While it can be relatively easy to get a small to midsize agency off the ground, seeing substantial growth is the greatest challenge.
Are you struggling with how to grow your agency to increase ROI and reach more customers? In this article, we delve into why you may not be tracking growth and four ways to overcome those obstacles (as well as a few bonus tips to put you even further ahead)!
Why isn’t my business growing?
The age-old question, why isn’t my business growing? While it may not be obvious at first, if you deep dive into your resources and lead generation strategies, you will likely find the answers. Consider these potential challenges:
Is Everyone on Your Team Pulling Their Weight?
Finding the right resources is one of the most important factors in growing an agency. Building the right team can make or break a business. Although there are unicorns out there who excel in all of their tasks, always complete projects on time, and are perfect teammates, finding them may be challenging.
Take time out of your day to do an audit of your current workforce. In many cases, up-and-coming talent is more than happy to grow their skills and assist with tasks outside their current job description. It’s a great way to break down those silos and create an amazing dynamic between teams.
In other cases, certain team members may only be skilled in one niche that doesn’t bring in the big bucks. In that case, it might be worth re-examining their role and considering how their skills could be better used to prompt more agency growth. If you run a digital marketing services company, for example, think about whether your account manager could assist with lead generation or if you really need a dedicated email specialist. In some cases, a copywriter could assist with creating and monitoring email workflows and social media content calendars. Consider skill sets and efficiency when delegating work.
Make Lead Generation a Priority
Any agency growth plan should include lead generation. It’s a vital part of growing an agency but is often left on the back burner as it requires some skill and dedicated time to find the right lead generation channels.
In many cases, it’s necessary to hire a dedicated sales or growth manager. You can outsource this work to a company that specializes in lead generation or have an in-house team handle it. The most important thing is that the person has time to focus on lead generation and isn’t distracted by time-consuming tasks like:
- Client work for marketing agencies
- Home inspections for real estate agencies
- Sourcing new itineraries for travel agencies
Lead generation and growth marketing should be their number one priority at all times.
Choose Your Clients Wisely
It’s tempting to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity and lead that comes in when growing an agency. The trick is knowing when to say ‘no.’ Take time to get to know and understand the needs of your prospective clients, the profitability of taking them on as customers, and the requirements of their markets or briefs. Some clients can consume time and resources that drain your company of valuable profits, energy, and company culture. Do some research and see whether a prospect matches your company culture and fits within the skill sets and interests of your team.
Besides just choosing clients wisely, find partners that can provide value to help you boost revenue in the short and long term. Some companies offer partnership programs that enable agencies like yours to benefit financially by simply outsourcing work that is outside your niche. Read on for more information about Scopic’s referral program and the benefits within.
Communication is Key
In general, it’s more cost-effective to keep current clients than to sign new ones. To maintain strong, long-term client relationships, communication is key. Be sure to send timely reports, project updates, and timelines. Remember that your client’s time is precious and they want to feel a sense of control when handing over projects, briefs, and ideas to their chosen agency. Do you recall what we mentioned about quality resources? A great account manager or agent who keeps clients updated and checks in even if a project, itinerary, or sale has been completed is a great investment for a growing agency.
Bonus Agency Growth Plan Tips
Have you already worked these 4 tips into your strategy? We’ll you’re in luck. We have a few more strategic ways to grow your agency that we have compiled from our years of experience as an international full service digital marketing agency. Enjoy!
1. Focus on Clients With Larger Projects
Think about how much more efficient your agency could be if you moved away from project-focused clients. Not only is it more cost-effective to keep a client for years, but it’s also easier on your team. Some clients are specialized in niche markets or complex industries that require many hours of research into the sector. It is best to just have to do this one time. Once you understand their industry and needs more, it will be easier to find the right voice to consistently reach their clientele.
2. Upsell Clients and Cross-Promote Your Services
Upselling and cross-promoting are often overlooked when growing an agency. Clients may think that they only need a couple of social media posts a week to grow their following. In reality, what they actually need is a dedicated landing page and social media optimization services (running ad campaigns, creating posts, and audience engagement activities). As an agency, you should think more strategically. There are many other tasks you can pitch to a client to help them (and you!) grow. Consider the skills and services that make your agency unique. If you are a marketing agency with a design department, for example, you can offer more than just copywriting for your client’s website — you can propose to design it too! Utilizing teams across departments will save you time and money as well as upskill employees and help them grow.
3. Monetize Your Strategic Planning
Without a solid strategy, no campaign can be truly effective. There may be companies that have the teams to execute plans but lack direction. That’s where you come in. Why not monetize your strategy skills and offer them as a service? Present strategic planning as a separate service to prospects so they know your time and expertise is valuable and that your approach is 360 degrees.
4. Pinpoint (and Embrace) Your Niche!
Let’s face it, hiring those unicorns we mentioned can be costly and may not be the right or realistic approach for growing an agency. Take a deep dive into your current model and see which services bring in the most revenue. That may be the key to finding your niche. Use the strength of your teams and promote your core services to grow a loyal customer base. You’ll also be able to find some referral programs of companies that specialize in those services that you don’t offer. This brings us to our final tip…
Become Part of a Partnership Program Where It Pays to Refer!
Big brand companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, Uber, and Evernote have all used a referral model to find their ideal clients. These partner programs are successful because both the referred and referral parties win. In Uber’s case, if you share your unique code with a friend who hasn’t used the app before, you’ll both earn a discount. Referral programs are great for keeping you focused on lead generation and your niche while also receiving referral bonuses.
Scopic offers a referral program for agencies, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and any other professionals who want to make a long-term referral commission. The great thing about this program is that it pays out every quarter for up to 5 years of the agreement with the referred client. This means you can continue spending time on lead generation and simply refer the prospects that fall outside of your niche. Should your referred client decide to move to a different department within Scopic or increase their budget, you’ll continue to benefit along the way.
Your clients, friends, or partners will appreciate that you found them a service provider that can help with their marketing and design needs. This allows you to focus on what services you are best at.
A Referral Program Designed to Drive Agency Revenue
With almost 15 years’ experience in the software development, marketing, and design industries, Scopic is the one-stop-shop solution for all of your contacts’ needs. We’ll be able to offer your referrals:
- Mobile app development services
- Custom web development services
- Desktop application development services
- Analytics services
- Digital marketing services
- Custom ux design
Start working some of these pro tips and suggestions into your agency’s strategy and you can expect to track consistent growth quickly. Be honest with yourself about the current state of your company — it’s the only way to make real change within your agency. Whether you decide to specialize in a couple of niche departments or start monetizing more services, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that light means more growth and revenue for you and your team.
For more information on the Scopic Referral Partner Program, contact us and we can discuss the finer details. We’d love to set up a free consultation to explain all about what Scopic can offer your contacts. Become a referral partner and increase your revenue (without taking time away from your core service offerings).