Lloyd Mabuto was just a kid when he first realized the power of images to convey a message. His dad, an NGO worker helping developing countries, would often ask Lloyd to create a piece of art to explain a concept without using words. In college, Lloyd discovered graphic design satisfied his dueling passion for art and software engineering. A professional graphic/web designer by trade, Lloyd loved helping people convey a message – and achieve their mission – through carefully placed words and images. After testing the waters as a part-time consultant, Lloyd dove in to become a full-time, self-employed web designer and brand consultant based in Chatanooga, TN.
What was the tipping point that inspired you to turn your “side passion” into a full-time business?
I found myself teaching clients about online marketing, and I wanted to find more opportunities to help and provide value. As I saw my clients’ business increase, I realized that was the direction I needed to focus on. I thought it would just be a day-to-day job to earn a living. I didn’t anticipate the success! For me, success means helping a lot of people and building meaningful relationships that are a core part of my brand.
What is your most effective way to get new clients?
I think lasting client relationships are built on trust. I show potential clients how they can unlock hidden profits in their business, engage better with customers and improve their systems. My current clients know if they are in a pinch, they can call me and say, “We only have a day to turn in this project.” They trust me to solve problems in moments of distress. My clients say, “This is a guy we will never let go.”
Another important part of my brand: I think of clients as more than just customers. They really become friends.
Please share your best marketing strategy or tip.
Here are two tips! First, every business needs an effective landing page to provide accurate information that isn’t overwhelming. Your website must be easy to navigate, and customers need to be able to place orders or contact you quickly.
What is your most effective way to get new clients/customers?
I like to create a recurring offer and promote it on social media. Maybe it’s a discount code or a contest of some sort. You can take out a Facebook ad or reach people through Instagram or Twitter. I find there are only a handful of business owners who are really good at using social media, so competition is low. If you need help in this area, I recommend hiring someone to get you up and running.
How important is it for you to connect with other small business owners, for support, insight or inspiration?
It’s important. I’ve joined several business communities, but I have never found one as active as the QB Community! Everyone is generous with information about their experiences and where they are on their journey. One thing that attracts me to this site is the way it’s okay to be vulnerable. The QB Community feels like a safe place to communicate honestly and build one-to-one relationships.
Do you have any sage advice for budding entrepreneurs?
No matter what your professional goals are, always think first about giving. I believe when your mentality is to give first, you will soon start receiving, and your business will grow exponentially. Generosity is like gravity: It always comes back!