How to Get More Clients for Your Marketing Agency: 20 Tactics to Land New Business

How to Get More Clients for Your Marketing Agency: 20 Tactics to Land New Business

October 7, 2019 Off By esential1@

Client turnover is a fundamental part of the marketing agency business, and whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the game for a decade, the story is often the same.

You have a particular contact at a company who you’ve been working with. At some point, a better opportunity comes along and that person ends up at a new company. And then their boss or replacement decides to go in a different direction and you no longer have them as a client.

Maybe you’re a one-man band, or maybe you’re supporting a small or even substantial team. Either way, the question of how to get more clients for your marketing agency is always there.

So if you’ve been using the same lead generation tactics for a while and things have stagnated, it might be time to revisit some of the other approaches that you could add to your marketing repertoire.

In creating this list, we’ve included both the tried and true classics as well as lesser known tactics that often hover under the radar but still warrant looking into (eg. using resources like NAICS codes or joining your local chamber of commerce).

And we’ve divided it into two main categories:

Our goal is to spark your imagination and help you find the right mix of inbound and outbound tactics for your business.

Looking to get more clients? Our new lead prospecting toolkit is designed to help agencies capture website visitors and create professional-looking proposals with ease. Try it today with our 7 day free trial (no credit card required).

Outbound Marketing to Get More Clients

While inbound marketing has been proven to offer significant value over the long run, there are compelling reasons why marketers still opt to focus a good portion of their spend and efforts on outbound. Consider these two examples:

There are frequently negative connotations attached to tactics like cold emails, PPC, and direct mail, but if you need new clients quickly, there’s no quicker way to land them than outbound marketing. Start by:

1. Building a List 

The single most important aspect of outbound marketing is having a GOOD targeted list. Whether you’re sending cold emails, direct mail, or cold calling, the quality of your list will determine your success.

Building a list can take time and a lot of effort, but a hyper-targeted list of your ideal potential clients is a valuable asset. Using an opt-in form on your website, paid ads, or running a contest on Facebook (or Twitter) are all excellent ways of quickly building a qualified list of leads.

While purchasing or renting a list is an option, it often falls into a legal grey area. If you live in the U.S., you could potentially violate the CAN-SPAM Act. If you reside in the EU, you might run the risk of violating the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.

2. Sending Cold Emails

While some people might view cold email as intrusive and spammy, a properly designed and executed cold email campaign can generate a flood of new business for an agency.

Even though the average response rate can hover anywhere from 1% to 3%, cold email marketing still offers a great ROI.

For cold emails to work, you’ll need:

  • A compelling subject line
  • Straightforward copy that speaks to a specific need or pain point
  • A well-targeted list

If there’s no response, a follow-up email can sometimes increase response rates. You can further dial in your campaigns by A/B testing both the subject line and the copy.

Tools such as Hunter.io and Woodpecker.co can help you harvest emails more efficiently and schedule automated email campaigns. Once you have everything dialed in and automated, it’s a great way to land new clients without having to spend a lot of money on paid advertising.

3. Running Paid Ads

Paid Ad Examples on Google Search Network

If you need new clients ASAP, paid advertising is an excellent way to start generating leads. Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and other display networks allow you to set a daily budget and target people based on keyword searches or user demographics.

If you’re new to paid advertising, be sure to research the best practices and common mistakes for whatever network you’re using. It’s very easy to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a day and not land a single client.

Another downside to advertising on the paid ad networks is that your competitors are most likely targeting the same audience as you. This can drive up the costs of ads exponentially. However, a competitive ad intelligence tool, such as iSpionage, can provide you with intelligent insights into your competitors’ PPC strategy.

To get around this, reach out directly to forums and other websites where your ideal audience hangs out and purchase advertising space on their site in the form of text or banner ads.

4. Cold Calling

There are many people out there who would rather undergo a root canal than make a single cold call. But for those who choose to give cold calling a shot, there are a few ways to soften up your target before you pick up the phone.

  • Send a cold introductory email or reach out on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) to warm them up before the unexpected phone call.
  • Prepare a well-written script that focuses on pain points (instead of a long-winded sales pitch).
  • Research your target thoroughly before calling — to the point where you know their pain points better than they do.

5. Retargeting

Retargeting works by keeping track of who visits your website and then serves up an ad via Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, or other paid advertising networks.

It works by placing a small snippet of JavaScript code in the footer of your website. When someone visits, a tracking pixel is added to their browser. Once they leave your site and browse elsewhere on the web or Facebook, they will be shown your ad a second time.

You can tailor your retargeted ads to build upon an offer they might have taken advantage of recently. For example, if they downloaded a white paper or PDF from your website, you can run a retargeted ad that asks them if they enjoyed it and would like to learn more.

6. Sending Direct Mail

While it may be one of the oldest marketing tactics out there, direct mail works extremely well. The Direct Marketing Association ran a study and found that direct mail has a 4.4% response rate versus a .12% response rate for email.

