Archive for the 'business' Category

by mkeefe on Aug 24th, 2015

5 Fixable Reasons You Fail to Convert Clients

I’ve been thinking of different fun projects, one that stuck is a blog and possible video program that focuses on running a creative studio. This will cover business, clients, technology and all focus on our category of work. While i’m still learning everyday, I want to give back to the community i’m fortunate to be a part of. Please comment, share and provide overall feedback on the topics you’d like to see.

Without further delay, let’s start with the top reasons you’re likely losing out on jobs.

Over the last 10 years of pitching to clients as small as a 1 man shop and as large as fortune 50 companies i’ve learned what works and what most certainly shoots you in the foot. Before we dive in, I just want to mention there are some instances where 1 or even all of these may be okay, but mainly.. they are not!

1. The “instant business card”

You know the scene, you’re at an event or bump into a business owner and immediately think “they need my business card in order to really think of working with me”. Problem is, you immediately come off as pushy and instant sales mode. Rather than push your card, why not talk to them a bit, get to know their current struggles and propose some solutions. Then if the conversation goes well, hand them your card and ask for theirs to follow up. You wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) give every girl your number at the bar, don’t throw your business card around hoping it sticks.

2. Immediately trying to sell

When talking with a prospect your first order of business should not be to sell them (crazy I know, but stay with me). Instead you should listen to what they say, what works, what doesn’t, basically just get a read of the conversation. Then once you have enough information you can propose a plan (practice this) and almost always, you’ll land the sale. If you immediately come in trying to sell, you’ll alienate the prospect, they’ll go on the defensive and its a lose/lose.

3. No work to back up your words

The best salesman in the world will come to a point when they have to show what can be done for a prospect. In web/mobile work this is achieved by showing your portfolio of prior work. However when starting out you likely do not have one. Rather than get frustrated, work to build your portfolio. Start with small projects, use those to get slightly bigger projects and with hard work you’ll have a portfolio that speaks louder than you ever can.

4. The “I’m the best in the world” mentality

Being an expert in your field is awesome, throwing that at prospects however is not always great. The overall goal of an initial sales opportunity is to speak less and listen more. If you plan to ram your ideas and process down the clients throat, then maybe you should sell goods instead of services. While the sales tactics are pretty much identical (we solve a problem), the message needs to be delivered in a non-bragging way.

5. Leaving customers with a “bad taste” in their mouth

This one is a bit different than the other 4, simply because it is very hard to overcome. A reputation is built over years of hard work but can be ruined in one instant. Your goal should be to protect your reputation at all costs, however sometimes a client relationship goes sour. The problem is especially in small business communities, owners know each other and word can spread quick.

There you go, work on your delivery, get that portfolio packed (with quality work), listen more and you’ll most certainly land more jobs.

 

by mkeefe on Apr 24th, 2015

Featured on the Busy Creator Podcast

Last week I had the immense pleasure to be featured on the Busy Creator podcast, hosted by Prescott Perez Fox. Not only did I have the opportunity to speak about the company, technology and general business. I also was able to chat with a longtime e-friend of mine. Prescott and I have been friends for about 10 years, back to our PhotoshopCafe days. It was great catching up with an old friend and being able to share some projects/workflows for PixelBit.

I welcome you to have a listen, share and post your thoughts. This was my first podcast, so I later learned a few audio oddities that i’ll be sure to incorporate, should I be featured on another podcast.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 3.00.15 PM

by mkeefe on Jan 2nd, 2015

A Brief Look Back on 2014

Not sure if it was just me, but it feels like I was just reflecting on 2013. This past year has had some lows and highs, but overall its been a great year. To start, rather than listing out those traditional New Years resolutions (as if a ball dropping marks some reset in productivity or bad habits). I like to take the start of a new year to reflect on the previous accomplishments and setbacks, learn from them and hustle harder in the year to come.

Things Never Go as Planned

Let’s start with what didn’t work or go as planned. I had set a goal of hiring a full time sales person last year, but due in part to timing I decided not to risk it. This was single handily the worst possible idea, we were really busy at year start, saw a lull in the mid-year and thankfully ended off strong. However, had we taken that sales risk, it would have been a much more profitable year. In addition, we let outreach and marketing take a back seat to client demands which in turn contributed to that lull during mid-year. Rather than sit and sulk (no point in that) we took this experience and set aside a plan to expand this year and continue to grow our service and market range.

