How do I grow my agency?

“How do I grow my agency?”

I was asked this question last week by two agency heads.

Growing your agency is difficult, if only a bullet point list was the answer.
But some of the points below may act as a catalyst and spark a thought for you.

They’re complimentary to a more in-depth guide I wrote over on the Smart Insights site around new business development.

This list comes from my experience working with agency clients over the last four to five years (and as senior bod within agencies for years before that).

It will take you a couple of minutes to read.

Task yourself to reflect on or indeed act on one of them today.

Agency growth resources.

I also recommend you add the guys below to your feedly account. They are some of the touchstones I often come back to.

Fuel Lines Agency New Business
HubSpot Agency Blog
Ignition Consulting Group Blog
Recourses Consulting
The Art of New Business

So here are my quick-fire thoughts for agency growth

– Have a plan / roadmap to follow.

– Inbound Marketing rules. Focus on it.

– That said, cold (researched) calls are not dead, experiment with an approach that works for you. And clever, creative, relevant direct mail does get through. But do your homework first.

– Be nice. It helps with client rapport (not just for account handlers but anyone who liaises with clients even if briefly). And an internal culture of ‘niceness’ aides staff retention. You can’t grow too well if you’re in constant recruit / backfill mode.

– Network face to face with humans, not email addresses. I have met shy agency seniors who avoid seminars or events (both attending or speaking at). But work on that if you can (if it’s an issue for you) and get out there and meet, help and learn from others.

– Test everything. There’s no magic bullet in new business, imho. Look at all your paid / owned / earned options and try different things.

– Keep learning, stay relevant, invest in training.

– Learn to say No. Don’t chase the money. If a project / campaign / client is clearly outside of your chosen niche or doesn’t feel comfortable, don’t go for it. It probably won’t lead to growth and could in fact do the opposite. Or if it is in your zone but there are twenty other agencies on the consideration list.. run for the hills.

– Niches: find one (service / market ..). Focus on that. You’ll still pick up outlier work (that you should evaluate) but having a focus helps with new business, a clear proposition, staying specialist / skills sets etc etc.

– Create a really clear and compelling value proposition. Otherwise you’re just a logo with a vanilla list of services, competing on price.

Does any of the above resonate with you?

Anything I missed out?


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