Many larger agencies will have business development teams who are focused on bringing in new clients and contracts. However, in a smaller boutique-style agency that job often comes down to the digital marketing team. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as smaller businesses usually require individuals to wear a variety of hats from HR to Accounting.
Juggling these responsibilities will certainly keep you on your toes. But it’s still a great opportunity to show what you’re capable of and add additional skills to your CV. So how can you find, attract and win those marketing clients that are going to not only be good for the business, but are going to be great to work with? Every client is different, and will have different expectations but there’s a few things you can do to help you win them over.
In my last blog I talked about how to decide between a role within a marketing agency or as part of a brand marketing team and the differences between each option. For those of you heading down the path of an agency role; it’s important to think about how to approach new clients, and how to win those you really want to work with.
It goes without saying that the reputation of your company can be the most influential factor when clients are choosing their new agency. For many small agencies, word of mouth is key and ultimately comes down to whether you have delivered. If something does go wrong with a client, do what you can to rectify it. One negative review can be devastating for a small business so it’s important to always be looking out for red flags and doing what you can to avert the situation.
Being responsible for the businesses marketing strategy is essential. It is your job and you need to be confident that everyone within the team has the same mindset too. That way, those recommendations from existing clients will be backed up by positive testimonials and a positive reputation within your area.
For a small agency, it’s hugely important to work on your reputation within your local area. You’ll be surprised at how much and how quickly this area expands. Support local businesses where you can, get involved with local causes and this will help to create a positive brand image for clients looking at your from further afield.
It would look great if you were able to help with every new enquiry, but sometimes it’s just not something you can help with. If it’s something you can help with, go on to further discussions which will result in a proposal but if you can’t complete the work be honest about that. You don’t want to damage the reputation of the company by doing a bad job.
I’ve had to do this myself, but I have pointed the work towards someone who can help and often the client will remember that and come back in future as they appreciate this honestly. If it’s something you’re a little unsure of, make sure you do some research around before getting involved or it’ll become clear you don’t know what you’re doing.
Acquiring a new client could be as simple as a phone call or as complex as multiple meetings with management. You need to be flexible and happy to meet with clients (even if it’s over Zoom right now!). Even more importantly, it pays dividends to just be yourself. At the end of the day clients want someone who is going to help them and focused on the same goals but isn’t a complete robot. Take an interest in the people behind the business a little. Then you can develop a relationship which is both business focused but with a personal touch. They’re placing their trust in you to deliver on their marketing goals
Creating a professional proposal template doesn’t take long and isn’t difficult to do. However, it will make a huge difference in how you come across. Yes, a simple email outlining the work required and the cost does the job. However, compiling a document that just goes that bit further is even better. Be sure to include some information about you or the business. You could also add in the process of working together and go into detail about exactly what you think you’ll be able to help with.
Give your professional opinion and explain your thinking behind it. Be sure to include a full cost breakdown and offer to discuss this with the client if required. Finally, some examples of work and client testimonials will look great too – I’ve even connected potential clients with existing ones before. It may sound excessive, but showing you’re confident in past work will make a huge difference.