We recently came across an article about Apple being in decline. We’ve been seeing a lot of stuff like that out there lately, and now we’re noticing that their stocks have fallen. Could these headlines have something to do with that? After the release of the iPhone 5, major newsmakers blasted the launch and implied that the disappointing features of the new iPhone implied that there was a lack of creativity and innovation at Apple. But could this really be true or does it become true because some people are saying that it is?
What’s happening with Apple happens to lots of businesses. Things that have been said around the Internet, whether they’re true or not, can negatively impact the reputation of a business. Even a giant like Apple is not immune! Clearly, content matters whether it’s stuff you put out there yourself, or something someone else says about you. It becomes true. It becomes part of what defines your brand.
So, how is a business that doesn’t have a monstrous PR machine on their side supposed to manage their online reputation?
One way to start is by coming up with several ways to make sure that the stuff you put out into the universe is the first thing people see and not what others are saying about you. You can do this by having a content strategy. Here’s some stuff to think about.
Look up your name and see what comes up in a Google search. It’s important to be aware of exactly what’s out there. You may even find that there’s someone else operating a business with a similar name as yours. While you can’t do much about that, you can take steps to make sure that your content is the first thing everyone sees. And, you can set up Google Alert so that you’ll know when any new content with the name of your business in it hits the web. The first step to managing your reputation online is knowing what’s out there about you!
We know we keep saying this, but you need to be actively participating on social media. We prefer Google + for all the reasons we mention in this article, but we also think your time will be well spent maintaining a Facebook profile as well as one on LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest and YouTube. Of course, prioritize which ones are best for your audience and focus on those. Just make sure that if you create any of these accounts, fill out the profile thoroughly—complete with a picture! When people find your profile, you want to reward their search with at least some information about you.
Speaking of being social…
If you’re the owner of a business, always be aware that nothing you do is private on the Internet. It may seem that way, but it’s not. So, constantly be aware of what you’re posting on both your personal and public social media accounts as well as comments you leave on other websites, etc. You should also be aware of stuff your friends are posting about you. If somebody does post something on Facebook that you’d rather not share with your potential customers, remove the tag that identifies you. And don’t be afraid to ask other people to take stuff down, either. A good rule of thumb is never assume that anything you put on the Internet is private or that nobody will ever find it.
Create your own content
One of the best ways to make sure there’s great content connected to your brand is to create it yourself! Part of how you do this is through social media, but you can also have a Tumblr or Wordpress site where you put frequently updated content. Write a blog, share great news, or attach a terrific article you found with a comment about why you liked it so much. Whatever you do, make sure it adds value and isn’t too sales-y.
Be master of your domain
Be sure to purchase your domain name. It’ll cost you $12 - $15 a year to do it and it can help you control what people out there see about you. When people enter the name of your business into Google, there’s a better chance that the search will go directly to you since the way Google organizes search results partially weighs domain names. Just make sure that the name of your business is in the domain name.
These are just a few of many things to consider when thinking about managing your online reputation. It’s a game of search results and making sure there’s plenty of stuff out there about you to be excited about!
In our blog post about Game of Thrones, we talked about how young or inexperienced people like interns and new hires can bring a lot to your business. GLAD WORKS usually has at least one intern present at any given moment, so we have a lot of experience working with them to help them make the most of their time with us. We think it’s important to talk about them today because the word “intern” seems to be becoming synonymous with “free labor.” That’s not the case at all, and treating it that way cheats the business and the intern out of a very valuable experience.
Let’s talk about how to properly nurture an intern for a mutually beneficial relationship!
Know their goals
Many employers go on to hire their interns, so choosing carefully can be a great investment in the future. That’s why you should always make sure you interview interns before taking them on. You need to know what they’re hoping to get out of the experience. Sometimes people choose internships based on how it will look on their resume, but they may not actually be interested in what you do. If you wind up with that situation, you’ll lose the chance to bring an enthusiastic and original thinker on board. Understanding what an intern needs and determining whether or not you can fulfill those needs is a sure way to find people who will learn and grow with you.
