After reading Seth’s Blog post that poses the questions, “Why us, why now?” … It got me thinking. According to Seth, those questions are the only thing between you and a sale. Really? I never really thought about it that way before. Then I started to think, what is it about Liquis that has kept us in the game? More importantly, what is it about us that has resulted in an especially busy season for us currently? Here’s what I came up with…
First of all, our price is in sync with our level of quality and service in comparison to similar boutique agency types. Our clients get that what we offer is an investment and we make it our priority to exceed their expectations. Persons who call and are interested in a one-size-fits-all quote over the phone, will soon realize we’re not a match for what they’re looking for, unless they let us teach them. Our current clients see the value of our services and feel the pricing is well worth the product they received.
Secondly, we have gained our clients’ trust. Genuine relationships are a very important value at Liquis and as a result, our referrals have increased dramatically. Now we are being referred by respected sources and resources in the community. However, I think the trust factor also has to do with our own level of confidence as business people which in itself builds more trust with our prospective clients.
Here’s my view of our scenario:
We work in an industry that is confusing to our clients. They don’t necessarily know what they need, or really understand how it all works… they just want to create a solid identity in order to be taken seriously and in most cases, build a platform for their marketing efforts. They understand the “Web” in general but they don’t understand what we really do or what we are charging for in most cases. For example, they understand they are paying for a 6 page Web site with a flash element and a contact form, but they really have no idea what that means in regards to the work involved or what we do to create that for them.
So with that being said, I feel in general there is a certain level of trust that the client must have with us to feel comfortable enough to do business with us. Basically, they want to make sure they’re not getting screwed. The best example I can think of is taking your car to a mechanic. You don’t know what’s wrong with your car, you just know something is not right and it needs fixed. You take your car to a random place for the first time and they tell you parts X, Y, and Z are toast and its going to cost this much to fix it. You don’t understand what the parts do or how they work together, or even the terminology. So now what do you do? You look at the guy and think to yourself, “Can I trust this person? Is he going to take advantage of me? Or is he legit?” Now think about if you went to a well referred mechanic… It changes everything.
I think it’s a combination of exposure and accessibility.
It’s only been 1 year and 6 months since we’ve started putting ourselves out there. Since then, we have attended luncheons, networking events, dove into social media, have done quality pro bono work for non-profits which totally dazzled them into referral blitzes, continually develop our SEO strategy, developed quality newsletters, blogged, evaluated our marketing strategy monthly, participated with Design Week, entered designs into competitions, and much much more. I really feel that all of these things play a large role in our success. It’s these small and large actions that continuously give us exposure and put us on the map. It creates a perception that we are here and we are not going away, rightfully so. Also, that we are creative, helpful, growing.
As far as accessibility, our SEO efforts, social media activity and directory listings has provided us with great online accessibility. We make it as easy as humanly possible to find us. It’s hard to forget our name and easy to find us online. Plus, our referral and word of mouth communities are solid and growing.
I really do think it takes time to develop a true identity, get word out and start competing with others. Although it is very hard to measure the ROI of our marketing efforts in this short amount of time, just look at us compared to even 1 year ago. There is no comparison, we are getting work from several different sources now that we didn’t’t even know about then, and that list continues to grow each and every month. In my opinion we are really at our first peak right now and climbing.
The beginning of our first year was tough, the middle of the year got a little better and the end of the year seemed promising… until the beginning of our second year when things got scary. Still, we weathered the storm and were rewarded handsomely with many new projects and partnerships.
I have no doubt that the “why now” is due to past client satisfaction coupled with a persevering marketing and networking strategy, even this early in our career. We made it through our first storm and will be better prepared anytime we have to do it again. We’re in it for the long haul, we love what we do and we care about our clients as much as we care about their missions. With any company growth there are ups and downs along the way, it’s just a matter of taking a moment to study the ups and figuring out how you got there so the downs are few and far between.
I want to know, what is your business experiencing right now? Do you speculate that anything you’re currently doing is giving your business a boost? What have you learned from your ups and downs that has made your business stronger?