The Nitty Gritty

  • Why Maggie of Scoop Studios pivoted from working with online entrepreneurs to local, in-person clients — and how tapping into her existing network made all the difference in finding leads
  • How Maggie’s role within the agency shifted to Director of Sales when her business partner left — and how that impacted the rest of the team structure
  • Who updates standard operating procedures and when
  • Why Maggie only works with clients on engagements six months and longer (hint: healthier cash flow and happier clients!)

Maggie Patterson, Principal of Scoop Studios, recently made a huge pivot in her company. For the first year or so of business, Maggie worked primarily with online business owners. But when she saw that business wasn’t growing and finding leads became increasingly harder, Maggie knew it was time for a shift.

That’s when she decided to stop working with online business owners and instead work with local business owners. The results? She’s getting paid more,  she’s working with her ideal clients, and she’s working with them on a longer basis. “I’m so glad we made that move,” Maggie says.

In this episode of What Works, Maggie shares the process of pivoting her business, growing her team, and setting herself up for success over the long-term.

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Embracing local events to find clients

“I can walk in and be one of the smartest people in the room whereas online there are a lot of smart people. I have a different perspective than everyone else in that room. That enabled me to make a lot of connections quickly and really parlay that into business a couple months later.” — Maggie Patterson

Despite living in a town with a population of 500, a post office, and a pizza place, Maggie found there were more than enough leads right in front of her. But, as an introvert, she had to motivate herself to get in front of them.

“My motto during that time was: every single day, I have to talk to people,” she says. “It’s so easy when we work behind a computer to go an entire day and not connect with people. To not leave our house. To basically hide out and do our thing.”

So as Maggie shifted from working with online businesses to local businesses, she knew she had to look elsewhere for leads. That’s why she started going to the Chamber of Commerce meetings and realized that her next clients were in that room.

Reinvigorating your network

“I spent a lot of time reconnecting with past clients and reconnecting with people I worked with that were in different corporate roles. I was really reinvigorating my network and investing in those people and letting them know that I’m open for business. Because you can’t assume that people know what you’re doing.” — Maggie Patterson

Maggie doesn’t just find leads from going to in-person events. She also reconnects with past colleagues or past clients to let them know: here’s what I’m doing and I’m open for business! Maggie stresses the importance of staying connected with those folks and investing in the connections that already exist. They are a goldmine!

Longer engagements = win

“Longer engagements are easier for us to manage because we aren’t doing the kind of project work where we’re parachuting in and out of someone’s business. There’s always so much context missing. When we’re doing ongoing work, month in and month out, we can provide a better work product. And, ultimately, it’s much easier for me to not be involved on a day-to-day basis for the smart cookies on my team to take that mantle and run with it. That frees up my time to really focus on running the business.” — Maggie Patterson

Scoop Studios’ team does better work on a long-term basis. In fact, they typically only work with clients on a six-month engagement or longer. Plus, they’re paid way more than they were in the online world, “which is very refreshing to me,” Maggie says. “I love getting paid more.”

With that consistent cash flow, baseline expenses are covered — and Maggie’s putting money in the bank. That results in happier team members and a happier Maggie because she doesn’t have to go into savings to cover payroll.

Listen to this episode to hear more from Maggie Patterson on pivoting your clientele, leveling up in your role, and tapping into your existing network to grow your business.

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