It’s our birthday! This month, Valeo celebrates 10 years on this planet, and we couldn’t be happier. Like any agile company, we’ve had moments of great success and moments of not such great success. There have been some of those cloud-parting moments that have allowed us to really amp up the value we offer our clients. There have also been some expensive mistakes that left us feeling a little sore. They’re both important experiences.
In honor of all we’ve learned as a company and a team these past years, and the fun we’ve had along the way, we’ve compiled a list in spirit of Dave Letterman’s Top Ten lists.
The Top Ten Things We’ve Learned In 10 Years
Google doesn’t hate your website.
Most of the time when someone says, “Google just hates my website,” it’s usually just because the site hasn’t been optimized yet and Google doesn’t know if its users will like it. Maybe there some odd links or there’s just been a recent update that is making Google feel a little weird, but it can always be fixed!
Having an ecommerce site doesn’t mean you’ll get sales.
There is so much more that goes into designing a successful sales funnel than just having products up on a page for sale. Before a client can expect sales, we have to make sure we’re hitting all the other marks that a good site requires.
It’s important to get your niche down.
Clients are more impressed by experts than by those who can do a little bit of lots of things. Finding that niche is a good thing, because then people know exactly what you do.
Email still rules, and will rule for the foreseeable future.
When it comes to marketing, email is where it’s at. If the marketing is working correctly, clients are being nurtured all the way through that funnel. It’s more important than ever to write emails that people want to read, and to use email for good and not evil.
Marketing automation is scalable.
A business doesn’t need to be the biggest company in the land to take advantage of the awesome stuff marketing automation can do, and it isn’t all or nothing. Start where it makes sense, and then scale as you go.
If you want to market well, you better be able to tell a good story.
Marketing is all about telling a good story. It’s not just about the words used, but how the words (and images) are used to create a new world that others want to live in.
“Brevity is the soul of wit.” – William Shakespeare
Say what you want to say in the most concise way possible, and say exactly what you need to say the first time.
Talk with people, not at them.
It’s important to be able to create a partnership with our clients. The first step to doing this is paying attention to the way we talk with them. A conversation about their needs and wants for their business is always more effective than just shoving a list of prices at them.
It’s not always a good fit.
As with any relationship, sometimes a client-contractor relationship doesn’t work out. Sometimes you have to part ways with a client, but that’s okay.
If you enjoy your work, you’ll be better at it.
It’s worth it to take the time to create a positive work culture. But being attentive to how you build your team means you end up with a kickass team who loves coming to work. It’s worth it to have an annual retreat of team building and mandatory fun, too.