The 3 Ways That The Best Agencies I’ve Worked With Get Clients
This is my first piece of content in my internet marketing agency series.
Who is JT? Well: I’m a consultant who has worked in many different capacities with Internet marketing agencies. I started by working with them as a freelancer. Then I started partnering up with them as a white label provider. I stopped that to work on a bigger opportunity, and when that ended I joined multiple marketing agencies in various different roles: including one as an executive.
In my executive role, I learned quickly that the agency model didn’t fit my personality as an entrepreneur, so I quit my executive role and have decided to no longer try and build an agency from the ground up. That was a very difficult decision to make, as it altered the entire course of how I saw my life. But the CEO and I both knew it was for the best.
In my years of working with marketing agencies, I noticed a lot of inefficiencies and problems that new and established agencies have.
The one I want to talk about today is client acquisition. The majority of agencies around today float themselves with a few key clients that basically keep them in business, and they never grow.
But I had worked with a few that were in a rapid growth phase, and were successful at doing so. What sets them apart from the agencies that struggle to acquire any clients?
Many agency CEOs try anything they can to get clients. They’ll do LinkedIn outreach, email outreach, Google and Facebook ads… even cold calling.
Most agencies find that none of this works. (I’ll discuss why in a future series… and how agencies that make them work, are able to leverage them.)
But the fastest growing agencies have a few tricks up their sleeves that most agency owners don’t do or they don’t do very well.
The main strategies they use:
In person appearances, where they speak on stage. Some of them work small rooms; others work big ones. This puts them in front of potentially big fish. The stage is a superpower.
What kind of appearances do they do? Everything. Depending on their client base, they will either go local, or they’ll look at big stages where other big names are speaking. To get a spot at the biggest stages, however, you’ll need to either be well known in the industry, or be well connected to the people who create the event.
To become well known, you’ll simply need to work smaller conference circuits until you’re invited or you meet people who host conferences elsewhere.
Engagement on forums and LinkedIn. They’re active and they build authority there. Sounds like a waste of time? It’s not. Big, big deals are made there and CEOs that spend time there can reap great rewards. I myself have found some good deals on LinkedIn, and forums were my bread and butter for years.
They sell books. They make themselves the authority. This gets them all the clients they ever need… if their books are good and they sell enough of them.
The reality is that there are so many marketing agencies out there in all fields, especially in digital. Most of them are very small and remain small, catering to a few key clients that keep them in business. Some don’t even invest much in client acquisition.
If you run an agency, how do you currently get clients? What kinds of acquisition strategies would you like to try out in 2020?