As a marketing professional, you’re highly skilled at executing lead generation strategies for your clients. But when it comes to bringing in new leads for your own agency, you might feel a little stuck. Just as the shoemaker’s children go barefoot, your own sales pipeline can suffer when you’re focused on your clients’ pipelines.
To set your agency up for long-term success, it’s essential to fill your sales funnel with a steady stream of new leads. But where are you supposed to find all of these prospects? As you know all too well, it’s not enough to sit and wait for potential buyers to come to you. Instead, you need to develop focused strategies to reel in your target clients and make sure they see the value of the services you offer.
Not sure where to begin? Here are six tips to bring in new leads for your marketing agency.
1. Identify Your Target Buyers
The first step in the lead generation process is to know what kind of leads you’re looking for. This requires you to have a deep understanding of your agency’s niche in the marketing world.
Log into your CRM and consider your current roster of clients. Do you do a lot of work for small to mid-sized businesses, or do you mainly have enterprise clients? Do you specialize in marketing for particular industries?
Next, identify your areas of expertise and think about what types of clients would most benefit from them. If your agency is known for Instagram marketing, consider which industries tend to be quite active on Instagram (for example, the health and wellness industry) and do some research on local companies in those sectors.
Once you’ve gone through this brainstorming process, you’ll be better equipped to find leads that fit your agency’s target demographic.
2. Join the Conversation
Your leads aren’t actually hiding out from you. But when your sales funnel is empty, finding potential clients can feel like rooting for truffles in the woods. To begin filling your funnel, you have to identify where your leads spend time online, then get involved in the conversations. Start by searching Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for industry-specific hashtags. You can also join forums like Quora and Warrior Forum where your target demographic may be seeking help with their marketing efforts.
As a marketing agency, it’s your job to understand what interests your clients and your clients’ clients. Consequently, these online communities are great places to “listen in” on what problems business owners have. When you see opportunities to answer questions or offer guidance, share your wisdom along with your agency’s contact information. Although the askers may not be ready to hire a marketing agency, putting your expertise out there will keep your name in people’s minds.
3. Show Off on YouTube
Not so long ago, people relied on their televisions for the latest news, advice, and entertainment. Now YouTube offers users the ability to view just about any kind of video content — anytime and anywhere. As a result, more and more people are flocking to YouTube for information about growing their businesses.
To capitalize on this thirst for knowledge, start a YouTube channel for your marketing agency. Create videos that evoke emotion and speak to your target clients’ marketing problems. These don’t have to be anything fancy, but have fun with them!
At various points in each video, encourage viewers to visit your agency’s website or sign up for your newsletter. You should also consider adding some gated video content directly to your website. By capturing the email addresses of interested viewers, you’ll acquire some concrete leads that you can follow up with.
4. Let Them Peek Behind the Curtain
If you’ve ever discussed your work at a party, you already know that most people have no idea how digital marketing works or what exactly a marketing agency does. Unfortunately, the same may be true for your target clients. This is problematic because if they don’t understand your services, they won’t realize how those services can benefit them.
One way to generate new leads for your agency is to let them “peek behind the curtain,” so to speak. This means sharing enough detail about your strategies and their results to spark interest (though not so much detail that your competitors can benefit!).
Client case studies provide a great opportunity to do this. In a video or article, explain your step-by-step approach to tackling a real problem for a real company. The benefits of this are twofold. Not only do prospective clients get a better sense of what you do, but if they have similar problems, they can better appreciate how your services could help them. Turning the case study into a piece of gated content provides another opportunity to capture the emails of interested leads.
5. Build Out Your Blog
It’s a classic lead generation strategy for a reason. Maintaining an active blog is one of the most effective ways to generate organic website traffic and new leads for your agency. Be sure to offer your readers valuable content that they can use to grow their own businesses. The more helpful your blog is, the more your readers will see you as a marketing thought leader.
Encourage your blog visitors to engage with you by embedding a web-to-lead form on the site. When a visitor provides their contact information through the form, they’ll automatically be logged as a new lead in your lead management software. This allows you to nurture them by sending them additional content they may be interested in.
6. Reward Referrals and Reviews
Isn’t it great when a client is nice enough to refer a friend or write a review for your agency? The truth is that online reviews and personal recommendations carry a lot of weight for people making purchasing decisions — so don’t leave these acts of goodwill to chance.
Take advantage of the good work you’ve already done by rewarding existing clients for reviews or referrals. Schedule reminders for yourself to follow up with each client after a project is complete. By offering a discount on future services or a small token of gratitude, you’ll increase the likelihood of the client spreading the good word. This will help to build your reputation in the industry and bring in new leads faster.
They always say you should practice what you preach. And in the case of a marketing agency, that means having a strong plan for generating new leads. Whether you focus on just a couple of the tactics listed above or implement them all together, your sales funnel will soon be full of potential clients eager to learn from your experience.