Sometimes the work we do best for others is the work we do worst for ourselves.
The world is full of doctors who make terrible choices for their own health and housekeepers with messy homes. It’s also full of marketing agencies who deliver great results for clients but struggle to drum up the business of their own.
The quest to get clients is a constant one that agencies often put on the back burner. If you want long-term success, though, now is to time to invest in yourself.
Start with these top ways to get more agency clients.
1. Treat Yourself Like Your Own Client
How do digital marketing agencies get clients? They become their own client.
You already have a process that works for your other clients. Starting today, take the time out of your schedule to do the same for your own business.
Go through every step as you would with your other clients. Develop your brand guide, collect data, create a data-driven marketing plan, and follow through with each step.
Don’t forget to use all the advice and strategies you give to your clients, too. Use storytelling practices to build a trusting bond with your audience.
Above all, don’t sacrifice quality. If business owners see that your own marketing is done half-heartedly, they’ll assume that you would do the same for them.
2. Get Out from Behind the Desk
Digital marketing is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds in our technological era. You can’t ignore the digital world, but sometimes you need to step out into the “real world” too.
Start building a presence at local events where you’ll find business owners and other decision-makers. That should include networking events, business expos, trade shows, you name it.
The goal is to make yourself a known part of the local business community. Get to know your fellow business owners and potential clients.
As you build your rolodex, start referring people to the businesses you know when the opportunity arises. Not only will the grateful business owners be more likely to become clients, but they’re also likely to return the favor and refer others to you.
The right conference can be a game-changer for your business. If you are keen to learn how in details, here Vanessa Van Edwards, Behavioral Investigator, explains more:
3. Take Advantage of Online Directories
Your website is far from the only place to build your web presence. One of the most overlooked strategies is to get onto as many online directories as you can.
There are a few routes to take. Of course, you want to be on the general, widespread directories like Google and Yelp to start.
Next, focus on industry-specific online directories like marketing agency directories. These are especially helpful because everyone in the audience is a qualified buyer, looking for the specific service you provide.
Finally, get your business onto local directories too. For people who want to patronize businesses in their area, these sites are often their go-to guides.
Of course, not all directories are created equal. Some offer a bland listing and nothing more. Instead, look for directories with more advantages to invest in, like advertising opportunities and events.
4. Prioritize Your Portfolio
You can tell prospective clients all day about how great you are at your job, but they won’t know until they see it themselves. If you want to know how to get digital marketing clients, your portfolio is the proof they need to see.
Your online portfolio needs to have a few key qualities. First, it needs to show variety. Clients want to know if you can capture their voice, so by displaying a broad range of brands you’ve already mastered, you’ll show your ability to take on any voice necessary.
Second, you want your portfolio to reflect the work you want to pull in. If you want more clients in the healthcare industry, for example, prioritize your work for past healthcare clients on your portfolio. This shows the right companies that you have expertise in their area.
5. Blog About Marketing
You probably already tell your clients about content marketing and how important it is to establish themselves as experts in their area. The same is true for marketing agencies.
Many businesses go through a similar process. At first, they try to do their own marketing to save money. They go through a whirlwind of Googling to try to teach themselves the craft.
They may try a campaign or two. Before long, though, they see that it isn’t as easy as they thought. That’s when they call in an agency.
And who better to call than the agencies whose marketing blogs were so helpful when they were trying the DIY path?
On top of this, your blog gives you credibility to help you get SEO clients. With blogging as one of the most effective measures for SEO, clients want to see that you’re taking your own advice.
As much as a blog on your own site can help, don’t forget to write guest blogs for other websites too. Think sites that business owners and executives frequent, like Business Insider and Forbes.
Matt Cutts, Administrator at United States Digital Service, shares more about the effective techniques for building links and eventually getting more clients:
6. Get Interactive
Social media is a cornerstone of so many digital marketing strategies, but most brands fall short on the “social” aspect. They spend plenty of time posting their own content, but little time-sharing, commenting, and otherwise engaging online.
Start by identifying some of the companies you’d love to work with. Follow them on social media and engage with their posts from time to time. One or two comments per week go a long way.
This gets your name in front of that business, especially if it’s a small business where an owner or manager does their own social media. After they’re familiar with your name, you can make a cold call that suddenly isn’t so cold.
7. Build a Following with Your Email Newsletters
Local businesses are always on the hunt for ways to improve their companies and build their revenues. Why not become the knowledgeable resource they turn to for help?
While your blog can serve that need, it’s even better to land in your audience’s inbox by putting out a consistent, valuable, trusted email newsletter.
Start creating weekly email newsletters that are full of marketing tips, new insights, and more. Invest in a campaign to get more subscribers using strategies like a social media blitz and adding a clear “subscribe” button to your website.
For those who subscribe to your newsletter, you’re that marketing genius who lands in their inboxes every week and genuinely wants them to succeed. When they want to hire a professional, you’ll be the first one that comes to mind.
As important as it is to gain subscribers, though, don’t resort to any spammy methods or signing up people without their consent. If you start getting labeled as spam by a few recipients, you’ll have a harder time getting into other subscribers’ inboxes instead of their spam folders.
8. Get Into the Continuing Education Game
Marketing is one of those fields that is always evolving. For business owners and administrators, staying on the cutting edge can make or break their businesses.
Many businesses are willing to invest in mini-courses and seminars about marketing trends and practices. Why shouldn’t you be the one to provide them?
Selling these seminars helps you in two ways. First, it gives you a whole new revenue stream.
Second, it instantly positions you as an industry expert. They recognize that if you know a subject well enough to teach it, you know it well enough to do a fantastic job with the work itself.
If you don’t want to organize your own seminars and courses, you can get into the conference circuit instead. Seek out business conferences in your area and pitch to become a speaker.
This can take time and you may need to pitch for several conferences before you are chosen. The more you have under your belt, though, the more credibility you’ll have and the easier it will be to get future speaking engagements.
Those speaking engagements can skyrocket your business. You get exposure as well as a reputation for being a leading expert. The audience sees you as especially credible if a conference selects you as a worthy speaker.
Finding the Most Effective Ways to Get Clients
As a marketing agency, it can be difficult to find the right balance between working on your clients’ businesses and your own. Too many agencies put themselves on the back burner. Then one day they lose a critical client and have little hope of pulling in a new one because they haven’t marketed themselves in months.
The tips above can help you get clients no matter how small or large your agency is. The key is a varied marketing strategy that combines your staple of digital marketing with old-fashioned methods as well.
You can start right away by joining the Digital Agency Network and seeing everything we have to offer.