There’s a lot of Marketing agencies out there that want to call themselves “boutique” – they’re small, they work with a small number of clients, and they like it that way. What this typically translates to is: the agency is stuck and they don’t know how to grow. This is the number one thing that holds Donkey agencies back from reaching Unicorn agency status. But it’s okay; while growing your Digital Marketing agency isn’t a breeze, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are 8 fail-proof tips to help you grow a Marketing agency from a Donkey into a Unicorn Marketing agency.
1. Have a Bold Vision for Your Agency
It doesn’t matter why you decide to grow your Digital Marketing agency – for money, for status, to make a difference – you have to start somewhere. The best place to start when you’re thinking of how to scale a Marketing agency is with a big idea. But what’s the point of having an idea to grow your Digital Marketing agency if you don’t run with it? Make the vision bold. Make the idea borderline delusional.
You need a lot of help to grow a Digital Marketing agency and the right agency Marketing tools, and the best place to get it is from the idea’s inception. If you have a lofty goal for your agency, you won’t attract the people that want to simply go to work and do their job without making a current. And that’s good because you don’t want those people.
Here’s my actual business plan from my first agency. It says I’m going to create this business with nothing and we’re going to run this thing up to tens of millions of dollars within just a few years. All while in a global recession and with me having zero startup experience. The plan worked.
Having a bold vision for your agency will attract the type of people that have bold visions themselves. It’ll draw the employees, partners, and investors needed to make those goals a reality.
2. Go up Market; Focus on Bigger Customers!
It’s hard to grow a Digital Marketing agency when you’re constantly losing customers. Often customers will opt for the path of least commitment; month-to-month client options, low advertising budgets, etc. This is something you’ll want to avoid if you want to grow your Digital Marketing agency into a Unicorn.
You’ll want to view your customers’ pre-existing monthly advertising budgets as their commitment to the Marketing channel. The higher the advertising budget, the more the customer buys into your agency’s marketing plans. These customers will be far more committed and will churn at around half the rate.
But how can you make sure you’re converting these types of customers? The answer is simple: think bigger.
If you go upmarket in your search for new customers, you’ll be more likely to find the ones that are committed to working hard on their advertising. You’ll end up with fewer customers in the end, but the ones that you do have will come with bigger budgets and longer customer lifelines. This will result in an overall higher profit for your Digital Marketing agency.
3. Use 90-Day Net Promoter Scores
Have you ever gotten one of those surveys that asks you how likely you are to recommend a product or service to someone else? These surveys are extremely important to business, as they provide you with a Net Promoter Score.
A Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors (anyone who rates your agency from a 0 to a 6) from the percentage of promoters (anyone who rates your agency with a 9 or a 10). A good Net Promoter Score is anywhere from 20%-30% or above. You can, however, manage your score by taking specific action as a result of your ratings.
If you have a lot of detractors, intervene. Ask them how you can help. Offer them a free trial to an upgraded version of your product, a discount, or upgrade their account to a more Senior Sales representative or a different Client Service representative.
The same is true for your promoters. If people rate you with a 9 or 10 in your survey, saying they are likely to refer your agency, then ask them to do so. A happy customer is a good customer, and a good customer will refer you to more good customers.
4. Put Energy into Your Client Service Department
You want to keep customers in order to grow your Digital Marketing agency, and there’s a lot of ways to do that. Did you know that a client’s happiness and satisfaction with their Client Service representative is actually more tied to Marketing agency client retention than account performance?
It’s true! Happy customers mean a growing agency. That’s why it’s important to put a lot of energy into maintaining and optimizing your Client Service department.
Focus a lot on training your Client Service representatives. The more training they have, the more likely they will get good customer ratings. Putting the money and effort into ensuring you have a top-notch Client Service department will result in a higher number of satisfied clients!
You should also be reviewing customer satisfaction and retention metrics on a monthly basis. You can incentivize great service from your own employees by tying 10% to 15% of a Client Service representative’s compensation to tangible performance in terms of rankings.
