An In-Depth Guide to Client Acquisition for Agencies:

Having a strong value proposition and knowing your agency's ideal client leads to an effective approach for wholesaling and online advertising.

An In-Depth Guide to Client Acquisition for Agencies:

How Anyone Can Get More Clients?

It's hard for many agencies to acquire new clients. Many people wonder where they should start when thinking about client acquisition. Fortunately, the process isn't as complicated or daunting as it may seem at first glance! This article contains a series of tips from proven strategies that will get you more clients in less than 3 months!

How can I get more clients for my agency?

This is a question we get asked frequently, and the answer may surprise you! Client acquisition doesn't have to be as complicated as it might seem at first glance. In this guide we will offer seven proven tips that anyone can do in order to acquire new clients quickly. These techniques should help you find more clients in less than three months.

A Client Acquisition Approach for Agencies:

  1. Establish a Client Database - To start your client acquisition process you need to first ensure that all of the clients are aware of who you are and what services you offer them. Setting up a database system will help make this step easier on everyone involved, and it is often a necessity when you have more than 15-20 clients.
  2. Client Referrals - Another way to get new client leads is by asking your current ones for referrals! A survey of our agency's customers found that over 50% were happy with the service they received and would gladly refer us to another company in need of marketing services.
  3. Client Retention - Client retention is one of the most important parts for any agency. Without retaining your clients you have no chance at acquiring new ones, so this part has to be handled well and with care! You can achieve client retention by having a sound plan in place that ensures they will stay loyal, providing them with consistent value or by using specific strategies that are proven to work.
  4. Social Media Advertising - As technology advances and social media becomes more available as an advertising platform, the need for traditional advertising decreases. You can run ads on Facebook or Twitter to target your audience based on a number of factors including age and interests.
  5. Your Website - Client acquisition doesn't have to be complicated! One way you could acquire new clients is by adding an online form that allows prospective customers to list their contact information in order to be contacted by your agency.

Phase 1: Your unique value proposition

If you want to find new clients for your company, it's not enough to create a new product. You need to find ways of differentiating yourself from the competition so that people are drawn in by what's typical different about your agency.

There are two ways to do that:

1. Niche down
2. Creating a core offering for that niche

1. Niche down

Niche down means narrowing your focus.  One way to do this is by focusing on a specific industry or service. For example, if you're an agency that helps small businesses with social media marketing and content creation then focus your efforts solely on helping those types of companies.

The best thing about niche downing as opposed to broadening your scope is the  fact that you'll have a better chance of getting your message in front of the right people.

You may not be an expert at everything, but you can still provide valuable advice to a small business owner with social media marketing and content creation needs if they're looking for someone who has experience in those areas.

For example, let's say you're an agency that helps companies with website design.  You might not be able to offer social media marketing or content creation services, but you can still help by offering your expertise in the other areas and then suggesting they find a different agency for those parts of their business.

If it's done right niche downing will actually lead to more customers.

If you have a good reputation for social media marketing, then small businesses with content creation needs will be more likely to come to you because they know that your services are specifically tailored to their needs. This could lead to referrals and long-term business opportunities. Niche downing can also increase the level of expertise in areas where it's needed.

2. Create a core offering

Your company's main product or service is at the center of your brand.

It's the foundation of everything else you do and it should serve as a touchstone for all your efforts.

But what if you don't have anything to work with? What if your company doesn't really offer any products or services yet? No worries, just create one! It can be something simple like virtual phone answering service or more elaborate like a marketing company.

The core offering can be anything, but it should provide value to your audience and show them what you're about.

Phase 2: Your ideal clients

The way to grow your agency is to find out who the people are who need what you have.

Your agency's success begins with knowing who your target audience is and then finding out what they need.

Determine the demographic, needs and goals of the ideal clients you're trying to attract. With this information in hand it can be a lot easier to offer them something that meets their needs or at least point them in the right direction.

Create client personas: How to create persona(s) for your agency?

- Client persona name

- Client's occupation and title

- Why do they need you?

For example, "I can't find the time to update my blog" or "My website doesn't accurately reflect my brand."

Create a list of problems that your target client might have. These will form part of the content for your agency's marketing materials.

Create a list of benefits your target clients will receive from working with you and the services that you offer.

- Client personas: Jane Doe, Social Media Marketing Expert; John Smith, Entrepreneur; Jessica Greene, Owner of an Arts and Crafts Store - Why do they need me? I can't find the time to update my blog or It's hard for me to grow my social media following.

Your client buying journey

Once you've defined your client personas, it's important to understand the ways they find out about your service.

There are three common types of buying journeys:

- Top down (Your clients know what they want and come to you)

- Bottom up (A client starts small with a lower priced service then escalates to the point where they're ready for your most expensive one.)