An added benefit of direct mail is that you’ll be able to reach an audience that your online advertising competitors can’t with paid digital ads.

You can use your list, or take advantage of the Every Door Direct program from USPS. It allows you to select your target audience and demographics from a geographical area on a map and then drop off your mailers at the local post office for convenience and ease of delivery.

7. Using NAICS Codes

Use NAICS codes to get more clients.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes are a great way to identify your ideal audience, build a list, and then target them via one of many different marketing methods.

NAICS (pronounced NAKES) is a classification system of businesses based on their type of economic activity. They enable you to target businesses located within a specific industry and then segment the ones who represent your ideal client.

You can also use them to research and identify new potential markets that your competitors aren’t targeting. To get started, visit the NAICS website search page and enter in keywords that pertain to the industry you’re targeting.

8. Chasing After Old Clients

Just because an older client is no longer actively working with you doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t need your help. Are you offering any new services since you last worked with them? If so, treat them as a new lead and call them. Before you contact them, be sure to have a game plan. For example:

  • If you’re a social media marketing agency, look at their social profiles for ways you can help.
  • If you run a website development agency, take the time to go over their site, compile a short report, and list areas that you can help improve.

If a client worked with you in the past and was satisfied with your work, the hard part is already done when you reach out to them a second time. Trust has already been established, and you might be surprised at how receptive they are when you contact them a second time.

Inbound Marketing to Get More Clients

In contrast to outbound marketing, inbound can take time to start generating results. However, once it takes hold, it can provide a much higher ROI — in addition to generating increased trust and brand awareness.

Inbound marketing is considered a better long-term strategy for agencies who are looking to grow and scale their business. As time goes by, your marketing efforts will build upon themselves, and if set up properly, you can see a steady stream of new leads.

9. Content Marketing

Use Content Marketing to get more clients.

Blogging and other forms of content marketing have risen in popularity over the years due in part to a low barrier to entry coupled with how well they work for driving leads and sales.

Before you start pumping out blog post after blog post, you should define your ideal client and list out all of their pain points. This will enable you to target the right audience as well as create interesting content that engages them.

When it comes time to select keywords, you can use search intent to figure out what will convert the best. If you have a newsletter list that you market to regularly, you can repurpose your blog posts or link out to them.

While content marketing is very effective, don’t expect stellar results right out of the box. It’s generally a longer-term type of play that builds upon itself over time. As a bonus, there’s a decent chance that Google might pick up your blog posts and rank them in the organic search results for keywords that convert.

10. Creating or Contributing to Facebook Groups

Create or contribute to Facebook Groups to get more clients.

There are two ways to approach landing clients from Facebook Groups. You can either build your own group or join other groups. The former can take a lot longer to achieve than the latter but offers more value in the long run because you own the asset.

When looking to land clients from other Facebook Groups, try not to sell your services blatantly. The group admin may outright ban you for self-promotion, and it tends to rub people the wrong way.

Instead, try joining a group that’s relevant to your ideal client. Participate and add value through your knowledge of marketing. Offer free advice both in the group and in private messages. You’ll often find that people will reciprocate the good deed and show interest in hiring your agency.

11. Hosting a Webinar

Hosting a free webinar will help position you as an expert in your niche. It can also help instill trust in prospective clients.

One of the more effective ways to hold a webinar is to find and solve pain points for your target demographic. For example, if you’re trying to sell SEO services to beginners, you can show your audience how to perform an on-site audit.

Towards the end of the presentation, you can ask attendees to put the URL of their website into the chat window while you perform a live audit. Once the webinar is over, you should have a list of email addresses whom you can now start remarketing via email, direct mail, or retargeting.

20 Tips on How to Get More Clients for Your Marketing Agency: Slide Deck

To host a webinar, all you’ll need is a carefully thought out presentation, a slide deck or mind map, and free or paid conference software such as GoToWebinar or Zoom. As an added bonus, you can record the webinar and offer it for free download as the first part of your followup email sequence.

12. Hosting a Workshop

People who are at the beginning of the buying cycle are generally looking to be educated on that specific topic. Hosting a local workshop is a great way to not only position yourself as an authority on marketing but it can introduce you to some highly qualified prospects.

You didn’t become a marketing expert overnight, and there’s no reason to think your workshop attendees will do the same in just a few short hours. At its core essence, a workshop is a trust-building exercise that puts you within arm’s reach of prospective clients.

If you must pitch your services, try to do so in a subtle manner. A hard sell can be off-putting to some people. Instead, try giving away a free PDF that contains your slide deck and contact information. You could even send them a link to download the slide deck in the first email sequence you send out after it’s over.

13. Speaking at a Conference

Speaking at a Conference is a great way to get more clients for your marketing agency!Photo Credit: Bytes Conf

A few years ago, there was a story making the rounds on the internet of a marketer who gave a talk at a cryptocurrency conference. The vast majority of the audience was comprised of “C” level executives. After the show, the marketer reported that he received many new leads because he was the only marketer in attendance.