Give them variety
Having an intern is great because you can give them some tasks that don’t require a whole lot of expertise, and that frees you up to take on some bigger things. But it wouldn’t be fair to saddle them with only those small things. Bring them to meetings, let them shadow you and take part in the more exciting parts of your business too. They need to see all sides if they’re thinking about what career path to take.
Keep in mind that while these folks are with you, they’re NOT somewhere else earning money at a job. Unless they’re incredibly lucky, they’re fairly penniless at this time in their lives, so keep that in mind. Maybe have a pizza day, or if you can afford it, take your intern out to lunch. If you’re strapped for cash yourself, coffee and a muffin would be a nice gesture, too. Feeding people is always a great way to build bonds and show appreciation.
Don’t assume they learned things in school
How often do you use things you learned in college during your job? How much of it actually applies to your daily work life in some direct way? Sometimes it absolutely does, but other times what’s taught in the classroom doesn’t resemble the real world at all. When you’re giving your intern instructions, never assume they know what you’re talking about. Explain yourself very clearly and then make sure they understand what they’re doing. You don’t want to set someone off on a task and then find out later that they were clueless. You’ll have to go and clean up the mess, plus you’ll probably make your poor intern feel like a doofus. That said; don’t be afraid to challenge them…
Throw them to the wolves!
(…and there goes any chance that we’ll ever see another intern in here again!)
Seriously though, this is not to say that you need to torture your poor intern, but don’t be afraid to give them safe challenges. Assign something that puts them to the test and forces them out of their comfort zone. Quite frequently, we don’t know how strong we are until we’ve been to hell and back. Be there to support them and guide them, but let them struggle a little bit too. Of course, don’t ever do this with something that could really mess things up if it goes badly. It’s just never a bad thing to strain the brain a little bit.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about having an intern is that if the match is right, it can be a mutually beneficial relationship. They get to see what life is like in the real world and learn from your wisdom. You get the benefit of their enthusiasm and just maybe the chance to sculpt and mold a future employee.
Maybe you’ve only heard of it, or maybe you’re obsessed with either the book series by George R. R. Martin or the HBO television series. Whatever your experience is with Game of Thrones, you know how amazingly intense and deliciously dangerous every plot-line can be as the story chronicles the violent dynastic battles between the noble families of the realm for control of the Iron Throne.
“Battling for control of the throne? Sounds just like doing business!” you say.
We think so too!
There are many parallels that can be drawn between Game of Thrones and all of us who are out there trying to make it in the business world. Today, let’s take a look and see what Game of Thrones has to offer us, GLAD WORKS friends.
This is gonna be fun and hopefully nobody will lose their head!
“There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: “Not today.”
As the young girl Arya is learning how to use her sword, her “dancing master” gave her this advice to help her find courage to keep fighting when it seemed she would lose the struggle. Indeed, her instructor’s advice came back to her when she was in danger and gave her the strength she needed to escape harm. When times get tough in business, it’s very tempting to throw in the towel. But refusing to yield and declaring “not today” when you’re faced with adversity can be a driving force to help you stay in the game and keep fighting.
“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.”
When Jon Snow leaves to join the Night’s Watch, he must say farewell to Arya, his beloved half sister. These words to her represent his hope that they’ll see one another again someday. Sometimes in business, just as it is in life, we have to part with people we love and respect. Maybe a favorite client stops using your services, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t ever be back. People come and go for all kinds of reasons, but if you have faith that your product or service is the best, and that you did all you could for your customer, have faith that they’ll be back again someday. Maybe they just have to explore other options first before realizing how much they loved you.
“The man who fears losing has already lost.”
We’ve heard it time and time again. In order to succeed in business, you can’t be afraid to take risks. It’s become a cliché, but it’s completely true. If we’re so afraid of failure that we shy away from trying new things, we’ll never get anywhere. We have to put on our armor and march off to battle. And remember the dancing master’s words to Arya: when you’re faced with defeat, say “not today” and then make some heads roll (figuratively speaking of course)!
