A 10-Minute Exercise to Tap Into Your Best Business Asset
Let’s try an experiment.
For just a few moments, visualize your very best client projects and relationships. The ones where you’ve done your most game-changing work. Where you’ve moved the needle—significantly—toward getting your clients what they most want.
Got the picture?
Now open up a clean page, grab a timer and set it for ten minutes.
Then write down as many of your top projects/engagements as you can recall. No need to get fancy, just capture the gist of each one. And when the timer goes off, stop.
Now, take your list and head over to your website. Your task? To find each one of those stories on your website.
Maybe they’re front and center on your services or testimonials page or buried in blog posts. Perhaps they’re built into product offerings or marketing emails.
Dig them all up and keep a running tally by client story. Your best bits might be in multiple places—a testimonial, several blog posts, a few marketing emails, a guest podcast.
If you’ve found multiple hits, you’re in good shape. The more you build those stories into your digital real estate, the easier it is for future clients to bond with you, to join your tribe.
But what if you have the opposite experience: when your client stories—your single biggest asset as a consultant or advisor—are nowhere to be found?
In that case, it’s time to start tapping into your client stories to demonstrate your value in concrete terms.
Start small: pick your best client story and flesh it out, just for yourself at this point. Who was the client? What was the presenting issue? Was that the problem you solved or was that just a symptom of something deeper?
As you work on this, you’ll want to encapsulate the result into a sentence. Don’t worry about how you’ll jazz it up in marketing-speak, just get the results clear. For example:
Took an under-performing team to a superbly-functioning one in eight months, almost doubling their productivity.
Improved portfolio returns by 10% in six months.
Coached a new technology VP from just barely functioning as a leader to confidently leading his team to launch a $30 million new product.
Sourced ten media mentions and two cable interviews over an eight-week campaign for a new healthcare product.
You get the idea.
Once you’ve got one story, take a close look across your marketing to find the right spot for it. It could be the subject of your first “case study” or a blog post or even a series of articles or a video.
What’s the best platform to share the story? Hint: multiple platforms are often the optimal solution.
As you get comfortable sharing, start keeping a short record of your projects and stories (including asking for testimonials when you’ve completed work you’re especially proud of).
Because there’s another value in this exercise beyond attracting new clients.
It’s fuel for you.
It’s a potent reminder of the power of your work to change the lives of those you serve.
And when you can connect all of those dots for your future clients to see, everybody wins.
Top Picks in Asset Allocation
Written b: John Bilton, Head of Global Multi-Asset Strategy, Multi-Asset Solutions
As global growth broadens out and the reflation theme gains traction, the outlook brightens for risky assets
Four times a year, our Multi-Asset Solutions team holds a two-day-long Strategy Summit where senior portfolio managers and strategists discuss the economic and market outlook. After a rigorous examination of a wide range of quantitative and qualitative measures and some spirited debate, the team establishes key themes and determines its current views on asset allocation. Those views will be reflected across multi-asset portfolios managed by the team.
From our most recent summit, held in early March, here are key themes and their macro and asset class implications:
Key themes and their implications
Asset allocation views
For the first time in seven years, we see growing evidence that we may get a more familiar end to this business cycle. After feeling our way through a brave new world of negative rates and “lower for longer,” we’re dusting off the late-cycle playbook and familiarizing ourselves once again with the old normal. That is not to say that we see an imminent lurch toward the tail end of the cycle and the inevitable events that follow. Crucially, with growth broadening out and policy tightening only glacially, we see a gradual transition to late cycle and a steady rise in yields that, recent price action suggests, should not scare the horses in the equity markets.
If it all sounds a bit too Goldilocks, it’s worth reflecting that, in the end, this is what policymakers are paid to deliver. While there are persistent event risks in Europe and the policies of the Trump administration remain rather fluid, the underlying pace of economic growth is reassuring and the trajectory of U.S. rate hikes is relatively accommodative by any reasonable measure. So even if stock markets, which have performed robustly so far this year, are perhaps due a pause, our conviction is firming that risk asset markets can continue to deliver throughout 2017.
Economic data so far this year have surprised to the upside in both their level and their breadth. Forward-looking indicators suggest that this period of trend-like global growth can persist through 2017, and risks are more skewed to the upside. The U.S. economy’s mid-cycle phase will likely morph toward late cycle during the year, but there are few signs yet of the late-cycle exuberance that tends to precede a recession. This is keeping the Federal Reserve (Fed) rather restrained, and with three rate hikes on the cards for this year and three more in 2018, it remains plausible that this cycle could set records for its length.
Our asset allocation reflects a growing confidence that economic momentum will broaden out further over the year. We increase conviction in our equity overweight (OW), and while equities may be due a period of consolidation, we see stock markets performing well over 2017. We remain OW U.S. and emerging market equity, and increase our OW to Japanese stocks, which have attractive earnings momentum; we also upgrade Asia Pacific ex-Japan equity to OW given the better data from China. European equity, while cheap, is exposed to risks around the French election, so for now we keep our neutral stance. UK stocks are our sole underweight (UW), as we expect support from the weak pound to be increasingly dominated by the economic challenges of Brexit. On balance, diversification broadly across regions is our favored way to reflect an equity OW in today’s more upbeat global environment.
With Fed hikes on the horizon, we are hardening our UW stance on duration, but, to be clear, we think that fears of a sharp rise in yields are wide of the mark. Instead, a grind higher in global yields, roughly in line with forwards, reasonably reflects the gradually shifting policy environment. In these circumstances, we expect credit to outperform duration, and although high valuations across credit markets are prompting a greater tone of caution, we maintain our OW to credit.
For the U.S. dollar, the offsetting forces of rising U.S. rates and better global growth probably leave the greenback range-bound. Event risks in Europe could see the dollar rise modestly in the short term, but repeating the sharp and broad-based rally of 2014-15 looks unlikely. A more stable dollar and trend-like global growth create a benign backdrop for emerging markets and commodities alike, leading us to close our EM debt UW and maintain a neutral on the commodity complex.
Our portfolio reflects a world of better growth that is progressing toward later cycle. The biggest threats to this would be a sharp rise in the dollar or a political crisis in Europe, while a further increase in corporate confidence or bigger-than-expected fiscal stimulus are upside risks. As we move toward a more “normal” late-cycle phase than we dared hope for a year back, fears over excessive policy tightening snuffing out the cycle will grow. But after several years of coaxing the economy back to health, the Fed, in its current form, will be nothing if not measured..
Learn how to effectively allocate your client’s portfolio here.
This document is a general communication being provided for informational purposes only. It is educational in nature and not designed to be a recommendation for any specific investment product, strategy, plan feature or other purpose. Any examples used are generic, hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. Prior to making any investment or financial decisions, an investor should seek individualized advice from a personal financial, legal, tax and other professional advisors that take into account all of the particular facts and circumstances of an investor’s own situation.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management is the marketing name for the asset management business of JPMorgan Chase & Co and its affiliates worldwide. Copyright 2017 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved.
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