How do you know what you are doing is actually making an impact?
This is the question that keeps many entrepreneurs up at night. Impact can mean many things. It can mean a positive impact on the world, a financial impact on your wallet, or a strategic advance for a client. The more creative you become with the work you do, the harder it is to measure your impact. At CatalystCreativ, we have created a new term for ROI, switching it from Return on Investment to Ripple of Impact. We believe that every client we create an experience for has to have a larger ROI in the world, and over the past two years, we have figured out ways to help these clients measure this ROI. Here are four ways we do it that you can apply in your life.
1) Have A Consistent System This is a challenging one, particularly with client facing companies. Each client has completely different objectives and different outcomes, but it's important to stay consistent with the way you provide data. We create case studies which we send to the client after the work we have provided and also publish on our website. The more detailed you can get with matching your results to the initial objectives set by the client, the better you can prove that you have added value.
2) Start with Objectives When providing data, it's really important to talk to your clients and ask them what they want from your services. Each client is completely different. One client's objectives may be for people to be completely present and off their phones at an event, while another is set on everyone tweeting. If you set objectives from the beginning, it allows for you to know when you are going in the right direction and when you stray off course.
3) Get Creative. As noted, systems are important, but sometimes in order to measure the impact you have created, you need to think outside of the box. For our ongoing partner, Downtown Project, we have produced and curated ongoing monthly events for the past two years. This gets fairly difficult to manage in a Google spreadsheet, so we decided to partner with Attendify to engineer an app to make it easier. Not only will our app help facilitate more connections, but it will also measure them in real time. Sometimes a traditional system makes sense as a foundation for your strategy, but to show your value to the client you will have to go above and beyond.
4) Ask for Testimonials. One of the biggest ways we measure our impact is through the testimonials we receive. This can be from attendees of an event we have produced or the actual clients themselves. The more reviews you receive, the more obvious it is that you are doing something right. When we receive thank you notes or thank you videos, or positive feedback to surveys we send out, it is what makes me remember why I started my company in the first place.
It's important to remember that while measuring impact is crucial for success, so is the learning process that comes along with it. It's nearly impossible to get it perfect every time. The more you capture data and the more you learn from your mistakes, the more you can move towards creating a larger ROI - however you define it.