Do you feel like every client comes to you with unique demands? Maybe you’re seeing a lot of inconsistency in the results you deliver. If so, read on for some key points to consider.
Your goal as an agency owner is always to delight your clients.
You want them to feel overjoyed with the results that you’re getting for them. And that delight is what ultimately leads to them buying more services and referring people to you.
Now…let me ask some questions.
Do you feel like you’re delighting your clients?
Or, are your results inconsistent? Do you feel like each of your clients comes at you with different demands?
And do you feel like those demands make it impossible for you to create consistency in your delivery?
I’m going to share the Five Hot Principles that solve these problems in a minute. First, let’s dig into the specific problems that a lot of agency owners face with delivery.
The biggest problem you face is that you struggle to communicate what you’re going to deliver and how.
For example, let’s say you tell a business owner that you’ll get more leads for them in 90 business days.
They’re going to ask you how…
And that’s where it can fall apart. You could dive into all of the technical stuff that you’re going to do. But that’s not really what the client’s asking about. They want to know if you have a process. They want to know if you’ve done this before.
They want to know that there’s a method behind your promises.
Then, there are the struggles you have of communicating the desired results to your team. If you have to make it simple for the client, you need to make it even simpler for your team.
And that gets hard when your agency starts growing. When you have more people, you have more moving parts to take into consideration. This can create complexity in your process that has an impact on what you deliver.
Finally, you may find yourself treating every project as a unique little snowflake. That’s fine when you only have a couple of projects to work on. But when you’re at the point where you have 5 or 10, you can’t create a unique process for each of them.
The big opportunity with this article is that it will give you the ability to clearly communicate.
You need to think of your proven process as a billboard. It needs to be clear and obvious to both your clients and your team. You need to be able to drive past it at 75 miles per hour, see it, and get the message that it’s communicating.
That means you’re going to have a series of simple steps that you can show to anybody who comes through your agency. It’s these steps that show your clients that this isn’t your first rodeo.
That you know what you’re doing.
Finally, you have the opportunity to create a process that breeds consistency in your delivery. That means no more creating unique processes for every single client.
Sounds great, right?
Let’s jump into the Five Hot Principles…
Principle #1 – Unpack Your Value
A lot of agency owners don’t really think about the value that they provide.
Do you? If I asked you to tell me your value proposition, what would you say?
You need to be able to fire that off as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you’re just looking at all of the things you can offer and plucking random stuff out of thin air.
I like to have an inventory of proof points and phrases that I use to show my company’s value.
You need to unpack that stuff for your agency. And in a lot of cases, going through this process leads to you discovering stuff that you forgot was even there.
I liken it to working in retail. When I was 15, I worked in a fabric store. Twice a year, they’d have us go into the stock room and take inventory. And without fail, we’d discover inventory that the store had already written off as missing or lost.
In other words, we found a bunch of extra value.
That’s what you want to do here. Take some time to take inventory of your agency and what it has to offer. I guarantee that you’ll find a bunch of stuff that you’re missing out on when you’re talking about what you deliver.
Principle #2 – Design Your End Result
You’ve carried out your inventory and you have all of these pieces.
Now, you’re going to use them to design your end result. This is a lot like working with a box of Legos. You have all of the pieces that you need to create something. At this stage, you’re putting all of those pieces together to create a result that will delight the client.
Here’s what a lot of agency owners do.
Let’s say you design websites. The temptation here is to map out all of the stages of development, with the end result being a website.
That’s okay…but it’s also exactly what your client expects. It’s not going to wow them because a website is the bare minimum that they expect from a web developer.
It’s a very broad thing.
You need to dig down into something very specific that will get your client excited. In this case, that might be that the website will double their lead gen.
That’s a real result. That’s something that’s going to get the client excited.
Principle #3 – Break Down Your Key Steps
Now that you’ve designed the result, you need to figure out how to get there. You’re starting with the end in mind here.
You’re going to break the process down into key steps. These are all of the things that you need to do to get the result you designed.
Now, this could leave you with a list of 20, 30, or maybe even 50 steps that you have to take. It can look a little overwhelming at first. But what you have here is the entire journey in front of you.
From there, you’re going to move into the next principle…
Principle #4 – Package Your Stages
This is where you simplify the process.
You have this big list of steps. Now, you’re going to package them up into stages. You’re going to look for the natural dividing lines in your list.
Here’s how I did it…
When I went through this process, I had 32 steps on my list of how we help digital agency owners.
I decided I needed to package those steps into three stages –
The mistake I see a lot of agency owners make is that they start with the stages. Then, they try to figure out the steps and where they fit.
The steps have to come first. You have to figure out exactly what you need to do to get the end result that delights your client.
Only when you have those steps should you create your packages. And from there, it’s a simple case of figuring out which step fits into which package.
The packaged stages are what you’ll end up showing to your clients. This is where the simplification of what you do comes in. These packages will make it much easier for you to communicate what you deliver to your clients.
As a final point, aim to have an odd number of stages. Odd numbers just work better when it comes to helping people understand models and concepts.
I think that three or five stages should do the job here.
Principle #5 – Name Your Process
Don’t overcomplicate this.
Start simple if you can’t think of a name.
For example, the name could be as simple as combining the name of your agency with a word like process or formula.
The point of having a name for the process is that it builds up your Unique Selling Point (USP). You’re able to take that process to a client and say this is the exact thing that we do. Nobody else does this.
For example, Kirsten Heuer has the Heuer Method. Nobody else can have that method because the name’s unique to her.
This is a unique combination of all of the elements that you use to deliver your result. The name is just the ribbon that ties the package together.
Don’t stress out about the name too much. Remember that you can always come back to this later and change the name if you really want to.
Stand and Deliver
If you follow these principles, you’re going to achieve a few things…
First, you’re going to unpack your genius and figure out just how much value you bring to the table. From there, you’ll work out how to combine all of these things that you do into a tangible and consistent result.
You’ll create the process around creating that result and you’ll be able to communicate it to both your clients and team.
Does that sound like something your agency needs?
I have a ton more to show you about this in UACADEMY.
Apply for a FREE strategy session to let us help you dig into whatever is holding you back from running the agency of your dreams.