Key takeaway: Don’t let fear and failure stop you from taking risks.

Focus on the Good

Thanks to amazing opportunities, PixelBit was able to work on and ship some great projects. If you’d like to see more of the work shipped last year, just head on over to our updated website, go ahead, i’ll wait. :) One of our clients had the great fortune to be featured on a TV show focused on bars. In addition, we were able to secure the trademark for PixelBit, which while not groundbreaking is a big step to expanding and validating our brand. We are already working on 2015 and will be sure to post updates. Of course if you want to follow our progress, you can do so on Twitter and Facebook.

Personal Updates

On the personal front I was able to achieve one of my goals, which was to buy a sports car, purely for fun and enjoyment. Not long after buying the car I joined the BMWCCA and was instantly exposed to autocross. I won’t go into many details (I have blog posts for that), but I will say it was an amazing experience. One i’m looking forward to attending in the coming year. In addition to autocross, I am hoping to make some track days.

Additionally, my wife and I finally were able to take some time off and took a road trip to Florida. We spent some days on the road, about a week in Disney, some time with family and then drove back again. It was quite the experience, compared to flying and one i’m excited to do again. Not sure our son enjoyed it as much, but next time we plan to stop more along the way. Hopefully make the trip the fun and the destination the cherry on top.

In all 2014 was a good year. It had personal and professional accomplishments, lots of growth and i’m excited for what 2015 offers. One thing for sure I know I am focusing on this year is family, friends and experiences. Of course i’ll still be working and growing, but money/success/growth isn’t the only thing in life. So, now that i’ve rambled on for a while, how is your reflection on last year?

by mkeefe on Oct 28th, 2014

15 Secrets to Professional Success

The following 15 secrets of professional success are something I live by, its how i’ve continued to grow PixelBit and how we retain amazing relationships with our clients.

Some have been learned through experience and others i’ve adopted from fellow entrepreneurs.

  1. A brand is grown, not built.
  2. Keep your opinions away from your business.
  3. Never stop hustling/growing/learning/experimenting.
  4. Spend less time watching your competition and more time working.
  5. Talk less, listen more.
  6. Talk less, do more!! (show, don’t tell)
  7. Tailor your message (marketing/in-person) for the specific audience.
  8. NEVER agree to something you cannot do.
  9. Image/reputation takes years of hard work to grow and only seconds to ruin.
  10. Always be honest and true to your word.
  11. Never be afraid to talk about what you do, but don’t overdo it.
  12. Make sure all members of your company speak the “voice of the company”.
  13. Hire fast, fire quicker.
  14. NEVER make a client feel less important, years to perfect, but IMPORTANT!
  15. Specialize, don’t generalize.

Bonus secret: Work/growth is important, but don’t forget to live outside of working.

by mkeefe on Dec 31st, 2013

Looking Back on 2013

Well 2013 was certainly packed full of interesting, new, great and sad times. I will touch on the highlights and major events of this year.

From a professional standpoint I was interviewed by VitaminT on mobile and web app development. My company got the opportunity to work on some pretty amazing projects and we recently updated the website to reflect these projects. Some of which included a mobile app for Porsche, an update to the popular Four Stack card game and the beginning of a second screen app for a major broadcaster!

On the personal side of things this year was HUGE! My wife and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. To think 4 years ago we were at a Dane Cook show on a “non-date” and now this year we bought a house together. So blessed to be able to provide a home for my family and see our son make lots of new friends!

I was also able to check off another one of my dreams this year, which was to purchase a motorcycle and got some good riding time in. I was also able to tinker in the garage and installed HID headlights and an exhaust.

The sad times this year was losing my grandfather Frank, he was the one I had so many meaningful business conversations with. I already miss him so much and don’t expect it to get easier any time soon. I was of course blessed to have such a loving wife that jumped in and helped out during that tough time.

All things considered, 2013 was very interesting. I look forward to growing the company, traveling with the family and anything else 2014 has in store for us.

Happy New Year!!

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