One of the most challenging aspects of building a digital agency is acquiring new clients.
Over the past decade the digital space has become increasingly saturated with marketing agencies offering their services.
It is more important than ever to differentiate from the competition in order to be heard in today’s crowded market.
This doesn’t mean, however, that there are no gaps left in the market!
In fact, due to constant, low-quality outreach and services, local businesses are as hungry as ever for a digital agency to come and rescue you them from the masses.
This guide will teach you how to become one of the few agencies currently dominating the internet. In this article, we’ll cover how to get digital marketing clients the easy way. Too many agencies are focused on outreach when they should be focusing on this…
Targeting a Niche Market
Building a niche agency isn’t always necessary in the early stages but it definitely won’t hurt.
The more your services speak to the particular needs of an industry, the less selling you’ll have to do in the long-run.
I’d suggest testing multiple industries if you’re just starting out and have limited experience with online marketing. This way, you’ll get a feel for what industries you enjoy the most and perform the best. Once you have a case study or two in a particular industry, you can then decide to branch off and create a micro agency centered entirely around that niche.
Alternatively, you can start immediately by only targeting a particular sector/industry/vertical of services. The benefit of doing this is you can get a highly refined understanding of that customer, spot patterns in sales and implementation, and quickly dominate a piece of the marketing pie.
Defining Your Services
There’s various ways in which you can niche down beyond the industry in which you serve. One of which, are the services you offer clients.
Digital marketing is an extremely broad term. You surely can go about offering full internet marketing packages but you’ll be making your job much more complex than it has to be.
Each vertical of services you can offer will have its own intricacies in sales, on boarding, and implementation which will take time to figure out, refine, systemize, and scale.
Start by offering a single service to keep things simple.
For the most part, focus on the services that require recurrent payments from clients.
Many web design/development companies struggle with cash flow because they have no recurring services to cushion their expenses.
Here are some recurring digital marketing services you should consider offering…
1) Search engine optimization (SEO)
2) Search OR Social Advertising
3) Email Marketing
4) Content Marketing
You may still choose to offer one-off projects like web design but I’d look at that services as an initial offering to get your foot-in-the-door rather than a priority service.
Develop an Irresistible Offer
Selling digital marketing is 10X easier if you first develop an irresistible offer.
You can define an offer for your audience through a mixture of research and conversations.
The process begins with thoroughly understanding your market space.
Perform deep market research to map out the competitive territory. Then, immerse yourself in the space (groups/forums/blogs/magazines/events) in order to “become” your ideal client.
Your goal is to begin thinking like the audience. You need to know how they talk, what they look like, what they dream about, what frustrates them, and what solutions they have already tried.
Armed with this knowledge, you can craft an offer that addresses the most common pain points and objections. The power of doing this is your product sells itself…
Promote Your Services Organically
Once you’ve hypothesized a service offering for your audience it’s time to field test it. Ultimately, you won’t know exactly what your ideal client wants until you’ve attempted to sell it to them.
This process requires you to be extremely flexible with what you are offering and pivot constantly to meet the audience’s deep needs.
I suggest improving your offer as much as possible through organic means of outreach as opposed to paid media because a) you’ll get a better feel of what the audience wants and b) it’ll save you a lot of money.
There’s countless ways to promote your digital marketing agency but here are a couple of my favorite free methods for contacting prospects.
Cold Outreach (Video Audits)
Perhaps the fastest way to get your offer in front of the right people is to send them an email or phone call.
Generally, I air away from cold calls just because I’m unable to stomach the rejection but don’t shy away from these if this is your thing.
Rather, I’d prefer to start conversions through email and move to phone calls later on in the relationship.
Emails are an amazing opportunity to add value immediately before asking for anything in return. Start your cold emails off by writing a bit about the prospect’s current digital marketing efforts. Then, towards the end of your email, mention that you made them a video with an audit of their internet marketing strategies.
You’ll get quite a bit of warm leads who request you send over the video audit. From there, you make a quick 4-8 minute video detailing what they can improve and embed this on a landing page in which you link to them.
The landing page has additional process information, trust signals, case studies, testimonials, and a means for which the prospect can schedule a free consultation call with you.
Your ideal customer has problems they need solved. Every day, these individuals are scouring the web looking for solutions.
Help them solve their problems and they’ll eventually want to return the favor.
Content marketing is a hugely underutilized tool by most big agencies today. There’s a huge gap in marketing around providing solid content for an audience.
Do this correctly and consistently and you’ll eventually have floods of leads knocking at your door.
Iterate and Optimize Your Sales Process
The process of optimizing your sales/marketing funnel is never ending. It can take weeks, months, if not years to get enough data to really dial in you systems.
This is why I recommend optimizing everything first with free traffic sources. Otherwise, we tend to underestimate the amount of money needed to achieve desired results.
Constantly be looking for tweaks in the language you use with potential clients. Find out what they truly want on a deep level and consistently tweak your offering to appeal to those needs.
For more information on the advertising pitch presentation check out the guide we wrote on how to sell online advertising to local businesses.
Meanwhile, build out your portfolio of case studies and client testimonials; these are your strongest selling tools.
Track your conversion rates and ensure there’s continual improvement month to month.
Eventually, you’ll get to a point where your sales are extremely profitable and predictable. It’s at this point when you want to add leads to your machine.
Scale Your Agency With Ads
This is the point when you really blow up your agency. Too many marketers jump straight to this phase without a refined backend to their business and end up wasting far too much money.
Further, they underestimate the time and investment ads will take to dial everything in so they end up shutting everything off early.
Hopefully, this isn’t you!
By now, you’ve dialed in the backend of your sales and fulfillment so much so that you can handle the expense of ads. You’ll now be ready to pour some rocket fuel on your fire.
Honestly, this part is one of the easiest if you’ve done everything right up until this point. This is because you’ve developed a proven offer and now all you have to do is scale distribution.
You have various choices when it comes to advertising your agency. You can surely leverage search advertising but this space is generally saturated and you may not experience the best cost per lead.
I’d suggest looking into a) Facebook ads and or b) niche solo/banner ads.
Keep in mind, test, test, test. Advertising rarely works with one shot and it’ll take you lots of testing to figure everything out.
Fortunately though, you’ve already done all the heavy lifting!