Get branded: Brands are supposed to evoke emotion and sell exclusivity. The more exclusive you are, the more people will follow you, the more you can grow yourself and your company. I had a client in a very niche industry that sells exclusive handmade products. It was my job to position this brand and generate sales for them. I started to rent a boat, booked a model and made exclusive materials to promote on their socials. That’s called branded by exclusivity.
As part of my series about the “How To Take Your Company From Good To Great”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Didier Rooms.
Didier Rooms is a serial entrepreneur with a main focus on branding — Social media and Google marketing. He has business interests in over 3 continents .
Didier Rooms has been described as a true innovator in his industries. He created a B2B matching platform “Experts at Expo” where businesses can meet during expo 2020 Dubai.
He is also founder of ADD-Design, a leading digital marketing agency based in Belgium, Europe.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I came out of a mid class family without focus on sharping my skills. I loved playing soccer, in fact it was the only thing I was good at. After graduated school, I started my career as a salesman in exclusive lighting. In that time I have read literary thousand of books, attended hundreds of seminaries and listened thousand of hours podcasts. I realized that I would do something different with my life, so I started my first business in creating websites, and online marketing. My power was to become a leading architect in my industry, get all the clients that I want, buy my dream house, my dream car and become a global entrepreneur. The goals were set and it was now time to build the principles and strategies to achieve these goals.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
When I told my closed family and friends that I want to quit my job and became an entrepreneur I didn’t get any support. I have been smeared, extorted, lied to, taken advantage of, hurt, ignored and discarded. I kept pushing through because failure is not an option and is nothing more than an illusion. I could achieve this because I always kept my goals in mind.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
In the beginning I was so happy with my first signed client that I was forgotten to charge the VAT. I learned that a good paperwork is necessary to continue. You can not build an empire without focusing on your numbers and results.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
How you change is how you succeed. You always have to adapt yourself and your company to the changing market, audience, competitors and the local cultures. That’s why companies abroad love to work with us. Covid had a global impact in many industries and it was my role as a leader in my industry to find new digital opportunities for our clients in this unpredictable market.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Don’t get too comfortable, don’t stop innovating, don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again, but remain focused on the end result.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My coach, JT Foxx, plays an important role in my journey. JT Foxx is the #1 business coach and he opened my eyes to see more opportunities and situations where I was not aware of, that’s called situational awareness.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The title of this series is “How to take your company from good to great”. Let’s start with defining our terms. How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?
As a ‘great’ company you need to plant seeds for the future and make more decisions on a long term because the much more decisions you can make on the long term, the greater your changes of success will be.
I notice that ‘good’ companies are mostly businesses which are getting too comfortable if they have a returning revenue, enough clients and don’t feel pressure to do better. On the long term they will go out of business, because they have a lack of innovation and focus.
Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Get branded. Brands are supposed to evoke emotion and sell exclusivity. The more exclusive you are, the more people will follow you, the more you can grow yourself and your company. I had a client in a very niche industry that sells exclusive handmade products. It was my job to position this brand and generate sales for them. I started to rent a boat, booked a model and made exclusive materials to promote on their socials. That’s called branded by exclusivity.
- Know your numbers. Empires are build on the long time value of a client. You can’t expect to grow your business to “great” if you don’t know where your clients are coming from, don’t know your sales numbers or want to do everything by yourself. You are only so good as the people you hire. Last I had a conversation with a client that was complaining about a lack of leads. After I went deep and vertical in our conversation I realized that he only made sales from two out of 10. If he had known his numbers, we wouldn’t have a conversation about a lack of leads but more about improving the sales process.
- Fire negative people in your business and your life. If you want to be great in what you are doing, you need people that are charging your energy level all day long. Most of the times if you are reaching certain success, the people around you aren’t happy with your success. That’s why you have to surround yourself with entrepreneurs and people that are on your level and even higher so you don’t get too comfortable. I remember when I had my first signed client, I called my mom to share my achievement. I thought she would be proud on my achievement but the opposite was true.
- Failure is an opportunity. Failure is actually good for you and your business. I don’t know any person who has never failed. You have to take failure and strength your back so you can learn from your mistakes and avoid to make the same failure again and again. My first business was all about failure because I had no direction where to go and how to succeed. I wrote down every mistake that I made and tried to do better the next day. Because of accepting failure I’ am the person that I’ am today.
- Change. I know a lot of entrepreneurs that are complaining about time management. They are doing the same thing over and over again without thinking “How can I be a better person tomorrow?” Questioning yourself was my true game changer and so I started to have everyday a 5 minutes break to think about new opportunities, changes in our industries and generate more sales for our clients and my company. I receive so many new break troughs because of this thought process that I have to prioritize what I have to implement at first, this called Conceptual implementation.
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?
When you start a new business you want to be a game changer in your industry. Strategic thinking is the gateway to innovation and productivity. You have to test everything but make sure you test only one thing at a time, because you will not learn what works and what doesn’t if you are focussing on many things together.
A purpose driven business defines everything by activity. Ask yourself the “How & Why” question. So you can have a better understanding if you are working on the rights things at the time.
Focus on the end result by controlling and enforcing the timelines. A project or business without timelines is being like flying an airplane without a pilot. Set your timeless at the beginning of your project or start of your new business and stick to the plan.
What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?
I would definitely recommend to hire a business coach because they can work on the bigger vision of your business. Also take time for yourself to recharge so you are able to be hyper focused again.
Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?
As a digital leader it is important to think 8 steps ahead. Can you ask yourself for example; How can I generate more leads? But I ask the question; Why should they to business with you? Like I said before it’s all about questioning yourself and know your numbers so you can be ahead of your competitors.
In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
I would definitely say that you have to deal with a lot of haters. Whoever is trying to bring you down is beneath you. I’ am saying this a lot to myself so I stay in my positive mindset. The road to success comes with a lot of haters and If you don’t know how to deal with this people you will create a negative atmosphere and you will lose focus.
As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?
If something in your marketing process is not working, press the reset button and learn from your mistakes. There is no exact science how you can turn more visitors into buyers. Testing Testing Testing is the key to success in marketing.
Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?
It takes a lifetime to build a brand but one client can ruin it all. You have to treat every client on the same level and build your empire on your existing client. If you treat them well and deliver value by focusing on the end result you will build brand loyalty on an organic way.
Community marketing is also something important to build your brand. The most easy way to achieve a community branding is to work with an influencer in your industry. An influencer is very niche and so are their followers. By using influencer marketing you are able to create word of mouth advertising in a digital way.
Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?
Overdeliver your client. When someone is doing business with you they have some expectations. If you are able to do better than what your client is expecting they will talk about It and spread the word about you and your company. Speed of implementation can also be a big game changer to give your customer a WOW experience.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
I remember when I was trying to sign my first client, I did everything to make him sign the contract. I had launched only one product without possibility to up-sell my client. My lesson was to go back to the drawing table to create an eco-system so every type of client can be a potential costumer for me. In the beginning I was only thinking about generating sales and you should be because you need revenue to survive.
I quickly understand if you are not able to disrupt your industry and don’t act and deliver faster and more efficient than your competitor, you won’t be able to build a sustainable business.
Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would create a platform where Start-ups, Good and Great companies can interact and network to learn from their mistakes. A wise man learns from his mistakes, a genius learns from others mistakes.
How can our readers further follow you online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!