“Think outside the box!”
In a 2019 survey by marketing solutions provider Get Response, that phrase ranked fifth out of the 30 least favorite business jargon terms. However, like a lot of jargon, there’s a certain amount of truth behind the buzzword.
It’s not that we spend most of our time in the box; it’s that as we get older, we can lose touch with our innate sense of creativity if we don’t occasionally use our right brains. That’s especially important for firm owners who don’t stop being creative entrepreneurs once they settle into the day-to-day of running a business.
As someone who’s been where you are, I know how hard it is to keep that focus on firm growth with so many things competing for your attention. That’s why I’m here to help nudge you out of your comfort zone – a term not on the least favorite jargon list – and back into the creative zone, with five ways you can step WAY outside that box to help your firm grow.
Way 1: Develop a story
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to bring your brand to life because you’re doing more than just selling products and services; you’re forging a personal connection with your audience.
If you’re like most business owners, you did a competitive analysis and a profile of your target clients before you opened your firm. Pull those documents out, and with your now-experienced eye, take a hard look at what sets you apart from your competition.
Does your technology stack leave your competitors in the dust? Busy people want and need remote capabilities and automation. Are you one of the few in your competitive space who offers advisory services? Small business owners will appreciate a proactive heads-up on the products and services they need for success before they have to ask for them … and therein lies your own, and very persuasive, story.
Way 2: Define and develop
Once you know your story, it’s time to define the products you want to sell and develop sales presentations that will clarify your offering and processes, and drive the call to action (CTA). “But I’m not a designer!” you may say. Maybe not, but does one of your employees have that talent? It’s worth asking. If not, there are many tools, such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Canva, that can guide you through the process with beautifully designed templates that make you look like a pro. You can also hire a freelancer to design a set of documents specific to your brand. They don’t have to be works of art; they just have to tell your story.
Way 3: Build a data collection strategy
Data is the key to success in an information-driven world. If you haven’t started already, it’s time to begin building a data collection strategy that allows you to be proactive with your advisory services by collecting client information in a frictionless way:
- Your clients’ online interactions with your team don’t need to be fancy or state of the art, so make it fast and easy for them to navigate.
- Make every interaction count. When clients contact you, respond to them ASAP and don’t contact them too much with too many emails or calls.
If your tech stack includes a client data management module, use it. You’ll be amazed by how much easier it is to upsell new opportunities and proactively support your clients when you have valuable data in front of you.
Way 4: Reward your ideal clients for referrals
What’s the most efficient way to get the word out about your firm? Good old-fashioned word of mouth. But, at this stage – when you’re not a new business owner who’s desperate for clients – you can, and should, be more selective.
You know your ideal clients, the ones you wish you had a hundred more of? The best way to attract these clients is through your current ideal clients, so offer some incentive to get them to refer qualified leads to your firm. For example, offer them two months of free service for every referral they send you that results in a signed engagement letter. There’s no more powerful testimonial to your trustworthiness and expertise than a friend referring a friend.
Way 5: Close deals digitally
Our experience at Rootworks has shown us that a clean, simple, and accurate proposal, designed with care and delivered digitally, is 60 percent more likely to be executed than the most elaborate set of printed components. Save paper, gas, the planet, and your sanity with the ease of online tools.
Time to switch your hat
None of these items are beyond your abilities, I promise. They just take a bit of work, a touch of creativity, and the tenacity a firm owner/entrepreneur employs every single day. Take a moment to put on your creative hat, and start to rip your way out of that box to set your firm apart and accelerate growth.