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10 Years in Business: Beating the Odds

Tomorrow’s a special day for us at Egg. It’s the day we celebrate being in business for…wait for it…10 years! We’ve beat the odds, and come out better than 96% of small businesses. That’s huge.

Happy 10th Birthday to Egg Marketing

When I wrote my first press release for a client in 2006 (who I found on MySpace Classifieds, by the way), I was looking for a way to make money until my next job. But after a few more projects, I realized: this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to help small businesses who couldn’t afford to hire full-time marketing staff to attract customers. I’m proud to say that we’ve stuck to that mission.

A lot’s changed in 10 years:

  • I finally gave up trying to design my own logo and website. Hooray delegation!
  • It’s not just me turning the wheels of this machine anymore. I now have three amazing writers and one kick-ass editor.
  • We’ve stopped doing PR and focused solely on content and a smattering of social media.

Sage Advice for All Entrepreneurs

I don’t want to write about the lessons I’ve learned in running Egg. I’ve done that. Instead, I want to share advice I plan to follow in the next 10 years of being an entrepreneur (and beyond).

Be Unapologetic About Pricing. I, like many business owners, used to undersell Egg’s services in an effort to secure more. That sucked. As I gradually increased our rates, I would occasionally get some pushback from potential clients. Sometimes I’ll offer a discount if they need a lot of content over time, but in general, I don’t bend. If they can’t afford our services, it’s not a good fit.

Speaking of Pricing, Charge More Than You’re Comfortable. This has always been a challenge for me, but it’s something that has paid off. Whenever I quote a price that makes me squirmy and the client accepts it, I always think, “I should have charged more!”

I’m beginning to know my brand’s worth, and aim to strive to get all clients above a certain threshold. Yes, that might mean losing a few, but if we get a higher rate for the remainder and future clients, it’s all good.

Cut Yourself Some Slack When You Knock Off Early. Sometimes I sit at my desk in the early afternoon with nothing on my plate. My Type A personality tells me to find something to do, perhaps tomorrow’s work. But I’m trying to be more gentle with myself. The work is done. Writing is draining. Plus I start at 7 am or earlier! If I want to take the afternoon off and read or watch old episodes of Coronation Street, why shouldn’t I?

Get Out of Your Bubble…or Embrace It. This is something I’ve striven to achieve for years and have thus far been unsuccessful. I don’t read a lot of marketing or business blogs or books for pleasure, simply because I spend so much time scouring them for research for my content. I’d like to stay on top of industry trends, but I just don’t know if I have it in me.

Keep Delighting Clients. I’ve talked about the gifts I send clients on Egg’s birthday and Christmas before, and I have to say, it’s one of the things that brands Egg nicely. I love the raving feedback my clients give when they receive a special treat, and I have so much fun shopping for them.

Here’s to 10 more years of helping small businesses grow their brands! Happy birthday to us!

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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