In 2020 there are both a lot of opportunities and challenges for digital agencies. The digitalization of the business was at a rate that we did not experience ever before, so the amount of business increased. On the other hand, the barrier of entry into the digital marketing space is very low, so the competition toughened up.
At the same time, many companies decided to create internal digital marketing, so not only you are competing with other players, but also with the internal resources of the companies themselves.
No matter what the composition of the competition is, the digital marketing pie is getting bigger. It is estimated that it will reach $143B by 2023 experiencing a 9% yearly growth. In this post, we will share some tips on how you can have a bigger piece of this growth!
With introductions behind us, let’s get to it.
1. Uncover New Opportunities
When you’re trying to get more clients for your digital marketing agency it can be daunting to choose which way to go. There are so many different directions you can take and so many tips and tricks out there. A great way to keep you from feeling overwhelmed is to start close to home.
What do we mean by that? In our experience, the best way to find new clients is to talk to former and existing ones. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. And, better yet, stop waiting for them to come. Make them happen. You can even expand further than your clients.
Tap into the resources like your staff and your family or friends. Surely, they all know many people that could use your digital marketing services to take their business to the next level. Many aren’t even aware of the benefits of digital marketing. So, simply scoring a meeting with someone like that will give you invaluable opportunities to present your services and land you your next job.
You can add in an incentive for people referring to your digital marketing agency or simply ask them nicely. You’ll be surprised to see what results you can get from this simple action that won’t cost you a penny.
This is a great tip to get more clients for your agency using what you already have – your network.
You can add in an incentive for people referring to your digital marketing agency or simply ask them nicely. You’ll be surprised to see what results you can get from this simple action that won’t cost you a penny. Click To Tweet
2. Do Something Unexpected
If the first tip was about starting small, this one is about going big. There’s nothing to fear, it’s a strategy that has worked well since the dawn of advertising.
Making a splash gets people talking. And people talking are guaranteed to get more clients for your agency.
You don’t even need to get too controversial to do this. A fun campaign that looks at things differently and shows an out-of-the-box perspective will put your agency on the map. It can be about your agency or a topic that is close to your interests or your heart. Like ‘Go vote!’ or ‘Drink more water!’
You can also try a campaign centered around an issue that is important to your local community to attract more attention. Organize a fund-raising event for a community center or offer your digital marketing services to help raise awareness on a community issue. There are a million things you can do if you keep your eyes open and you are willing to step out of your comfort zone.
3. Use Social Proof
As a digital marketing agency manager, you are certainly very well aware of the power of testimonials. You know that clients are more likely to try a product or service when they see others have tried it before and were happy with the results. Here’s a great example of how Alex Dennings explains Getting Effective Testimonials.
There’s no reason not to use this to your advantage. To get more clients for your agency, ask former or existing clients to share their thoughts on your collaboration. Encourage reviews and testimonials on your agency’s social media pages and also use them on your website and in your online ads. There are lots of great ideas and insights on this post from the Niche Agency Owners Facebook Group.
Additionally, you can add logos of media websites and partner companies. This will show your authority in the industry and attract more leads.
4. Use Online Advertising
Another great tip to get more clients for your agency is to use the strategies you use and that work for your clients. Online advertising is a great way to attract attention and build your business.
Use Facebook ads to tap into the millions of daily active users on this platform. It’s an inexpensive way to expand your reach. Use an ad campaign or boost the posts you know can get you more clients.
Another option is LinkedIn. It is a very popular platform for B2B leads, that you should be tapping into to get more clients for your agency. You can easily narrow down your searches and target your ads based on location and specific industries.
Google AdWords is also a good source of potential clients that you can customize to target keyword intent. You can attract more local attention using this resource and get more qualified leads. Just make sure you do your keyword research well and you don’t spend all your money on high-competition keywords that cost an arm and a leg. Instead, focus on more specific keywords that fit your target audience better and you can get better rates for.
Twitter is increasingly popular among professionals and you can use this platform to make your agency part of industry conversations to expand your reach and build your authority.
Don’t shy away from other popular social media sites like Instagram. It has plenty of users and it offers a good platform to connect to your target audience on a more personal level.
5. Give Free Advice
Free advice in the form of blogging or e-books is becoming an increasingly popular way for brands and agencies to build authority and reputation. It shows your target audience that you can be trusted and, most importantly, that you know your business well.
Creating resources that potential clients can benefit from will get you more exposure and increase your chances of attracting more clients. Because good free stuff isn’t just used. It’s also shared and talked about.
