If you’re part of a digital marketing agency looking after the needs of various clients, you have to make sure that you deliver high-quality services to satisfy and retain them. But in addition to helping your clients gain visibility and reputation, you have to work on your own visibility, reputation, and brand value. You also have to continuously improve on hiring, accounting, marketing, selling, payroll, account management, and the other aspects that go into the running of your business. The very survival and success of your agency depend on balancing all these factors simultaneously.
This may sound a little overwhelming, but there are a few elements you should focus on that are often neglected.
1. Build your own network
Networking is the key to getting new contacts and leads. You should start with a local network before spreading your wings. And the better your referrals, the higher you’ll soar. The benefit of starting locally is that you might already have some foundations to build on.
Digital marketing services work on several verticals and you can’t boast being the best at all of them. Thus, pick something that you are especially good at and focus on that specific niche as it will allow you to brand yourself as an expert in that particular field or industry. This will help you stand out from the crowd. You can even choose to focus on a specific marketing vertical instead of going industry-specific. The idea is really just to distinguish yourself from the rest.
2. Reduce lead response times
The moment you get a lead, you should start working on it immediately. That lead could be a potential customer and a revenue generator and a laid-back attitude from your end could let it slip into a competitor’s hands. Research has shown that the average response time of companies is 42 hours, while a separate study suggested that those who actually respond within an hour are seven times more likely to win a deal. Therefore, your aim should be to get that lead response time to under an hour.
3. Advertise yourself
Just as you produce marketing strategies for your clients, you shouldn’t neglect to devise one to advertise yourself. A 2013 study by eMarketer suggested that the most popular self-promotional tactic to work in your favour is client case studies. Posted on your website these studies can be used as your lead magnets that can be used by your sales and marketing team to impress potential clients and close deals.
To make this happen you will need to find willing participants as not everyone will be open to sharing their story. But once you get someone on board, make a convincing story backed up with specific data to make an impact. You should eventually have multiple case studies ready to use for leads with different brand identities.
4. Build relationships
Relationship building is important to hold on to existing clients while continuing to win new ones as it helps with building trust and communication. Once that sets in, it’s more likely that they will listen to your suggestions and also recommend you to other potential clients. You can start simple by sending customised gifts and handwritten letters to build a personal rapport. Those small steps can go a long way in keeping you in their good books.
5. Build a Smooth Client Onboarding Process
Clients are your lifeline and thus their onboarding process should be absolutely smooth and straightforward. Everything right from the lead response time and initial proposal to kick-off meeting and follow up meetings should be prompt, on time and with full preparation. You should also be honest with them. Don’t over-promise just because you want to close the deal. You need to build trust if you want a long-lasting relationship and also want them to recommend you to others. Once you close the deal, take their feedback on what prompted and convinced them to sign the deal with you and what areas need further improvement.
6. Keep investing in the right tools, skill training, and data
You are working in a digital world where investing in useful tools, skill training, and gaining access to data is crucial. Technology is continuously evolving and if you don’t stay abreast with these changes you risk becoming obsolete. Thus, it’s essential to keep honing your skills and getting access to new, useful tools and other key data points.
It’s not a revelation that there is no shortcut to victory. You need to build your way up in a brick-by-brick manner with patience to establish yourself in the digital marketing arena. However, the tips shared above will hopefully help you towards your goal of establishing yourself and growing your digital marketing agency exponentially.
Pranab Bhandari is a content manager and consultant at India-based SEO agency Techmagnate. His content has been published in several national and international publications. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.