“Wisdom oft comes from the mouth of babes.”
There is no question that many of the young folks in Game of Thrones are incredibly smart and savvy, but let’s face it. They have to be to survive! Although life in the real world isn’t quite so dangerous, there are still some super bright kids out there and we can learn a lot from them. Interns and new hires are often full of fresh ideas, so never underestimate them. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so be open to it all and good stuff will come your way.
“Life is not a song, sweetling. Someday you may learn that, to your sorrow.”
Just as we see with what Sansa, Danerys, and Arya have experienced, being thrown to the wolves is exactly what a young and inexperienced person needs in order to find their power. You can’t be afraid to give an intern (Hi! GLAD WORKS interns!) or a newbie a tough assignment. Going through a hard time is exactly what they need in order to truly find their talents and strengths. Of course be there to guide them and provide a safety net, but don’t be afraid to challenge them! They need to learn how to fight for what they want.
“Ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”
The dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, is smarter and more mentally agile than most other men. And although he is frequently disrespected because of his size, he’s still one of the most brilliant minds in all of the seven kingdoms. When King’s Landing was being attacked by Stannis, it was Tyrion who had the courage and skill to fight off his army until reinforcements arrived just in the nick of time. In business, you don’t have to be a goliath to shape the landscape. Even a small business can make an impact and do really big things.
So, who’s going to be watching the season 3 premiere on Sunday?
Happy New Year, GLAD WORKS friends!
Last week we did a recap of 2012, so naturally this week we need to take a look at the year ahead! What’s going to be the new hotness, and what should you be thinking about to keep on top of trends in technology, marketing and consumer habits? We’ve done a little poking around in our collective brains and we’ve come up with a handy dandy (albeit slightly random) little list just for you.
This year is gonna be rockin!’
Remember that awesome Janet Jackson song, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” (Do yourself a solid and click that link! OMG the big hair!) Well, this is what your customers are thinking. Gone are the days when people will passively accept whatever you tell them. They’re also not going to just accept your price as the best one and leave it at that. They’ve got the power of the Internet right in their pockets and they know how to use it. Your competition is literally right there telling your customers what they have to offer them, possibly tempting them away from you. Business owners are going to find themselves playing the role of concierge—finding out what the customer needs and wants and providing it before someone else gets the chance.
If you don’t have a website already, what on earth are you waiting for?
Having a website is as important as having a logo these days. If you don’t already have one, or the one you have now is a bit, ahem, old, you’re really going to need one over the coming year. Now more than ever, folks want to check out what you have to offer them before coming to see you. The world has also become full of people who hate picking up the phone to talk to an actual human being. They’re far more likely to go online to get their questions about you answered. If they don’t find you online, it’s almost as if you don’t exist and they’re going to hunt around for someone who has a website to look at. You might want consider having an online catalog or even setting up e-Commerce on your jazzy new website too. Make it easy and convenient and people will gravitate to you. We promise.
This is a prediction we made last year and it’s even truer for the coming year. So, while you’re thinking about that website, keep in mind that folks are increasingly accessing the web from tablets and phones. Desktop users are still out there for sure, but the number of people who shop on the go is rising and that trend isn’t going to take a downward turn any time soon. A mobile friendly website can keep you accessible no matter where your customers happen to be, and that is a very good thing indeed!
Case Studies and portfolios
Case Studies are incredibly cool because they give you the opportunity to show your potential customers the thought processes you went through to solve a problem for someone. Oftentimes, we see a screen cap or a quick photo of the work with a bullet point list of things that were done. The tough thing about that is that it doesn’t really give a potential customer a true impression of how you solve problems for folks. In this ultra competitive marketplace, more businesses are finding it necessary to share a little more of who they are and how they work. This is not to say that case studies are replacing portfolios, but we’re going to be seeing more of them popping up on websites over the coming year.
We’re all gonna be video stars!
