Digital marketing, SEO and website design are in a fiercely competitive marketplace. We polled several top agencies here in the San Francisco Bay Area asking them what their biggest challenges are in their respective businesses. Here’s what they said.
By far client acquisition and retention was the biggest challenge. You can have the most qualified staff, efficient processes and world-class technology, but if you aren’t securing new clients consistently and taking care of the ones you have, your business is similar to that of a fully loaded 747 with no engines, which means you’re going nowhere fast.
Here in lies the challenge; clients require a tremendous amount of responsiveness on your part. Ninety percent of new business inquiries will call your competitor if you don’t answer the phone or respond to their email first. Be urgent and responsive. Your potential client wants to talk to a live person —you!
When we talked to these top agencies, what we learned was they had completely lost sight of executing the basics—old school basics. Everyone is so hinged on keeping up with the speed of technology and information that they’ve lost sight of these key elements for acquiring and retaining new clients such as:
- Creating and executing their own 24-month marketing implementation plan.
- Follow up on service inquiries immediately. Do not wait.
- Attending industry association trade shows specific to their niche markets.
- Email marketing campaigns that target niche markets and current client base.
- Implementation of a referral incentive program.
- Account Managers communicate weekly with clients even if it’s just to check in.
As stated, these are the basic of all basics that need to be put into play consistently.
This is a biggie. Managing potential client expectations was the second biggest challenge that the agencies we polled had. The issue here is that your prospect has a good idea about what they want, but they don’t understand what it takes make it happen. This is where you come in.
Guiding your prospect through the necessary steps to turn their project into a reality can be a painful exercise in discipline, to say the least. Be patient here. This is the moment in time where trust is established between you and your prospect. When you take the time to “school them up” on exactly what it takes to make their vision happen, they will begin to let go control and you will gain effectiveness.
A word of caution though . . . avoid doing business with potential clients who have unrealistic expectations no matter how much you need the cash flow. However, you may want to share some sort of visual such as an infographic or even a case study so they can begin to snap out of it and get a real understanding of what a successful project that’s similar in scope really looks like. If not, NEXT!
People are EVERYTHING in business and a sure-fire way to attract and retain great talent is to hire people whose purpose aligns with your company’s purpose. Really dig in here. To begin with, you have to be very clear on your “why.” Specifically, “why” your company exists and it can’t be about money because money is a result, not a purpose. Thought leader and author, Simon Sinek has given us two great resources with his books “Start With Why” and “Find Your Why.”
These two books have been instrumental to our own success here at Devine Solutions Group. Our “why” is our driving qualifier that attracts and retains first-rate professionals that are an extension of our brand. Connecting through purpose brings a diverse range of talented individuals together so as to move a mission forward in a positive direction in order to serve others.
In order to scale a skills-based service business, you’ve got to shift gears and move into a process dependent model. Leverage the following methods to begin scaling. Remember, you have to be ready for your own success. If you’re not ready for this, then plan on your business running you vs. you running your business and that makes for a non-existent work/life balance. Your business will own you.
Here’s a quick hit list to get started and poised for success:
- Evaluate and Plan: Get back to basics
- Create and implement your custom 24-Month Marketing Implementation plan.
- Get your service offering to your targeted market.
- Identify marketing channels that yield the best ROI and scaling potential.
- Select three (3) targeted markets and let them know you can solve their problem better than anyone out there.
- Consistently blog and market your content.
- Leverage your own SEO techniques
- Automate as much as possible
- Cloud storage and organization
- Training processes
- Outsource non-essential processes.
- Invest in Technology.
- Implement communication tools and systems.
Without question, digital marketing, SEO and website design professionals are the catalyst to how business is conducted worldwide. What would it mean for your business if you could set in motion processes to assist you with acquisition, managing expectations, attracting/retaining talent and scaling your business in a method that allows to you to work on your business vs. work in your business. Reread that because there’s very big difference.
Devine Solutions Group provides transformation business development and marketing support services for digital marketing, SEO and website design agencies.
Call us today to learn more about how we can help you scale your agency. 833-933-8463.