The first thing I have learned is that it is a lot harder than I thought!
If you don’t have experience in sales or have people in your business that do, then it’s going to be even harder.
I started in business with a clear idea of what I was going to do. I was going to create a company that was going to give our clients an amazing service that will really make a difference to their business.
This was to be the driving force to our success. I didn’t need to worry about what my competitors were doing because we wanted to just focus on making a better service for our clients.
Who cares what my competitors were doing as long as our service was better today than it was six months ago. I spent nearly a year trying to put things in place to really delight our customers.
I wanted everything to be perfect before I took on my first client.
This was a mistake, I should have got the business first and worked out how I was going to do it along the way.
I’m not a sales person and I hate selling, it wasn’t until I became a HubSpot partner that I realised that you didn’t need to sell to sell.
This was great for me, and I still have a lot to learn but the biggest thing I learned was that without sales you can’t create marketing campaigns that delight your clients and their customers.
I would say Stargazer’s marketing has really improved over the last two years as the more we listen to our clients the more we understand their challenges and find ways to help them solve their problems.
So the biggest lesson I have learned is to focus more on the sales. Sales are needed for you to grow as a business, not just in size and revenue but also to create better services.
Our growth in the last year has been fantastic but it took me two years to get there. I wanted to have a new client every month and I knew that was a big ask for such a small team.
So I worked backwards from sales and thought if I close 60% of the businesses that I speak to then I can work out how many leads I would need to get one new client a month.
I then needed to work out how much traffic I received and work out how much traffic I needed to get enough leads to get the one client a month.
You may think that one client a month is not a big target but let me explain that I didn’t want to just take on anyone that wanted to do business with me.
I wanted to get the best clients who believed in what Stargazer was doing. To be truly successful in inbound marketing you have to understand it is a methodology and not just another marketing tactic.
It’s a new way of thinking for yourself and your whole business.
Not all businesses want to, or believe in this methodology so these clients I wanted to identify early and avoid partnering with them.
If clients don’t believe in what you are doing then they are clients best not served.
Although I did find this hard as I needed the business but I believe being strict with this has saved me a lot of money and I’m sure it has kept the onslaught of grey hair at bay.
I also believe too many marketing companies take on clients that they can’t help. They have tactics they follow and never deviate from that and the only thing that finally stops them is when clients stop paying invoices.
I know an excellent process to identify what will work for our clients and you will always do things that don’t work, as this helps you find out the things that do.
If things aren’t working don’t just keep doing them because you don’t have an alternative. I see too many businesses do the same old thing in marketing that doesn’t work because they don’t know what else to do.
The biggest thing of all that I have learned is that you can’t do it alone and I had help from so many people. Other inbound marketing agencies have been so helpful and HubSpot have been totally amazing.
However if you really want to succeed in business you need a very supportive partner, without my wife Fiona none of this would have been possible.
Thanks for listening.