Large, well-established agencies did not get to where they are by accident. There is no such thing as good luck in business; you have to create your own opportunities if you want your agency to grow.
So, if you operate a small start-up agency, how do you create a more proactive and controlled approach to your marketing efforts? There are plenty of tools you can use but one of the most effective ways to help your agency grow is to get some insights from what the large agencies are doing. Replicate how they meet their business goals and let your agency benefit from their proven strategies.
Here are three business development marketing strategies that the major agencies use that have already proven to be effective. Give your agency a competitive advantage and turn your attention to obtaining new business in the upcoming year.
1. Increase and Optimize Your Online Market Exposure
The big agencies are constantly refining and optimizing their online presence. If your agency is not easily visible online, potential customers and clients won’t find you. The ultimate strategy should be maximizing traffic to your website so you can secure new business.
Large agencies are extremely conscious of their online image. You need to make sure that all content connected to your agency presents your brand positively.
Consistency is key; everything from blog posts on your own website to paid online advertisements need to present your agency in the same light. Conflicting content creates confusion about what your agency offers which only ends up complicating the sales process.
Define Your Marketing Channels
Big agencies don’t waste time and money focusing on ineffective marketing channels.
Define the channels that generate the right leads for your agency. Narrow down the types of leads you want and focus your attention on where you’re most likely to find those potential clients. Understand the difference between each channel and focus on those that are likely to attract what you’re looking for.
● Inbound Leads – Generate leads on your own website by publishing content that captures the attention of the types of clients you want to work with. Inbound marketing is a great approach to lead generation.
● Paid Search Advertising – Generate leads with search engine advertising such as Google AdWords. Identify the keywords your target clients are likely to use and make sure your website comes up in their search.
● Outbound Leads – Generate leads with outbound efforts, primarily email targeting. Isolate your ideal clients and go after them directly.
Large agencies understand that modern business development plans need to be specific and data-driven. You cannot just sit around and wait for new leads to come to you through referrals or by accident. Be like the larger agencies. Identify your target market and then go after it using the correct marketing channels.
2. Commit to Working on Your Own Agency
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Big agencies understand the need to stay relevant and competitive.
It is easy to fall into the trap of only focusing on the needs of your clients. If you want your agency to appeal to new clients, though, you have to spend time working on your own agency’s needs.
When your client projects are demanding, you typically case aside your in-house objectives. There just isn’t enough time. But the truth is you can’t build a better agency without devoting time to doing so. It’s important to hold yourself accountable for any identifiable weaknesses.
The leaders of large agencies commit to making measurable upgrades to their business when needed. Dedicate some time out of your day to making your agency run more smoothly. You know the areas of your business that could be better. Commit to making these improvements so your agency doesn’t stagnate.
Do Not Forget to Work on Yourself
As the leader of a small agency, you have to behave like one.
If your business is small, it can be difficult to view yourself as a leader or CEO. Remember, if you want to scale up your agency’s sales, increase your income, and see your business flourish, you have to start thinking and acting like the leaders of larger agencies.
Don’t run yourself into the ground trying to solve every single client issue. Instead, be sure to hire the right employees so that they can handle most client issues themselves and generate the biggest return on your dollar. Delegate the smaller tasks and keep yourself focused on your agency’s larger objectives.
3. Focus Your Agency’s Approach and Find Efficiencies
Large agencies are always searching for new ways to streamline their business. You should, too.
Stop wasting time on low-value activities. If you are spending excessive time worrying about small details, you won’t have the time you need to work on strategies that grow your business.
Repetitive tasks can always be streamlined. The ultimate aim is to be able to scale up every phase of the sales process.
Focus Your Efforts on Securing the Right Clients
If you are a small agency, you have limited resources to work with to secure leads with the highest probability of turning into profitable clients. Do not waste time chasing sales that are not relevant to what your agency offers. Even if you do secure a sale, if it is not the right type of client, it is likely to just cause problems down the road.
Large agencies focus their efforts on getting the attention of decision-makers. Use LinkedIn’s business to business advertising to direct your marketing towards the people who have the authority to hire you. There is no point in advertising your agency to an intern.
Focus your marketing resources so they have the maximum impact on securing targeted leads.