As UpBuild’s Client Discovery Manager, I recently gave a presentation to the UpBuild Team, answering the following questions in order to give them a better understanding of:
- Who is UpBuild’s ideal client?
- How do we serve them?
UpBuild works with B2B SaaS and small-to-mid-sized retail brands.
J.K. It’s complicated.
While we do have a type, we work with a variety of cool folks.
A Few Common Traits
To start off, I can provide a non-exhaustive list of some of the key traits of our ideal client across organization verticals; technical stack and CMS; analytics and tracking; and collaboration elements.
We have specific expertise working with the following verticals:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Business-to-business (B2B)
- Lead generation
- Financial services
- B2B SaaS
- Digital media
- Health systems
Technology Stack & CMS
We are particularly comfortable with clients that use an open-source platform, such as:
Or an open-source framework like Gatsby.
Analytics & Tracking
Our clients most often use:
- Google Analytics
- Google Tag Manager
But wait, is that the whole story? In truth, we work with a whole variety of fantastic folks who may not fit so easily into the above. So let’s take a step back. To get to the root of who our ideal client is, it’s essential to look at why they reach out in the first place.
Why Do Prospects Reach Out?
Client Discovery conversations most often begin in “Inflection Point Land”, i.e., something changed or is about to change.
Because no clients are sitting around looking for a digital partner to fill their headspace, inbox, and time. For better or worse, folks are busy, you know, doing their jobs.
“I sure wish that I had another outside vendor to manage and more tasks to complete to fill my time.”– None of our prospects, ever.
SEO Inflection Points
In our prospects’ worlds, these are the most common SEO inflection points that bring them into our inbox:
- New site launches or redesigns
- Seeing a downturn in key metrics
- Unhappy with their current partner
- Launching new initiatives
- Targeting new goals
- New to an organization
You Can’t Judge a Lead by Their Form Submission
While we are privileged to work with an abundance of savvy marketers, they often need help defining their technical marketing goals and needs.
Here are some examples of lead forms from actual UpBuild clients, which range from vague to not being something we directly offer:
What are you hoping we can accomplish together?
“We’re looking for an SEO/web analytics partner that provides monthly reporting and recommendations…”
“…I’m looking to partner on improving our organic search volume…”
“…interested in getting some site analytics help.”– Actual form submissions from UpBuild clients
We also come across the double-edged sword of these marketers having worked with ‘typical’ SEO agencies before, so they may assume that we work the same way.
Here’s How We DON’T Work
“I need someone to just do SEO for me.”– A lead who has worked with a ‘typical’ SEO agency
We often refer to this as ‘checking the SEO box’, which is most certainly not our jam at UpBuild and consists of:
- Monthly reporting
- A small bucket of monthly hours
- A siloed work style
- Provide one insight per monthly report and call it a day
Questions & More Questions
The Client Discovery team takes it as a personal challenge to dig into the root of what our prospects need. How do we do this?
Well, we ask all of the questions. We prefer the types of questions that garner more engaged, telling responses.
Basic question with +/- obvious responses:
“What KPIs are you looking to improve?”
Involved questions with +/- telling responses:
“What does your ideal partner bring to the table?”
“How can we make you look like a rockstar?”
“What does a successful engagement look like to you?”
Now that we know what they need…
So let’s fast forward. We’ve mutually decided to begin a partnership! Woo hoo! Now that we have a better understanding of what they need, how do we take all of this information and use it to serve them?
Step 1: Let’s MAKE SURE we know what they need.
Things change. Priorities change. Resources change. So it’s up to us to learn about all of those changes so that we can be the best partner.
Our most successful clients are without a doubt the ones who talk to us the most. We will continue to ask questions, not just during the kickoff call but pretty much constantly, questions such as:
- Any new priorities?
- What do you have planned?
- What does your boss care about?
- How can we make your life easier?
- What metrics do we need to care about the most?
- How can we take more off your plate?
- What does a successful engagement look like?
- What do your [content/development/marketing] resources look like over the next X months?
- How are leads? Revenue?
- How can we make you look like a rockstar?
Step 2: Let’s change course to meet those needs.
We always say that an UpBuild engagement plan is “written in code, not in stone”. And so are all of the critical elements of an engagement, including the way we:
- Share wins,
- Structure deliverables,
- And pretty much anything UpBuildy we do.
The fantastic thing here is that UpBuild is designed to be agile because at our very core structure, Senior Marketing Strategists have 4 clients each maximum! This allows our team to think about how better to meet needs and everything in between, not just crank out strategies week after week. Our Strategists know that a terribly clever deliverable has no value if it isn’t actually implemented.
Step 3: Let’s celebrate our successes together.
This step is so often overlooked! When folks get heads down actually ‘doing the work’, it can be easy to forget to check in on and tout the progress that we have made with our clients.
- What can our client tell their boss?
- What metrics can they point to?
- What wins have we celebrated together?
- Does our plan still make sense for what our client cares about in X week, X month, X year?
So Who Is UpBuild’s Ideal Client?
Let’s get back to the initial question: who is UpBuild’s ideal client? And to answer that question, I think we first need to ask “who is UpBuild?”.
Who Is UpBuild? A Keyword-Focused Definition
Let’s start with our basic keyword-focused definition:
UpBuild is an SEO and analytics agency.
We do cool things like:
But the actual value we provide is because…
We solve technical marketing problems.
Who Is UpBuild? A Value-Add Definition
So let’s try this another way.
UpBuild is a team of technical marketing problem-solvers for hire.
Who is UpBuild’s Ideal Client? A Haiku
Knowing what we know
About their digital needs
Can we add value?