upon receiving it. If you are a service provider, request the testimonial once you have begun to deliver quality service and/or results. Don’t wait until the end of your delivery process to ask for testimonials and referrals.
Make it easy for them – oftentimes, people resist writing testimonials because it seems like a large task, or they don’t know exactly what you want them to say. This tends to result in weak testimonials, such as “Meghann is awesome, I loved coaching with Meghann.” Although those are nice words, there is no “meat on those bones” for future prospects to sink their teeth into.
Give them some questions to answer that will help them in writing the testimonial, and then ask them for permission to use all/parts of their answers. Here are some questions you can ask to help gather a benefit-oriented testimonial:
What were the biggest problems you feel you hired me to help you solve?
What have I helped you with specifically to make your life/business better?
What results have you seen thus far?
Would you recommend me to your friends, and if so, why?
Ask any other questions you feel will support you in gaining future ideal clients.
Ask for visual enhancementsvideo/audio/photo – It will always increase the value of the testimonial to have it on video/audio. If you can’t get either of these, then ask for a photo so that you can include it with your testimonial. Yes, testimonials have been accompanied by photos for decades, and there’s a reason for that, as trust comes easier when someone can identify words with a ‘real’ person.
Repurpose the testimonials you gather. Once they send you their testimonials and you have edited them to make them short, sweet and to the point, put them on your website. Then, ask the people who wrote them for you to also post them to your LinkedIn profile as Recommendations and Facebook page as a Review. Use the best testimonials on sales pages, flyers, in email marketing campaigns, and on social media.
Rinse and Repeat.
What do you think? What have testimonials done to help you in business?
What if you were to be more of you every moment of every day?
To let your light shine through?
The truth is, most people are afraid to let their true selves out because…
I’m on a crusade. A personal crusade to let more and more of the real Meghann out. To allow myself to evolve, shift and change as my intuition guides me. To forgive myself (for whatever ‘wrongs’ I have judged myself for doing). And most of all, to love myself more and more every day.
Going on crusades for others doesn’t really work that well. However, the more that I BE me, the more that I see that reflected in those I care about who surround me. It’s like they are more comfortable to be themselves because I am.
The truth is, people will judge you – no matter what. In fact, when you begin to be more of you – the true, divine you (not your lower ego self) – the judgments from outsiders may even increase for a period of time. You will surely make some people uncomfortable (mainly because they don’t know what to do around someone who is truly being authentically them.) You could continue to make yourself small, or to act like someone else, but that feels creepy too, right? And how’s that working out for you?
If you’re like I was several years ago and you feel ‘on the fence’ about liking yourself, there is hope! For me, it was going on a spiritual journey, which led me in a big circle, letting go of years of content, self-judgment, self-sabotage, self-(you name it)… full circle right back to me. I now feel happy in my own skin, at home in myself. Loving me (most of the time) greatly, which leads to a plethora of love to then give out to others.
As a marketing coach, this step in my path is also crucial to my success and the success of my clients. In order to represent ourselves accurately, we must first be ourselves fully, right? Right!
And I’m excited, because this journey is never ending. It’s called life. And I’m in this body for another 60 years or so So I may as well really be ME!!
I would love to hear your story – do you feel like you’re always BEing the true you?
In times passed, when you have stepped into being more of YOU, how did that feel?
A special thanks to my uber talented friend and photographer, Sarah Perkins, who did such an amazing job capturing the authentic me!
I was speaking with someone who is very close to me today and realized that this conversation comes up in similar ways all the time with my friends/family. And I notice this conundrum internally often as well. The conversation started with her saying “why do I suck at this so badly.” The topic of conversation doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that she has expressed multiple times wanting to change this about herself.
Herein lies the problem – what you resist persists. Continue to judge yourself for something and it will be that much more difficult to shift, like self-extraction from quicksand.
So I say:
“Don’t judge yourself for what you are or are not. Choose differently, take baby steps, and make your life the reality you desire it to be.”
This does not mean you need to change. This does not mean that you are perfection just as you are right now. It means that if you constantly are bumping up against a challenge, your heart is crying out for some expansion in a new direction.
Ask for guidance, listen to the messages, and take one step at a time in the direction your heart and soul tell you to go.
Be careful, in transition times, you may feel strange. Maybe a void. Maybe a bit like wearing frozen underwear. It’s space. Space created that is necessary in order to expand. Don’t try to fill that space with old familiarity. Rather, live in the ‘uncomfortable’ and know that it is not wrong. It’s transformation and expansion working. Let them work on your behalf.
Continue to ask for guidance, listen to the messages, and move forward with your heart’s words.
I was wondering why it felt so difficult to write this blog post. Or to send Christmas cards. I mean, all that’s required is that I give people a little bit of insight into what 2013 brought for me. Then I remembered, I have transformed so much this year and time is pretty relative for me. I live in the presence so much that reflecting on the past or projecting in to the future brings me out of bliss.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.” Laozi
I have ultimate gratitude for the incredible individuals who contributed to my professional, personal and spiritual growth this year and celebrate everything we all accomplished together. I truly have the most phenomenal professional community, friends, and family who love me for exactly who I am. Thanks to the spiritual journey I have taken, I no longer feel the need to change or the need to be any different because I have beautiful, unconditional self-love.
If you are still reading, thank you for being my friend and my supporter. The following is a photo collage of some of my fun adventures this year.