3 Keys To Success For The Modern Digital Agency
According to the Quora response by Agency Spotter CEO, there are over 120,000 agencies in the US, and over 500,000 worldwide. That number is astounding, and set to grow with the increasing prevalence of technology and social media.
Another main reason for the increase is due to a low barrier to entry. After reading countless articles, books and stories about people starting agencies, it seems they all had one common interest, lifestyle. Most people were tired of the drudgery of 9 to 5 jobs and wanted to have more time and more money. They were aware of their skill-set, their surroundings and their network. Let me explain 3 keys to success that we have noticed over the past year with the growth of our digital agency.
Cushion — The best way to start a company (especially a digital agency) is by already having clients or a book of business to choose from. When jumping ship from another company or starting your own thing, it’s best to have revenue waiting at the door, ready to pay your bills and startup costs. This ‘cushion’ provides the breathing room of fighting the daily battles upfront of selling or finding new clients. As long as you have the income to pay yourself, and one or two more people, then you can spend the rest of your time focusing on startup mode of strategies, hiring, service focus, processes, operations and more. Doing all of that, while also worrying about paying your bills and team can be a nightmare, so know you have money coming in, or can find an easy way to get it.
Craft — Focus on ONE key aspect of your service business. Don’t try to do everything and offer every digital service at once. This won’t allow you to maintain focus to craft perfection. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take new business that comes to you for various services that you can provide, but that you simply don’t promote. So, if you’re going to focus on social media, then focus on social media for your inbound, outbound, and overall sales strategy. Even more so, it might be best to focus on a singular aspect within social media, like Facebook ads. Develop a sales process, operations, workflow, and execution team, and also an account manager to keep the client and team focused. Be clear with your offerings, expectations, and client goals. However, if sales are low and you have low hanging fruit with current clients that will enable you to grow that cushion (i.e. building a website to help your clients ad clicks convert better), then take on those projects to build your cash flow and case studies.
Create — Become a thought leader and thought provoker in your industry, especially your niche. Develop case studies about your first and most successful client and give real world examples of what you did and how you did it. Don’t be shy about giving real numbers and insight because you think you have some trade secret that others will copy. Imitation is flattery. Let them copy you, but make sure you are the first to do it, or at least the first to publicize your agency doing it. Make sure you talk about it, blog about it, create e-books, and get in front of people. Post creatively on social media accounts and do your own Facebook ad marketing with providing true value and insight to the viewers. Practice what you preach and be thankful while doing so. Agencies are a dime a dozen, so separate your craft and perfect it, then let people know your the best, but in a subtle way. Being an industry leader will earn chances for speaking engagements, networking events, and further opportunities. Cash in on those opportunities and record everything, because everything you do can be used as content that could provide others value.
Easier said than done, right? These things aren’t easy, but they are logical. Start with a cushion of clients and revenue, develop your craft within a niche, then create content and case studies to label your agency as an industry leader in that niche. Sales will come along the way as you maintain focus and diligent on the tasks at hand, but remember, none of this can be accomplished without developing your agency from the ground up with a strong team, core values, religious operation, and focus on value. Actually performing these 3 C’s is going to be where you learn what works best for your agency. At our agency, Momentum Digital, it has finally clicked after a year of grinding and growing. Be patient and focused, good things will come!
January 18, 2017
January 11, 2017