Hiring the Right Expert (A Case Study)

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    Transformation is hard and uncomfortable. Sometimes, in the middle of the journey, we aren’t sure we still want to end up in the destination we set out for. It’s even more challenging if we’ve hired someone to help us. This case study is about a pet-focused brand with big aspirations and highlights how hiring the right expert helps everything to run more smoothly.

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    The Situation

    This particular client came to us several years ago because they hired the wrong person to do their SEO. The previous vendor had redone the entire site and moved them to a different host, leading to plummeting search rankings, which meant that business was falling off.

    By hiring the right expert (us), we were able to turn things around pretty quickly. In a couple of months, site rankings were improving, leads were coming in, and the business grew 40% year over year.

    The owner of this company had big visions for her brand and her company. She had considered multiple locations and even franchising was on her radar. This was all very achievable as she is an operational beast. Her company runs like a well-oiled machine, and because of that, they are able to scale. One of her biggest challenges was simply getting enough people hired for the demand once her SEO was back on track.

    The Plan

    One day, the client decided she was ready to elevate her brand so that she could be ready to franchise in the future. She signed on for Ignition, our strategy service, and we went to work creating a strategy that would guide the branding and a website update.

    We delivered the solution presentation with the strategy and plan, and she was elated about hiring the right expert. Our team had captured her vision. We were very clear on what she wanted to build, and we were able to articulate her unique value proposition and her competitive edge in the market.

    Getting to Work

    The next step was the brand update. To be quite transparent, branding and design are always sticky, especially for founders. It’s difficult to separate personal from professional when it comes to a company that you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into.

    When we delivered the elevated brand, she was very excited at first. And then a lot of doubts started to creep in. The new look was very different from her existing brand. Moving forward with it would mean changing everything that had the current brand on it. The change started to become very real, especially as she thought about the cost for updating all the materials and signage. And after the initial presentation, she came back wanting to make a lot of changes.

    The Result

    To demonstrate how hiring the right expert is important, since that was my role, my first job was to listen. Then, with that information in mind, I could lead. I went back to our original goals for the project to check in and make sure that this was still what she wanted. Moving her from where she was to where she said she wanted to go was a big leap. And after delivering the initial brand and going back and revisiting the goals of the project, it became clear to her that she wasn’t ready to make the leap, at least not all the way yet.

    We ended up revising the logo and colors slightly to make it more of an evolution of the existing brand but still a significant step in the direction of her big vision. I could have easily just capitulated, scrapped the brand we had given her, and instead delivered a small variation on her existing brand, but that wasn’t my job. My job was to work with her to articulate her vision and hold her through the transformation so that she would have something that could serve the next iteration of her business. And when it became clear she wasn’t ready to go all the way, we reset the goalposts and changed things to be aligned with where she was ready to go.

    Lessons Learned

    In this scenario, the client could have easily switched to steamroll mode, told me that I wasn’t right, that she didn’t like any of it, and fired us. But because we had done the work to clarify the strategy and understand who she was trying to serve and how she was trying to serve them, that was our guidepost not only for us but also for her when she needed to move the finish line. We demonstrated the necessity of hiring the right expert, the one who listens and is adaptable to clients’ changing needs.

    When we help clients achieve transformation, there’s a lot more to it than just delivering quality work. That’s why it’s so critical to be clear about the results we’re after and use strategy and planning to guide our efforts. That way, when we find ourselves in the middle of delivering the work and things aren’t feeling aligned, we can go back and recalibrate to the existing goals or update the goals to what we now understand about where we want to go. The payoff is that we were able to help her through the transition and get a brand that could be franchised and stand out amongst a crowded competitive landscape.

    Are You Hiring the Right Expert?

    Stories are fun and very helpful in absorbing new concepts, but know what’s more fun? Tips, tricks, and hacks! On every episode of Leverage Your Spark, I talk about the importance of hiring the right expert and how you can get more out of your relationship and grow your business.

    Do you want to get more value from the experts you hire? At FieryFX, we know a thing or two about getting the most from working with experts. Plus, we’re experts in strategy, websites, analytics, smart business, and technology. Find out how to benefit from hiring the right expert by booking a consult with us.

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