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What does it take to become a trusted expert instead of a commodity?
Do you remember the first time you had a client talk down to you or not value your work?
It’s a horrible situation to be in. In fact, I think it’s probably the worst feeling I ever had as an agency owner.
You can deliver an amazing project. A website that gets glowing praise for your client, generates 6 or 7 figures in revenue, yet your client still resorts to talking to you as if you’re the human equivalent of a magic tree air freshener.
Sure, you might smell nice – but they only value you when you’re hanging from their vehicle’s rearview mirror.
This type of client relationship is something that every agency owner or freelancer will experience at some point. Hopefully, it’s towards to the start of their business as it’s a learning experience.
For me, when I first started out in the early 2000s, I was finding that no matter what I did, I’d get at least one crappy client every single month.
When you’re a ‘people person’ who rides or dies through the energy of communications, it’s a dark place when you’re fielding an angry phone call or scrolling through an abrasive email.
There are really only a couple of reasons why a client will treat you like that. (Yes, I’m ignoring the small percentage of people who are just horrible, as they never last long in business)
The first reason is that you’re working on low-value projects. There’s a clear correlation between the value of a project and the quality of the clients you work with.
At the low end of the market, you’re a commodity. People see you as a ‘magical donkey’ who will do work for them, and then they move on. They’ll never truly value your expertise.
The second and more important reason is that you haven’t established a great relationship with your client.
Good relationships take time. It’s a process of delivering value, sharing expertise and gaining trust. This happens over the course of your meetings and client communications, as well as the great work that you deliver.
Understanding human behaviour helped me to adapt my processes. By 2009, I was sending out a regular email newsletter to my clients and leads. This helped me to strengthen relationships and create connections with people that found my agency.
Email marketing is a fantastic way to build client relationships. A few hundred words, a little value (and some silly British humour if you’re me), and you’re connecting with people. You’re able to speak to them and be relatable.
I know emails take time to write. That’s why Nurture Copy exists in the first place. Because Mel and I recognised that a large percentage of agency owners weren’t using email marketing to connect with their clients. They weren’t taking the opportunity to build better relationships.
So, can I offer you a boost to give your email marketing a kick-start?
We’ve just announced three brand new email packs today that are available to pre-order now.
Each email pack contains 12 pre-written newsletter emails on a specific topic. For example, with Care Plans, we could be looking at WordPress Care Plans, website maintenance, security, password management and so on.
There are also additional bonuses and goodies, which I’ll let you read about on the page.
Email marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to be present and be consistent. Do that, and you’ll become a trusted expert to your clients instead of being dangled around like a commodity.
Have a great day ahead!