Wordpress-Featured-Image

Why Surrender to Your Hired Expert

For anyone, it is an act of humility to surrender to what is. When we surrender, we turn our ego and self-will over to deeper wisdom and improvement. As a creative service provider, there are times when people reach out for Unglitch.io’s marketing strategy, branding strategy, or design expertise. Most are willing to accept they need to hire for what they cannot do themselves for their own business. But some, have trouble surrendering to their hired expert and releasing control. Why?

“It’s My Vision – No One Else Will Understand It!”

We invest a lot of energy into going after what it is we want, and when what we want to elevate our business -behind that energy is a deep longing for something. Success. Acceptance. Acknowledgment. Money. When we let go, stop pulling or pushing, or step away, we feel the impact of that—we might feel loss, grief, terror, or disappointment that someone else can do it better. The sensation of these feelings can be overwhelming and many of us weren’t necessarily taught how to express them; especially as business owners.

When you hire a trusted, proven expert the process only works when the client surrenders to the expert’s knowledge. You wouldn’t hire someone for marketing strategy and management and then undermine everything they do to boost your business because it’s not “your moves” or the path you would take. Your marketing expert has done research on the actual target market you need to serve (and in most cases…) – this is not the target market you had in mind. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that “everyone is my target market!”. That idea is simply not going to help your business grow.

So let’s say you’ve surrendered to accepting your (new) niche target market. Your strategist, designer, and promoter have presented you with the plan, content, and visuals to grow your brand and build a loyal audience-to-customer fan base. You don’t like it. You find the urge to go back to doing the same thing you have been doing all along by yourself. We all know the definition of insanity, right?

To simply think that your vision will not be understood by anyone else is a big red flag that in fact, is the case. Neither your current audience understands your vision either – because your messaging in your marketing reflects that and you’ve thought all along that you are marketing to please yourself and not your target customers.

“I’ve Been in Business for 20+ Years – Why Do I Need to Change Now?”

Pride, on the other hand, maintains our idealized self-image—the self we think we need to be for self-preservation. Pride presents itself as a kind of invulnerability, or a need to be right or perfect. Because surrendering to an expert is an act of humility and an acknowledgment that out of our perfectly imperfect humanness, our business may be out-of-date and out-of-touch. We’re losing old customers and we are gaining no new ones. In many cases, this is why. While change can be hard and it only gets harder the longer you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing – when questioning do you need to re-think or pivot your business strategies, branding, marketing, etc… The answer 99% of the time is always: “Yes”.

“I’m Not Going To Let You!”

The final point is that some people find pleasure (albeit negative) in not surrendering. The unconscious pleasure we get from holding on to something too long can be a real hard to let go. As I mentioned up top, I’m a creative service provider. As anyone who worked in customer service knows, some people just thrive off making others feel small.

I remember when I was in my early 20’s in this business, this would always ‘erk me the wrong way. I would be reeling from a client’s bad behavior in this arena for days, if not weeks. They would then go onto a naughty list of people I would never work with again. I still have a naughty list, but when you’ve been doing this as long as I have (12+ years), you start to realize that psychology plays a big part in providing anything to your clients.

We state in many new client contracts, that if you are not willing to surrender to what will better your business, you simply will not be able to be helped…but still be billed for our time…

sunary-riley-customer-journey

I Want to Talk About My Sunday Riley Customer Journey

First off, what is a customer journey…

Customer journey maps clarify, and develop important parts of just that…your customers’ journey. They allow you to stand in the shoes of your customers, enabling you to improve nearly every aspect of their experience. They provide you with the kind of overview to move customers down your sales funnel. Wait… sales funnel…

What is a sales funnel…

Back to Customer Journeys. Why Are They Important?

  1. Shows you how customers are interacting with your business
  2. Gives the brand owner the chance to stop seeing the perspective from the company, but the perspective of the brand through their customer
  3. Highlights what customers need and when they need it at different stages of the sales funnel
  4. Clarifies needs and pain-points of your customers
  5. Clarifies optimization and development priorities

You can see this best with what’s called a Customer Journey Map.

As a matter of fact! I want to talk about the most perfectly detailed customer journey I went on when purchasing from Sunday Riley, a skincare brand. To demonstrate this, let’s go over my Customer Journey Map and furthermore go through the steps to create a Customer Journey Map. I do this with my clients and their eCommerce marketing strategies all the time and trust me, it helps!

Step One: Build Customer Profiles

The data about customers forms the basis of your map. As a result, this data will come from two places: direct feedback and customer analytics. So who am I?

I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely combo of autoimmune issues including dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day, moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this.

