Professional life in a digital agency can be a cut-throat business. It’s a crowded market, and landing good clients and keeping them on the books will make all the difference between long term success or slow stagnation. Here are eight guiding principles to follow when looking to develop new business for your agency, and for building towards lasting success.
Differentiate Your Offering
With around 20k digital agencies in the UK, you need to provide a USP. What can you offer better than any other agency, and how can you communicate that to prospective clients? How can you ensure you deliver on that differentiation?
It can be tempting to see landing a new client from a sales viewpoint, with the signed contract being the goal. However, this is only the start. For long term success, focus on how you can help your new client achieve their business aims, and how you can develop the right relationship to put your strategy into action.
While each client offers a new challenge, you should have a clear idea of how you’re going to achieve mutual success. This means developing tested, repeatable processes that you can follow – and, crucially, being able to communicate them clearly to the client.
More Than Leads
Deluging the client with leads means nothing if there’s no impact on the bottom line. A lead that doesn’t convert is a waste of everyone’s time, so focus on quality over quantity, and on ensuring the underlying business can cope with the volume you achieve. Concentrate on the only metric that really matters – the client’s profit.
Play the Long Game
As mentioned, landing the contract should only be the start. Immediate success would be welcome, but never at the expense of long term goals. Ensure the client appreciates that this is your focus, and be prepared to tactfully fight your corner if short-termism threatens the bigger picture.
Get the Relationship in Perspective
The client isn’t interested in your agency’s success within your own industry, except when it translates into better results in theirs. Make sure all your communications are useful and client-focused, and don’t feel you have to be noisy to earn your fees – the client’s bottom line is everything, and your role is to facilitate that however you can within your area of expertise, not to blow your own trumpet.
Never Stop Refining
Never assume that you fully understand the client’s needs, their aims, or their business model. You should be constantly looking to refine your processes to better fit in with each client, and not the other way around (although suggestions that improve the client’s profits will generally be welcomed). Never lose sight of the fact that each client is unique and not simply another entry in your order book.
Always Welcome Feedback
Lastly, as part of the ongoing improvement and refinement process, you should always be willing to welcome feedback, and to sincerely evaluate it. Whether it’s through a failure to land a contract, or if a relationship’s results didn’t match expectations, there’s always something to learn and utilise for better future success.
As a smaller digital agency, building and maintaining high quality business is key to success. Keeping these points in mind will help you to become an invaluable part of your clients’ operations, and will lay the foundations for your agency’s longevity.