- Sideways in (a customer is not satisfied with their current situation, but doesn't know what to do about it)

The ideal customer experience for your agency would be a top down process.  Unfortunately not all prospective clients will come looking for you in the first place so having other options can help get more people through the door.

Steps to retaining and acquiring new clients are often visualized as a funnel, with the following stages: Awareness, Consideration, Decision.

Awareness: Create a list of marketing channels you'll use to reach your target client. Yours might include social media, advertising in magazines or on websites, and cold-calling businesses that would have an interest in the services you offer.  There should be more than one channel available to prospective clients so they can find out about what you offer.

Consideration: Once someone has found out about your service, they're going to want to know more before deciding whether or not having you involved in their business is worth it.  The consideration stage includes the following steps:

- Client should be educated on what your agency can do for them

- Client should get a sense of your personality, offerings and terms

- Client should be given a sense of your agency's values

Decision: If the client decides to work with you after considering what they've learned about what you offer, congratulations! You're now on their timeline. They'll need help from your team in figuring out how to use the service as well as any other support you can provide.

- Client should be given a timeline for how long it will take to get the results they want (e.g., "we'll help you grow your social media followers in three weeks")

- Client should have access to an account manager who is available and responsive 24/seven, 365 days per year

Phase 3: Your marketing website

Your agency website is your strongest tool for getting new clients. Make sure it resonates three vital traits: trust, clarity in the value proposition, and conversion.

- Client should be able to learn what your agency does in as few words as possible (e.g., "we help you grow your social media followers")

- Client should have a clear sense of how they can access the service/value proposition and if it's worth their time

- Client should find out about all costs upfront

- Client should be able to convert as easily as possible (e.g., making it easy for them to subscribe to your service)

- Client should be able to contact you and talk with someone on your team as easily as possible

Pricing: Pricing is an important aspect of your agency's marketing because it has a direct impact on how many clients you'll attract.  The best way to figure out what the right pricing plan for you would be, start by comparing similar  service providers in your industry.

Here's a general rule of thumb: Client should be able to afford the service but it shouldn't be too cheap that you can't stay competitive, nor too expensive so they won't want to work with you at all.

- Client should have access to pricing plans based on what their needs are (e.g., "we provide different pricing plans for small and medium-sized businesses")

Phase 4: Your marketing

In order to find more clients for your agency, you should look for the most profitable marketing channels possible.

- Client should be able to use their marketing channels for free or at a low cost (e.g., "we only charge $145 per month")

- Client should have access to unlimited email addresses, phone numbers and company names to help them market themselves better

Your team members: Your agency's employees are the most important part of your client acquisition strategy.

- Client should have access to a team that's knowledgeable, responsive and easy to trust with their business (e.g., "we're always available for you 24 hours per day")

Your marketing budget: Your agency needs at least $1000 USD allocated every month towards marketing if they want to find new clients.

- Client should have access to an unlimited budget for marketing their agency (e.g., "we'll spend up to $1000 USD every month on your behalf")

If you’re new to marketing, the best way is to run experiments and find what works. Once you’ve found something that has a significant impact on your business, double down on it.

1. Cold outreach

One of the best ways to find clients for a new agency is through cold outreach. You can use this strategy to find potential clients, as well as build a list of contacts for future marketing efforts.

- Client should be given advice on how cold outreach works and why it's so effective (e.g., "cold emailing is an excellent way to establish relationships.")

Understand the purpose: The reason you're emailing someone cold is to either get them on your list, or schedule a meeting.

- Client should be given an example of what the email would say (e.g., "Hi Ravi! My name is John and I'm contacting you because we specialize in social media marketing for small businesses.")

Keep it short: The longer it takes for someone to get into their inbox, the less likely they are going to look at your email.

- Client should be given an example of how long it shouldn't take them to read a cold outreach email (e.g., "I'm happy you found our site and I hope we can work together soon!")

Keep it relevant: Make sure your cold outreach email is about what the person wants.

- Client should be given an example of how to keep it relevant (e.g., "I wanted to reach out and see if you want our social media marketing services")

Be urgent: If there's a deadline, let them know when that date will be.

- Client should be given an example of how to make it urgent (e.g., "We're having a promotion until the 31st, so please get back to me by then!")

Give them what they want: The key is finding out what your potential client wants and giving that to them.

- Client should be given an example of what they want and how to give it to them (e.g., "We specialize in social media marketing for small businesses, so we know exactly how you're feeling.")

Build relationships: Client should follow up with someone who's opened their cold outreach email but hasn't responded yet.

- Client should have access to the email follow-ups they should be using (e.g., "I wanted you to know that we specialize in social media marketing for small businesses, so I hope this can help!

2. Networking

Another effective way to find clients is through networking. This can be done through conferences, networking events or by connecting with other professionals in your industry.

