Clients Success Stories
Here are some examples of our Client Success Stories
Carol Benton - A successful Corporate Escapee
Carol Benton was ready for a change. Much as she liked her corporate sales leadership role, she found the demands of constant travel, never being offline and ever escalating expectations clashed with spending time with her family. “I knew that in the blink of an eye, my teenage children would be grown and gone” she says, “and I wanted to make the most of being with them while I could”.
Carol took a deep breath, and jumped, leaving the company where she had worked for 30 years. Although her initial plan was to look for another corporate role, she became increasingly aware of the desire to take a completely different path and work for herself. She knew had some skills that might be marketable, but beyond that, she had no idea of what to do or how to start. Her corporate life had left her very sheltered when it came to the skills of starting a business and building a brand.
How Social Star Helped
Carol approached Andrew Ford for help – she had engaged Social Star in the past and knew their strengths in personal branding. Andrew suggested his ‘Launch in 12 weeks course’, designed for people exactly like Carol, who wanted to start a business, but weren’t sure how. Run as a 3 hour session each week, the course has three parts - Understand, Build, Leverage – and takes the format of lectures (by Andrew and guest speakers), practical exercises and group discussion. “The most challenging part was Understand”, says Carol, “working out exactly what your business is going to offer, to whom, and why”. She goes on “once I had that part worked out, the Build and Leverage steps were the practicalities of getting the business up and running”
The stated goal of ‘Launch in 12 weeks’ is for participants to have their first customer by the end of the course. “I signed my first customer 3 days after finishing the course”, says Carol “so I guess I graduated with honours !” Now Carol has a growing business that has already exceeded her expectations – it has achieved its first year financial target in 9 months, has a raft of customer testimonials, and a broad base of clients across Australia. Carol is excited by her business’ potential and loves the change in lifestyle it has given her; “I’m doing something I’m really passionate about, I’m working to my own agenda and I’m learning every day”, she says. “Having my own business is better than I could have imagined, and I can honestly say that Launch in 12 weeks is the best business course I have ever taken. It has literally helped me to change my life”.
- Structure – “Having a framework to help shape my thinking and my actions was invaluable”
- Accountability – “When you know that each week, your cohort will ask you about your progress, you make sure you’ve made some!”
- Ongoing support - “The Alumni Group, with its lectures, discussions and group forum, as well as Social Star's ongoing support & guidance mean that there is advice as I take my next steps”
To see more of Carol's digital assets click the buttons below
Lifecare Australia - Leaders in Sports Medicine
LifeCare is Australia's largest provider of physiotherapy and sports medicine, with 29 practices and over 350 health professionals, from east coast to west.
One size doesn't fit all
Marketing is important to LifeCare’s business strategy, but they were struggling with where best to spend their limited budget. Given their size and profile, they were heavily targeted by companies looking to sell marketing services; they did dabble with radio and TV advertising, but without much success. “I got really fed up with so-called experts telling me what to do” explained Cameron Tweedie of LifeCare, “when we already knew it didn’t work, and it was clear that they were pushing a ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing. They couldn’t seem to differentiate between selling consumer goods and selling professional services”.
Expertise, Tailoring And Rationale
Lifecare was introduced to Andrew Ford & Social Star and, as Cameron puts it “within half an hour we knew we’d found someone who really ‘got’ our business. Social Star understands that selling professional services is about repeat business, referrals, trust and personal relationships”. They were impressed with Andrew’s deep knowledge and experience of social media platforms, and even more so with his ability to explain why and how they could be used. “We physios are smart people”, says Cameron, “who are trained to be logical, and to deal with rationale. So we loved the fact that Andrew explained the social media and technology strategy, rather simply telling us what to do”.
Social Star worked with LifeCare to identify the three activities that would have the biggest impact on their marketing, and then helped them build the technology platforms to ensure not only a smooth implementation, but that LifeCare would be able to support and manage them in the future.
- Centre based websites – LifeCare had previously only had a national website, but with a federated structure, with each state running independently, there had long been a requirement for much more local information. “Social Star understood the importance of a user-friendly web platform, so that the practices could manage updates themselves”, says Cameron. “This was another of the big differences that made them such a good fit for our business”.
Social Star managed URL naming strategy, design, construction, rollout and training; meeting individual practice staff and owners to understand their unique characteristics – from encouraging a tech savvy centre owner to harness his love of making videos and video blogs to tailoring the process and structure for those who struggle with a Smartphone.
- Specialist URL strategy – LifeCare had the opportunity to purchase some specialist URLs, but little idea of how to gain maximum long term benefit from them. Andrew coached LifeCare through the purchase of over 100 URLs, incorporated them into LifeCare’s marketing strategy and built tailored landing pages for each of them.
