In the first instance, I took a small seed investment from a wealthy friend who invested in people he believed in, and to be brutally honest, I didn't spend that money wisely. While I didn't go and get flashy offices or start paying people ridiculous money, I held onto it like it was my own money and was very slow to spend it. That was a mistake. I should have immediately invested in marketing and people, and the leads that would have derived from that would have allowed the business to grow at a faster rate and fund the rest of its growth.
I worked it out
Eventually, I worked it out and by then business was starting to get some traction and I was able to adapt the way I spent money in the business. I bought out my investor and once that safety net was gone, I started changing the way I did business.
I took risks, I was braver knowing that everything could fail at any minute and I tried new things. I also went back to my base entrepreneurial education of using the Rockfeller Habits as the foundation for my business.
Truly be competitive
I also knew that to truly be competitive I had to know things that other marketers didn't. That isn't as easy as it sounds, and to do that you have to have a fever for learning things, a science for how things are done, a little physics to allow you to play out scenarios and come up with a series of different answers for the same problem, and creativity, which is necessary in marketing.
Game-changers are things you have to go with
Our game-changer was the Internet and in particular social media and blogging. From our blogs, we reached an audience far beyond the shores of Australia into the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Using the philosophy of making sure our knowledge was greater than competitors, we learned how to use social media in a way that drove customer loyalty and ensured that companies where knocking at our doors, rather than the other way around.
From our blog, our lead generation has been easy. People go to our website which is the highest ranked marketing company website in Australia on Google, and they contact us or start reading our blog and when they are ready to hire a marketing company, they ring.
Basically, all of our leads fall on our laps. It's a luxury and something I feel fortunate about every single day.
No adwords - anyone can do that
To achieve that, we have built the best team in our technology department. They know tricks that they won't share, but are happy to apply. We have never spent a cent on Adwords or sponsored links and hopefully will never need to. I would less likely click on a sponsored link than I if I had a choice of a company that organically sat at the top of Google.
Come off the gravy train
This month, 28 clients have "come off the gravy train" across our offices. That is good news for the people who work here and the fact that it highlights just how we are positioned in the market. Companies are looking for structure, results and creativity - and we offer all of this in bucket loads. On top of that, we are a company that is charitable and kind. Our people have worked hundreds of hours developing The World Incubator marketing material, websites, logos, brand and communications, to improve the lives of people living in rural Queensland. Their reward is feeling good about what they are doing. Too many companies and people just care about money, and if they do give money somewhere, it certainly isn't in proportion to their wealth. If you knew how much our team has given to this project you would be astounded. It just shows how charitable and kind they are.
How can you create a 'gravy train' effect:
- Set up your marketing properly with professionals
- Stop doing what you like when it comes to marketing, and do what your customers respond to
- Take risks, be braver and stop copying your competitors
- Invest in digital marketing that is integrated with traditional marketing activities
- Give a service or product that is superior to your competitors
- Make charity a value of your organisation and give away at least 10 per cent of your wealth to charity year on year. You will be surprised how good karma comes your way.