Nine years ago, Michael Georgiou created an app development company called Imaginovation with his brother in law. At the time Michael and his brother in law came up with the plan for Imaginovation, Michael had recently completed graduate school and was going on seven months of unemployment.
Now, Imaginovation has transformed into a 7 figure, award-winning company, and Michael says the real school was starting his own business. In an industry like app development, which is so saturated and difficult to thrive in, Michael says he owes much of Imaginovation’s success to finding a way to stand out by forming meaningful connections with potential clients. Now he shares his One Big Tip for anyone looking to do the same.
Michael’s One Big Tip for bringing in clients is all about telling a great story, because this is where real connections are made. “In essence, we all can be storytellers,” he says. When making a pitch to a potential client, you should start by asking them about themselves and why they do what they do. The first step to creating a strong connection with someone is to listen and hear what they have to say. From there, you can find opportunities to connect with them. Share your own story in a way that relates to them and tell them about who you are, what your company does, and how you can provide value for them.
Michael says it’s important to let your personality and character drive the meeting, especially because many people’s trust in business is dwindling– it seems at times that business is too money-focused and lacks a real human connection. That’s where you can make your company truly stand out: by showing up with that human element that so many others are missing. “Find a way to bring the human element to the pitch, and the connection completely changes,” Michael says.
Each time a client chooses Imaginovation, Michael asks what sealed the deal for them, and the answer is often the same: the connection was strong and the human element was there. “At the end of the day, people are going to invest in people,” he says. “They’re going to want to work with someone they can share their journey with.” The key to being someone that people want to work with is being honest, open, real, and having the right intentions and motives behind what you’re doing and how you talk to people. Even when you’re not making a pitch, storytelling can be an important part of defining your personal brand and making connections within your industry.
If you know and can tell others who you are, what you do, what your purpose is, and how you want to impact others, you’ll be able to make connections and build relationships easily. But you always have to be honest; let go of your fear of vulnerability and allow yourself to share your experiences in a way that will help you relate to other people and vice versa. Michael says he does this on his podcast, Tales from the Pros. When his guests share their stories, struggles, and successes, he can nearly always find a way to connect with what they’re saying. Being honest in this way is a key part of building trust, and Michael says business is all about trust– “Without trust you have nothing.”