Migrating to digital marketing from traditional marketing is a question I get asked frequently. Giving a talk to the Te Atatu Business Association, I was able to showcase both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) examples of ways to work out these things
Where to start your digital marketing
Which marketing methods will work best for your business
What communications will work best for your clients and customers
The resources on the last slide are worthwhile saving / bookmarking. They relate to directory listings and tips for local marketing.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-05-16 10:23:272018-05-16 10:23:50How to Migrate to Digital Marketing
By Blair Enns, Pricing Creativity Webinar Host – May 2018, details here.
The value conversation is where value pricing theory goes to die. The difficulty in mastering this conversation is what causes most people to give up on value-based pricing completely and revert back to selling time and materials. It needn’t be so difficult, though.
There’s a hack to the value conversation that a successful former client of mine pointed out after reading the manuscript of Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour. When he explained it to me over dinner I thought, “This is brilliant. I should put it in the book.” In the end, I didn’t include the hack because I feel strongly that mastering the value conversation is one of the most valuable skills in all of business – a skill that can transform careers and businesses. So, while encouraging you to learn that skill, I’ll now give you the shortcut. But first, some context.
Perhaps the Most Valuable Skill in Business
There are three tiers of financial success in a creative firm that I can correlate to pricing strategies. The lowest tier of true financial success is occupied by the efficient cost-based pricers – those firms that bill as many of the available hours as possible. An efficient firm might bill around $200k in adjusted gross income (AGI) per full-time equivalent employee (FTE), whereas the average cost-based firm might bill around $140k in AGI per FTE.
The next tier of success is where you find the value-based pricers – those who charge based on the value to the client and not based on their costs or inputs of time and materials. These firms escape the limits imposed by the pursuit of efficiencies, moving their AGI/FTE number north of $200k, into $250k and maybe even the $300k range.
The very highest tier of financial success, however, is reserved for those value-based pricers who master the value conversation. These firms can push into the $400k range and beyond, with no real theoretical limit. A well-facilitated value conversation not only has a profound effect on the income of the firm, it creates more value for the client and it is a thing of beauty to behold. I consider it to be one of the most valuable – perhaps the most valuable – skill in all of business.
The Value Conversation Framework
Here’s the simple four-step framework for facilitating the value conversation:
Confirm the client’s desired future state (What do you want?)
Agree on the metrics of success (How will we know we have achieved these things?)
Uncover the value that would be created by hitting these metrics (What’s this worth?)
Offer pricing guidance (I’m going to bring you a range of solutions in the $Y to $X range.)
There’s lots of nuance around the “how” of each of the four steps above, but it’s really that straightforward. You’ll notice that by the end of the value conversation you haven’t even begun to think about solutions. Your entire focus is on the client: what they want, how you’ll measure their success, how much value you might create for them, and finally, some initial ideas on what you might charge for helping to create such value. After this conversation, you retreat to think about costs and solutions, building and pricing your proposal accordingly, while following the rules set out in Pricing Creativity.
The Reality: Few Get There
So, why are there so few firms mastering what seems like a simple conversation and moving to the highest tier of financial success?
The reasons are many:
This mastery is a sales skill and not a pricing skill
It requires you to be selling from the expert practitioner position and not the vendor position
It’s tactical knowledge acquired from doing, not implicit knowledge acquired from reading or listening
It requires you to be talking to client-side executives charged with value creation and not middle managers charged with managing a project or budget
The first few conversations can be awkward, and few push through the awkwardness to get to the incredible riches on the other side
All of these reasons and more make a value conversation hack so valuable. So here it is…
Early in Pricing Creativity, I tell the story of the first time I saw a one-page proposal based on value rather than inputs. It was the principal of that firm that I found myself having dinner with while the book was in pre-production. Commenting on the manuscript he said, “You left out my hack!” What did he mean, I asked? He replied that he never mastered the value conversation. (Chapter 9: Master the Value Conversation – to me, perhaps the most important chapter in the book.)
Instead, early on in the sale – much earlier than I would advocate – he would put a one-page proposal on the table with three options. But he didn’t view this proposal as the final one. In fact, he said that the initial proposal was never the final one. It was only there to serve as a catalyst for discussion over what the client really valued. The hack, according to my client, was to put at the bottom of each option, “Choose this option if X is important to you.” X might be speed to market, customer service, low risk, knowledge transfer or anything else. He would then ask the client, “Which one of these options is the most appealing to you?” The client would point to one, and in doing so, reveal what he most valued. This would direct the conversation. “Ahhh, so educating your team as we develop the product (or programme) is something important to you?”