Step Two: Define General Stages

Stage One – Discovery: I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely condition called dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day. I moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this. Since this started, someone recommended I try Sunday Riley’s Good Genes lactic acid serum.

Stage Two – Research: Before this, I was mixing a concoction of Licorice Root and oil on my face and it helped a little. So I did my research on this product… Besides other great ingredients, Licorice Root is #2 in the ingredient list for Good Genes!

Stage Three – Choose: Now I’ve never tried a Sunday Riley product so when I visited the site I spent a few minutes reading about Good Genes, but then saw that $122 price tag… I clicked away. I don’t want to spend that much without knowing if it works.

Thus a FANTASTIC customer journey begins and Sunday Riley’s eCommerce team kicks into action to reel me back in!

Stage Four – Purchase: I went to a few more products pages to look around. I knew I wanted to try Sunday Riley in general. So I was delighted to find a sample pack.

I purchased the sample pack and waited for my package. It came less than a week later. Even though I only purchased 3 small jars of product to try out, Sunday Riley sent along with my package an equal amount of product samples too.

Ultimately, I got those (3) 0.3oz moisturizers, a 0.17oz sample of U.F.O. Acne Treatment, a 0.17oz of High-Dose Retinoid Serum, and samples packets of various products INCLUDING GOOD GENES.

This means Sunday Riley gave me more than an equal amount of free samples along with my purchase. But Why?

Well…Who am I as Customer Profile?

I clearly am a first-time buyer wanting to try the brand. I spend a lot of time on the website reading about 1-3 products and even added them to my cart. But deleted them before purchase.

Step Three: Attach Goals to Each Stage

Thus, Sunday Riley’s customer journey is now collecting my goals, needs, and desires.

When you do this, consider the most pressing concerns during the stages in Step Two and how to convert me into being a loyal customer. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty when collecting data too. Asking me straight out what I thought of my 3 moisturizers in a follow-up email after my purchase would have been a great step in itself.

But Sunday Riley went above and beyond for this specific customer profile (talked about in Step One) and now I’m hooked!

Step Four: Identify Touchpoints for Each Stage

Many retailers approach this stage too narrowly. It’s essential to account for all possible “touchpoints” in which I’ll interact with your brand as the customer. Ignoring minor channels or interactions will lead to an incomplete customer journey map. So don’t just do this for your website only.

Account for all of the following touchpoints:

  • Word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Outbound marketing channels like online ads, awareness campaigns, and offline advertising
  • Inbound marketing like content, search engine results, and organic social media posts
  • Social media channels
  • Customer support
  • Your website and apps
  • Email
  • Packaging and delivery

Step Five: Identify Moments of Truth

I had two ‘moments of truth’ here. Moments of truth occur when a customer makes an important decision. Mine was when I decided to buy and when I decided to become a loyal customer after a great experience.

Step Six: Identify Drop-Off Points and Goal Completion

Where are customers typically dropping off and ending their journey? Where did I? Before purchasing many higher-priced products. Where are they successfully completing their goals? When did I? When after getting all my samples and trying them I went back to the site and purchased Good Genes.

Step Seven: Get Even More Feedback

Additional feedback can be immensely useful once you’ve started to put together your customer journey. At this stage of the process, you will likely be aware of what was missing in your original customer research, but it doesn’t hurt to ask a customer outright what their feedback is. What’s mine? This blog post (LOL).

Step Eight: Identify Areas for Improvement and “Amplification”

This step is where the customer journey map moves from being an abstract document to a practical tool. So what would this look like with factoring in metrics and emotions of my customer journey with the help of CTA’s (Call-To-Actions) and little nudges the brand did to make me a loyal customer…? Let’s see a customer journey map! Here’s a basic one:

And a closer look at where you and me are visually right now:

In the End…

Using your customer journey map as an aid for idea generation and really realizing what is going on in the purchasing process for your customers. When you think this way, you’ll make much more sales. So how do you create your own Customer Journey Map for your brand?

Because customer journey mapping tools are essentially diagram-creation apps, they tend to be relatively inexpensive. You should consider investing in one if you haven’t already. The best out there is the Salesforce Journey Planner. If you want to go a free route and DIY yourself you can use HubSpot’s templates.

But if you’ve gotten to the end of this post and are thinking “Where the Hell do I start!?”. There is also another option for creating a Customer Journey Map… Unglitch.io! Get in touch today and we can strategize a custom map for your brand to help you boost sales ASAP!

In the meantime, I’ll be over here obsessively touching my new, soft, happy face!