Businesses everywhere are getting into video these days! We’ve definitely seen an up tick in the number of businesses coming to us for help doing product videos, digital annual reports, and promotional videos. We think this trend is most certainly going to continue and expand into new areas. For example, businesses who’ve been doing product videos are going to start adding customer support, product tutorials—all kinds of video content related to the sales cycle. We’re also going to start seeing businesses that would benefit from having video portfolios get into making them and posting them on their websites.
Remember what we said about being customer-centric? All of the things we’ve mentioned today have to do with making things as easy as possible for your customers to find you and get as much information as they need. So, in addition to our list here, think about your customers and focus on what’s going to make life easier for them. Then, do that.
What would a holiday blog post be without a roundup of some kind or another?
We think it would be lame and not at all festive. It would be tragic.
So today we’re going to talk about some of our favorite GLAD WORKS moments of 2012. And we’re going to be really shameless and selfish about it too because we’re only going to talk about cool stuff that happened to US this year.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
After the post, we’re going to open it up to you because we want to hear about your favorite moments of 2012 too! Be thinking as you read! We’ll expect an answer at the bottom of the page!
So, You Wanna Be A Copywriter…
This year we made our breakout humor video about the incredible work life of our copywriter, Kristen. In fact she’s writing this post right now and it’s so glamorous that she’s writing as if she isn’t writing at all.
Her life is all glory, all the time obviously.
The whole team participated in the making of the video, and even if you didn’t see all of us in it, every one of us was involved in some capacity. Some of us held lights; some made suggestions about the script, and some worked on a plan for the launch and promotion. We enjoyed this experience because we don’t normally get to shake our sillies out like that. There’s another one in the works, so keep an eye out! We have more silly to give!
Oh, and if you missed it the first time, here it is! Enjoy!
We’re famous now! Talking to The Rhode Show about apps
When The Rhode Show approached us to do a story about app development, we couldn’t have been happier. We love what we do and we’re very proud of it, so we were thrilled for a chance to share that with the world. Besides, who doesn’t love being on TV?
GLAD WORKS pitches itself
We’ve told you guys about our obsession with the TV show The Pitch before. Short of being on the actual show (which we’d love to do! Call us, AMC!), we thought it would be amazing to try it with our own team, so Gina, Adam and Evangelia divided us into two separate, strategically created groups and handed us a creative brief asking each team to address the following issues:
• Redefine GLAD WORKS online presence
• Showcase the use of new technology
• Recreate our website
There was some real smack-talking going on that week, but in the end our teams actually came up with similar ideas. We love that because it meant that we were on the same page as a team and we had a clear idea of what we needed and wanted.
Rubbing elbows with BOOtiful people: annual Halloween Spooktacular
In a world where many of our modes of communication are so impersonal, it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to connect with people face-to-face. There’s something really great about talking to someone in person and having actual, real-time conversations with them that aren’t happening through Facebook or limited to a scant 140 characters. That’s why we think it’s important to host an annual event here at the studio.
Our Halloween Spooktacular has become something that everyone looks forward to. We love it because it gives us a chance to hang out together! We understand that we need to have some face time with our clients to help us build lasting relationships with them. Even if we haven’t worked with someone in a while, it’s always awesome to check in and say “hey, nice costume!”
What made your 2012 list of moments full of The Awesome?
Do you have any burning questions about technology, advertising, marketing, app design or social media that you've been dying to ask but don't know where to turn for advice? Search no more, GLAD WORKS friends! Adam is prepared to tackle all of your questions in a once monthly blog post.
Leave your questions in the comment section below or email them to email@example.com!
Think of it as a Dear Abby column only with a sense of humor and less judgement.
It’s a tale as old as time, GLAD WORKS friends.
You want people to love you and keep coming back to you, but it’s illegal (and morally reprehensible) to slip them a little “love potion” or keep them tied up in your basement. So how is a business owner supposed to woo a customer into a faithful and mutually beneficial long-term relationship?
There are several ways, actually, and today we’re going to talk about a few of the biggies—the ones that focus on relationships rather than simply making business transactions.
