As a digital marketing agency, it’s essential to have a steady stream of clients to keep your business running. However, finding new clients can be a challenging task. In this article, we’ll share some proven strategies for getting clients for your digital marketing agency.
Social media is a cornerstone of so many digital marketing strategies, but most brands fall short on the “social” aspect. They spend plenty of time posting their own content, but little time sharing, commenting, and otherwise engaging online.
Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are great places to connect with potential clients and showcase your skills. Building a strong presence on social media can help you to get your name in front of potential clients and increase the chances of getting new business.
Start by identifying some of the companies you’d love to work with. Follow them on social media and engage with their posts from time to time. One or two comments per week go a long way.
This gets your name in front of that business, especially if it’s a small business where an owner or manager does their own social media. After they’re familiar with your name, you can make a cold call that suddenly isn’t so cold.
Create a profile on online directories
Your website is far from the only place to build your web presence. One of the most overlooked strategies is to get onto as many online directories as you can. It’s the easiest way to reach companies looking for digital marketing.
There are a few routes to take. Of course, you want to be on the general, widespread directories like Google and Yelp to start.
Next, focus on industry-specific online directories like marketing agency directories. These are especially helpful because everyone in the audience is a qualified buyer, looking for the specific service you provide.
Finally, get your business onto local directories too. For people who want to patronize businesses in their area, these sites are often their go-to guides.
Of course, not all directories are created equal. Some offer a bland listing and nothing more. Instead, look for directories with more advantages to invest in, like advertising opportunities and events.
Websites such as Clutch, UpCity, and The Manifest are great places to list your agency’s services and showcase your portfolio. Creating a profile on these websites can help to increase your visibility and make it easier for potential clients to find you.
Send cold emails
Cold emailing can be an effective way to get clients for your digital marketing agency. By sending targeted cold emails, you can reach out to potential clients and introduce your agency’s services. Cold emailing can be a great way to get your foot in the door and start a conversation with potential clients. Read more on how to get started in our step-by-step guide.
Blogging: Showcase your skills
Finding new clients can often simply be a case of making it as easy as possible for you and your agency to be found — or even simply stumbled upon. Leaving traditional paid advertising aside, casting your net wider can be achieved with a less direct approach. Rather than advertising what you do, just talk about it.
Blogging is a great route for discovery. You can build yourself, your talent, and your agency as an authority in your industry and as thought leader by producing killer content. Talk about challenges in the industry, share an opinion or simply facilitate conversation via blogging. This can be as simple as keeping an agency blog which is contributed to regularly and shared via social media and email newsletters. Or you can branch out even further and try your hand at guest blogging for industry-leading sites. Offer your content and expertise for others to share and make an impact on their regular readership.
Pick clever, topical titles and pay attention to current trends to make the greatest impact. Ensure your content is unique and credible and you’ll be surprised how a relatively low-cost piece can increase your agency’s exposure to a wealth of potential new clients.
Partner with other agencies
There are several reasons that agencies choose to pass on clients – heck, you probably have even turned down clients yourself for any number of reasons. Typically, agencies will pass on projects that are either too low budget for their agency model or because the project in play may require skills or expertise they simply don’t have. Or perhaps they have the skillset but simply do not have the availability to timely deliver for that new client. Regardless of the reason, collaborating with other agencies is a great way to win new clients because the lead generation and vetting process is already taken care of for you.
One of the simplest ways to find a mutually beneficial agency partner relationship is to exploit two of the most common reasons for passing on clients:
Go Big – Partner with an agency considerably larger than you with a noticeable difference in the pricing structure. These partners will have no problem making an introduction to you for a potential new client that simply can’t afford their services.
Exploit a Niche – Find an agency that doesn’t offer what you offer. Ideally one of your strongest service offerings. Many digital marketing agencies have found success partnering with web development and design agencies who simply don’t have the expertise in-house to deliver ongoing digital marketing services post-production of a website for example. If winning new clients through referrals like this isn’t appealing to them, you may want to consider offering some of your services as a white-label solution.
Referrals: Ask your existing clients
Referrals are a digital marketing agency owner’s dream. Not only because they come at practically zero cost, but because winning referral opportunities are concrete evidence that your clients are happy with your work and you’re doing a great job – and they’re willing to spread the word about you to their friends. New clients from referrals are earned by consistently performing excellent work for your current accounts (which makes new referral clients extra rewarding!)
One area where many agencies fall is they don’t proactively make any effort to facilitate new client referrals. This is often through a misconceived view that approaching existing clients for referrals could appear desperate or in some way damage your current client relationships. Most clients will be more than happy to assist you where they are able when it comes to introductions to new leads and contacts. There are a few things to consider as you get referrals.
When it comes to proactively approaching your existing clients, ensure you pick clients who are up to date with their own workload and any deliverables. (You don’t want to be searching for more work and new clients through a client that is still waiting on current work from you.) Make it personal by saving the referral request for a monthly review meeting (which is typically in person, over the phone or via Skype) — the request will seem more genuine and you can gauge your contact’s state of mind and satisfaction with your services before popping the question. Asking for referrals off the back of a period of success or a major milestone in your relationship with your current clients is always a smart move.
Revisit lost clients
By lost we’re talking more about “the ones who got away.” Those almost clients that, for whatever reason, didn’t become new clients at the time. Leave a reasonable gap — a minimum of 8 weeks – before you get in touch with them again. Ask them how things are going, if their plans have played out as they had expected, and, of course, if there is anything you can help them with.
The key advice here is to keep the contact as personal as possible. Leverage the relationship you started to build. Make specific references back to discussions you had with them in the past and ask specifically about targets and milestones. With the right balance, the communication will come across as a genuine conversation igniter rather than feeling like a copy-and-paste sales attempt. Even if you lost out in a pitch to another agency, that’s not to say everything is going as planned with their chosen partner.
Local businesses are always on the hunt for ways to improve their companies and build their revenues. Why not become the knowledgeable resource they turn to for help?
While your blog can serve that need, it’s even better to land in your audience’s inbox by putting out a consistent, valuable, trusted email newsletter.
Start creating weekly email newsletters that are full of marketing tips, new insights, and more. Invest in a campaign to get more subscribers using strategies like a social media blitz and adding a clear “subscribe” button to your website.
For those who subscribe to your newsletter, you’re that marketing genius who lands in their inboxes every week and genuinely wants them to succeed. When they want to hire a professional, you’ll be the first one that comes to mind.
As important as it is to gain subscribers, though, don’t resort to any spammy methods or signing up people without their consent. If you start getting labeled as spam by a few recipients, you’ll have a harder time getting into other subscribers’ inboxes instead of their spam folders.
In conclusion, there are many strategies that digital marketing agencies can use to get new clients. Networking on social media, creating a profile on online directories, sending cold emails, blogging, partnering with other agencies, asking for referrals from existing clients, revisiting lost clients and building a following with email newsletters are all effective ways to increase visibility and attract potential clients.
By implementing these strategies and continuously looking for new opportunities, you can grow your agency and ensure a steady stream of new business.
Remember that building relationships and providing value to potential clients should be the focus in your efforts. It’s important to test different strategies and measure the results to understand which ones are working best for your agency and adjust accordingly. With a bit of hard work and persistence, you can get the clients your agency needs to succeed.