Conferences will sometimes allow an outsider to speak for free, provided that their speech is relevant and offers value to the audience. If you’re targeting a niche, say for example dentists, try performing a Google search to find upcoming dental conferences.

Contact the organizer and offer to speak for free. You can even send them a rough outline of your proposed slide deck to clearly show the value you can provide.

14. Joining Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Membership in your local Chamber of Commerce can put you in contact with companies in your area. While many small business owners join intending to find new B2B prospects, not everyone is successful.

The ideal way to make a Chamber of Commerce membership work for your marketing agency is to view it as a longer-term play. While you might get lucky right off the bat, it’s probably going to take some time to break into the group.

Instead of marketing your services outright, focus on making a valuable contribution to the group. This will help you earn trust and build relationships which can lead to new business over time.

15. Getting Interviewed by a Podcaster

Getting interviewed by a podcaster is another great way to gain exposure for your marketing agency. There are two ways to go about this:

  1. You can search for a popular podcaster who caters to a large audience.
  2. You can find niche podcasters who target specific, but smaller demographics.

Regardless of which approach you choose, this isn’t the time to come up with an elaborate sales pitch or try to convince everyone just how good you are. Your only mission is to give an interview that adds value to the conversation and audience.

Sharing a few marketing tips that people can immediately put into action is often a great way to get recurring inbound leads.

16. Guest Blogging

Much like giving an interview to a podcaster, guest blogging is all about providing value. For example, let’s say that you’re targeting dentists. There are several dental blogs for industry professionals out there.

Reach out to a few of them with a blog pitch. This often includes reaching out to the editor on LinkedIn or sending them an email. Editors of more popular blogs will often receive upwards of 100 or more pitches per week. You’ll have to show them the value that you can bring to their audience.

Impeccable grammar and spelling are essential when crafting both your pitch and the guest blog post. A free grammar and spell-checking tool such as Grammarly can help keep your writing tight and error-free.

If the blog editor won’t allow you to link back to your website in the actual blog post, be sure to ask for a byline. Bylines can act as an evergreen inbound marketing tool as long as the blog post is live on the internet.

17. Partnering up with Like-Agencies

Partnering up with non-competing agencies is a great way to potentially get high quality leads sent to you on a semi-regular basis. For example, if you’re a copywriter, a business relationship with a graphics studio or web development firm can sometimes result in a flood of new business leads.

Keep in mind that some agencies might view you as a subcontractor, and that could result in lower-than-ideal fees or having to white label your services. If you can offer value above and beyond what a standard contractor can (e.g. a semi-regular flow of leads you can send their way), they might agree to do the same.

A great way to get started is to head over to Google Maps and type in “Digital marketing agency” into the search bar. You’ll find countless agencies in your local area that you can reach out to with a simple cold email.

18. Using HARO

Banners and Alerts and Help A Reporter

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a free service that connects newspaper reporters and other writers who are looking for an expert in a particular niche that they can interview and quote for an upcoming news story or blog post.

After you sign up, HARO will send you daily emails broken down into categories. When you find a query that perks your interest, send the reporter a unique short response along with a professional bio. Reporters will sometimes get hundreds of similar responses so it’s best to say something that will set you apart from the rest of the respondents.

You can use HARO to position yourself as an expert by linking out to the various news articles that quoted you from your agency website. Some reporters will agree to give you a link back to your website, which could also result in new leads.

19. Creating a Google Business Page

Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a free business listing that can help drive new local leads and give prospective and current clients a way of contacting you. It offers a robust set of features, such as the ability to post content, images, and interact directly with people from the GMB smartphone app.

Customer reviews are an important component of Google My Business. They help establish trust with potential clients, and Google uses the reviews as a key metric in determining what keywords your profile will rank for in the organic search results.

20. Getting Your House in Order

Last, but certainly not least, is your own website. Before you embark upon an inbound or outbound marketing campaign, there are a few things you can do to ensure the best chances of success:

  • Your website copy should allow readers to quickly and easily scan your pages and understand what you do and who you do it for.
  • Use a lead magnet like a white paper, case study, or PDF guide to collect emails from leads.
  • Add a few blog posts to show off your expertise to prospective clients.
  • Create a testimonials page to establish trust.
  • Test your landing pages and contact forms to make sure that they work and are simple to fill out.
  • Make sure that it’s always clear to the reader where they can go and what they can do next.
  • A fast website host is also important as some of the slower ones can cause your site to slow to a crawl.

The more optimized your website is, the better your chances are of turning visitors into clients.

Conclusion

By staying on top of your lead generation activities even when you have a full workload, you’ll be better prepared for the slow times and better positioned for growth. And if your marketing efforts have fallen flat or you’re looking to try a new channel, any one of the above lead generation ideas might be worth trying in your business.

Looking to get more clients? Our new lead prospecting toolkit is designed to help agencies capture website visitors and create professional-looking proposals with ease. Try it today with our 7 day free trial (no credit card required).