My posts in the first quarter of 2021 focus on revenue generation, at each stage of your digital marketing agency.
Last month, we talked about 5 ways new agencies score clients, showing them how to expand their clientele. This month, I address more experienced, “intermediate” agencies.
What is an intermediate agency? This means you’ve been around for a while. You probably have a team, and consistent clients. However, you still gross less than $8,000 a month.
Why $8,000? We recommend always setting goals for revenue. For us, $8,000 a month serves as a fantastic milestone, because it means you gross six figures per year. So, if you have a few clients, but haven’t quite hit that $8,000 mark, then this post is for you. Gaining high-ticket clients will push you past the threshold.
In fact, everything else will fail long term. Consider a case where you have 20 clients paying you $400 a month, making $8,000 altogether. That’s a ton of “inbox fires” to put out, campaigns to track, and priorities to juggle. Instead, shoot for 8 clients paying you $1,000. Or better yet, get 4 clients paying you $2,000 a month. Then you can focus deeply on each one to ensure you add value.
Why It’s Time To Try Something New
What worked at the beginning stage of your agency will not work now. If nothing changes, then nothing changes. If you don’t switch up your approach, then results will be left to chance and luck. You don’t want to base your revenue gains on luck. Additionally, as the digital marketing landscape changes, old tactics lose their relevance.
A fantastic example comes from a little-known entertainment and media company in the 1980s. Their name was Disney. Maybe you’ve heard of them.
In the 80s, Disney was starting to falter. While we know them as a media empire today, back then they were mostly known for their theme parks, and some really old animated films. But park attendance was dwindling, and the company drifted toward failure.
Eisner decided to try something new, focusing on media instead of theme parks. The company invested in making two smash hits, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid. They started to monetize their intellectual property and sell old films on VHS. They launched new stores and a television channel of their own. After this, they acquired media outlets like ABC and ESPN.
This led to Disney launching new parks and resorts around the world. They came full circle, with their media gains now driving park ticket sales. After all, who wouldn’t want to go on “Ariel's Undersea Adventure”?
The same principles hold for digital marketing agencies operating in 2021: If you want to change your clientele, it’s time to change your approach.
How To Score Big Ticket Clients
Employing these tactics in tandem will ensure that high-value clients say “Yes” to your offer.
- Develop a Package of Services
When an agency starts out, they usually start with a main skill or two. You know how to build websites with solid SEO. This works for a while.
You score one-off projects and build sites for $500-$2000. As you go, you slowly start to gain more skills. You learn to use social media ads, search engine ads, and email campaigns. Soon enough, you have a repertoire.
It’s time to wrap all of those up in one package. Or, three different tiers of the same package. Now instead of offering to build websites, you offer to take on a company’s entire marketing stack, for a recurring monthly fee.
Make a list of your skills. Keep track of what you might need to delegate to a member of your team. Consider who you would need to hire, in order to fill the gaps.
Then, begin offering a full package. If you can afford it, offer the package for free for the first month. When someone agrees, make it the best month they’ve ever had!
- Revitalize Your Inbound Marketing
New agency owners often focus way too much on inbound marketing. They invest loads of time and money into their website and social media profiles, even when nobody’s visiting them. Instead of pitching services to new clients, they spend a day perfecting their logo. We’ve all been there.
But when you have a full base of clientele, and still hit a wall in your monthly revenue, it’s finally time to focus on inbound.
Clean up your website and social profiles, hiring a professional designer if you need to. Start your own content marketing strategy to establish credibility and drive traffic. Make sure the branding and copy are finely tuned in every single space.
Put your best case studies and testimonials on your site. If you don’t have any, consider hiring somebody to interview your clients and write them.
As you start reaching out to bigger clients, you’ll have something pristine to show them as they consider your offer.
- Learn the Art of Negotiation
Finally, it’s time to learn how to negotiate like a pro. One of the biggest obstacles for intermediate agency owners is that they either don’t know how to, or they’re too afraid to, negotiate for that high-ticket price.
After all, it’s intimidating to talk to an enterprise worth millions, when just a little while ago, you barely knew what SEO was.
But you get to choose how to present yourself, and how the conversation goes. Negotiation is more about relationship than competition. Both parties want to walk away feeling like they’ve gained something valuable.
One book we highly recommend for this is called Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depends On It. Give it a read or listen in order to build confidence for the big conversations ahead!
You’ve Got This
You’ve made it this far. Your hard work has paid off, and now you sit on the verge of a major milestone. Here’s to your success, and switching up your approach to gain bigger and bigger clients!
FURTHER READING: Freelancing and the Dreaded Talk About Money