Many new marketers believe they need to work with dozens of clients to meet their income goals. Only by getting as many people to say “yes” to your services as possible can you build the 6-figure marketing agency of your dreams!
We teach the opposite. Instead of going for a dozen clients, each paying you a few hundred per month, aim for 4-5 clients, each paying you $2,000 per month. If you can do this, then congratulations! You have a six-figure digital business.
In the online marketing business, most top performers can count all their clients on one hand. Trying to gain dozens of clients requires more time and energy: you have to spend time acquiring them, learn how to work together, and manage their expectations. Instead of going wide and shallow, go narrow and deep.
In Q1, we focused on how to acquire those few high-paying clients. (I’ve linked to them throughout this post.) It’s time to focus on retaining these amazing sources of revenue.
Why A Client Saved is Better Than a Client Earned
It takes more energy to acquire clients than it does to retain them. You have to prospect, make cold calls and emails, and earn trust over time before you see a dime.
It takes far less energy to retain happy clients. You do what you do best, and maintain a growth mindset. Plus, you get paid for your time.
In addition, relationships appreciate over time. Through months and years working together, you get better at serving the client because you know them better. This often leads to you raising rates… and your clients will be willing to pay for it. Sometimes, they just might share their profits with you in the form of a nice bonus.
Even when things are quiet, retainer clients keep you in business. Every client has lulls in the action, where they need fewer ad campaigns or website updates. You still get paid because you have a regular monthly fee.
This all begs the question, how do you retain happy clients for life? Well, it involves consistently refining your systems and processes, and evolving with changing market conditions.
3 Principles For Maintaining a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is crucial to gaining and retaining long-term clientele. You also need to consistently refine your systems and processes. Here are a few key principles:
- Slash Your Paintings & Tear Down Your Golden Cows
Back when you worked at a regular 9-5, you could find “golden cows” everywhere. Things that were unspoken, or had to be that way. “Well, we’ve always done it this way,” someone might say. Or they do things a certain way because “So-and-So” (the person calling the shots) likes it done that way.
Don’t let the same thing happen to you. Nothing is sacred in your digital marketing business. If something doesn’t work, scrap it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve always done it that way. Ditch the safe and comfortable, and embrace the effective.
On top of that, don’t settle for less from yourself. Pablo Picasso regularly slashed paintings that he didn’t think were good enough. In other words, paintings that didn’t make the cut… got cut up, even though Picasso’s worst paintings are better than what 99% of us can produce on our best day.
The same goes for you. To maintain your freedom, and keep your top clients happy long-term, don’t “settle.”
- There’s No Such Thing as a “Down Month”
Most businesses experience busy months… and not-so-busy months. The same goes for the people who market for them online. But digital marketers who retain top clients never waste a second. During down months, they invest their time into becoming even more valuable for the client.
Economically, this is common sense. If you have free time, but you’re still getting paid, put it to use. Otherwise, you’re taking advantage of your clients.
If one of your clients pays you $2,000 a month to take care of their marketing, and you find you can take care of everything in five days, then spend the rest of the month getting better at your craft. This way, all of your free time becomes an investment into your future work for your client.
- Invest In Further Education
I talk to plenty of successful online CEOs. I also listen to podcasts from some of the top performers in my industry. During these conversations, this question always comes up:
“What is one thing you would do differently if you had to start over?”
It's a fantastic question, because often, what one person can see in hindsight is the same thing I need to know for the journey ahead.
Almost every time, these people say they would do more courses, and gain more skills early on. As things grew busier in their business, they lost time to invest in their own education. Later on, their unpreparedness became their ceiling.
Then they’ll relate a story of how they “went back to school” and learned new skills in a course, only to offer that skill to a client within a week and start getting paid even more.
In the world of digital marketing, getting educated always gives a positive return on investment. The more coursework you do now, the more you can make clients happy… and keep them happy.
What’s one thing you could do this week to improve client retention? Is there an old system you need to throw out? Are there open slots on your schedule you should be using better? Should you start looking for a course on a skill you don’t possess yet? Choose one, and commit. Soon enough, you’ll be better at keeping your customers stable and happy.
Further Reading: How To Retain Existing Clients Long-Term