Growing a profitable digital marketing agency is a challenging but rewarding experience. It requires hard work and smart decision making.
As the world enters the post Covid-19 pandemic era, digital ad spend is forecasted to shrink but still there is scope of building a strong foundation to build and scale on once things start adjusting to the new normal.
In this blog we will be covering 8 things you can focus on to navigate these challenging times and grow your digital marketing agency.
1. Build a network: Due to lockdowns in major economies you can find decision makers online who would be willing to connect and exchange information and ideas.
You can offer them free consultation during this period and build a strong relationship with them to get business as they start scaling again.
Prepare case studies that can be relatable to the businesses you are targeting and share that with the decision makers. It would help them visualise the value your agency would be able to deliver to them.
Focus on a specific niche and target influencers and decision makers in the same. Show your expertise in the niche through case studies, testimonials and other value adding marketing collaterals.
2. Develop your Digital marketing strategy: Your own branding plays a crucial role in acquiring and scaling business. One should focus on developing their inbound and outbound digital marketing strategy. It is important to set aside a budget to generate leads.
Inbound strategy includes doing SEO of your website by adding unique and valuable content making your website more visible. You should also run ads targeting specific keywords that attract your target audience.
You should join relevant social media channels where you can influence your target audience. Joining groups and sharing value adding content there will help build recognition.
Also, create lead magnets that target a specific need of your audience. Provide value to your targeted market niche. Always remember first give, give, give and then ask.
Outbound strategy would entail details about reaching out to the target audience proactively. It has two basic methods i.e; Cold emailing and Cold calling. You would need to build an email list for audience outreach.
One can use email finding tools like Snov.io or Findthat.email to find email addresses of the decision makers. Automating email sending and follow-ups that contain value adding content which appeals to the lead at their specific stage of buyer journey would increase email reply and lead conversion rate.
3. Set the pricing right and upsell: Avoid overcharging or undercharging for your services. Study the pricing offered by your competitors and price your services accordingly. Ensure that the pricing covers all your costs and provides a decent profit margin.
It is important to upsell services to clients who have purchased one-off projects from you. Provide value adding and goal oriented services that compliment their project and retain them.
Don’t push them to buy services they don’t need but rather show them worth of spending their dollars. Offer them complimenting services. Like if they have taken your service to design a website offer them SEO services to increase their website’s visibility.
Streamline your onboarding in such a way that there is scope to upsell these complimenting services. Treat onboarding as the first step to retaining the client. Set clear goals and keep the client updated on the developments.
4. Develop a scalable process: You should have proper documentation of the services and ensure that the results delivered are repeatable.
These policies and procedures should act as a framework on how to execute and follow-up on deliverables. It will not only help you retain a client but also set clear and effective marketing messages and expectations with the leads you are nurturing.
Automate processes such as proposal sending, invoicing etc and ensure that you have a method to generate new referrals from your clients or upsell the other solutions.
5. Develop case studies from your successful projects: Delivering great results to your clients is always exciting. But don’t stop there.
Building case studies out of these act as a powerful resource to get more clients. Create as many case studies as you can and prepare a dedicated page on your website to showcase them.
You can use them in targeted ads or email outreaches to the leads that you are nurturing to convert them into clients.
It shows the leads that you are more than just words that you say and can deliver actual value to their projects.
6. Hire the right team: The two major cost centers for any agency are place and people. Finding the right balance of team structure is crucial for sustained success.
You would need to find the right mix of technical, sales and marketing personnel to run processes at the firm. You should also keep in view operations that you can outsource.
It is not necessary to do everything yourself. Your target should be delivering results for your clients and that does not necessarily mean you are carrying all the burden.
7. Leverage influencers: Your agency needs to work with influencers in the targeted niche to deliver know-hows and knowledge. It helps gain recognition and influence the decision makers within your target market.
You can do this by conducting Webinars or Facebook live sessions where they share their tips. Also, contribute to prominent publications in your niche to gain more visibility. It is one of the most effective methods to generate leads.
8. Build and effective onboarding process: If your onboarding process is complex it would give your client an impression that your solution will be too. The more seamless the process is the more leads your agency would generate.
It is ideal to use a three step onboarding process where you create a process template, run multiple instances of the template and track progress and collaborate with your team in accordance with it.
Use tools to automate report creation and keep the clients in the know of all the developments and results.
Your each email or point of contact should talk about the client and their needs.
These are the 8 things you need to keep in mind to grow your agency business but always bear in mind that growth takes time and doesn't happen overnight.