This post is by Co-Founders of The Agency Accelerators, Susan Werkner and Peter Applebaum. They have been running their own successful digital marketing agencies for over 15 years, winning and servicing numerous corporate clients like Unilever, Pirelli Tyres, Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, Pfizer, American Express and Optus.
While it seems that every Agency and Consultant says they are always doing business development, research shows that the vast majority only do so sporadically. According to a recent study by Moz.com, less than 10% of Agency owners actively prospect for new business. Most Agency owners do not start a business in order to be business development experts, they want to work with clients and maximise their marketing efforts. So often it is not a priority for the Agency until the client work dries up.
So, how can you attract corporate clients? Here are a few suggestions:
5 alternate ways of attracting corporate clients to your marketing agency
1. Internal Events.
Big businesses will have lots of marketing-related problems for which they’re actively looking for solutions. This will be taking place daily. Numerous company VIPs, execs and decision-makers will be Googling the latest industry solutions, reading articles, watching videos and registering interest in events.
According to AgencyAnalytics, “Most leads early in the buying cycle seek education above anything else.”
So, try and understand the key marketing problems corporates are facing, and work out, as a team, how you’re best placed to solve them. Once you’re armed with this information it’s time to run a workshop or seminar. Use a website like Eventbrite to advertise your event to a wide and, most importantly, appropriate audience. Keep the content educational and don’t be salesy. The worth of your agency will be inherent in the expertise you demonstrate.
The Bizzabo Blog claim that: “Between 2017 to 2018 the number of companies organising 20 or more events per year increased by 17%” and subsequently, “Event marketing is an essential marketing channel for B2B and B2C businesses.”
2. External Events.
‘Networking’. Does that word send shivers down your spine? If you’re an introvert, probably, and if you’re an extrovert, lucky you! It’s something we all know we should be doing to widen our network, meet decision-makers of prospective clients, raise awareness of our agency and increase credibility. So, make sure you do attend industry conferences and events.
Why not go all out? To really boost your credibility and have corporate clients approach you – don’t adjust your set, I said corporate clients will approach you – why not speak at an industry event? Every event needs experts to address their attendees. You can actually apply to become one of their keynote speakers. Simply make a list of relevant upcoming events and either apply to speak where there’s the facility or, if not, just drop them a speculative enquiry via email.
Ads aside, social media is still a crucial tool for engaging with your dream clients. Why? Because everyone uses at least one social media platform. That means VIPs and decision-makers from huge companies are using social media. In a lot of cases, they’re actively using it to engage with industry experts, learn, find solutions to problems. So, what can you do?
- Be active on Facebook, LinkedIn and Slack groups regarding topics at which your agency excels
- Post original content geared toward the marketing problems and aspirations you know big companies in your favoured industry have
- If you’ve posted content you just know is brilliant, disruptive, innovative and will excite big businesses throughout the industry, then sponsor it
- As your audience grows, interact with them. Pose questions, respond to comments, like informative replies. You’ll garner a reputation as an expert. Corporate leads will find you.
4. Being Different.
Stand out from the crowd by doing things differently. Corporate clients are actively looking to work with smaller agencies. Grab their attention by being unique. Here are a few agencies standing out from the crowd:
- Start a podcast. Take Marketing School for example, run by Neil Patel and Eric Siu. Sure, it’s huge now, but they’ve got to where they are today by consistently attracting attention in unorthodox ways.
- Write a white-paper. Sujan Patel and his agency Web Profits wrote a 13k word white-paper targeting big FinTech companies. It helped them land two contracts worth $600k annually.
- Run a YouTube channel. Social Triggers run an extremely successful YouTube channel with 91.3k subscribers. Again, the emphasis is on sharing inspiring and innovative content to help people rather than shoving a sales message down their viewers throats. Their top video has 926k views.
What else could you do to stand out from your competition?
5. Know thyself.
Once you’ve sifted through numberless articles promoting the generic checklist featured above, you start to unearth some gems. Without question, one of the most unanimously agreed upon gems, as it were, regarding landing corporate clients specifically, is to ‘be an expert at something’. Know your strengths, know your industry and know your ideal client profile and what you can offer them.
Consider the following from Redbooth:
“Big agencies have a breadth of experience but often lack the ability to “go deep” into a specific industry or product category. Today, industry, audience, channel, or product expertise is more important than being a full-service agency that can do everything. Brands are building rosters of experts, so figure out your organisation’s strength(s), build on it, and promote it.”
We can help you get corporate clients, take your first step here.