People first, clients second
Have you ever gone to purchase something and encountered some smarmy and insincere sales agent? You know this person doesn’t really care about you; they just want you to buy what they’re selling. They may seal the deal with you, but you probably won’t be back because there’s no bond there. No loyalty.
We always try to focus on our relationship with our clients first because after all, our clients are people not unlike ourselves. They’re business owners too and like us, they’re trying to make a go of things. They come to us because they need our expertise to help them be successful. When you approach it that way, relationships are the priority and the sales are going to happen organically as you build trust and respect and think of folks as people first, clients second.
It’s not unusual for us to have a client’s favorite kind of sandwich delivered to them at lunchtime—just to say “thank you.” We’ve also been known to purchase little presents for their children if we come across something that made us think of them. These personal touches are what keep people coming back to us.
Create opportunities for the customer
As a creative agency, we are always thinking up things that we can do to help our clients. For example, if we think they can benefit from putting e-Commerce or a blog on their website, we’ll let them know. We’re always looking out for them and thinking of things that we can help with. We don’t wait for them to come to us with requests. Instead, we go to them with ideas. Our clients always appreciate that we’ve been thinking of them, even when we’re in between projects. This goes a very long way toward cementing relationships with people.
Always deliver on your promises
Even if it kills you and your entire team to do it, always, always deliver on your promises. Your exceptional service speaks volumes to customers about what you’re all about. Remember what we said about putting people first? If every one of your clients feels like your #1 client, you’re doing your job. Being reliable means everything, so be sure to set realistic expectations, clear timelines and goals and always deliver. And if you can’t deliver, be transparent about why and what steps you’re taking to fix the situation. Basically, try to make “promise good, deliver great” your motto and you can’t go wrong.
Believe that you’re the best at what you do
Even when we’re faced with a project we’ve never done before, it doesn’t bother us. We’re always willing to try something new because we have total faith that we can figure out a sensible and elegant solution to any problem that we may face. We believe that we are the best at what we do and that confidence is evident to our clients. They know we’ve got their backs.
Making clients love you is a pretty easy thing to do as long as you remember to focus on giving them a great product coupled with awesome customer service. That’s the stuff that turns clients into friends and that’s the best kind of client to have!
It’s always amazing to hear people say “We love you guys! Thank you so much!” and we strive for that every day.
As you all know, GLAD WORKS had our annual retreat a little while back. Normally we play team-building games, some silly, some serious, but in the end, we come out of it with a renewed sense of our mission and better, stronger bond with our teammates.
It’s the most important thing we do for ourselves all year, and this year, Adam, Gina, and Evangelia decided to throw a little something different at us. We’ve been watching the show The Pitch at our Lunch’ n’ Learn sessions and have had lots of great discussions about it afterward. So, the Directors decided to do a little experiment with the team for this year’s retreat and give us an assignment similar to what contestants on The Pitch would experience.
They split us into two separate, strategically created groups and handed us a creative brief asking each team to address the following issues:
- Redefine GLAD WORKS online presence
- Showcase the use of new technology
- Recreate our website
The team was excited to learn that GLAD WORKS would be our new “big client” because we’ve been talking about how we can improve our online presence and spruce things up a bit. Even if this means working late at night after all client projects have been put to bed, the entire team is super invested in this endeavor.
So, the respective teams (The GLADIATORS and Team Awesome!) each went about preparing their pitch to the GLAD WORKS directors. We had only one week to decide on our ideas and how best to present them. So that production would not be affected, the teams met at lunch and even stayed after working hours.
Oh, the trash talking, GLAD WORKS friends! It was marvelous, and everyone enjoyed sneaking around and planting fake evidence of what they were up to to throw the others off the trail.
After the week was over, it came time for the retreat and the presentation of ideas. The GLADIATORS had style boards and wireframes and a very swanky presentation style. Team Awesome! Had fantabulous tee shirts, a wireframe, and a more casual approach with each team member focusing on his or her area of expertise and presenting ideas that addressed each major set of objectives.
