3 months into project

How We Helped a Danish Branding Studio to Expand Beyond their Traditional Way of Building Business

Our team worked with Heavy™ a design-duo from Copenhagen to help them add an additional method to acquire clients beyond traditional networking which they were already doing. To achieve this while aligning with their philosophy we leveraged LinkedIn outreach.

Industry: Agency (Branding)

Country: Denmark

Target Audience: Deep Tech

Company Size: 1-10

Industry: Agency (Branding)

Country: Denmark

Target Audience: Deep Tech

Company Size: 1-10

About Heavy™

Heavy™ is led by the design duo formed from Phong Phan and Robert Nagy. Together, they help translate strategy into design to launch new brands, evolve existing ones, or give a fresh face through relaunches.

They bring their experience of more than a decade in creative agencies, mixed with the flexibility of a freelance team to be the Swiss (Danish) Army knife for branding & design with a new focus on Deep Tech startups who need to simplify technical complexity and connect with their target audience on a human-level.

Client Challenges

When Robert & Phong were introduced to us, they had previously gained all of their business from in-person networking in the Danish market. Over 10+ years they had worked mostly with their local market, and were keen to discover a new way of building business and expanding internationally. They were excited to find a new focus for their agency and be able to craft a niche that they could own.

In addition, they also had ethical considerations that were very important to them – they needed a way to build new business that positioned them as an ethical provider willing to help through their expertise, rather than much of what happens in cold outreach where people are being pitched, spammed, and annoyed.

The final challenge was that Heavy™ also wanted to access more exciting design projects, about products that could have a real, significant impact on our world.

Our Solution

1. Initial Repositioning through our NPOT Methodology™

Since Heavy™ was seeking a way to reposition themselves, our work began by looking at their agency through our NPOT Methodology™. Here’s what our consulting session came up with initially:

  • Since Heavy™ wanted to focus on more impactful work, we recommended that they pursue tech startups as a general niche – these products are always looking to change the world, which gives a big impact to the work done by a design studio.
  • As Heavy™ was looking to build sustainable revenue fast, the best path of getting a lot of work in a sustainable way would be to develop strategic partnerships with other providers who work with tech startups, such as consultants, advisors, VC firms or incubators. This led to a decision to shift a majority of the outreach effort towards strategic partnerships and the remaining towards startups themselves.
  • Given the budget requirements Heavy™ was looking for, we decided that it’s best that most of the effort goes towards funded startups who have raised at least their Series A round.
  • By analyzing the target market we also determined that the biggest issue most startups have is working with a design team that understands how to connect design work with fulfilling business objectives, so this would become the core of our messaging.

In light of market feedback though, Heavy™ quickly realized by the middle of the second month that their expertise and talents will best serve the Deep Tech market specifically, rather than all sorts of tech startups, where complex product features have to be simplified into what they mean for the end consumer, and the value of design is the highest, which led to another shift in positioning. This also aligned perfectly with Heavy’s™ interest in getting more exciting projects.

2. We Crafted a LinkedIn Sequence to Communicate Heavy’s™ renewed Positioning

Using the differentiation we helped Heavy™ create through the NPOT Methodology™, our team of pro copywriters created a sequence aimed at starting & building relationships based on the unique angle we crafted in our consulting with Heavy™.

The key here were several tactics that we used:

  • We decided to go for a contextual connection message, that provided a reason for connecting based on the person’s profile being recommended in LinkedIn as a 2nd degree connection and Heavy™’s desire to expand their network in the startup ecosystem outside of Denmark. This would help stand out rather than mix in the sea of similar connection requests and magnify connection acceptance rate.
  • To quickly build authority, we leveraged the name of some of the biggest tech startups that Heavy™ had done work for in the past and some of their previous awards – this would cement them as a company with a strong network in the space, and encourage prospects to look deeper into the value they could add.
  • Instead of pitching, we relied on a very soft approach that would explore for possible problems that Heavy™ could help tech startups solve.

