Case Studies

Viim Case Study: 3 Key “Outside the Box” Strategies Guaranteed to Help Agencies Stand Out from the Crowd


Steph Hilfer had worked in marketing all her adult life, always for one employer or another. But eventually she’d always get a bit bored and “itchy for more,” so she decided to start her own agency. And that’s how Viim was born (Visual, Integrated, Intentional Marketing). 

Today, Steph is the Founder and Creative Director of Viim and she and her team focus on strategic planning, thought leadership and branding for their clients. 

“I started thinking about the pattern in my career and that I could help so many more people if I was an agency instead of being an employee. I wanted to focus on the branding elements that make businesses stand apart, that’s what makes me so passionate at Viim on how agencies can set themselves apart from the pack, without reinventing the wheel.”

– Steph Hilfer

Stand Out from the Crowd — Tried and true tips from Steph Hilfer at Viim on how agencies can set themselves apart from the pack, without reinventing the wheel.

Tip 1: Being real, consistent & authentic is more important than being ‘different’ 

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to solidify your brand and share it consistently via marketing. But you don’t always have to strive to be the purple cow — constantly reinventing the wheel and being 100% unique shouldn’t be the goal.

“I think a lot of my clients think that ‘different’ has to be insanely different instead of realizing that honing in on subtle differences and uniquenesses that make you you and living and breathing them authentically and consistently — that is different enough for the right audience. I really work to help clients realize ‘different’ doesn’t have to be from zero to a hundred real quick. It just needs to be staying in your lane. And that will help you attract the right clientele,” says Hilfer.

With SharpSpring’s all-in-one automation platform, creating and delivering consistent, effective messaging to your target audience to increase brand awareness is made easy, both in email and on social media. 

Set up automated campaigns and manage email and social content to spread across the calendar and set your marketing team free from repetitive tasks and the limitations of business hours. You can even time your messages for optimal engagement or to target specific demographics and user locations.

Tip 2: Bring back the personalized, “high touch” approach

We’ve all gone so digital — and have been living and working with minds set on digital strategies — for so long now, especially in our post-COVID world. This makes it tough for today’s agencies to know how to make clients truly feel seen and like you’re involved, present, and there for them. How do marketers walk that line of being active and available for clients, yet still able to automate personalization and come across as present and high touch? Hilfer has the answer.

“How do you bring high touch back into how you do business? Personalization! Plus, some of the silliest things — going back to postal mail, gift mail, hand written cards, etc. Let’s go back to some of the old, tried and true things that you haven’t been doing lately. That’s what’s going to work and it’s going to stand out,” explains Hilfer.

Using SharpSpring automation, agencies can personalize communications and messaging specific to their individual clients — right in the platform with just a few clicks — without taking up too much of their Sales and Marketing teams’ valuable time.

Tip 3: Gain credibility by proving that your campaigns are linked to successful business outcomes

“A lot of my clients are either brand new businesses, or they’re an existing business that’s at a pivotal point. I’m coming in and I’m saying, I want you to start thinking about how you’re going to evolve right now…” — Steph Hilfer

When it comes to “what’s next” for your own agency – as well as for your agency clients – true evolution, and the credibility that comes along with it, isn’t possible without linking performance to successful business outcomes. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to answer key questions like:

  • How many deals did we close this month?
  • How much new sales pipeline are we continuing to create over time?
  • How fast are deals closing? Are they closing faster today than they were before? Are they closing at higher win rates than they used to?

With SharpSpring, the answers to all these questions (and more) can be measured and attributed directly to marketing efforts carried out month over month, so you can show a true before and after picture.