Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur United States, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
These days, a business that’s trying to make it in today’s flooded market simply cannot afford to exist without effective digital marketing strategies. This is where starting an actual digital marketing agency can prove to be the right move.
Everybody is going to turn to your services to help them with ranking, reach and visibility, right?
Well, that’s only if you commit to building a successful digital marketing agency.
Now, you don’t have to start by offering every single service within digital marketing, but a full package would set you up in the right direction. Here are some practices that could affect your success considerably.
1. Keep reaching out to prospects
It doesn’t matter where you are with your digital marketing agency; the thing that will help it grow is continuous prospecting. In this business, there’s no such thing as “enough prospects”. The more prospects you target, the more offers you’ll get. And the more offers you get, the more money and success will come your way.
Keep in mind though that you never want to come off as desperate when reaching out to your target market. It’s perfectly fine to lose a prospect or decide that you don’t want to work with them. Sometimes, you simply have to be selective for the sake of your well-being and the future of your business. That said, if a certain prospect doesn’t seem to be a good match, it’s not the end of the world.
There are plenty of different prospecting strategies that you can use to propel your digital marketing agency. It’s important to try as many as you can until you land with a strategy that works the best for you and your business.
2. Entice the prospects with a great offer
As you keep targeting your prospects and have some of them reach back to you, it’s important to entice them with an offer that they wouldn’t want to refuse. Remember that these prospects have plenty of marketers targeting them. Just because you managed to establish a contact doesn’t guarantee a closed deal.
The thing about digital marketing is that the majority of marketers and agencies today ask for an upfront payment to do the work. This is actually rather logical, considering that digital marketing projects take time and effort to show true results. Still, this doesn’t guarantee the business owners that they’ll get the work they’re paying for.
You may be able to find your irresistible offer right there; for instance, a free or discounted trial period for SEO or paid ads can be a good way to show your agency’s capabilities. Generating leads for free for a shorter period may be another kind of offer that’s hard to pass as well.
This will show the business owners that you run a serious, professional and confident agency. When you deliver on these initial offers, they’ll be far more likely to proceed to hire you for long-term projects.
3. Focus on the delivery instead of over-promising
We all want to sell ourselves to our prospects, but doing that by over-promising can set you up for failure. When explaining the strategy to your client, it’s best to downplay their expectations.
For instance, you may be able to achieve the desired SEO rank for their website in 3 months but explain to them that it might take as long as 6 months to get to that point. And when you make the mark after 3 months (or anywhere less than 6), your client will be impressed with the delivery and happily remain on board with your digital marketing agency.
4. Start by fully mastering one niche
As a digital marketing agency, your goal is to plan and execute marketing campaigns for the clients without too much concern about their niche. You’ll gain insight into these niches as you go.
But for a startup digital marketing agency, it would be very beneficial to have at least one specific niche fully mastered.
When you speak the lingo of the niche and show your interest in it, the clients of that niche will be more inclined to choose your agency. It also helps you get into the nitty-gritty details of that client’s specific struggles in the market, thus delivering better solutions.
5. Outsource the grunting part
You don’t have to do all the work on your own. Even if you have your regular employees, they don’t have to waste their time and effort on unproductive and menial tasks.
The beauty of digital marketing is that it’s all done online. Therefore, you can also find online assistance for some grunt work. Working with freelancers or virtual assistants on matters like these will save you a bunch of time and money so that you can focus on more pressing matters. It’s also possible to use other companies for your digital marketing APIs or other relevant solutions to ease and streamline your work.
6. Pay attention to what the client tells you
The majority of today’s business owners understand that they need digital marketing, but they probably don’t understand a thing about it. Chances are that they know what they need to achieve their own goals.
So, if a client tells you that they want to get more customers so that they could hire more people and have more free time for themselves, don’t try to pitch them with talks about SEO, Google and social media ads. They are more likely to respond to you positively if you show understanding of their situation and explain to them in their own words that you can make their goal happen.
7. Offer different marketing skills
As mentioned, several different aspects and skills go into the vast term that is digital marketing. It’s not necessary to start your digital marketing agency by offering every single skill, but some are more effective than others when it comes to making a name out of your agency and growing it from there.
For a start, make it a point that your digital marketing agency offers SEO, lead generation, AdWords and social media ads
8. Maintain long-term relationships with clients
A client can change their mind at any point and tell you that they simply don’t want you to run ads for them anymore or don’t need your SEO services. In these cases, there’s honestly not much that you can do, unless you prepare a strategy to keep the client long-term in advance.
As you’re doing lead generation and ranking the websites that you own to boost the client’s SEO, you can always keep those leads and websites once they decide to cut you off. After all, they’re your property. You can also create high-quality backlinks that the websites you’re working with simply can’t afford to lose.
9. Electronic payments all the way
What are you doing running a digital marketing agency and asking for written checks from your clients?
Think about it — if they have to write a check every month for your services, they’ll be more inclined to consider just how much it’s all worth. This is a conscious action and thought process on their part, not to mention that a monthly payment via check might seem quite expensive to them at some point.
On the other hand, electronic payments — and more specifically, weekly electronic payments — are far more beneficial for your digital marketing agency. They’re effortless, especially when you have the auto-pay option.
Taking a small chunk with electronic auto-pay every week won’t seem as excessive or splurgy compared to writing a big fat check every month.
10. Always think long-term
There will be instances when your clients will be late with their payments or perhaps offer a deal that might be less than what you’d normally go for. Of course, you shouldn’t make it a habit to go below your worth, but if the client in question is someone you already have good experience with, it will do you good long-term to meet them halfway from time to time.
They’ll find you even more pleasant to work with and they’ll send the much-needed referrals your way, which will make the current situation well worth it in the end.
The world of business and digital marketing is not all black and white. Find your little gray area where you can establish yourself as an authority.