- Website updates – Andrew provided advice on how tender for ongoing web services and how to judge the responses.
Cameron is unequivocal about the benefit that working with Andrew and Social Star has brought to his business: “Andrew has enabled us to do things we never could have done without him. We’ve had a huge increase in the number of people who come to us and say they found us through the website”, he says. “We have a unified approach with our web presence, and we are managing our e-marketing efficiently, on our terms, in a way that suits our business”.
Andrew has helped LifeCare to keep their marketing as healthy as they keep their patients.
- Social Star really understands the marketing dynamics of different businesses.
- Social Star understands the different elements of marketing and how they interact, and can communicate them clearly to non-experts.
- We were always 100% confident that Andrew would recommend the right marketing approach for our business. He doesn’t believe ‘one size fits all’, he tailors a solution to fit our exact requirements and most importantly of all, can explain the reasons behind his recommendations.
MSCC - Medical innovators needing a strong identity
The Melbourne Stem Cell Centre (MSCC) was founded to offer stem cell medicine as a treatment for musculo-skeletal conditions such as osteo-arthritis.
MSCC was set up by a team of sports medicine doctors specialising in regenerative medicine, in partnership with Magellan Stem Cells, who – through their laboratory facility at Monash University - provide assessment of the harvested stem cells, which the doctors use to treat the affected joint.
Michael Kenihan provides business consulting advice to MSCC on the disciplines of running a successful sports medicine practice. “I have many years’ of experience of managing an established multi-discipline sports medicine group”, says Michael, “and I know just how very important it is to build a strong brand, especially for a newly established organisation. I knew that MSCC would need specialist help in this area, and I also knew that there was no-one better to offer it than Social Star”.
Michael had worked with Andrew Ford & Social Star previously and felt 100% confident that he would be able to help MSCC with their branding and marketing. Andrew met with Michael and MSCC and his recommendation for the top three priorities was:
• Redesign the websites for MSCC and Magellan
• An effective operational patient database, which could be used to capture patient details and manage communication
• Building a plan for social media marketing and advertising.
“Like anything”, says Michael, “those who know how to do it make it seem very straightforward. Andrew and his team at Social Star brought not only the ideas, but a clear structure and rationale for the way forward. What I would call ‘nouse’”.
Social Star did the work to set up the website, build a customer database with automated mailing and lay out a content plan for social media marketing. It was essential that after the setup was complete, MSCC should be able to manage key tasks themselves – including managing client responses, and making individual updates. Andrew built the system with this firmly in mind, and although he does provide ongoing consulting, the day to day tasks can be managed from within the practice.
MSCC have been delighted with the difference Social Star’s work has made. The website has a better presence with search engines, and communication is organised and efficient. The communication system had a baptism of fire when MSCC was featured on the front page of the Herald Sun and Channel 7 news. “As you can imagine, publicity like that elicited a tremendous number of enquiries”, says Michael. “We were able to prepare and automate our responses, and importantly turn those leads into patients. There is no doubt that the work done by Social Star has increased the throughput of the business”.
No longer are marketing activities disjointed and done ‘on the fly’ – MSCC now has a clear plan and the knowledge and systems to execute that plan effectively, something they firmly believe they could not have done on their own. “We’re doctors”, concludes Michael, “we’re great at fixing your body, just not too hot on building a brand. The great thing is that we recognise this and weren’t shy about bringing in expert help”.
- Communication – Andrew doesn’t just suggest something, he explains why it is the best approach.
- Industry understanding – Andrew very quickly got to grips with our industry, our unique set of requirements. His solution was built specifically for us, rather than being a generic offering.
- Ease of working – Andrew and his team were great to work with, understood us and were always available when we needed them.
Lisa Middleton - Advanced Sports Dietitian
Lisa came to us with the ambition to start her own business. Having worked in a large company for over a decade, she found it challenging to kickstart her business with a stable client base.
After understanding her goals and direction, we helped her build a personal website and LinkedIn profile.
We also provided coaching on how to blog on LinkedIn and grow her connections. Through educating her connections about nutrition and positioning herself as the authority, she has managed to attract more business.
Cameron Kealy - Migraine Expert
Over the past years, we have worked hand in hand with Cameron to bring his brilliant vision to digital and real migraine prevention solutions to clients suffering from this debilitating illness to life.
Our process started with his personal brand, including professional photography & biography and rebuilt his personal social media focussing on LinkedIn to reinforce his credibility. We also reviewed and updated his Facebook, Twitter and other social media with new photos, banners and content.
Once we had his brand in place we began creating the business strategy, products and pricing. We built his brand with a new logo, website, Facebook, Google Plus and brochures to communicate the value and then brought his new solution to the world with some sponsorships, content, information events and some advertising solutions.