Clients Should Align with Your Company’s Mission Statement

A company’s mission statement should influence every move it makes, including what clients or customers it takes on. Serving clients who don’t align with your mission statement might bring in more money, but it often can hurt your company more than you would expect. In the long run, it’s more profitable to work with like-minded people. Disadvantages of working with incompatible clients When you and your clients disagree fundamentally on unbendable rules, the relationship is tainted and unsustainable. Incompatible clients also hurt company morale. Employees won’t enjoy working for a client they don’t think shares their values. Rather than sacrificing talent to keep the client happy, fire bad clients to boost morale. Doing so will earn your employees’ trust, loyalty and respect. Advantages of working with like-minded clients People often care more about what businesses stand for than businesses themselves. Therefore, customer loyalty grows when a business reflects the values of its customers. For example, people are fiercely loyal to the Harley-Davidson brand because they identify with its rebel spirit. That bond helps the company separate itself from its competition. When clients reflect the company’s mission statement, the process of determining how to work together is easier. Both business and client will be supportive of each other’s successes, and when there is conflict, both can turn to shared values in a mission statement to find a resolution. Compatible clients also lead to more referrals. Clients are more likely to refer friends to businesses that share their values. How to determine client compatibility Businesses should vet potential clients with their mission statements in mind. One agency I work with uses its mission statement when creating interview questions for clients, customers and vendors. The leaders of that business make it clear that they work only with clients [...]

How to Differentiate Your Agency From All the Rest

Despite their best efforts to stand out, nearly every agency looks, sounds, and acts just like every other one. We all think we have figured out how to differentiate ourselves using catchy taglines and clever techniques, but from the outside looking in, it’s hard to tell the difference from one to the next. Don’t believe me? See whether any of these phrases ring a bell: “We are a full-service integrated marketing agency.” “We partner with our clients.” “We’ve been in business for X years and have more than X years of experience.” Sound familiar? These phrases might sound like good differentiators, but in reality, they just muddy the waters and make it more difficult to discern what makes one agency better than another. Don’t Please Everyone All the Time Looking across the landscape of agencies we work with, the ones that struggle to stay afloat are the generalists. I know how scary it can be to neglect part of what looks like an appealing market, but agencies today must find and attack specific niches to survive. New avenues of competition are part of the reason for this. Agencies are now commodities competing with freelancers and others who take advantage of low barriers to entry. Differentiating your agency from the masses requires clearly defined areas of expertise. Clients want specialists, not indistinguishable, cookie-cutter generalists. According to our research, one of the biggest factors for clients choosing an agency is industry-specific expertise, which they define as having 25-50% of the agency’s business in one industry. Differentiate Your Agency (For Real) Although most agencies struggle to stand out, differentiating isn’t as hard as it seems. These four strategies help the most successful agencies split from the pack and [...]

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