ZenBilly is my pseudonym. This factoid has not been previously published or acknowledged in any of my writings. What started me on this path was a strange phenomena from my youth. I don't have a marketing degree - admitted. But I had a "need to eat and pay my bills" drive that lit a fire in me to learn how to support my firm, and my employees with continuing projects and income. Necessity is indeed the mother.
Not having a marketing plan or other more formal strategies or devices, I just did all the things I saw others doing, but each time trying to better my competition - joining more associations, attending more seminars and conventions, speaking publicly and more often about what I did, sending more direct mail and engaging cutting edge paid advertising which was something no one was doing at the time. Honestly, I did more in order to make up for not knowing which one would work or how any of it might help. I just figured that if a little was helpful, then a lot should be very helpful.
Here is the Marketing Karma part of the story. While I couldn't pin point any one or two things I did that helped my business, somehow it all helped. I called on many, many client prospects, I sent mailers and photos of our wonderful work. Of course, a few responded but most of the time they either didn't respond or gave me that diagonal nod that's neither a yes or a no. However, others that I hadn't contacted at all did call and my business inexplicably grew in volume and reputation as experts in the field(s) I promoted. The phone was ringing off the hook. Soon, folks that I had called on the year before, started calling and complete strangers from other cities who saw my repeated advertising began called. It was as if in answer to my marketing prayers, I was getting the response I needed to not only keep my business alive but to actually grow my business to unexpected levels.
I had tapped into a big ball of self-created karmatic synergy. It was a "what goes around, comes around" type force. It was intangible. It was nothing I could touch or define except by way of the results of my personal energy and motion in a positive direction that yielded tangible results. That's where ZenBilly comes in.
ZenBilly learned to tap this intangible source. I experimented with counting and measuring the results. I learned what resonated with my clients and prospects. I could see in their requests what elements I had promoted that caused the phone to ring. I found that when I touched a nerve of desire, I could begin to elevate my fees out of commodity levels - especially if I stayed creatively ahead of my competition with ideas and results.
In today's terms, I had created a Brand. And a brand is a powerful force. But it is as fragile as it is powerful. Karmatic synergy must be fed. It is fed with your firms energy and creativity and then it provides energy and creativity back to the source. This force, however is not a circular force always returning to the beginning, it is more like a spiraling force that pushes one along in an exponential manner, first 1x, the 2x, then 4x then 8x. Likewise, the spiral will push it's energy source forward forcing a greater and greater level of engagement and action.
Someone once told me that in business, we are either growing or dying. It is virtually impossible to stay flat and to try to compress that spiraling energy back into a circle. It will wither and die as we tell ourselves we are now too busy to market, to prospect, to grow our relationships like we did in the past. ZenBilly learned the importance of marketing when he was the busiest, when he was cash flush and ahead of the spiral. The force taught me to survive downcycles and market shifts. The force is a teacher of hard and wonderful lessons.
Truthfully, only you can create and build your own Karmatic Synergy force. But if you need a jump-start or even just a little encouragement give me a call, let's talk.
William M. Burwell is a retired Architect and Interior Designer whose career focused on corporate interior architecture in sole proprietorships, and partnerships from 9 to 120 staff. Bill retired in 2014 and began Burwell Consulting a Firm Marketing and Management Consulting firm, to share the wisdom and experience of those 45 years. Bill writes articles sharing his experience in four keystone practice areas: Marketing, Design, Project Management and Practice Management. He graduated from the University of Houston College of Architecture in 1971 and now serves the College on the Dean's Committee on Excellence. Check him out at www.burwell-consulting.com