Acquiring new customers is a constant struggle for any business. You wouldn’t necessarily think it would be for a marketing agency, but like many other businesses, they put their clients’ needs first while their own needs often end up on the back burner.
That said, if you own your own marketing agency, it’s important to remember that your growth and lead acquisition matters just as much as your clients’ does. It’s ok to go from “How do I get new customers for my clients’ business?” to “How do I get new customers for my business?” If you want long-term success and want to be there for your clients in the future, you’re going to have to take some time to work on your own business.
Luckily, the secret to getting there is having a strong growth strategy in place. Consider the following tips for acquiring new customers for your marketing agency and getting your acquisition strategy in good shape.
Create a website
Online presence is everything these days. When an individual or business are looking for services, they will more likely search online for options that fit their needs. Even in the event that they come across a business through different avenues, such as word-of-mouth recommendations, they’ll likely look up a business online to do some research before making a decision.
Create a well-designed website to advertise your business. Include your marketing services, background, experience, and contact information. Add a portfolio of previous projects to showcase your expertise and skills. Plus, you might want to add a blog associated with your industry and use SEO tactics to come up at the top in Google searches.
Connecting with people organically is always a great way to expand your circle and find clients through new connections. Always be on the lookout for ways to network with personal and professional contacts. Reach out to friends, acquaintances, and co-workers.
On social media, do more than just get your accounts set up and establish your presence. Use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Meetup, and Eventbrite to actually interact and follow other professionals. You can even set up a business profile on these channels to gain a following and a bit of free advertising.
Most importantly, make yourself physically visible. Don’t get so caught up in the digital world that you forget to be present in the real world as well. While the digital era is great, it’s impersonal. There’s nothing like being face-to-face with your client base and potential customers. An in-person and personal touch will mean more than you think. Attend community events such as organizational events put on by the Chamber of Commerce, or join social clubs such as a country club to socialize, play a little golf, and drum up a little business. Also, try to attend business expos and trade shows when possible to connect with new prospects.
Referrals and testimonials
Referrals, positive reviews, and general word-of-mouth marketing are three of the most effective—not to mention, most cost-effective—ways to advertise. These are the best seals of approval that your business can earn, since they signal to prospects that clients have used your services and were happy with the results.
Encourage past clients to share their positive experiences by launching a referral program by which additional marketing services may be discounted depending on the number of leads they help drive. You can also connect with clients after a contract has ended and thank them again for their business and ask them to leave a testimonial on your website if they were happy with the results of your services.
And of course, the best way to guarantee more referrals for your business is to consistently deliver strong services and meaningful results to your existing clients. This way, they are naturally motivated to pass your information along to other prospective clients within their networks.
Follow up with past leads and clients
You may have called on someone in the past that didn’t need your services but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need them now. Following up on past leads that didn’t amount to any business in the past could possibly lead to a potential customer now.
It’s also useful to stay in touch with previous clients. You can do this by sending holiday cards to all of your clients, sending an occasional email just to check in and see how they are doing, or building an email newsletter for your owned email audience.
Partner with other agencies or consultants
While initially this may sound counter-productive, partnering with other consultants can prove to be beneficial. If you specialize in a particular area or have a niche that sets you apart from other marketing agencies, then you can combine your services and expertise to form a mutually rewarding relationship. This relationship will broaden your client base and build a larger network of referrals.
For example, if your expertise is in paid media, you could consider joining forces with an agency that specializes in influencer marketing or out-of-home marketing. Together, you can create a unique offering package that features a suite of services combining each of your agencies’ specific core competencies. Not only does this create a more attractive one-stop-shop for prospects looking to tackle as many of their marketing needs as possible with one engagement, but it also creates a wider audience for you to market to because it gives you access to the owned audience of the agency you’re partnering with in addition to your own audience.
Make yourself standout
Figure out what makes you stand out from the other marketing agencies or consultants and make it about your customer. Don’t make it about your product or services but what you can do to make life easier for your client. For example, you might be an expert in social media marketing and can help a more established business create a strong, scalable social strategy across channels like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. For a lot of brands or companies that don’t have social media marketing expertise, your niche knowledge can go a long way in helping them tap into new channels. By understanding this pain point and demonstrating the power of overcoming it, you can create a clear value add for customers and prospective clients alike.
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