5. Hire More Salespeople.
All of your employees are important. Everyone working with you to grow your Digital Marketing agency is important. But Salespeople are the ones selling your product, so why not have a lot of them?
Hiring more Salespeople simply means more Sales. The higher the volume of Sales employees, the more Sales will be made, and the more Sales made, the higher your agency’s revenue. You’ll be a Unicorn agency in no time. Not only does hiring more Salespeople accelerate your agency’s rate of growth; it also decreases customer churn rate because there will be more customers to commit to your product!
6. Use Facebook Messenger Marketing
The most underrated and possibly most important tip to grow your Digital Marketing agency is to use Marketing chatbots for Facebook Messenger Marketing. Messaging has become the most popular form of communication, and messaging apps have surpassed social media apps in terms of number of monthly users.
Facebook Messenger marketing actually gets 10 to 80 times better engagement rates than email or Newsfeed Marketing methods. So, what is a Marketing bot? Just one of the most important moves you can make to grow your Digital Marketing agency.
You can use Facebook Messenger Marketing for any part of your client’s Marketing funnel: lead gen, nurture, promotions and conversions, surveys, customer service, etc. Facebook ads with chatbots result in lower CPAs, higher conversion rates, higher ROAS, and feature instant lead capture capabilities. Basically, Facebook Messenger chatbot ads are a no-brainer upgrade to your agency’s Digital Advertising performance. When you use a Facebook Messenger bot in your Facebook and Instagram ads, instead of having a link that takes a potential customer to a Facebook page or a website landing page, the link can bring them to a Facebook Messenger chat window.
There, they can interact with a chatbot that you set up for whatever purpose you decide, and everyone who talks to the bot becomes a new contact in the audience database that you can send follow-up messaging and promotions too.
7. Market Your Own Agency!
You don’t want to stop at doing your Clients’ Marketing. In order to grow your Digital Marketing agency, you have to market yourself! A good amount of profits (and a good amount of energy) should go to working on your own agency. You can successfully separate your agency from the others by using a number of different methods.
You can start by using trendy Marketing methods to catch potential customers’ attention. You also want to get your product out there; try having a promotional event where you offer some of your services to a select number of people for free. This will get people talking about it. You can also use Content Marketing to draw people in by relating to current events or internet trends.
For Marketing your own agency, you can also use Facebook Messenger Marketing to set up an easy agency pricing proposal, setting monthly retainer fees for different services.
You can use chatbots for automating your service and easily retaining more contacts. Using chatbots will also differentiate your Digital Marketing agency from competitors, sparking interest from new customers and eventually resulting in longer commitments and higher retainer fees.
8. Have a Great Work Environment
Like I said before, you need to get the right people in order to make your bold vision for your agency a reality and grow your digital agency to Unicorn status. It’s hard to draw and keep good people without having a great work environment. You want to make sure that your employees like coming to work, and love where they work. Obviously, having more positive feelings about going to work will lead to better work performance. But what’s more, having good, happy employees will result in those employees referring more good employees to work for you!
There are many ways to promote a great work environment and office culture. Having a beautiful office is an easy one; nice workspaces give people a change of pace and space to spread out, while snacks and drinks will keep them energized and feeling nourished.
It’s also important to be flexible. Employees that understand that they have the freedom to see doctors, take mental health days, or spend time with their family are far more likely to perform better when they are at work. And there’s one last thing that’s important to growing your Digital Marketing agency into a Unicorn agency.
Accelerate Your Marketing Agency!
Grow, grow, grow! And grow fast! If you grow your agency as fast as possible, you will maximize your exit valuation – the final step to being a top-of-the-game Unicorn Marketing agency. If you’re ready to grow your agency with expert Chatbot Marketing services, join me and 25K other Marketing pros and agencies in MobileMonkey Island.
Let me know what you think of these tips in a comment.