All of this blended really well with Robert & Phong’s brand – a non-aggressive approach based on proving your value & demonstrating industry expertise, instead of trying to aggressively sell.

3. We Built Hand-Picked & Quality Scored Contact Lists

Since Sales Navigator usually serves leads that aren’t a good match for your targeting on pages 5+, we had to design a solution that gathered company data from 8+ different sources, and then combined them through quality scoring.

What we mean by quality scoring is that we assign factors, for example “Location = London” a factor of 2, and location outside of London a factor of 1. This takes into account for example that London-based companies are likely to be better funded than companies outside of London.

In this case, we assigned a much higher factor to the top 13 startup hubs in Europe to favor startups or strategic partners with a location that indicated they would have access to much bigger funding.

We did the same for all other search criteria, and then added up the scores to produce a global quality score for the lead. We are able to then sort through the data in a scientific way and order the list from the best leads to the worst. Then someone from our team would manually check the lists and eliminate anyone who wasn’t a fit.

Different databases also enabled us to access the funding status of startups, which meant we could give preference to tech companies who have raised at least their Series A over other tech startups, and in turn produce a list of companies that were looking to connect with businesses like Heavy’s™.

As a result, we produced 96%+ quality leads for Heavy™. If we had relied just on Sales Navigator data, we would have ended up with 30% or less quality leads.

4. We Provided Heavy™ With Guidance in Setting up a CRM and Response Templates

One of the challenges of handling a high volume of new connections in your pipeline is being able to keep track of everything that happens. Since this was going to become a new channel for acquiring business for Heavy™ we wanted to make sure they had everything required to get the most out of it.

To this end, we shared our 1-click install CRM with them, and provided them with a way to transfer prospects from LinkedIn to the CRM with just 1-click. The CRM then enabled them to take notes on each prospect, and to set follow-ups so they would never forget what the next action is to move someone forward through their sales process.

We also walked them through the process of producing response templates based on where someone responded in the LinkedIn sequence.

This ensured that as the leads would come through, they could quickly respond and move the conversation forward, so they wouldn’t have to spend more than a few minutes answering new conversations.

5. Starting Outreach & Optimizing

Using the target audience and campaigns designed we began outreach. We quickly observed that Heavy™ did much better with startups that were technology-heavy, and this led to narrowing down the focus on the Deep Tech niche. In addition, we also noticed much better response rates from Seed-level startups, so a bigger focused shifted in that direction.

This enabled us to focus on the subsegments of the market that obtained the best results and further personalize the sequence for their needs.

6. We Provided Comprehensive Sales & Business Training through our Learning Platform

To provide further support to Heavy™, we gave them full access to our learning platform and guidance on adjusting their sales processes.

This enabled them to build new business quickly.

As part of our help in this regard we provided:

  • Our Selling Through Conversation™ Framework to enable them to book meetings with the people we initiated conversations with.
  • Access to scripts and templates, as well as comprehensive sales training to enable them to move prospects down the pipeline.
  • Training in our NPOT Methodology™ and business growth frameworks to enable scaling the team & internal organization as needed to accommodate growth.

 

Project Results

By the end of their first 3 months with us, Heavy™ secured a strategic partnership and a project with one of our prospects which turned into a long-term collaboration and provided the stability that they were initially looking for and proof of concept that this non-traditional method of growth works.

As can be seen from the testimonial, they described the results as “overwhelming”, in a positive way. It enabled them to secure clients outside of Denmark, and expand the business internationally, in a non-aggressive way that fit with their brand philosophy. More importantly, it gave them the needed help to begin crafting a much stronger and more focused positioning strategy around Deep Tech and helped them connect with partners who could help make this vision a reality.

Having access to more challenging projects in high-impact areas was also one of the goals that was achieved.

“[By month 3 the results are] overwhelming. We never had such an interesting look into potential work that we have right now. We’ve landed a client with the system that we’re working with right now. We’ve had some great meetings with people who are interested in working with us later this year. I can’t wait to see what this will look like in a year”
Robert Nagy
Founding Partner
Heavy™ • Copenhagen, Denmark

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