Prepare a few tips and tricks that won’t give away all of your secrets but that can serve as an easy fix for your target audience. Find specific pain points and address them. Like ‘Fixing a slow-loading website’. Or, show how well you know your game. Things like ‘Top 10 tips to build a brand’ or ‘Creating a website design that attracts customers’. This will help fuel your relationship with your audience and your SEO efforts.
You can also create a GoWP Partner Account to take advantage of their free resources such as the free Website Maintenance Checklist Lead Magnet. Once you’ve created an account on GoWP you’ll also have access to the Lead Magnet Landing Page that you can use to set up the checklist lead magnet on your site.
You may take this initiative one step further and organize a webinar for your potential prospects. While webinars won’t help you grow your audience, they will be a great help in moving that audience to the prospect box. Webinars will help you to establish a deeper relationship.
6. Make the Most of Online Communities
People look for answers to their questions on more than Google. Online communities are a great (and free!) resource where you can build your agency’s authority and establish your brand as a thought leader in the industry.
Communities like Quora and Reddit provide great opportunities. Use them to give professional answers to users’ questions and establish credibility. Also, use them to promote your content and your website. This, in turn, will increase your chances of attracting more traffic, leads, and clients.
You can use LinkedIn and Facebook for more than just advertising. You can set up your own LinkedIn or Facebook groups or become active in existing ones.
Being a part of relevant communities and actively joining the conversation can increase your chances of being seen and engaging with potential partners and clients. Commenting on posts, sharing your resources, promoting your website are all great tips to get more clients for your agency.
7. Take Your Networking to the Next Level
Networking is more than just setting up meetings and calls and running around in the same professional circles. To make it impactful, you’ll need to take things one step further. You can expand your network as well as your visibility by organizing seminars or speaking at industry conferences.
If you are a smaller digital marketing agency, you probably won’t have a lot of resources. Renting space and paying for all the equipment and staff required to organize such an event doesn’t come cheap. However, this doesn’t mean that you are locked out of all opportunities.
Conference organizers are always looking for more ways to keep their audiences engaged. If you manage to create a unique selling point for your agency or use the tip above on doing something unexpected, you can catch a speaking engagement at the next industry conference you’ve had your eye on. Bring something new to the table, show a different perspective. Don’t be afraid to be genuine and show off what makes your agency original.
When you share your expertise and your personal story, you increase your chances of reaching more people and qualifying more leads.
8. Power Up Your PR
Talking about getting more personal, this next tip to get more clients for your agency is about just that.
A great way to boost your PR efforts is to create a great brand story and distribute it across your network and your industry. It will get you the attention you need to put your agency on the map and make your brand recognizable. Go into detail about how your business started, what hurdles you had to overcome to make it, and what interesting projects you worked on for clients.
If your agency’s story is relatable and interesting, it will get picked up, published, and distributed across numerous channels. In turn, you will raise awareness, build your brand’s image, and attract more leads.
You can apply the same type of tactic when you set up a new service or change a major component of your agency. Such as adding an in-house graphic design team. Or, a website development team. Create a readable story around your announcement to increase the chances of it being distributed in the industry and outside of it.
Focus on what your digital marketing agency does differently and how your audience can benefit from that.
9. Revitalize Old Leads
Publishing announcements about changes in your agency is also a good way to get back in touch with leads you may have forgotten about. Revamp your email list and use this channel to reignite older contacts.
You can do this even if you don’t have a major announcement. And, there’s no harm in doing it through other channels than email. For instance, you can always pick up the phone and talk to former clients or potential leads that have not materialized into customers. Check-in with them, see what they are up to, and whether or not they need help achieving their digital marketing goals.
Keep in mind that if somebody said no 6 months ago, the situation with them might be completely different now. No, your sales funnel should only have a column “contact later” instead of “no-deal”.
10. Polish Your Proposal Skills
Since you are researching tips to get more clients for your agency, it would be a good idea to check how well you are doing conversion-wise. I mean, what is the point of attracting leads if you don’t have a good solution in place to turn them into clients.
How well your business proposals do is as far as conversions are concerned is very important.
To set your agency apart, you need to come up with something people will pay attention to and that resonates with them on multiple levels. For this reason, make sure your proposals are not dull. They have to contain key elements that communicate what your brand is about and what your values are. Personalize your proposals and give them life.
There is no reason why you would leave out what represents you in the most important document that you’ll ever send to your clients.
Include all of your agency’s core values but don’t make it all about you. Your proposal needs to be structured around how your clients can benefit from your services.
It needs to be clear and transparent. What this means is that it should contain:
- sufficient details about any costs
- a breakdown of all the services
- an estimation of potential benefits and how long it would take to reach them
- answers to frequently asked questions
- details about any aspects that clients are usually hesitant about
- a clear description of the steps after the proposal is accepted
- a clear description of the steps you will take to achieve the estimated results
11. Build Partnerships
You are always stronger when you’ve got someone else on your side. Plus, the more services you can provide clients, the easier you can make their lives. So, why not partner up with other industry professionals to offer a full range of marketing services?
