A good business flywheel compounds a business’ success and influence each time the organization repeats the steps.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”
— Ken Blanchard

Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great,” wrote a short book to accompany it called “Turning the Flywheel.”

In this 40-page book, Collins explains one of the most profound concepts surrounding what makes great companies great and able to experience compounded and sustained growth. He provides examples from companies such as Amazon, the investment company Vanguard, Intel, and the Cleveland Clinic.

These organizations looked at the practices that gave their organization the best results. Then they incorporated those best practices into no more than four to six steps, each step naturally building on the next, so that completing the last step put the organization back at the beginning. Each time the organization took the steps, it got better and better at them and the results compounded without the organization expending significantly greater effort.

  Step 1  

Collins’ example of Intel’s flywheel serves as a good example.

  Step 2  

Design chips that customers want.

  Step 3  

Price the chips high before the competition catches up.

  Step 4  

Drive down unit costs.

  Step 5  

Achieve greater profits even as prices fall.

  Step 6  

Invest profits into R&D.

  Back to Step 1  

Design chips that customers want.

Each step naturally leads to the next. Each time the company goes through the steps, it gets better and better at each step and the results compound.

This, Collins explains, is why some companies experience sustained momentum of their growth, become great companies, and wield industry influence.

What Is Your Business Flywheel?

You can apply the concept of the flywheel to a real estate consulting and sales business. The following is an example of applying it to company marketing efforts.

  Step 1  

Create valuable content. There are many forms of content, including written, long-form videos, short videos, and podcasts. Establish a weekly goal of producing one written piece of content on the topic of real estate and real estate investing that others find valuable.

Place the content on the company’s website or in publications such as Think Realty as well as other national and local publications. Also share it on Facebook groups that are interested in real estate and on other social media channels.

Once written and distributed, the content will work in the background and benefit the company as new people find the content useful and perhaps even share it.

Think of the different types of content as a fishing metaphor. Each piece is a bobber in the water with a different bait (content topic) placed in different locations. Unlike fishing, these content bobbers work all day and night, day after day. Hypothetically, you can have as many in the water as you want. Once a person consumes enough content, the hope is they will voluntarily show interest in learning more by filling out an interest form on your website or signing up for the company newsletter.

Through consistent and disciplined effort, over time you will gain more interested followers who not only become clients but also refer others to us.

  Step 2  

Build a community of interested followers. The key to building a community of interested followers is holding yourself accountable to providing valuable content on a regular schedule. For example, you might create a schedule of producing one quality piece of long-form written content each week. Then you post it on the company website or have it published in a local or national publication. Next, post that same content on social media channels and in related Facebook groups each week. An added goal could be to share something useful related to real estate at least once a day on your social media accounts.

Ask for an email address after providing value. It’s great to build a community of interested followers on social media, but your goal should be to move those followers to a platform you have more control over email.

When you give your followers the option to sign up for your newsletter or complete a Contact Us form to receive even more valuable content, you will capture their email address. In addition, the content you create should provide a way for you to be contacted directly or explain how to subscribe to your newsletter. You can decide on the frequency of your newsletter. Just be consistent with whatever frequency you choose. Keep in mind that each issue of the newsletter does not need to contain completely new content.

  Step 3  

Write a newsletter for email subscribers, resharing content you’ve written previously. What’s nice about a newsletter is you control when it goes out and who sees it (you can’t control who sees your content on most social media channels). Often you can share the same long-form content you wrote for the week because people are busy and may not have seen it when it was originally published and shared. Your newsletter might also give readers a brief market snapshot and update each week so they can see how interest rates, inflation, and housing inventory are changing. Doing so has the added benefit of keeping them informed as they work with you as clients.

  Step 4  

Ask followers to share the newsletter with their friends. You can ask your email subscribers to share your newsletter with their friends and associates in order to gain more subscribers/followers. Some email newsletter programs allow you to track how many times a person shares with others so you can reward them with specific incentives, prizes, or additional content.

Also, resharing or reposting others’ content on social media is a great way to add value to them. In turn, many times they will do the same for you, giving your content further reach and influence—and earning you more followers.

  Step 5  

Add new email subscribers to your newsletter. The goal is to impact and add value to as many people as possible. As your newsletter content is shared or reposted by others, you will gain more email subscribers who will benefit from the content you create. The exposure creates more awareness of your company and expertise, potentially generating more clients and an opportunity to increase your business revenue. In turn, increasing your business revenue gives you more time to create valuable content.

  back to step 1  

Create valuable content. A well-designed flywheel is essentially a circle of your most effective activities that naturally build on each other, increasing your reach and impact each time you go through the steps and ultimately bringing you back to the beginning step of your flywheel.

Impact of a Well-Designed Influence Flywheel?

A well-designed flywheel allows you to take the most effective actions toward your goal, with each step building on the last and results compounding over time.

In the example of writing high-quality content, you only have to create that piece of content once, but it works for you over and over again to attract new followers that refer other followers. This leads to greater business success not only for your company but also for your followers who benefit from the content.

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