Results don’t come on predictable timetables. Every campaign has too many variables to make accurate predictions on future performance. In each project, we are inheriting a wide range of assets that may include: branding, website (design, functionality, messaging), portfolios, products, reputation/reviews, and more. Even the local economy and competitors are significant factors.
And, we are dependent upon the client for a few essential parts of the campaign including completing the onboarding documents with complete and accurate details, as well as being responsive to any inquiries we direct their way. The client’s participation in providing us with these core ingredients largely determines the effectiveness of the campaign and the timeline on getting a good return on your investment.
What we do before signing a client is give their online presence a brief audit and then we quote a marketing budget that we deem adequate to succeed for their brand, with their assets, in their market. If you are the impatient type, you should probably double our quote so that you have twice as much of our team's time which would halve your waiting time.
Keep in mind, this is investing, not gambling. You have your initial capital. This is the power of your brand: the quality and quantity of online reviews, testimonials, and referrals; your brand's reputation and recognition; the size and quality of your portfolio; your operational efficiency, etc.
Your business development investment is then starting from that point and moving upwards at the rate of investment.
Business development can be achieved through networking, marketing, advertising, brand refinement, sales, and cross-selling.
What we do here at Client Expander is to largely or fully take care of the marketing portion of your business development investment.
The greater your initial capital, the less you will need to invest to get the same level results. For example, a well-known interior designer, such as a Kelly Wearstler, has, let's say, $50 million of initial brand capital. Therefore, if she invested $2k/month in marketing, it could result in her getting an additional $5 million/year in revenues. However, if a designer with just one or two projects in her portfolio, and lower budget projects at that, has, let's say, $50k initial brand capital, then it might take a $20k/month to achieve that same $5 million/year in revenues.
Yes, it doesn't feel fair, but Kelly already invested and built up her capital. Like a retirement account, the earlier and stronger your investment strategy is, the more your annual returns will be.
Thus, practically without exception, the ones that get the highest rate of return from their marketing investments (or other business development activities) will be the ones with the most brand capital.
Those with high brand capital come to us for more consistency with projects- often a requirement to keep a growing staff busy. Sometimes they come to us expand their client reach to new circles. Other times it is to enter new geographic markets.
Those with lower brand capital come to us largely because they want to build brand capital- they want to gain access to bigger and better projects. If you fall into this category, you need the mindset of a long-term investor. Business building takes time. You can't expect to turn your thousands into millions overnight. You need to be in it for the long haul. You need to trust the process of brand building. You need to be able to weather the droughts. Even though our contracts start at one year, you should expect to brand building to be an ongoing endeavor. And, you should participate in business development if you want to increase the impact of your marketing investment. Develop yourself or hire a sales professional to close the deals – being nice and talented isn't always enough. Network heavily in your community both with possible referral sources and with potential clients. Take 100% responsibility for your business growth while simultaneously delegating what you can.
If you limit your business development to one channel and delegate that channel out, then you are setting yourself up for a possible disappointment. Thus, we always recommend that you develop multiple channels. Rivers don't arise from one source- they are the result of hundreds if not thousands of streams. Business development is the same. Thousands of tweets, handshakes, birthday cards, business lunches, introductions, emails, courses, consultation sessions, etc.
Another analogy: you don't expect your fitness trainer to keep you healthy. She might be able to get you build some heart health and muscle, but you still need to eat right, avoid stress, get good sleep, etc. As only you can be 100% responsible for your total well-being, the same applies for your business well-being. Hire the pros that can support you in achieving your goals- yet always retain ownership of your business development. Empowered people build strong businesses.