Selling Digital Marketing Services to SMEs and Local Businesses

More and more businesses are discovering the crucial benefits of hiring digital marketing services to boost their online presence and make more sales.

According to a recent study, online stores with a big social presence receive 32% more sales than stores that neglect their online marketing. 

If you have a digital marketing agency, you need to know how to promote your services properly, so that you can take advantage of the influx of businesses making the digital transformation. 

The problem is, selling digital marketing services is much different than helping other types of businesses increase their sales. You need to know how to sell digital marketing services to local businesses, SMEs, high-end clients, and other types of businesses. 

No need to panic, because we created this handy guide to teach you everything you need to know about how to sell digital marketing services to all types of clients. Keep on reading to learn more.

Get Clear on What You Offer

Selling digital marketing services is not a one-size-fits-all approach, as digital marketing is an umbrella term for numerous types of services. Unless you are a major 6-figure company that can afford to hire all types of specialties, you probably do not offer every type of digital marketing service available. 

First, you need to get clear on what type of digital marketing services you want to specialize in. This doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself to only one type of marketing specialty, but you shouldn’t be offering everything if you are a small agency. That being said, as your agency grows, you can outsource and offer more services. 

Some of the most common types of digital marketing services are:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Marketing analytics
  • Mobile marketing

Start with either one or two areas to focus on, which will give you great client referrals, then expand as your agency grows.

Know Your Customers

Successful digital marketing agencies know who their target market is, as everything else becomes clearer once you know who it is you are serving. Contrary to typical belief, selling digital marketing services to just any company will not get you more sales, in fact, it will actually decrease your sales.

SME’s and local businesses look for digital marketing services that understand their business, as they feel that agency will know how to represent them best. This means that you have to narrow in on your potential audience and select a niche to focus on. Showing them that you understand their type of business, their ideal customers, and knowing the best angles for boosting their online presence is key to getting hired.

What to Do If You Are New for Selling Digital Marketing Services?

If your agency is quite new and you do not have many clients yet, do not worry as you can follow this simple outline to discovering your ideal potential customer or “avatar”:

  1. Make up a name for your avatar, something simple such as Sarah, Jane, Chris, or Mark. This helps you present the avatar to your team. 
  2. Do a split test study on three main types of potential clients or target markets. This way you can track analytics and see which one suits your agency best. 
  3. Create what their budget will be, and what their goals and objectives are. This could be either to reach more engagement, create more sales, or increase brand awareness.
  4. Remember that your target audience is real, while you may have “created” your specific avatar, this is a representation of a real potential customer ready to purchase your services.

Remember that your agency cannot be something to everyone, but it can be everything to someone. Narrowing in on your niche is a crucial component of having a successful digital marketing agency. Over 70% of businesses are undergoing a digital transformation in 2020, which means there are more than enough clients ready to purchase your services. 

Find Your Clients In the Right Areas

After you discover who your ideal customer is, you will know the best places to find them and approach them with your services. If your ideal client is a millennial, you will find them on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and on their websites. If your ideal client is a generation older, then you may find them on the online Yellowpages, Facebook, their website, in person, and local directories. 

One of the methods of selling your digital marketing services is to get your agency listed on DAN. DAN (Digital Agency Network) is an all-in-one platform for digital agencies, where you are listed by your location and are easily found by business owners that need your services.


How to Sell Your Digital Marketing Services?

The last thing you want to do when selling digital marketing services is sound like a sleazy used car salesperson. This includes a lot of the typical sales approaches such as cold calling, clarity calls, and spamming potential clients digitally.

Another common approach that spammy digital marketers make is to contact a company telling them how horrible their marketing and online presence is. These are all old tactics and will make them feel attacked rather than helped. 

Instead, you need to gain credibility by earning their trust first. You can do this by doing some research on their company first, finding out who their target audience is, the cracks in their marketing efforts, and have clear answers on how they can do it better-without offering your services yet.

This shows the company that you truly care about their success, rather than looking at them like the dollar amounts you can make from the sale. This works especially well when selling digital marketing services to high-end clients. 

Knowing how to sell digital marketing services to local businesses is a bit different than online, as it is best done in person. This helps eliminate the chance of sounding spammy through emails. Having a conversation in person is much more powerful as you can engage in a conversation while asking questions about their pain points with trying to promote their business. 

Speak to Their Desires

In the beginning stages of your agency, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to make a lot of sales. This will make you look at potential customers as dollar amounts instead of them being real people.

The major problem with this is you end up dehumanizing them and you don’t get a chance to truly connect with them and connect to their desires. 

To avoid this, engage in a conversation about what their struggles and aspirations are. According to a recent study done by PR Newswire, 79% of customers only buy from brands that can prove that they care about earning their business. These customers need to feel that the agency or brand understands and cares about their needs before considering their services.

To do this, speak to their pain points by offering services that you can prove will make their life or business easier. For example, people create startups with the objective that they will eventually have more freedom in their life. By teaching them that your services will help them to have more freedom of time with their families, you are speaking directly to their desires.

Show Them More Value

Be aware that your potential customer is probably being approached by multiple other digital marketing agencies. This means that you need to up your value to stand out and show that you offer the best digital marketing services. 

Before you think about introducing the cost of your services, make sure you offer them added value. This could look something like a free website audit, some free pointers, or your Ebook for free. 

Refrain from overwhelming them with too many ways you can help them, and instead, narrow in on one area at a time and show them how one area of their business can improve with your help. 

Know the Level of Expertise Your Potential Client Has

As you connect with more clients, you will notice that there are multiple levels of knowledge they have about digital marketing. This ranges from a complete beginner with a new startup, have some intermediate knowledge, or an expert that needs to save time (yes you can sell digital marketing services to other digital marketers!).


Clients at the beginner level may have some knowledge, but mostly from the research that they have done online. They may understand what they need, but have no idea how to put those plans into action.


Clients at the intermediate level may have a good foundation of digital marketing knowledge and are ready to hire your services now that their business has grown. Sell them your services by showing them how you can make their life easier and expand their business.


Clients at the advanced level already know a lot about digital marketing, and may already create their own ads, etc. You can sell them on your services by showing them that you can help them to do it faster while allowing them more time to enjoy their life. 

Learn More About Selling Digital Marketing Services 

There you have it, the complete guide to selling digital marketing services, and understanding how to approach a sale with different types of customers. 

If you are ready to increase your reach as a digital marketer, you need to join Digital Agency Network sooner than later.