In This Episode:
- Why SuperScript Marketing founder Anna Wolf started her niche content marketing agency aimed at the financial service industry
- How learning search engine optimization led to major growth—and a focus on productized service
- What prompted Anna to become obsessed with building sustainable structures & systems for her agency
- How focusing on SuperScript’s core competency gave Anna a framework for pursuing growth
What does your business need to be able to do really, really well in order to thrive?
The answer to that question is your business’s core competency—or one of its core competencies.
Your core competency is the key capability your business has or a key promise that it makes that differentiates your business from others offering similar products or services.
And knowing your core competency is a key way to build both opportunity and capacity into your business—which in turn, makes it more sustainable.
This month, we’re taking a closer look at how business owners spot opportunities and choose to pursue them.
Now, I know “core competency” sounds like a jargony management consultant phrase. And that’s because it is. But it really is such a useful concept.
When you know the core competencies of your business, you can invest your time, energy, and even money, into the systems and structures that are going to allow you to make sure that aspect of your business works as well as it possibly can. When that aspect of your business is working as well as it possibly can, it helps to differentiate what your business does and how it serves its clients or customers—which then helps you position the business, attract your perfect-fit customers, and set your prices sustainably.
Let me give you an example.
At What Works, our core competency is built on community-building.
But we actually get more specific than that. Our core competency is actually how we create conversation to foster learning inside of our community. We do that a few ways: a weekly member-only newsletter, weekly events, and weekly check-ins & conversation-start questions.
We also do it through this podcast—which, even though it’s free & publicly available—is still a key part of the conversations we start & nurture inside the private network.
A few years ago, we realized that, while we had systems in place for scheduling events, planning community content, and producing the podcast, all of those systems were siloed–disjointed. Despite the fact that they were doing VERY similiar jobs, these systems didn’t play nicely together and they weren’t managed in the same place.
So we made a change.
We brought together every single aspect of conversation-starting we do at What Works into a single database.
Today, you can find the procedures for creating an event, managing our newsletters, or producing the podcast all in one place. Everyone on the team knows what’s happening from day to day–because it’s all right there.
Each aspect of our conversation-starting content is designed to work together cohesively, as are the logistics behind each aspect.
Investing in this core competency hasn’t just made the business easier and more efficient to run—although that’s important. It’s also made our member experience better, the culture of our community stronger, and the conversations we start that much richer. But this core competency also powers how we position & market the business, as well as how our sales process works.
In other words, our core competency gives us a big leg up on creating operational sustainability, financial sustainability, as well as personal & social sustainability.
And that’s the thing about investing in your core competency. It’s not just an opportunity to make an aspect of the business work better—it’s an opportunity to make the whole business more sustainable.
This week, as we continue our series on opportunity, keep this idea in mind because my guest has fantastic example of this at work.
Anna Wolf is the founder of SuperScript Marketing, a content marketing agency serving financial brands and professionals. Anna’s story can be told through a series identifying core competencies as opportunities.
First, she identified as personal core competency and pursued that. Then, she identified a new capability—and core competency—the agency could use to make their work more impactful. And then finally, Anna focused on an overarching core competency that’s empowered her to make her company much, much stronger across the board.
Anna and I talk about how she got into content marketing for the financial sector in the first place and how freelancing turned into an agency that, eventually, focused on productized services. We also talk about how getting obsessed with systems & processes helped her to clarify the agency’s key core competency—and the operational shifts that have come with it.
Now, let’s find out What Works for Anna Wolf!