How to Effectively Grow a Local Marketing Agency
Get new clients quickly
Launching a marketing agency can be challenging. But, growing your client pool and constantly keeping them happy is even more challenging. You have to juggle several ongoing tasks while trying to add more tasks to your list of responsibilities. It can be exhausting. Many agency owners wonder how to grow their local marketing agency without falling short on the deliverables for their current clients.
Growing your agency doesn’t take up as much time as people think it does. If you take action now, you can expand your agency with little effort on your part. Below are the top seven ways to grow a local marketing agency efficiently.
Brand Yourself as the Local Expert
When you read any article about growing a local marketing agency, you’ll see some mention of the word “network.” We all know that if we want to grow our business, we should be networking all the time. Yet, many of us dread it or haven’t seen the fruits of our efforts. Instead of going to events with the goal of networking, go with the goal of building your brand as a local expert.
This does not mean that you should show off your marketing skills to every person you talk to. Instead, get to know people and then offer them value by sharing your expertise. The objective is to be seen as the expert in some particular topic. In the end, you want people to recommend you to other business owners they know. If you set this strategy up right, leads will come to you without you doing anything.
You can brand yourself as an expert by attending events and providing advice when solicited. Then, boost your reputation by posting tips and other valuable bits of information on your personal social media accounts.
Do Your Marketing Right
You probably wouldn’t trust a hairdresser with a terrible haircut to cut your hair. The same principles apply to marketing agencies. If your agency’s marketing is sub-par, businesses won’t trust you to do their marketing. You should have a strong social media presence, fantastic blog posts, a clean, user-friendly website and a good domain authority.
Keep your agency’s marketing a priority. Marketing and branding can take up a lot of time, which is why many agencies let it fall to the bottom or their to-do lists. Don’t fall into that trap. Keep this scenario in mind: If someone recommends your agency and they visit your Facebook page or website, will they be more or less likely to pick up the phone and give you a call? If the answer is less likely, take some time to create a marketing plan that is simple and effective.
Doing your marketing right also includes branding your agency and sticking to it. What’s your agency’s brand voice? What is its target audience and buyer persona? Create a specific brand for your marketing agency and stick to it. Good branding can go a long way to help grow your local marketing agency.
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Target a Niche
You may be able to do marketing for any type of organization out there, but you shouldn’t brand yourself as a catch-all agency. Niche down a little bit by choosing an industry or a specific type of audience to target. Businesses will have more confidence in your abilities to market their product or service if they know that you have had success with businesses with resemble their own. Targeting a niche will also make it easier on you. Rather than learning a little about every industry out there, your agency will focus on learning a lot about one industry.
This does not necessarily mean that you have to deny businesses that don’t fit your niche. You might be able to handle the work. But, if you want to stick true to your brand and focus on only e-commerce sites or outdoor companies or whatever else you choose, be prepared to say no. Perhaps you can refer that business to another agency who can then give you referrals in return.
Marketing to a specific niche, which is also known as verticalization, will help you scale your agency. You’ll be able to truly brand yourself and your agency as experts in a certain space. Plus, you will worry less about competitors. Choose a niche that works well for your location and your skill set.
Offer Them a Downloadable
If a prospective client visits your site and decides they aren’t ready to give your agency a call or send you an email, that lead is gone. That story would be different if they had a chance to download a case study or an interesting infographic or a white paper about marketing. By adding a simple contact form to your page, you can receive that business’ contact information and add them to an email list or follow up with them individually.
Providing downloadable content on your agency’s page can make a big difference for your marketing efforts. The prospective client can learn more about your business and receive value in the form of marketing tips, In return, you earn their email. This is such a simple way to get clients that all marketing agencies should be doing it.
Ask Current Clients for Referrals
Business owners know other business owners, and you should use that to your advantage. If you are doing a good job for your clients, they will usually be more than happy to refer their friends to you. You are helping them with their business, so they can easily do the same for you. The next time you’re talking to your clients, ask them if they know of another business that could benefit from your agency’s services.
One of the benefits of this strategy is that referrals work. There is an element of trust when a friend or acquaintance personally tells you to try out a new restaurant or visit a certain dentist. When it comes to agencies, businesses are even more likely to trust a referral. Many businesses get burned by agencies. If a business that is struggling with their marketing hears their friend say, “This agency is great. I’ve never had a problem with them,” there is a high probability of that business converting.
Delegate Your Work
As you grow your local marketing agency, you might be tempted to expand your services and personally take on the work. That is not a strategy for success. Operating a marketing agency is difficult, and you need to make sure you have time for all of your managerial duties. Learn to delegate tasks by hiring people or outsourcing some of the work. By freeing up your time, you will be able to give quality service and focus on sustainable growth.
Don’t overwork yourself, because you are the key cog in the machine. Find people who you can trust to do quality work, then set them loose. This is a scalable model that most large agencies follow today. Establish good habits early by finding talented workers to fulfill the work.
Improve Onboarding Processes
With agencies, it’s normal to frequently gain and lose clients. But, that doesn’t mean that you should accept clients leaving as just a part of the industry. Creating a clear onboarding process is one of the easiest ways to increase retention rates. Onboarding is all about making sure your clients feel comfortable with the new partnership. They should know what services are available to them and what they can expect from you.
Begin the onboarding process by explaining exactly how you will be helping them. Don’t just talk about your services, but explain in detail how your services will impact them. Discuss how you will be measuring success and how often you will give marketing campaign updates. Then, keep in touch with them.
You should talk with them regularly so they understand the value you are adding to your business. Whether you call them or email them, make sure you are addressing their needs. If you choose to create a marketing newsletter, make sure that the content will be useful for them.