In the end, it was The GLADIATORS who won The Pitch, because let’s face it, they were fancier, but ultimately GLAD WORKS as a whole was the real winner. We were excited to learn that both teams brought very similar ideas to the table. Each set had their own nuances and strokes of genius, but in all, it was clear that even though we are a diverse group of creative thinkers, we all had a great sense of who GLAD WORKS is as a company, what our strengths and values are, and what can make us even better as a team and as a company as a whole.
Our experiment with The Pitch turned out to be the best team building exercise we could have done, and we will probably be doing more things like this in the future. Now we can come back together as a whole and take the best ideas from each team to create some amazing and exciting new things for GLAD WORKS, and most importantly, our clients.
So stay connected, GLAD WORKS friends, and keep an eye out for some truly exciting and innovative things to come!
On the surface, Jeff seems to be a narcissistic jackwagon who obsesses over his appearance and his pets while treating his staff like dirt. If you ask us, that’s not the real story.
First of all, he’s a good looking, single, successful gay man with the perfect amount of botox living in Los Angeles. How could he not be, as he calls himself, “a great narcissist?” It’s virtually impossible. In fact, it’s kind of a lifestyle requirement for a guy in his position.
The way we see it though, he’s actually very centered on relationships and he can be pretty thoughtful and sensitive. At the same time, he’s a talented and savvy businessman, and that’s why we love him.
So we love him… but what can we learn from him?
Over the years, we’ve followed both his reality shows and we feel like we’ve gotten to know him pretty well. Beyond being a pretty face with a flair for interior design, at the end of the day, Jeff is all about relationships, forming close bonds with his team and his clients alike.
We at GLAD WORKS are always reinforcing that it really IS all about relationships, so we couldn’t agree with Jeff more!
Here are some of our favorite Jeff Lewis take-aways.
Surround yourself with loyal people
Even though they appear to take a fair amount of abuse from Jeff, he is extraordinarily good to the two main ladies in his life: Jenni and Zoila. They’ve both been with him through the days of Flipping Out, and they’re now on his new show, Interior Therapy. Jenni is Jeff’s executive assistant and after ten years working together, they’re a well-oiled machine. Zoila is Jeff’s live-in housekeeper. He adores her and she puts up with his neurotic and occasionally inexcusable behavior. They’re clearly very good friends and their banter on the show is priceless.
Be loyal to your team
There have been times when clients have attacked members of Jeff’s team. Jeff stands by his team members—putting jobs on the line to protect them from cranky or difficult clients. So, just as your team has your back, they need to know you’ve got theirs.
Jenni and Zoila work tirelessly to keep the Jeff Lewis machine running, and he rewards them for their efforts. Jenni has received several promotions and has been rewarded for her loyalty over the years, even though Jeff constantly jokes that she’s just lucky to have a job. Since Zoila can’t really get a promotion, Jeff has rewarded her with wonderful birthday gifts like a mini-cooper and even plastic surgery. If that’s not the world’s best boss, what is, GLAD WORKS friends?
Pull together during dark times
When contractors don’t do what they’re supposed to, when things don’t happen on your timeline, you have to be resourceful and put in the extra work to pull it all off and meet your deadlines. Many times on the show, Jeff is faced with nearly impossible situations and he sometimes risks losing a client due to circumstances that are beyond his control. When these things happen, the entire Jeff Lewis team works to meet their deadlines. Even Zoila will be called in to help out in desperate times, and they always seem to pull it off—even if they’re up all night with paintbrushes in hand.
This demonstrates why it’s so incredibly important to be prepared for things to fall apart (and they WILL). You have to have a good team on your side that’s willing to pull together and go the extra mile in a crunch. Without that, you’re nothing, because you can’t do it all yourself.
Working with a small team is a blessing…and a curse
Jeff’s team is relatively small with only about six people working closely with one another. This can sometimes be a blessing as your team feels like family, and functions like one, but it can also be a curse. When things get tense, the team can fight like family too, making any tension between team members a major distraction. And it’s not fun at all when you’re the boss and you love everyone on your team! Since he is all about relationships, Jeff has struggled with agonizing decisions when a team member isn’t working out. It can be very difficult to separate friendship from business within an intimate group.
