When Chris Schwalbach, founder, and CEO of AVL Growth Partners, a Denver-based fractional CFO firm, first approached Flow Marketing’s founder for help, he wasn't exactly sure what he was looking for. However, he was sure he needed help to market both his personal brand and his company brand. "I didn't have the time to do it well, and I didn't feel that there was enough to do to warrant bringing it in-house." Providing expert advice without having to hire a full-time expert was a dilemma that Schwalbach was already helping others solve through AVL. At the time, AVL was undergoing explosive growth as the first full-stack fractional CFO firm in Colorado. AVL provides highly experienced CFO's to high-growth, early-stage companies who need their experience, but are not quite ready to hire a full-time CFO. These CFOs offer all the services a full-time CFO would provide and fully integrate with the rest of the client's team, but at a fraction of the cost. As a full-stack firm, AVL also provides an experienced support team of accountants and controllers to clients.
Personal and Professional Exposure
Schwalbach had organized his firm using the well-known Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). "I felt like that it was an excellent system, but the opportunities to apply a strong accounting and finance lens to that entrepreneurial operating system were massive." As an experienced CFO himself, Schwalbach thought he could offer a unique perspective and thought leadership by applying that financial lens to EOS. The question was how to get his message out. Andy and the team at Flow Marketing quickly grasped what Schwalbach was trying to accomplish both personally and with his firm. Almost immediately after launching his platforms with Flow's help, he was receiving exposure for his ideas and experiencing platform growth for both his financial take on EOS and the AVL brand.
Driving the Process
As the CEO and the owner of a quickly growing firm, says Schwalbach, "I've got so many things on my mind that owning something else in addition to everything else I owned wasn't going to work." The team at Flow Marketing took immediate ownership over his editorial calendar. They kept the train moving both conceptually and editorially, helping to drive an engaging contact presence and broaden the audience for both Schwalback and AVL. "I felt Flow Marketing owned the calendar," says Schwalbach, "and that was extremely helpful."
Flow Marketing also delivered in terms of efficiency, planning, and executing the kind of work Schwalbach and AVL wanted to do to build their brand. "It seems like a simple thing, but it's not, says Schwalbach. "The right equation is critical. It isn't just about creating ideas and content. It is also about delivering your point of view as effectively as possible." There was the whole concept of branding and how it could be projected in the market. That required knowledge of media that Schwalbach felt he didn't possess, but he says, "I didn't even have to spend an ounce of energy on those areas." Flow Marketing drove the entire process for him and produced results.
Schwalbach says before their relationship with Flow Marketing, neither he nor AVL had done any marketing. The firm was mostly reliant on warm introductions and referrals. The strategy was to leverage content to generate traffic so that he could head into a market with a cold opening, and people would already know about him and AVL. With Flow Marketing's help, the strategy succeeded." Flow Marketing got us moving again," says Schwalbach. "We got out of the starting gate and gained momentum. Without Flow Marketing, that may not have happened." The firm started to build awareness with its name showing up in different publications, and they were able to leverage this attention by guiding potential clients to their articles.
That approach worked exceptionally well with EOS-based clients. "One of the things that we were doing was talking with different leaders in the EOS community," says Schwalbach. "And they could see my body of work out there, so it added some credibility as we went into certain conversations."
Schwalbach also lauds Flow Marketing's expertise with leveraging content for a variety of formats. "What Flow would do is take one article or one piece of content and then break it up so it could be used, reused and repurposed between quotes, abstracts and full articles. Leveraging multimodal-type things and having more material come out of one piece of content added another element of value to the equation for me," he says. So did the professionalism and friendliness of Andy and his staff. "Flow Marketing is just a great, friendly, easy, team to work with," says Schwalbach. "They were very accommodating and enthusiastic and took the time to understand where I wanted to go. I felt that the entire team was invested in where I wanted to go."