Marketing growth is no 10-minute walk in the park. The competition in the agency space is staggering. Over the past five years, in particular, there’s been an explosion of activity.
Low barriers to entry combined with an influx of “gurus” teaching people how to launch their own agencies and build “lifestyle businesses” has created unnecessary friction. And if you’re one of the entrepreneurs who are serious about building a successful agency, you’re probably frustrated by all of the noise. But there’s a way out.
When you’re stuck at the lower rungs of the marketing agency ladder, you have to compete with the bottom feeders. But with a little bit of growth, you can surge past the scrum and set your brand apart — making it even more likely that other clients will want to work with you. It all starts with implementing the right growth strategies.
Try These 5 Savvy Growth Hacks
Growing an agency requires you to proactively identify the elements that move the proverbial needle on your business and do away with the ones that don’t. Here are some practical ways you can do just that:
1. Upsell your existing clients.
It’s always far more profitable to retain an existing client than it is to go out and earn a new one. And the best way to maximize profitability with existing clients is to upsell them into other products and services. We’ll talk about the concept of creating a value ladder later on in the article, but before you can do that, you need to master the finer aspects.
In order to upsell clients, you have to wow them. If a client feels like they’re getting a positive ROI on the products and services you currently offer, then investing more money is a no-brainer.
Let’s say, for example, that the client spends $1,000 per month for a service and can calculate a $4,500 return on that investment. That’s called a “wow” factor. And you can basically name the price of the next product and they’ll buy it. Lead with value and selling becomes easy. Marketing growth follows.
2. Focus on referrals.
Prospecting is time-consuming and expensive. You have to find the right prospects, engage them with the right content, build trust, and then make a sale. (And even after making the sale, most new clients possess a healthy degree of skepticism – constantly waiting for you to mess up.)
Rather than eat up your resources on prospecting, you should focus the bulk of your attention on referrals. When you get referrals from existing clients, you don’t have to worry about all of the prospecting. There’s already a certain trust factor built in – you simply need to leverage the relationship and close.
3. Niche down.
Want to simultaneously save time, reduce expenses, and add more high-margin clients? You need to narrow your focus.
As the saying goes, there are riches in niches. In other words, stop trying to serve everyone and create an agency where you specialize in serving clients in a specific industry or niche. Not only does this bring clarity to your messaging, but it also gives you the freedom to pour all of your time and energy into mastering that market. Over time, you become the go-to marketing growth expert for businesses in that niche.
4. Become a reseller.
When a client hires a marketing agency, they expect a full suite of services. The problem is that most smaller agencies don’t have the internal resources to offer everything. The solution is to partner with companies that do.
SEO is a great example. While you might not have the technical SEO expertise in-house, you can still offer it as a service to your clients. The trick is to become an SEO reseller, which allows you to work with an SEO agency that provides these services. You then turn around and “white label” what they’re offering, mark up the price, and deliver it to your clients.
5. Create a value ladder of products.
Are you familiar with the value ladder?
It’s basically a method of mapping out products and services in ascending order of value and price. Your entry-level products offer minimal value at a low price point. The goal is to please these customers so that they move up the ladder – getting more value (but paying more in exchange) as they go up.
Play around with some different value ladder options for your agency and look for opportunities to grow. You may be surprised by what you find.
Put Your Agency in the Fast Lane
There’s no secret sauce or cheat code for marketing agency growth. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re better off spending your money playing the lottery. Growth doesn’t happen by accident – it requires a purposeful strategy and a commitment to doing the little things right. The hope is that this article gives you some motivation and firepower to get to work. It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding.