The ONE query you must develop your company
If you're an agency owner, you probably know that leads can be difficult to find. People are stopped responding to your cold emails, your ads are not generating traffic, and your funnel looks emptier than ever.
It's a constant problem that plagues the agency business even when it shouldn't be. As long as the world is turning and people are buying things, there will always be a need for marketing. Businesses, regardless of size, need good marketing, and hiring a marketing team is often too expensive to afford. The demand for marketing agencies is definitely there.
And if you think there is too much competition, think again.
If you were to count the number of small businesses and agencies in existence today, there would be roughly 250,000 small businesses per marketing agency. There are more than enough potential customers to walk around, but many marketing agencies are still struggling to find leads to fill their funnel.
Why is that?
It's not because you're a bad marketer or a bad seller. Again, most New and emerging agencies face the same problem. It's just because, despite the huge market share, the agencies usually get everything wrong …
Unless you have an incredible number of customers, you can't just rely on recommendations to get your business where you want it to be. Otherwise, finding new leads would be no problem and you wouldn't search the internet for answers.
And unfortunately, relying on a large advertising budget, team of salespeople, and a large number of social media channels won't fill your funnel either. They will definitely help you, but they are not the place to start.
You MUST first be able to predictably convert your prospecting into paying customers. The kind of customers that pay higher, are easier to work with, and allow you to do the job that you actually enjoy doing. You can't just throw together a few moving parts and expect qualified leads to show up at your doorstep. You need to develop an organized system and plan to get them there.
Once you have that plan, all you have to do is ask one simple question to turn ideal prospects into customers. But again, the starting point is your forecast plan to get people interested in you. A plan that will indeed Job.
And once you have it, not only will you get more customers, but you will also help your customers be better prepared for their business to grow. They will help them create their own marketing plan that will allow them to take control of their business. After you've helped them develop their plan, all that's left to do is ask a simple question: "Do you need help with this?"
It really is that simple.
Create a plan for your agency
It's not obvious to have a prospect-to-customer conversion plan in place. It's hard work and admittedly requires a lot of trial and error. For some agencies, this process of trial and error can become too costly or time consuming. For some, this doesn't produce instant results and they get discouraged. Either way, they revert to their old strategies, which may produce a little results, but inevitably dry up after a while.
So, advice: Do not get discouraged. Developing a plan is necessary and knowing where to start is half the battle.
We've seen hundreds of agencies try, so we know a little bit about how the process works – which means we know a good place to start.
Here at DM we don't offer agency services, but we work with many agencies that we know and trust. This means that we can see “behind the scenes” what the most successful agencies are doing … and we've reduced it to a simple formula we call that Agency Growth Flywheel
The flywheel for agency growth is a four-step process that we identified by reviewing the activities of many successful agencies. It's the foolproof formula that can work every time. All you have to do is do it correctly. It goes beyond advertising budgets and lead magnets – and provides predictable growth for agencies willing to join the plan.
It's easy to implement. There is only one thing you need to make sure you can deploy it: Value.
It just means you need to be able to do your job effectively. If you have an understanding of advertising and know that your customers are happy with your work, this formula is all you will ever need to make sure your funnel stays as full as your bank account.
Let's break down this 4 step formula …
(NOTE: And if you'd like to learn even more about what's going into the Agency Growth Flywheel, we have one free Training webinar so you can learn the detailed details about the process that can unlock the potential of your agency.)
Step 1: Attract prospects through value-in-advance content
The best way to get prospects in the door is not through a slimy sales pitch. Entrepreneurs take their businesses very seriously and many of them don't want to be sold by someone they don't know about. And even if you care about them, it will be really easy to over-promise and undercut.
The best thing you can do to get people interested in your agency is to show them you know what you are talking about. The best way around The is through value-intensive content.
It is important to note that this content must be inexpensive or even free. Your end goal is to convert your readers into customers, and asking them to familiarize themselves with you will directly prevent it. You want to get as many people as possible to view your content so you can find out the name of your agency. Not only does this build your reputation, but it also helps you bring in more leads.
This content can come in many different forms: blog posts, webinars, online videos, and everything in between. All that matters is that you produce content that people can actually get out of. You should be able to teach them something new with your content that is powerful enough for them to remember you and your agency. Once you've done this, you can add a little bit of credibility to your prospects in your industry. It's much easier to get her to the door for a meeting or to get her to attend an informational session.
Step 2: Invite them to a free "discovery session".
Once you get them interested in your offering, you can get them to the door so they can learn more about your product or service. However, this is not a disguised sales pitch – it is a meeting to find out what needs they actually have. You can do this organically (interview style) or you want them to fill out a questionnaire. Regardless of the strategy, all you need to do is learn more about what your company is doing and where to go.
In reality, this meeting is more for you than your prospect. This meeting can help you learn more about their business and the issues they are facing. Again, you can control who your ideal customer for work is and who is not. The goal is for you to be able to work with customers you really like and to be able to do work that you actually enjoy. If you don't think you and this customer are a good fit, you can switch to other leads.
If you have your prospect in this meeting, it is important to identify their customer value journey. This is the basis for the strategic plan you will implement. Understanding what your customer expects from their customers and what goals they should achieve at each step of the journey goes a long way in determining whether that customer is a good fit for them. If you can effectively match the CVJ with your client and you are both excited about the job being done, you know they will be a good fit for you.
Step 3: Convert your prospect into a short-term paying customer
The next step is simple: get your customers to the book. Once you know who they are and help them iron out a predictable system that could work for their business, you need to make the partnership official. But you don't want to make the critical mistake that many agencies make …
In this step, you want to commit your client to a short term deal and start putting their plan into action. You don't want to sign them into a long-term retainer deal – this partnership is as much about you as it is about you. They help them figure out where to start, come to an agreement on what "success" looks like, and then figure out which metrics illustrate that success.
Stay by their side and guide them through the process. Ideally, both of you will see some results. Once the plan is in action, all you have to do is ask one simple question: "Do you need help with this?" and go to step 4.
Step 4: move your customers up to a rolling retainer
Now that the hard part is done and a relationship exists that is based not only on trust but also on results, you are ready to sign a long term contract. Your agency will provide the marketing help when it is needed and you have an extremely loyal and satisfied customer.
If they run into problems later and need serious help, there is no one better qualified than you. They understand their business, their vulnerabilities and their customers. You officially have a relationship where everyone wins, and both you and your customer can take advantage of it.
Sounds easy right? This is because this was the abbreviated version of the process.
There is much more that goes into the Agency Growth Flywheel process. So be sure to check out ours free training webinar.
Once you master the process, it is almost impossible to stop. Many of the agencies we work with have found that 25-30% of their free meetings turn into discovery sessions into paid clients. And yes, You actually want to work with them.
But that still begs a question you may be asking: "How do I find the right customer?"
When you host your discovery session, anyone can walk through the door. There may be some winners in the group, but you probably want more efficiency than that. This is why you need to make sure qualified candidates walk through the door every time.
There are many qualified leads out there, and there are tons of creative ways to find them. You will be surprised what it does for you just talking to people in line at the store. However, if you also want to learn how to identify and contact those qualified leads, we can help with that too.
Click here to download our new Refill Your Pipeline guide by Friday. It walks you through the different avenues to find leads, as well as the messages that interest you.
Once you understand both sides of the agency equation, you can achieve the growth you want.
It may sound crazy, but scaling your marketing agency can be as simple as a 4 step process and simple question. All you have to do is be ready to do the job (and have the system in place).