Always say what you mean
Anyone who’s ever seen him in action knows that Jeff Lewis does not mince words. He says what he’s thinking even when it’s something difficult that nobody wants to say or hear. Lots of times, people tend to sugar coat things, ultimately sending the wrong message. While Jeff can be harsh and doesn’t always choose his words as carefully as he should, he’s usually right. You’ve got to respect somebody that isn’t afraid to be direct.
Being neurotic isn’t always bad
It only takes a few minutes of watching Jeff for a fact to become obvious: he’s neurotic. In any given episode you’ll see signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder and a laundry list of anxieties.
Jeff’s propensity for worrying ends up driving him to perform better. His obsessive focus on making a house perfect (in Flipping Out) or pleasing his client/customer (in Interior Therapy) is a prime motivator for his success… and he IS successful.
But we wouldn’t know anything about that because nobody at GLAD WORKS has any neurosis at all…
PS: did you check out his website? It’s so “him.” Talk about great branding…
Patti Stanger, owner of The Millionaire’s Club, is known as the Millionaire Matchmaker. On her reality TV show of the same name, she helps millionaires who are unlucky in love find meaningful relationships. From watching her show and thinking about her expert dating advice, we couldn’t help but notice how similar business relationships are to dating relationships. What’s especially interesting to us, is how Patti’s advice for the unlucky in love is also good advice for young entrepreneurs who are just learning the do’s and don’ts of working with clients and customers.
Just like Patti, who started The Millionaire’s Club many years ago, we’ve been in business for a long time. We’ve learned some things along the way (sometimes the hard way) about how to manage relationships with those we’re working with. So with some of Patti’s sage advice as inspiration, we bring you the five commandments of client management.
No nookie before monogamy
We all know this is rule number one for dating, but it should also be rule number one in business too. No work on any project should begin without a signed contract, no matter how excited you are to get started. If a client likes what you’re offering and values your services, they’ll put a ring on it!
Thou shalt return calls promptly
Patti says to always be prompt when returning calls, and we think that’s great advice. Busy people get upset when you don’t return their calls. It’s important to recognize that even if you’re busy, the other person might be just as busy as you are. So, we always try to do them a solid and be prompt when returning calls. It shows respect for their time and also communicates that we are interested and invested in their project.
Thou shalt honor thy dating commitments
When you’re on a date, be on the date. Be present and interested while you’re there. Same thing when you’re at meetings. Be engaged in the conversation and ask pertinent questions. It might seem like basic stuff, but we are consistently shocked by how many people take other calls and text while they’re in meetings. It’s extremely important to be wholly present. The relationship you’re trying to build with that client depends on it. It doesn’t make you look like a baller to take other calls. It just makes you rude and it turns the client off completely.
Thou shalt not be a gold digger
Don’t date someone just because they’re wealthy and never try to sell a client a product or service they don’t need just to get money out of them. It’s unethical and it’s a guaranteed way to make sure that they’re not coming back to you when they truly need something. If you’re not delivering value and solving real problems for your clients, you’re cheating them, and yourself out of opportunities for success.
Thou shalt be focused and positive
Nobody wants to go out on a date with a cranky pants. This holds true for business relationships as well. Even when dealing with a difficult client, always be positive and stay focused on the end result and what you need to do to get there. Sometimes, clients are less-than-cooperative even though they hired you to do work for them; they make it hard for you to actually do the work! This may be frustrating and confusing, but always keep it positive. Lashing out in frustration will get you nowhere. This is not to say that you should be a doormat, but keep a professional tone even when you’re at the end of your rope.
In both love and business it’s crucial to command respect, be attentive, honor your commitments, be honest, and always try to keep your interactions positive. Any type of relationship requires nurturing and mutual respect in order to be successful. Keep those things in mind and who knows, maybe you’ll even catch yourself a busy millionaire who just loves working with you!