Let’s face it. Growing your business is not as easy as it sounds. Whether you’ve just started your company or have been around for years, you need to be flexible, understand your target audience, have a solid team behind you, and more. If you’re struggling to scale your business, don’t worry. Our Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM) team is here to help! That’s why we thought we’d share some of our insights with you, so you can see how our culture and work ethic have made it possible for us to succeed, grow, and thrive as a business.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Selective When Hiring New Employees
Great company cultures start with the hiring process. You need to find people who are not only smart, competent, and capable, but they also need to fit into the environment you’ve created. Be selective during the hiring process. It’s not just about finding someone who can do the job; it’s about finding a long-term employee who will learn your processes and grow with your company. Make sure you have interview questions ready before the candidate arrives so you’re not flying off the cuff. This will help you standardize your hiring process so you can compare all employees apples-to-apples.
2. Train & Support Employees
Training and support are almost as important as the hiring process, if not more so in some situations. Most companies only consider new hire training as an essential task, but ongoing training and support for all team members can make the difference between a company that’s just going through the motions and a company that’s succeeding optimally. At ZGM, we believe in constant support and training for employees at all levels of our organization. We also set aside a budget every year to put towards conferences and learning opportunities for our employees so they can stay up-to-date and relevant to the latest industry developments. This builds stronger bonds and enables colleagues to share ideas that ultimately benefit our clients.
3. Reward Your Team Members When They Exceed Expectations
Encourage your team to take risks, and reward team members for their accomplishments. Not every risk will work out, but you’ll never know until you try. Facilitate daily or weekly brainstorming sessions, and invite team members who may not even be working on a particular project to join in. You never know whose thoughts will be the spark that gets the whole campaign flowing on a successful path.
Be sure to celebrate individual contributors and teams when successes happen within your company. These celebrations can build momentum and boost morale — both of which are ultimately good for your growth. The happier team members are, the more likely they are to stick around, the more motivated they will be to drive results for clients, and share their knowledge on future projects.
4. Understand Profitability
You need to know what products or services are most profitable for your company. Then, you can focus solely on those and stop offering products and services that aren’t providing positive ROI. As an agency, ZGM hasn’t always been very profitable on every project, but we’ve done a lot to improve this over time, including carefully scoping, creating tiered service packages, and tracking hours so we can analyze profit by department and project.
5. Define (and Stick to!) Your Project Scope
Clearly outline a detailed project scope before beginning any work. Of course, you need to make sure your contracts allow for flexibility in case you need to pivot to improve the results. Your clients need to be in alignment with exactly what’s expected of both them and you, which is why it’s important to lay it all out in a document and discuss said document in a meeting with all relevant participants. If out of scope changes are needed, don’t be afraid to charge for them.
6. Build Long-Term Relationships
It’s imperative to build long-standing relationships with clients. You can do this by providing great results and abiding by a culture of transparency. Don’t be afraid to share ALL the data. You are on the same team after all, and it’s important to understand what’s working and what isn’t to pivot to greater success. Once you develop long-standing relationships, you’ll begin to see revenue on an ongoing basis because your clients will trust that you’re the authority in your industry. It becomes easier to cross-sell and upsell products and services once you’ve gained the trust of your client base. Not to mention, clients who trust you are more likely to refer you to their friends and colleagues. Word-of-mouth advertising, after all, is the oldest marketing tactic in the book!
7. Encourage Referrals & Reviews From People Who Support You
Referrals and good reviews can build your business and your reputation. Grab testimonials and reviews from your customers whenever possible. You will need to be persistent in requesting reviews, but the fruits of your labor will be worth it when you’re able to show potential customers that others are boasting about the products or services that you offer.
Make sure to respond to both positive and negative feedback, and don’t forget to thank those who speak positively about your business. While it may feel uncomfortable to talk to people who spoke negatively about your business, it’s important to remember that other potential customers are watching. If you handle the situation with grace, others will notice.
8. Nurture Existing Customer Relationships
Make sure you create a strategy that allows you to stay in contact with current customers. For example, start a weekly or monthly newsletter that offers your audience company news, the latest articles, industry updates, and more. However, make sure you strike a balance between nurturing current customers and finding new ones. For example, make sure you’re constantly sharing new digital trends and offerings to help freshen up strategies, and hold quarterly brainstorming sessions with other team members to keep ideas fresh and flowing.
9. Establish Loyalty
It takes time to gain trust from customers, but it’s important to remember that one-off purchases and services aren’t enough to sustain your business. You need to create a trust between your brand, customers, or clients that bonds people to your business and keeps them coming back again and again. There is no better way to establish loyalty than to produce great results, no matter what industry you’re in. It’s also important to have great communication and transparency in your results.
10. Know Your Brand
It’s vital to have a very clear understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Know how to differentiate your brand by creating a clear mission, vision, philosophy, and process to achieve success. By defining the company’s core values, you can establish the company culture, the type of people you want to employ, and the message you want to relay to the world.
11. Get Acquainted With Your Target Audience
You need to understand your target audience before you begin your marketing strategy; this is critical. You need to know who they are, what they like, where they spend their time, and any other information you can gather from them to appeal to their needs and desires.
12. Become a Trusted Leader
Create a knowledge base of information that can educate, inform, and answer questions for people in your industry or consumers looking for assistance. Whether it’s through blogs, gated content, whitepapers, or other thought-leadership content, you want to be the source everyone wants to go to when they need insightful information.
13. Budget Appropriately
If you want to grow, you’re going to need to have a budget to hire new employees. You’ll also need to set aside funds for marketing so you can attract new customers. If you need a small business loan to make things happen, go get it! The Small Business Association (SBA) guarantees an assortment of loans for many types of businesses.
14. Build a Strong Media Presence
Having a strong presence on social media can provide you with a way to connect and communicate with your audience. Do some research and find out which platforms work for your brand and make sure you have someone to manage your social presence and respond to comments (both good and bad). By listening to your customers, you can gain valuable insights into their behaviors, trends, and desires so you can improve various parts of your business.
At ZGM, we utilize social media to showcase our culture and tell people who we are and why we love what we do. We also use it as a way to share our blog articles to help answer frequently asked questions and provide relevant industry information and updates to show we can be trusted as a leader in the marketing agency industry.
15. Incorporate SEO Into Your Overall Strategy
Incorporating Search Engine Optimization (SEO) into your overall marketing strategy will help with greater searchability and visibility. Taking SEO into consideration across all strategies will lead to better user experiences and an increase in traffic and engagement. SEO is important for every business, in every industry. If you’re not currently taking advantage of SEO, we promise you’re missing out!
16. A/B Test, Measure Everything, and Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has impacted companies all over the world, changing the way they market to their audiences and altering their overall business strategies. If we’ve learned nothing else from the pandemic, we’ve learned that it’s essential to be flexible and to be able to pivot on a dime. It’s best not to wait to change your business and marketing strategies; rather, you need to do it right away when situations call for it so you don’t lose any ground.
Having great reports will help you see what’s working and what’s not. Clearly identifying what didn’t work will help you to not repeat the same strategies. Knowing what works and doing more of it or improving upon what doesn’t will guide you toward future success.
Zero Gravity Marketing is the agency companies turn to when they need results. If you need help with SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing, web design, brand positioning, or anything else marketing-related, we’re here to help. Take a look at our marketing solutions right now!