As agency owners, we spend a TON of time, money, and resources to build our business and provide valuable services to our clients. But without enough clients, all of that hard work doesn’t get used to its fullest potential …
My agency went from 0 to 527 agency clients in just 18 months, and these are some of the best strategies we used to do that:
1. Ask for Referrals
People are 4X more likely to buy when they’re referred by a friend, and we’ve found this to be true at our agency. A ton of our clients come from referrals, but before you ask your current clients if they know of anyone to refer, you need to be great at what you do and get awesome results.
I dive into referrals in this video clip:
The first step is to identify who to ask for referrals. Each week, the account managers at my agency put their clients into three categories: “Needs Improvement,” “Good,” and “Great.” Your goal is to have less than 8% of clients in the “Needs Improvement” category; the remaining clients are split between “Good” and “Great.”
“Great” clients are the ones who are so extremely happy with your service that you know you can reach out to them and ask for a video testimonial or referral. If you think they’ll say no or you ask them and they do say no, put them in the “Good” category. Once you identify your “Great” clients, call each of them and ask if they know of anyone you can work with to help them get similar results.
If your clients are satisfied with your services, they’ll happily refer you to other business owners who will benefit from you.
2. Build Strategic Partnerships
There are a lot of other businesses that serve the same target audience as your audience but don’t compete with you. These include accounting firms, video production companies, or web design businesses.
Make a list of businesses with the same target audience as you, and brainstorm ways that the partnership will help both of you. Ask your best customers what other businesses they work with, reach out to them, and let them know you have a mutual client.
For example, host an educational event together – this can be online like a webinar or in person like a workshop – or write guest blog posts for each other (I talk about this more in the next tip). When you form strong partnerships with other businesses, there’s a lot of ways to mutually benefit and double the people who see your brand.
One of my favorite books that dives into this further is The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz. I highly recommend you check it out if you want to learn more about this strategy.
3. Create Valuable Content
Use content to provide a ton of value and build trust and credibility with people who are interested in your services. My agency has a blog, podcast, educational videos, guides, and more that are available to everyone for free.
The blog posts have call-to-actions where we give away more even content, such as free guides. To receive access, they must opt in with their first name and email address. Once they opt in, market your products or services to them through email. But first they need to understand the value you provide as an authority in your space, and free content is a great way to do that.
We also write guest blogs for partners, and they do the same for us. Guest blogs help us reach a bigger audience and provide even more value to our readers. This is why it’s so beneficial to form strong partnerships like I talk about in tip #2.
4. Run Ads
The content you create not only provides a ton of value to your customers, it also builds your retargeting list. Be sure that you have retargeting pixels on all of your content, and run ads for your agency to your retargeting list. This allows you to reach a warmer audience that’s already shown interest in your services.
You can also upload an email list and create a lookalike audience. This is a great way to reach new people who fit your demographic.
Here’s how to create a lookalike audience:
- Export your client list from your CRM as a CSV file. This list must have at least 100 people. You can also export your newsletter list, but keep in mind that source quality matters.
- Upload the CSV file to Facebook.
- Choose the size of your audience. The smaller the audience, the better because it will be more similar to your client list.
Once you create a lookalike audience, run ads to them. The target audience you choose for your ads is really important. Don’t just target anyone – be specific so that you don’t waste your ad spend. If you advertise for others, you need to be great at it for your own business.
These are the strategies that helped my business get more clients. What other tips do you have for agency owners?