While we occasionally have the opportunity to market a new company or product, it’s more often than not that when we are pitching for new business, the prospective client is already working with another marketing consultant or agency and looking for a change. Similarly, while we occasionally get referred by a current client and we are the only team being evaluated, we are more likely to be one of several digital agencies being considered.
Whether you are a solo practitioner or a mid-sized company, you need to figure out how to make your marketing agency stand out to win new business in 2021. Clients don’t do what we do day in and day out, so they don’t always understand how to evaluate your expertise; the subtle nuances of executing an SEO strategy, content marketing or paid advertising campaign can be lost on them. In fact, I recently showed a prospect three websites that I felt showed him three different approaches only to have them tell me they looked exactly the same to him!
How do you distinguish yourself in a world where clients can’t see the difference between three websites, let alone understand the difference between an expert SEO and a hack? Here are three suggestions that take the discussion beyond what you do to how you do it.
Is there anything unique about how you execute projects? One thing that makes my agency stand out is we require our team to record our monthly strategy for each client as well as what we actually do in a digital notebook. This information lives in project management software that is accessible to our client at any time. This is especially helpful when we deliver services like SEO that don’t automatically generate a change log that can be audited, like paid ad platforms do. By showing how we are accountable for our work, we build trust with our prospects. This process helps retain and upsell clients, too. I recently had a long-term SEO customer ask me to show him exactly what we had been doing over the past month. His business was being impacted by COVID-19, so leads were down, despite an increase in organic traffic year over year. I opened the log and show him. This led to a conversation about what more we could do that might drive more leads for his business.
If you are working with clients on an ongoing basis, they expect to see results and reports. Too many marketing consultants and agencies dive into projects without discussing what a successful outcome looks like and what metrics should be tracked. What you should track and measure will vary from service to service, but being able to elevate the conversion beyond the delivery of marketing services to a business discussion about creating a reliable stream of new customers at an acceptable cost per acquisition will distinguish you. A sample report can make you stand out, too. Jess was created in response to a current client’s feedback that our reporting wasn’t meeting his needs. The biggest benefit of using Jess for our reporting is it is a tangible way to makes us stand out during the sales process.
While it’s tempting to be all things to all people, it’s hard to beat a specialist. You can specialize in a particular industry vertical or marketing specialization. These specializations can be very, very specific. We recently lost a client who went to an agency that specializes in digital marketing for retail running shoe stores. It was hard to argue that someone who does just that day in and day out for dozens of stores like his wouldn’t be a better place for this client. In the startup world, they say if you want to get big, start small. Picking the right industry niche or focusing on just one service, like SEO or Facebook Ads, is the way to go for many agencies.
Those are some of the way our agency stands out. What are some of the ways you will grow your marketing agency in 2021?
For more tips to help grow your marketing agency, subscribe to our newsletter!