If you have a small agency focusing on niche digital marketing services, try to reach out to other agencies or freelancers that offer some of the services you don’t. Similarly, you could extend an olive branch to a like-sized agency to create or promote an industry or community campaign. It will show your target audience that you are not afraid of your competition and you are confident in your brand.
You can also start partnerships with industry groups or think-tanks. Joining such communities will expand your industry reach and your possibilities of finding new clients. You want to be where you can find like-minded people and where you can discuss your trade.
12. Publish a Case Study
Everybody likes to look behind the curtains, leverage on that. Case studies are an incredibly powerful self-promotion tool. You are essentially giving away internal information that may be hard to come by while heavily promoting your achievements.
It can be a client’s case study, as it will also bring publicity to them. If that is not possible – just create a case study related to your agency.
Look at Ahrefs, they are constantly publishing interesting internal and market data while promoting what they managed to achieve with that.
You can also explore how GoWP uses their case studies to showcase their agency customers and shed light on the many different ways their target audience can leverage their services to grow their business.
Take a YouTube campaign that you recently did or an SEO strategy that you started 3 months ago, put the data in a nice presentation, and release it to the audience with the premise that they may learn from you.
Everyone wants a piece of somebody else’s success. So seeing that you managed to achieve something for yourself maybe that last drop in the decision-making bucket for the prospect to give you a call.
13. Be a Smart Investor
Knowing where the clients are coming from is not difficult when you are only buying Facebook ads. But will you know what drives prospects into your funnel when you are running paid ads on Facebook, Google, and Twitter, at the same time you have a retargeting banner campaign, email marketing, and maybe even some affiliates? Which channel helped the most?
This is why you should start thinking about marketing attribution early. For each marketing initiative that you start, you will be paying in money, time, or both. So not knowing which channel is bringing new customers, or where the possible bottleneck is – becomes a big problem when you are trying to grow.
Closely monitor all your activities, and analyze their contribution to your success. Look where you may do more, or where you should spend less and constantly tweak your funnel.
14. Outsource and Automate
If you need to write 10 SEO posts for your client, it means roughly 20000 words. A well-researched 2000 words article takes 4-6 hours. So you are looking at 40 hours pure writing work, minimum. Maybe you need to create an outreach campaign. Will you be getting the leads yourself, browsing through Google and LinkedIn?
What about hero images for 10 landing pages? You again?
It is important to clearly define which business you are in. Are you in the writing business? Web crawling and data entry? Maybe you are a designer?
None of those. You are running a digital agency. Your goal is to get business, manage projects, and deliver results. Not spend days on days doing work that can be easily outsourced. Companies like Pathfinder SEO are great for outsourcing all SEO needs, no matter your size.
It is great to have everything exactly as you like, but do not become a bottleneck of your business. You can do everything yourself for one, maybe two clients, but what about 5?
Do not try to micromanage and do everything yourself. You should be thinking about the overall strategy and not about how to move the background 5 pixels. Outsource as much as possible.
Companies like GoWP are a savior. Agency owners are able to outsource their website maintenance plans, landing page buildouts, and even bring on part-time dedicated developers without the hassle of hiring and onboarding. This gives you back the time to focus on the more important things like growing your business and closing more leads.
You can find any kind of specialization you are looking for and focus on the bigger picture. Outsource and concentrate on getting more clients.
15. Create Recurring Income
If you gain a customer, just to do a one-off deal with them and then start looking for a new customer – it seems that you are not moving anywhere. Your goal should be getting customers and most importantly retaining them. Sure, at the beginning of your relationship you will probably work on a big project that will be finished in a couple of months. But that does not mean that business ends there. Chris Lema makes a great argument about why you should create recurring revenue & extend your team.
Ongoing website maintenance, content edits, and landing pages are just a few options that you can offer your customers to give them peace of mind while at the same time creating a recurring income stream before moving onto the next big project.
Just because you managed to set up an agency and run your own business, that doesn’t mean you should stop growing. There’s always room for improvement and you can always find directions in which you can expand your knowledge and your reach.
Especially if you feel stuck and struggling to find more clients for your agency, you should be willing to look into some classes or courses that can help you overcome this hurdle.
Take advice from people who have been in your position. Find coaches or mentors that can provide guidance and direction. It always helps to see things from a different or fresher perspective. Look for programs or courses about how to make your agency more efficient or how to attract more clients.
It’s all about continuing to cultivate your passion for digital marketing and evolving. This will take you to the next level.