You will agree with me that there is an equal probability that your clients will choose another agency over you. But why should they choose you anyway? What makes you stand apart from the rest of them?
While you may have a list of unique selling points to your advantage, are you even selling them? Well, I’m here to tell you how you can market your agency with a zero budget.
Your website is the face of your agency. It is the first place that your client is most likely to visit to know about you. Though it seems like the most obvious thing to do, it’s important that you have a presentable website. If you have the slightest doubt that your website isn’t communicating what it is meant to, then scrape it and start from scratch. Let’s look into each element of a good website in detail.
Your website needs to resonate with your agency’s brand identity and present it visually to your online visitors. Choose your brand personality and let your website run with it.
As you can see, the website of Nuage is light, colorful, and seems like fun. However, it establishes in just one scroll what the company is all about. Domani’s website, on the other hand, has been ambitiously designed and looks professional. It conveys the impression that they are a more serious company. Are you fun-loving or creatively-inclined, what kind are you?
Keep up with the design trends. You don’t necessarily have to be a design agency to know that. That said, designing a website is not expensive. Yes! With WordPress themes that are agency-ready, you can rock the show at no cost. For some design inspiration head over to Landing Folio.
Apart from the design, there are a few other elements that make for a good website or landing page. Your website needs to convey your story and expertise. Are you highlighting the services that your agency offers? Do you have client success stories to add credibility to your brand?
The first question that the prospective client asks is “What’s in it for me?” Visual communication alone cannot answer that question. Provide relevant content that your prospective client wants to read. Tell them what your agency does and how you aim to accomplish them.
Never underestimate the power of good vocabulary and grammar. Make sure your content is clean and checked for spelling and grammar errors.
Use social proof to back your agency’s credibility. It helps prospective clients build trust and hire you for their projects. Ask clients to share a quick feedback about your work and add that to the testimonials section on your website. You can kick that up a notch by doing a detailed study of your existing client’s success story. Nothing is more convincing to a prospective client than a well-researched case study.
You need all the help you can get to market your agency. SEO gives you that much-needed boost. People have been conditioned to trust Google’s search results. If it’s on top of the search results and is not an ad then it must be really good. No? The way to get Google’s attention is by making sure your website is search engine optimized.
But your website is not the only way you can optimize for search engines.
Blogs don’t just convey your agency’s values or educate visitors on topics relevant to your industry, they also play a key role in optimizing your website for search engines. You can write on topics that are focused on keywords that prospective clients use to search for agencies like yours. There are plenty of tools to help you find those keywords.
Pro tip: Clients usually tend to search for social media agencies within a particular region or for a particular category. Your keywords should accommodate this perspective. For example, if your agency is based out of New York City, then your keyword focus would be ‘social media agency nyc’. If you are an agency that caters to just retailers, then your keyword would be ‘social media agency retail’.
Don’t stop at blogging. Do a bit of guest blogging too. Apart from improving SEO, this establishes you as the thought leader in your industry. There is also a better chance at opening up your reach to new clients. Before you start pitching to other companies’ blogs, make sure that their domain authority is more than 50. You can run a quick check using tools like Moz.
How does guest blogging help, apart from establishing you as an expert? Through backlinking—a factor that search engines consider when ranking websites. The more the number of backlinks and their quality, the better is the ranking. Blog posts have the scope to include backlinks. Additionally, a blog allows you to create your own backlinks to share the content on other online channels.
Content marketing and SEO are interdependent. I have detailed the importance of and methods of content marketing in another blog post.
Partner with other agencies
Not all agencies provide full-service in-house. Clients usually switch between different agencies providing different services. You can turn this around by partnering with non-competing agencies. You can then cross promote your services to gain new clients.
You can also white label other agencies’ services by having them manage low-budget or smaller projects that are not your niche.
The numbers say it all!
Need I stress more on the importance of social media to help you market your agency? The rules for social media marketing are similar to content marketing, however, the game is played a little different. The reason is simple—on social the conversations are active, ongoing, and changing to keep up with the current trend. This means that you need to keep up with the pace of the audience. Timing is key. But with so many social channels, how do you use time to your advantage? That’s where free social media management tools come into play.
Apart from that, every social channel has a unique set of requirements when posting content. So, we have put together an informative infographic listing tips and tricks to increase your reach organically on each social channel.
I know. Agencies depend on referrals and it is no surprise that nearly 90% of an agency’s business comes from word-of-mouth.
Reach out to your primary circle of friends and relatives to help you spread the word. Ask them to refer your agency to their circle of friends creating a ripple. And once you start getting clients and producing good results, use client testimonials to leverage your marketing. Prospective clients rely heavily on testimonials, customer success stories, and case studies when deciding on an agency. So, make sure you have good stories to tell.
You didn’t see that coming, did you? You may want to argue that business cards are an ancient practice. But, they work pretty well in the digital world.
For every 2000 cards sent out, there is 2.5% increase in sales. That’s not too staggering a number for an age-old practice! You may not know when you might shake hands with a prospective client, or when someone is need of advice pertaining to your service. For practical reasons, it is easier to hand out a business card and give the prospective client the reason to contact you. (I know I had said zero budget, but I couldn’t resist adding this one exception to the list.)
So, tell me, how do you market your agency? If you have a unique tip to share, let me know.