Creating A Brand You Love
You might not believe me, but there was a time when I actually hated my business and nearly gave up on my dream entirely. We were unhappy, we were losing more clients than we were creating and basically, we were failing. At the time, I was about to sell my business for whatever I could get and run for the hills, never to return to the web design industry. I was done and on the brink of losing everything that I had worked so hard to create.
In those days I would spend my nights watching TV, trying to forget about my horrible day. And then, it hit me… this commercial comes onto the TV and there’s a group of business guys in a room talking about how they are going to turn around their company. They all start complaining about their customers in a comical way. Then, one of them stands up and says “I got it! Since our customers are always complaining it’s simple - we need to replace our current customers with new ones.” It was funny, but it also stuck a chord in me. Deep down, I was feeling this very same way.
That was the core of my issue. But it wasn’t our clients’ fault, it was mine. I was blaming my customers, my clients, my profit center for something was entirely my fault. They didn’t know me and I didn’t know them. Clients were nothing but numbers, profit and loss - instead of people. That same night I jumped on the phone with a business partner from the UK and told him about my situation, hoping he would have a quick fix - or at least commiserate with me. But, he did the exact opposite. When I asked if he had any clue how I could fix my issue he responded with - “How many of your current clients would you invite over for a BBQ?”. I stalled and half-assed the answer but he pushed me again and said “Seriously dude, do you love your clients or not?”. In short, the issue was with me. I had been so focused on making sales that I had built a company entirely based on numbers that had no soul, no fun, life and no love.
The reason I’m writing this is because I don’t believe that I am the 1 person on the planet that has ever gone through this, or ever will. If you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or small business owner - you can probably relate to everything I’ve said thus far. And, if you’re currently in this shitty situation yourself, I think I can help you get out of it. Just like I did!
Basically I had lost my vision and forgotten why I had created my agency to begin with. I had stopped learning, stopped creating and started to worry and obsess over the financials, instead of over the things that really mattered - the customer base. I decided that if EBWAY was going to survive and ultimately thrive, we needed a new model. We/I needed to fall in LOVE with my brand again and create a cult (aka Tribe) of followers that would help me re-build our customer base. My #1 goal - to bring in clients that I would absolutely love to have over for a BBQ or a party. To find clients that I could truly love. Then, EBWAY would matter again.
In this video (Creating A Brand Your Love) you’ll see the 3 main things that we needed to change in order to bring about this massive overhaul, but I feel it’s important to let you know that this didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took us about 6 months to re-brand, re-build and get back on track. I learned more in that 6 months than I think I learned in my 10 years as a web professional as I basically threw away my pride and re-learned everything that I thought I knew.
3 Revenue Producing Changes
We did some things that a huge impact on our brand...
- We changed our logo from RED, which is aggressive to PINK - which is more approachable and happy. The color pink also implies trust. I had to really let my pride go on this one because I am sort of mans-man. I ride a Harley, what the heck am I going to do with a freakin’ pink logo! Well, we have one now. And I love it.
- We stopped saying NO to customers and prospects. I don’t mean we took every deal, but instead of being negative and saying something like “No, we don’t do that.” or “No. That’s not what you’re paying us for.” - we started to educate our clients and offer solutions. We started to say things like “Yes. We can absolutely do that for you.” and then we’d up-sell them on a solution.
- We fell in LOVE with our brand. It’s a funny thing, but when you incorporate a business - it becomes it’s own entity. Once we created our core values and company procedures we could start to ask each other “Is that something EBWAY would do?” - the brand started to guide our decisions, instead of the other way around. It’s still this way today.
If you’re having a hard time or struggling with your business - you need to know that it’s ok. Everyone goes through troubled waters, but it’s not the issues that determine your destiny, it’s how you handle them. I know I can’t possible give you all the answers in this short article or a 15 minute video. But, I can point you in the right direction. And that’s exactly what I hope this does for you.
Check out this video and apply these tactics. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to see results even faster than I did... Remember, you can be as successful as you want to be, that’s a fact. So, get out there and hustle and most of all, never give up hope - you can do this!
I'd Love To Hear From You
Do you have a similar story? Are you or have you ever thought about quitting on your dreams? Share your thoughts, insights or questions below and who knows - maybe you'll be able to provide some guidance to someone else. Thanks for reading!