By 2016, I had hired staff for most production/fulfillment tasks at image squared marketing. Outside of managing digital advertising for our clients, my main role was to grow the business.
Q3 2015 had been a very trying time for image squared, as new wage expenses suddenly outgrew revenue when a large client ended their contract.
In Jan 2016, my staff (3) thought that we would give up and close the doors. I ensured them that we would not only stay in business, but GROW the business, because we had a solid product, good people, and good results.
Amber, our Social Media Manager, was my most engaged and committed team member. I pulled her into my own leadership strategy, asked for her opinions and advice, and began taking her along on sales calls. Our goal was to grow the business so fast that we wouldn’t remember that we were just about to lose it.
It’s easy to make these numbers sound good because they started low—I’ll admit that readily. But they started from a realistic low of the sort that you don’t often bounce back from.
From January to April, 2016, monthly revenue more than quadrupled, from $2640 to $12,091.
After a setback or two in the summer, we continued to grow until maxing out for the year at $14,629.50 in September (5.5x Jan).
It wasn’t a profitable year, but it was a very successful year.
I’d say our most successful year, even though 2017 numbers look better.
I was able to lead a small team of movers and doers, without any incentive beyond a continued paycheck and appreciation, from near-failure to a 454% increase in monthly revenue.
Part of maintaining that revenue, I’ll add, is retaining existing clients, which we do partly by ensuring their own growth, so our success is frequently tied to the success we’ve achieved for our clients.
When looked at as a trajectory from Jan 2016 to Dec 2017, quarter over quarter growth averaged about 21%.
Quarterly revenue increased from $16,547 to $48,827.
This all followed my own trajectory as both a sales leader in our company as well as a business generator for our clients.
Included in these revenue numbers are what I consider “upsales” to our existing retainer clients, including printed materials, mailers (along with associated services/postage), managed digital ads, and some smaller items.
Part of my success in building and maintaining this growth was in generating these upsales by selling (and managing) additional digital and printed advertising.
Of the $276,441 of revenue in 2016-2017, roughly half came from these upsales.
Digital Advertising accounted for nearly half of all upsales, or $53,528.
This includes Google AdWords Search & Display Networks as well as Facebook Advertising.
Example Google AdWords Analytics – Client A
Example Google AdWords Analytics - Client B
San Gabriel Memory Care, for an example, is a growing chain of family-owned Assisted Living facilities in the Metro East (STL) region. I developed a multi-channel marketing mix of Social Media Management, Facebook Advertising, Google AdWords, and newspaper advertising to drive business and raise awareness.
In 2015, they became a client and had just opened the doors at their first San Gabriel Memory Care in Highland, IL.
We built their social media presence, established a content collaboration system for social media management, enhanced their print ads to reflect company branding, and began running new ad campaigns on social media and Google AdWords.
By 2017, they were breaking ground on their 3rd San Gabriel Memory Care in Godfrey, IL.
I’m very proud to have driven growth for this ground-up local business!