Or call it Marketing the Marketing Agency. If you’re not among the big 10 in your industry vertical in marketing communication, chances are you’re always scouting for new business. And possibly going about it the long established manner. You’ve got your rolodex open in front of you and you’re busy punching numbers on your phone and starting the call with a hearty “Hi there.”
Nothing wrong in a personal selling approach. It works. As an entrepreneur myself, having worked more number of years selling marketing services to clients than I would have liked, I can, from experience vouch for the personal selling approach.
But, the times, they are a changing. What used to be the best approach some five years ago is not necessarily the best approach in today’s digitally connected world. Competition is fiercer today. Margins are shrinking and every client business is only as good as the current project. Do a less than perfect job and you’re out.
How then should an agency market itself to prospective clients on an on-going basis and ensure that the incoming enquiries don’t die out? Do you send out an email? Do you haunt your LinkedIn contacts or do you lurk around in LinkedIn groups waiting for that opportune brief that is posted and jump in along with fifteen other agencies?
Winning new clients regularly is a process to be followed. Sadly, agency cultures make agency personnel pretty lousy at following processes, which is why only a few agencies have successfully mastered the art of ensuring a regular healthy flow of new business enquiries. If you’re looking to create a healthy sales funnel for your agency, you could follow Agencyonnet’s 10 simple marketing tips.
- Have a working website that reflects you’re positioning and is current.
Sounds simple, but amazingly most agencies have websites that are at least a couple of years old both in terms of style, look and content. Put it down to the fact that internal marketing is usually at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to resource allocation within an agency.
Your corporate website is the first place a new prospect will visit. Would you want him to see your website the way it is?
- Don’t be shy. Be Social
Almost every agency who I looked over had their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and in some cases even Pinterest page up. The problem was that the last update in most cases was about a few months old. Some had at best 8 followers which accurately indicated the level of internal interest the agency had taken in social media.
And these were digital agencies that I reviewed.
If you want to be found by prospective clients, you just got to be social about it. Your clients are human beings and they are on social media. Invest in a few hours every week to keep your agency socially active across key b2b social media vehicles.
- Be part of LinkedIn groups
I am a member of 50 groups on LinkedIn and I usually observe with interest that scramble for posts that come up when a prospective client puts up an enquiry on any of the group. I would seriously pity the client that gets a response from 20-30 agencies. He would have his work cut out from him to wade through the sheer correspondence and the reviews he would have to make before he could even shortlist who he wants to work with.
A better way to use LinkedIn groups is to post your case studies either as Slide Share links or website links for group members to read. Don’t be disappointed at the lack of comments on your post. Another way is to reach out to group members on a one to one basis. Select who you believe would benefit from your agency skill sets and send the person a link to your case study. Sell the sizzle of your agency.
- Email Marketing
Start a monthly newsletter with interesting industry stats, articles of interest and a couple of case studies that showcase your work. Today content marketing is the best way to reach out and influence prospects and a monthly newsletter will ensure that your agency remains top of mind with your prospect.
- Start a blog
Starting a blog is the easiest thing in the world to do. Creating content of value that your prospective clients will find useful is the toughest. If you’re lucky to have a decent content writer (not the SEO writing lot!), half the battle is done. Else you could always fall back in using content from 3rd party sources.
Use the content to drive prospects to visit your website
- Use Slide Share
I would strongly recommend this to all agencies to incorporate into their sales & marketing plan. Slide Share is a great social media vehicle to use existing content to drive home what you have done for others and showcase your work. Presentations are one thing agencies usually have in plenty.
- Make it easy for prospects to reach out to you.
How many agencies provide the email id of their CEO’s on their website? I always wondered why. Most websites that I reviewed had email ids like info, sales, enquiries. It can’t be on account of spam because any decent anti-spam filter would block 80% of the spam that one gets daily. If I were a prospective client I would certainly prefer to send an enquiry mail to the CEO directly than an unknown general id.
- Subscribe to industry news
Is your agency focused on a particular industry vertical? Great. Make sure you subscribe to news alerts pertaining to that industry. When you come across a worthwhile news or a news maker, contact him via LinkedIn and share the story with him. You may not get him to thank you and give you business, but you would have left your mark on him.
- Join B2B marketplaces
If you’re addressing prospects beyond your city, B2B marketplaces like Agencyonnet can be a great place to get new business enquiries. It doesn’t cost much and a few enquiries will easily knock of the cost of being part of the platform.
- Shout out your wins
Everyone likes a winner. Everyone wants a winner. So shout out your wins- big and small across all your communication- website, social media, blog posts, newsletter & Slide share. Over time, people will associate your agency with being a winning agency.
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