It’s my unyielding belief that a creative firm’s growth and success absolutely depend on positioning - the kind that’s narrow in scope and deep in expertise.
Check out the most profitable small creative companies and you’ll find this to be the case. Successful creative companies attract business from beyond their geographic location. As well, they can charge more for products and services, eliminate a lot of competition, implement more effective marketing programs and even increase the number of assignments they take on without the time-consuming pitch procedure. It all makes sense, doesn’t it?
So, why does positioning so often fail? Sometimes the reasons are obvious. It could be because your positioning isn’t unique or different enough. Maybe there’s no concrete evidence to back up the claim you make-or your claim is simply untrue. Perhaps the position you’ve taken is not sustainable over the long haul. If you specialize in marketing newspapers, for example, you might be in trouble in a few years.
There’s also a not-so-obvious reason that positioning can fail - your staff. If they don’t understand your positioning - if they don’t embrace and accept it - it won’t matter how well you carve your place in the world, build a website to reflect it and announce your intentions to everyone. If your staff isn’t on board, success will be difficult to achieve.
1. Involve staff in process. Guide them through the thinking and procedure that helped you determine your niche until you’re sure they "get" it. Help your team understand that as a well-positioned firm, you will attract bigger, better clients. And that means not only more opportunities for the firm as a whole â€“ but also a wider range of career possibilities for individual team members.
2. Give your team direction. Get your people involved in helping your company express its positioning. Let’s say your firm sees itself as a specialist in marketing cosmetics. Have staff get creative with your own marketing materials. For example, they might design a ’make-up bag’ for your website, memo pads with a lipstick motif or business cards with mirror on one side.
3. Promote the positioning internally. By putting cosmetics front and center â€“ offer free freshen-up cosmetics in your washrooms and give staff spending money to ensure they buy and try the latest cosmetics. Perhaps they could also contribute to a blog on color or scent trends, or develop content about current influencers in the cosmetics field.
4. Help your team become evangelists for your firm. Reward people who turn leads into clients. Tell your firm’s own success story, and don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Your team’s pride, sense of belonging and excitement are magnified by good press.
The bottom line is this: If you can’t sell your own team on where your company stands, how can you sell others? Successful positioning really does begin at home.
Procrastination saps the energy of a workplace. Following one or more of the simple strategies above will help you and your company get more done in less time — with less stress. And once the work is done, there will be more time for ’Relaxed Procrastinators’ to have the fun they love.