In business, branding is everything. People want to know who you are, how you started and what your company stands for. I don’t know about you but, I’ve never done business with a company that did not have an “About Us” page. I want to know who I’m dealing with and who they are.
There are several ways to tell your story. Talk about why you created your business in the first place, how you are helping people, your goals for your company, etc. Most businesses branding stories are based on the following concepts:
• You found a new creative way to do something that had been done the same way for years and years.
• You built a business on something that didn’t exist before.
• You solve a problem – I realize every business should solve a problem but the idea that you solve a problem can be your branding story.
• You are creating a positive change in the world. Maybe you make eco-friendly products or you hire disabled people. Whatever it is – talk about it!
• You are trustworthy – you tell things about your company that the competition doesn’t. You share that you don’t spend money on advertising to keep overhead low and pricing competitive. You share that your company is small and debt free. Whatever the truth is – you tell it.
What’s my branding story?
I graduated from ISU in 1999 with a degree in Journalism and immediately fell into the financial industry working with financial advisors and financial marketing organizations. After seven years in the industry I started working for a REIT firm as a scheduling assistant. I LOVED scheduling appointments for wholesalers. My wholesalers were great to work with and really made me feel like I was part of their team. I enjoyed the challenge to see how many appointments I could get each week. I also enjoyed getting to know the gatekeepers and the financial advisors, too.
My wholesalers’ company noticed the results I was getting and asked me to help train other schedulers. That was when I saw the need for more successful scheduling assistants and in 2009 Elite Scheduling Services, LLC was born. I did some major word-of-mouth and LinkedIn marketing for six months before I earned my first two contracts. My company grew rather quickly and each year I set new goals for myself. The nice thing about being in a niche market is that it truly is a small world. A lot of wholesalers know each other and they talk. So the more happy wholesalers I had, the more business I was getting.
The same can ring true for schedulers. As my company grew I had to continue to recruit the best schedulers out there. They typically came to me from word-of-mouth from other schedulers, wholesalers and financial advisors. My pricing is in line with most competition but I’m one of the top paying scheduling services so I’m able to retain top talent.
My goal is to have happy wholesalers and happy schedulers so I’m always happy to help in any way I can. As my company has grown so has the needs of our services. My scheduling assistants work virtually from across the United States and I started getting calls from people outside the financial industry wanting a virtual assistant. Since Elite Scheduling specializes in scheduling services for the financial industry I partnered with Laura Licursi at Elite Virtual Assistants, LLC (EVA) to provide services to entrepreneurs, authors, podcasters, corporate executives and busy professionals. The virtual assistants at EVA are specialized in specific areas such as, social media, marketing, event planning, travel planning, administration and many other skills so that they can best help EVA’s clients.
And since I’m always thinking of new ways to help others, we are adding a promotional marketing aspect as well. Many of my scheduling assistants started coming to me asking me where they could order promotional items for their wholesalers. After realizing the time and effort they were spending to research these things I decided to offer that as a service. The schedulers can now order whatever they need through Elite and they don’t have to spend hours searching for pens, drinkware, golf balls, business cards, holiday cards and whatever else it was they needed.
My company is still growing – heck, I’m still growing as an entrepreneur and as a person! But I’m having so much fun offering great services that my clients can benefit from. My clients love the services for various reasons. Many wholesalers say they “hate making cold calls”, they “hate scheduling appointments” but they “love making money”. A lot of clients love having an assistant that can help them with a variety of tasks, an assistant that can act as a sounding board and an assistant that can do all the busy work needed to operate a business.
So what’s on the horizon for me? Helping more people to help more people to help more people. I think the thing I love most about my business and the services we offer is that they truly are a win-win for everyone! I’ll leave you with this-What is your story?