Don't-Let-Customers-Affect-Your-Inner-Bliss

Don’t Let Customers Affect Your Inner Bliss

Now… I don’t want to be too grim, but…

Let’s face it – sometimes customers and the people we work with get on our nerves. We either butt heads with someone who has a different personality than we do. We have to deal with complaints as a business owners. Or we just flat out have a “Karen” walk into our lives that day.

Now I bet you think I’m about to say don’t worry, rainbows are ahead… Hmm… Not today.

We sacrifice a lot when we run our own business. We might give up on the idea of having a family or free weekends. Or it could mean you choose to pursue the idea that might deny you the opportunity to do something else in your career.

But it’s not just the business realm that teaches us about suffering. It also affects other aspects of our lives. To be successful in all our human relationships often requires suffering. And the same is true of being successful in matters of health. We often need to do things, like exercise, that doesn’t feel great at the time. Just ask me every time I’m internally whining during the first 10 minutes of a workout!

To really be successful, we need to be able to go into life with the confidence that suffering isn’t going to overwhelm us. We need to know that no matter what challenges we face, we’re going to be okay in the end. That’s the sort of confidence that drives the most successful people forward in everything that they do.

Of course, to get to that state of mind, we need to adopt strategies.

But it also helps to be secure in our own sense of wellbeing. We need to know that while unsatisfied customers can affect our business, people, in general, cannot affect our inner bliss. 

Interestingly, when you follow this line of reasoning to its conclusion, you discover that real success in business isn’t actually the money or the prestige that comes after years of hard work. It’s actually having the mental fortitude to go through the process in the first place. Business leaders are perhaps the most successful at all because they are able to find ways to manage their hard times and enjoy their lives at the same time. They can tolerate a high level of pain without allowing it to get to them on a fundamental level. 

Steve Jobs had a pretty good take on it. He reminded himself every day that his life was limited (and…it was) and that, whatever happened in his work, it would pale in comparison to not existing at all. He reminded himself that, ultimately, nothing that he did mattered except how it felt for him. Creating iPhones had a huge impact on humanity. But, for Jobs, it was mainly about spending his time as well as he could, doing something he loved. If he didn’t like the process and it became clear that something needed to change, he wasn’t afraid of making the hard decisions to make it happen, even if it involved a hefty dose of bad moments.

So the next time something happens. Anything. A bad customer review. Unwanted client feedback. A b!tchy customer. Know this – this too shall pass.

Written By Founder and Creative Director, Jacquelyn Tolksdorf

is-it-time

Is it time for your brand to evolve?

Refreshing an outdated brand can have enormous power. Which begs the question, when is the right time for you to change?

There is always a variety of motivating factors from functional, such as adapting to new channels, to strategic, like building a brand that supports a social dialog.

What’s more, today’s digital landscape demands you always being “on” brand.

Companies are also being urged to have a louder voice when it comes to social issues, which too, is influencing visual expressions. Whether it’s social reckonings, COVID, or environmental issues more brands are thriving when they show they have a moral stance on something. Furthermore, diversity, equity, and inclusion and philanthropy are no longer tokenism as companies set specific targets in hiring, equality in pay and investment in the communities they operate.

It’s a brave new tech world

The immediacy of digital channels and social media demand brands be in— and of— the culture. People expect to engage with brands on their time. The way of the dodo went rigid marketing strategies and now a much more universally understood set of principles that can be used by anyone, at any level, in any role to showcase the organic nature of the brand is ideal.

As you head more and more into building relationships via digital devices, consumers expect seamless experiences with brands across all devices, whether mobile, watch, thermostat, or smart speaker. And as brands expand their reach, companies must think more universally about their brand voice throughout these mediums.

The new design toolkits must allow for comprehensive experiential language, encompassing visual, verbal, and emotive cues. You can no longer have a cookie-cutter website that looks like everyone else’s website if you want to elevate your brand position.

Ask yourself these questions

  1. Is your brand expressed through an authentic voice? Does it enable you to converse in the moment? Does the tone of voice feel human and relatable?
  2. Is it built for a digital-first world? Is it accessible across media and channels? Are there meaningful interaction patterns? Are there principles for motion and video?
  3. Is it designed to drive the business strategy? Does it resonate with key audiences? oes it express the values of the organization?
  4. Does it inspire your team? Can teams get inspired to do the most with the brand elements?

If you answered no to any of these questions, it might be time to explore an evolution of your brand. While updating your identity can be a big step, it’s crucial for a brand’s success and more important than ever in today’s competitive landscape.

Bear with me while I do the marketing agency equivalent of putting a “My child is an honors student” bumper sticker on my car. But after 12 years of working with brands like Rocket Mortgage, Disney, and more — brand strategy has become so important to me (founder of Unglitch.io). I’d love to evolve your brand. Learn more at Specialties.