Allan Corfield was nearly £30,000 in debt when he lost his job as an architect.
He didn’t need to be in such a big hole, but the way he tells it he was young and irresponsible.
He’d just got back from Vegas with his mates when his weeping boss told him he was making him and his colleagues redundant. There was no chance of him finding another job. The recession had hit and there were no architect jobs being advertised in the whole of Europe.
Allan did the only thing he could think of. He set up in business. As an architect.
In his first year he worked on one project. And he reckons that was a “pity job”.
But he did eventually get his business off the ground. At first it was just him and his business grew slowly through networking and word of mouth. What completely transformed things was when he started to get serious about marketing.
He analysed his competition and found:
- No-one had a niche
- No-one was blogging
- Websites were designed to impress other architects, and NOT with the client in mind.
He spotted an opportunity and he grabbed it with both hands.
Knowing that he would always make the excuse that he “didn’t have time” to write blog posts, he set out to hire someone to do it for him.
Knowing it would take time for anything they did to have an impact, he allowed 18 months to focus on blogging and improving his website. He adopted a long-term content marketing strategy.
He decided on his niche – people who wanted to build their own homes – and set about targeting them in a multitude of ways, including creating a very swish looking downloadable resource – An Introduction to Self Building.
And everyone that downloads this guide gets a series of welcome emails and an introduction to his blog. The blog answers common questions his potential customers would typically ask.
He also speaks regularly at industry events, which generates around 3 leads for every show he speaks at.
Allan tracked everything they did using Google Analytics so he knows that in 2014 his website generated 2 leads per month.
Now, in 2018, it provides him with 10 leads a month, and the leads are better qualified so they’re much more likely to become customers. (They’re better qualified because they’ve read his blog posts and they’ve already had a lot of their questions answered.)
What else has happened in his business?
- His turnover is up 136% since he started content marketing.
- He has a team of six with a plan to grow to 12 staff over the next year.
- He has £426k of secured work and £500k of proposals out with prospective clients.
- And he has a 6 to 8-week waiting list to work with him. This is not a normal situation for an architect!
Allan Corfield is living proof that if you target your perfect customer, and pick one or two good ways to reach them and work on doing those extremely well…
You can transform your business.
But it can’t be half-hearted. You have to do it consistently.
Allan put in place the “They Ask, You Answer” strategy before Marcus Sheridan had even written the book. And it paid off massively.
I heard his story at CMA Live 18 – he was one of the speakers.
What was interesting was that he was a little embarrassed that he’d managed to do all of this without video. The next obvious step for him is to create a series of videos based on his existing blog content.
And no doubt he has that in his plan.
Content marketing can give you some quick wins. There’s the email that gets an old customer to pick up the phone or the blog post that hits a nerve and triggers an influx of leads. But most of the time it’s a long-term strategy and the sooner you start, the sooner you get results.
If you’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, and you know you need help to get started, get in touch here