In this way, the early proposal led to a more targeted value conversation in which the client and the firm could talk through specific value drivers that the client had revealed by simply pointing to an option, all while framed by the context of the initial prices. The discussion would result in the firm coming back with another proposal more specifically targeted to what the client most valued.
To Hack or To Hold Firm?
As someone who values rule-breaking as much as I do rule-making, I love this hack while I simultaneously worry about sharing it with you. There is no substitute for mastering the value conversation. I’ll repeat that I believe it might be the most valuable skill in all of business, but I also know that the size of the gap between those who understand value pricing and those who truly implement it is problematically large, especially in the creative professions.
As I craft this parting advice I find myself wondering what I would do if I were in your shoes (Win Without Pitching is a productised service business – we don’t value price the way a customised service firm like yours should) and I don’t think I would deviate from proper sales process and a good value conversation. But not all value conversations are good and easy, especially in the beginning. And like all good hacks, I would keep this in my back pocket for those situations where I saw that an elegant theory was clashing with my harsh reality.
So use at your discretion. If you do try it, I’d be interested in hearing how you make out.
Pricing Creativity Webinar Registration Details
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Blair-Enns-Headshot.png300400Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-04-18 10:00:002018-04-20 15:01:31Hacking the Value Conversation
Getting recognition for your “expertise” in selling professional services is paramount if you’re to make good profits.
The stages in the process include –
Setting out your credentials
Outbound publicity – demonstrate you know your ‘stuff’
Getting to one on one conversations around the client’s desired future state
Discussing your services, their needs and fees
I was working with a financial services client and recommended he use the Monte-Carlo methodto establish the prospective client’s need for advice. (Go to the sub heading on Finance and Business). I think it’s very suitable way to frame a discussion when talking about personal finances
Monte Carlo simulation is commonly used to evaluate the risk and uncertainty that would affect the outcome of different decision options.
First be recognised as an expert
You can’t get these conversations going without first establishing yourself as an expert.Nobody wants their finances managed by an amateur. Nor their marketing services. Just working for a big name firm is no guarantee of expertise – it’s a step in the rightdirection.
Groups on LinkedIn
Getting in front of future clients is possible via step 1. As you establish yourself as an expert you will get noticed (particularly if you use key words relevant to your expertise and audience.Maintaining your position as an expert in the eyes of your audience can be continued through outbound articles and publicity.
These are best delivered using sites aligned to your industry niche and audience. For my area there’s a great Reddit thread, a couple of Facebook Groups and a Linked In Group which is very active. You need to find the ones suited to your needs. Don’t forget to check out in-person events on places like Meetup.com too – not all communication has to be written!
Finding the right things to say in your publicity and how to start a conversation with your reader are the things you will need to practice.Conversations in a public forum can lead, later, to a private discussion which is preliminary to taking on a new client.
Book a personalised coaching session with the Creative Agency Secrets team – pick the person who best suits your need.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/NZ-SME.png6401534Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-02-02 17:44:472018-02-02 17:45:00Become an expert in the eye of the client
Growth Hacking is a new phrase meaning to aggressively make a step-change in business success. It’s not just a cute phrase, there are specific techniques which can make significant improvements to website success.
You define success and we’ll teach you how to make it happen.
What is your #1 marketing and sales problem?
Get the answers about how you can growth hack your web success with USA experts Dan Morris and Rachel Martin during May 2016.
Face to face consult or small group workshops.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your #1 marketing and sales problem.
Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Learn-How-to-Growth-Hack-your-Website-in-May-B.jpg321845Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-04-14 16:30:012016-04-14 16:49:58Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May
Are you new to digital communications, work in marketing or as a web admin? Good. You’ll want to hear this:
Your online activities for your business can significantly monetize your audience!
Maybe you knew this already but, if you’re here, you may need a little help getting to that point. Lucky you, we have just the thing! The Audience Industries NZ tour is coming to town!
How Audience Industries Will Help You Drive Revenue Online
The Audience Industries program is made up of 4 separate curricula, which together cover everything you need to know about increasing your online profitability.
Let’s focus on the most widely applicable course, the Sequoia curriculum. With 6 modules and 4-8 hours of your time, learn how to turn around your online efforts in simple ways that will make a huge difference to your business.
Learn your audience’s ladder of value, where they came from and when they’ll be ready for you.
Keep the audience coming back for more with pro marketing.
Build the ultimate audience with every word you write.
Stand out so your audience can find you.
Find out how to get your audience from each of your social media platforms to you.
Don’t sell yourself short. Your knowledge is worth a lot more. Start to understand pricing, format and what to expect in the future.
I thought you might be. When it comes to your business, what you’ll take away from the Sequoia course will be invaluable. There’s no question.
