With our own business having recently gone through some rough patches (COVID-related changes), we decided to put together a list of things we’ve learnt over the past year.
It’s been eye-opening and made us re-evaluate our approach to running things. While there are some things we definitely stood by, a lot of it was based on listening and learning from others – both past and present.
Sometimes looking at your own marketing is much harder than prescribing a plan for others. Generally speaking for us it comes down to the wide range of internal skills we have and trying to get this across in one simple message. But this did not cut through the wider market, not at the start anyway. Continually working on our messaging and niching down were the key takeaways.
Getting your band’s message right from the outset is key. What can you do, and how will it be perceived by your target market? The issue we came across was truly not understanding who we best served. A simple process to uncover what we were truly good at – review the last 10 customers, what industry they are in and what work did we prescribe for their success. Once we did this, it was very clear what changes we should make to our branding.
We went from purely SEO to paid traffic and we learnt a lot. Mainly around testing and measuring and starting small. We went large in a former funnel we had built and after many years we finally got it right, but not after a lot of misused time, effort and dollars.
This one is so easy to see after reflecting on what has worked in the past. We stopped blogging when we went to paid traffic and we honestly wish we hadn’t. It is a big reason we are consistent with our blogs now. Why ignore free organic traffic just because you are wanting to do more paid traffic. It is a no brainer – blog for organic traffic and to learn more about your business at the same time. Who knows your customers might come from an entirely different avenue than you thought possible.
Sales we have always done well – as long as there are leads to pitch at. Our key takeaways – have a consistent sales process and review the sales regularly. You cannot buy the best leads, write the best blogs or have the best CRM without reviewing how you sell and implement changes to align your sales with your processes.
The main lesson we learned from our own failure is that there are no shortcuts to success. No matter how good a salesperson you are, it’s always going to take more than a few hours of dedicated work to get your next sale. And if you’re selling icebreakers instead of products, then even more time is going to be required. The best way to avoid that is to work hard and be consistent from day one, but also to learn from your own mistakes (especially failure to communicate correctly).
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