- Client should get advice on how to network effectively (e.g., "The key is building relationships and showing people you're valuable.")

Set goals: Client should come up with specific goals for every event they go to so they know what to do to be successful.

- Client should get advice on what their goals for a networking event would be (e.g., "I'm looking to find new potential clients at this event.")

Have an opener: Client should come up with specific openers they can start conversations with people who are there as well as follow-up questions.

- Client should have a list of openers and follow up questions (e.g., "Hi! I'm John, what do you think about these new social media trends?")

Helpful talk: Client can ask people to speak on panels or give presentations if they're knowledgeable in their field and willing to share that knowledge.

- Client should have a list of helpful talks they can ask people to do (e.g., "I would love for you to speak on our social media panel next week.")

Useful advice: Client should use these tips when networking at conferences and events.

- Client should be given some useful pieces of advice about how to network effectively (e.g., "Practice your questions before you get to the event.")

Don't be shy: Client should not take themselves too seriously when networking, and have fun with it!

- Client should be given a list of tips about how they can make their networking experience more enjoyable (e.g., "I always have my business cards printed in the color of the event's theme.")

3. Referrals

The best way to get clients is referrals.

Client should be given advice about how to create a referral program (e.g., "We need your help: if you refer someone who becomes one of our clients, we'll give you $100.")

Client can also get referrals by being good at what they do and meeting the needs of their clients.

4. Content and SEO

One way to gather more leads for your agency is by creating content.

Client should be given advice about how to create content for their agency (e.g., "Make sure you're giving your audience everything they need.")

Client can write articles, blog posts and other content on their website that is both useful and valuable to the client base

- Client should have a list of different types of content they can generate from their agency (e.g., "We can write blog posts about how to use social media for your business.")

    a. SEO

Another way to get clients from content is SEO. Client should be given advice on how they can improve their page's search ranking, and create more in-depth pages instead of just one or two sentences.

- Client should have a list of different ways they can improve their SEO (e.g., "We should include a video on our page.")

Client's free advice: Client will know what is the best client acquisition strategy for them, and it might not be any one of these methods. Client needs to do research and find out which strategies work best for them.

    b. YouTube

Another way of increasing your number of clients is to create a YouTube channel.

Client should have a list of advice on how to create and grow their YouTube channel (e.g., "Create quality content, promote your videos with social media.")

Client can also make money from ads that are shown when people watch the video.

- Client needs to know what type of advice they'll need in order for them to be successful with their YouTube channel (e.g., "Do they need to be a YouTuber to get this advice?")

    c. Newsletter

Furthermore, building a newsletter and sending monthly updates is another great way to get clients for your agency.

Client should have a list of advice on how to make their newsletter successful (e.g., "Make sure your content is relevant and valuable for the reader.")

Client can also include calls-to-action in this email that will prompt readers to take an action such as signing up for a webinar or requesting more information about something they've read.

5. Personal branding

It's also important to build relationships with potential clients through personal branding.

Client should be given advice on how to build their personal brand (e.g., "I'm always asking my friends if they have any clients who need an agency.")

Client can also make sure that everyone in the company gets involved with this strategy by mentioning it at every opportunity--when speaking, presenting and even just interacting via email or social media.

6. Industry directories

Another way to sign up new clients is by being featured in directories such as Product Hunt, TrustPilot, Angel List, Clutch, Sortlist, G2 and other directories.

Client should be given advice on how to get their company listed in these directories (e.g., "We need your help: if you share our posts, we'll add a link to your website.")

Client can also get featured by sending out an email with all the details about why they're great and what sets them apart from other agencies.

7. Marketing engineering

Marketing engineering is the process of creating a free project that attracts both leads and clients.

Client should be given advice on how to create a marketing engineering project (e.g., "What's the best way for me to get free leads?")

Client can also include an offer where anyone who signs up will receive some type of reward--this could be anything from a discount code or coupon, access to a webinar, discounts off future services, etc.

Client should also include a clear list of steps to take in order for someone to get the reward (e.g., "Sign up here, fill out this form and request your reward.")

Here are some other ideas for marketing engineering you can do:

– A free course

– A free email newsletter series

– Templates and checklists

– Calculators etc.

8. Paid advertising

Paid advertising can be an effective strategy for generating leads or growing your mailing list.

Client should be given advice on how to advertise through paid channels (e.g., "What are the best types of ads for me?")

Client can also include a list of some great ad networks they've used in the past with tips and tricks on what makes them successful.

Conclusion

The best marketing is about solving problems.

Having a strong value proposition and knowing your agency's ideal client leads to an effective approach for wholesaling and online advertising.

Once you’ve identified your agency’s basic needs, it is important to generate leads. There are a number of ways that an agency can achieve this - from cold outreach to content generation.