Dan Morris and Rachel Martin
Founders of Audience Industries and your online marketing gurus for the tour, will be arriving on our shores in May to share their marketing expertise with us. Are you in or near Auckland, Dunedin, or Wellington? If so, read more about the tour and book your spot now while the going is still good!
If you want to improve your online revenue for your business, don’t let this tour pass you up. Book now and take the first step towards maximising the potential of your website.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Audience-Industries-Will-Help-You-Drive-Revenue-Online-Blog.jpg321845Laura Hollarhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgLaura Hollar2016-04-04 10:00:002016-04-01 16:20:00Audience Industries Will Help You Drive Revenue Online
We are an Eastern Europe digital agency of 40+ team specialising in business software development. We have been doing some projects for a high profile customers in the UK through our partner there. What would be the best way for us to find new customers? We don’t have a sales nor marketing team as most sales were driven by our partner.
The key elements are to follow the Customer Value Optimisation model. Now since you don’t have Business Development resource in-house you are going to have to hire or outsource to get the skillset you need.
Before that, and the most important part of the CVO is “Determine your Product / Market Fit”. That’s the core and here I strongly advise you spend some money on hiring a marketing expert who can facilitate a session with you to extract that, capture it into a written strategy plan and help you write the tactical implementation plan. (that’s the Return Path on CVO).
Then you have the core already agreed and can use this to brief outsourced folks to write landing pages, ad copy, research DM lists, run social, do follow up calls etc. In this way you can hire execution people who are cheaper than strategy people.
My own Lead Generation Methodology follows a similar pathway detailed on this slideshare deck and accompanying YouTube
Watch the Video training of the Art and Science of Generating Leads
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/What-is-the-best-way-to-get-new-customers-for-a-digital-agency-Creative-Agency-Secrets-Digital-Marketing.jpg321845Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-04-01 11:05:532016-08-24 11:34:11What is the best way to get new customers for a digital agency?
Landing pages are important to drive valuable conversions for your business as we wrote before, whether from current customers or new prospects. But designing the perfect landing page can take several weeks to accomplish.
Well, at least, it used to.
Enter Unbounce, a tool we are using to create beautifully designed landing pages, built to deliver easily measurable outcomes.
Yes, we know: there’s a ton of groundbreaking offers popping around on the internet every day, promising to be the Holy Grail of marketing. Luckily you have us to filter the noise and point you in the right direction! 🙂
Why we chose Unbounce Pages
This complete add-on tool has the advantage of offering quick creation and editing, cutting a lot of time from the development stage of the landing page strategy for our clients. Unbounce delivers agile results, not neglecting the “best practices” learned by the developers with intense market research. Every Unbounce landing page is completely mobile responsive, which means extra points for you in Google’s eyes.
Having a successful business on the internet is a tricky thing if you don’t focus on driving results with the right strategy. Among lots of features, Unbounce offers A/B tests and Google Analytics tracking that are amazing at collecting data and eliminating doubts in the decision-making process. It can all be integrated seamlessly into WordPress, Joomla and other CMS platforms, so the landing page doesn’t feel disconnected from the rest of your website. When a visitor gives you their e-mail address, it can automatically go to your new MailChimp highly-focused list for future prospects. Simple as that. Check out all the Unbounce integrations.
Build your mailing list
Do you feel like building a highly-focused list of contacts is what’s missing from your digital marketing strategy? Contact us right away.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/conversion-growth-unbounce-2.jpg321845Conrado Langerhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgConrado Langer2016-02-23 13:00:572016-03-18 10:37:29From attraction to traction: build your list with Unbounce landing pages
Landing pages are undoubtedly one of the most powerful features of your entire website. We’re willing to bet that, regardless of the purpose of your website, you have at least one landing page to filter your web traffic towards a purchase decision or other desired action. You don’t want to let your prospective customers slip away because your landing pages are ineffective, do you?
This got us thinking, “How effective are our own landing pages at driving action?” Further exploration of this question revealed our landing pages could, indeed, be better.
What makes an effective landing page?
Each landing page only serves a single purpose.
It should be stripped of the full range of information available on the rest of the website in order to focus the visitor. Having additional content on the page only distracts the visitor from the reason they arrived there and, thus, decreases the likelihood of a successful conversion.
Your landing page should also be able to accurately measure where your traffic is coming from and where they go next. Having too many variables on the page creates unnecessary complications in your analytics and reduces the effectiveness of the page.
Our old landing pages were visually outdated and cluttered with a stack of information that did not show clear actions.
Aside from an enhanced aesthetic make-over, which fits in perfectly with our branding and design, the pages now have a much clearer and appealing interface, outline the purpose of the page and make it even easier for visitors to find exactly what they need to take further action.
We compare the old and new versions of the same page: