Sales and survival go hand-in-hand for any young company. When Grafton Studio formed, we were newbies to the business development world. We figured it would become more organic with time, but had no real clue how or when that might be!
Our first 10 clients were mostly companies or people we had worked with in the past. These folks knew first hand the quality of our work individually, and they were willing to take a leap of faith on us as a brand new collective. These clients were crucial, and thankfully we had enough of them to get through a sink or swim phase: Year One. However, this group was finite and we needed to expand our network in order to continue to thrive...
By client #10 we, at least, had the benefit of referencing initial Grafton Studio work in sales meetings, versus relying on ‘individual experiences at past agencies.’ Fortunately for us, Google and Harvard University were two of our first clients, whose names alone garnered interest from additional prospects. We had also built an app called Savory Living which, in terms of functionality and scale, provided us with an exemplary product to showcase. These few aspects helped us sell to our wider network, however, again, our wider network was finite and couldn’t be relied on forever.
The real shift for Grafton Studio occurred after client #20. At this stage, we could boast enough full-service websites and web apps built, and introduced a case study section of our website demonstrating this experience. Thereafter, new business started to stream in more sustainably and we began appealing to those who weren’t referred to us from elsewhere.
The effects of the case study campaign were noticed fairly immediately, with prospects referencing functionality and design elements they had seen on our social media spaces or website before we had a chance to mention them ourselves. Additionally, and importantly, we received a much larger volume of inbound inquiries than before.
In reality, there are no shortage of options for those seeking to develop a web product, so web agencies will often say they can do anything in order to win sought-after new business. However, in our experience, savvy shoppers want to be shown proven ability and skill through case examples, before sinking a bunch of time into an agency that could respond with a proposal to build their web app using Wordpress and 25 plugins. :(
Finally, it’s a lovely way to wrap-up a project and reflect. The testimonials we have received from clients, which we include at the bottom of our case studies, provide the encouragement to keep moving forward and striving to provide for the highest quality product out there for our clients.
Regardless of how cumbersome case studies can seem to draft, or the time they supposedly take away from other tasks, any young agency in a flooded market cannot afford to neglect this aspect of our business.