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What I’ve Learned After 70 Inquiries in 83 Days

During the last week of 2018, I knew our website’s homepage needed a refresh. My gut told me that it wasn’t strong enough. We launched the update at the beginning of 2019.

When approaching the new layout, I wanted to tackle a few goals:

  1. Clearly state what we do
  2. Visualize what we do
  3. Communicate who we’re for (small businesses)
  4. Allow visitors to learn more about who we are and the type of clients we serve through a quick introduction and a testimonial
  5. Give them opportunities to stay connected or dive deeper through our newsletter, events, products and blog posts

After going live with the new homepage at the beginning of the year, we began to see a consistent amount of inquiries. As I’m writing this, we’ve received 70 inquiries in the span of 83 days. I handle all the new interactions with potential clients here at The Wonder Jam, so needless to say, I’ve been busy.

It involves a lot of tasks: I reply to the inquiry, set up a time to chat, send estimates and book the project until I hand the rest over to our project manager, Dayna. Someday I’ll write a post about client onboarding, or sales in general, but today I’m going to share 6 things I’ve learned after these 70 inquiries in Quarter 1.

  • Replying to every inquiry takes time. This might seem like a no-brainer but I’m less concerned about sharing that things take time (obviously). I recently shared how many inquiries we’ve been receiving and someone asked, “You’ve replied to them all?” I was a little shocked to hear that question because, in my opinion, replying to everyone seems like the obvious decision. We’ve created our inquiry form in a way that requires a decent amount of information and thoughtfulness and we take that very seriously.
  • I care about every person we don’t end up working with. Because we’ve committed our focus to small business owners, every inquiry we get feels special. Each person has a unique idea or a product spun out of passion. They’ve been working hard and they’re at a place where they need someone else’s talents and strategy. I’m honored that they think of us and take the time to ask. Even if it doesn’t work out, I spend time thinking through who might be a good creative partner and make the referral.
  • It’s worth educating competitors (and those who will never hire you) about what you do. I have a strong opinion about competition and you can read about it here. I keep a pretty detailed Google sheet with every inquiry that we receive. There’s a column that keeps track of how someone heard about us (we don’t seek out potential clients or pitch them it’s all been referral so far) and some referrals are from other creative people who will most likely never hire us. Recently, I’ve noticed that a few specific referrers aren’t connecting us with the right potential clientele. I’ve reached out to get coffee because I want them to understand more about what we do and how we work with people. And I want to thank them in person.
  • This increase in steady inquiries has forced us to get better at our own processes. Any time we feel changes happening at The Wonder Jam, Adam helps us think through how our own processes can be improved or documented. Here are a few ways we’ve gotten better as a team because of this uptick:
    1. I’ve been able to train and delegate invoicing and contract-making to our project manager
    2. We’ve starting thinking through how to get better stats and analytics numbers in front of our entire team so they can feel the wins
    3. The way we catalog and organize our packages and estimates has improved
    4. I’ve become much more clear about what I want to discuss in my introductory call with a potential client and I’m able to identify red flags quickly
  • It’s changed how I approach partners and vendors as a consumer. Back in 2009, when I graduated into a recession, I worked at a call center for a web hosting company. People would call and swear and yell and complain as soon as I picked up the phone. I remember thinking, “I will never treat anyone like this in customer service. Ever.” And I don’t! Receiving 70 real inquiries has taught me to take it seriously when I’m on the other side. There have been 13 inquiries that never replied or stopped replying after I took the time to talk with them. I don’t fault them at all but it has changed my perception as a customer. Before asking for a quote or a meeting, I make sure that I have money set aside and that I’m very clear about what I need.
  • We need to be unapologetic about who we are and why we’re here. We aren’t for every small business but we are a great fit for a lot of them. This surge of interest in our work only confirms what we already thought: Small Business Owners Need Support! I want everyone who works for The Wonder Jam (myself included) to dig our heels deeper into why we’re here, how we help and share our quirks (the things that make us special).

March 26, 2019
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