With so many powerful social media tools out there, there’s never been a better time to build your social media agency. Whether you’re a startup or an established digital marketing agency, building your client list should be one of your top priorities. It’s important to have a plan to bring in quality clients right from the get-go.
Many decision makers believe their business can handle their social media marketing in-house. This is because they either don’t see the value of social media for generating new business or they believe that it looks more authentic for them to post about themselves.
We’ll let you in on a little secret. Eventually, there comes a time when business owners realize they don’t have the time or resources to run their social media effectively. They become frustrated with their inability to drive meaningful engagement, traffic and leads. This is the ideal time for you to come in.
Where do you find these types of potential clients? We’ve got you covered. Here are our top tips for finding quality clients for your social media agency.
8 ideas to get new clients for your social media agency
1. Your network is your net worth. Talk to your friends, family and people in your personal network.
When you’re looking to land clients for your digital marketing agency, your network is a great place to start. Start by letting your friends and family know that you’ve decided to launch your own social media agency. Remember: word of mouth is powerful. Some of the best referrals come from people who know and trust you.
Create a list of your 10 closest contacts. Next, add their email addresses, where they work, their job titles and phone numbers to a spreadsheet. Have some assets prepared to share with them, such as links to your website and socials, or a business card with a generated dynamic QR code that leads to a basic landing page on your website..
Start by sending each person on the list an email that includes a brief check-in and explain that you’ve launched a new social media service. It helps have your positioning dialed in so you can inform them of the problem you’re trying to solve for your potential clients. End the email with a polite ask for recommendations from their networks who might be interested in your services. If they can provide you with two to three names each, that’s a solid start in building your potential client list.
2. Connect with other agency owners/find other businesses within your niche
A rising tide lifts all boats. Digital marketing is a collaborative industry and there are tons of service providers out there who specialize in one area. One of the best ways to land clients for your social media agency is by partnering with a non-competing service provider in your niche.
Think long and hard about who your ideal clients are. Next, think about what other services they might want or need. Remember: these need to be services that you don’t offer. For example, if your agency focuses on social media, consider reaching out to partners who provide services like SEO or website development for businesses in your niche.
Set a weekly target number of people to contact that work in these related services and see if there are opportunities to connect. Set up a coffee date or Zoom meeting to get to know each other and get familiar with their work. You can even agree to provide each other with referrals (if you believe they do good quality work).
3. Create a value offer like a complimentary social media audit
Clients won’t hire you if they don’t see a problem with their current social media marketing efforts. One of our top tips for how to get clients for your social media agency is to offer a free social media audit.
Begin by offering to audit one platform for them (such as their Instagram) free of charge and provide quick tips for improvement. This works best if you offer to discuss the results with them on a phone or video call where you can follow up with more detailed solutions to the problems you identified and include your sales pitch at the end.
The more support you offer potential clients, the more they value your expertise. Eventually, when they are ready to invest in a social media service, they’ll be more likely to remember and trust you.
Other examples of value offers include:
- Share a white paper that’s relevant to your client’s industry
- Create a quick-start social media guide
- Offer a content calendar template for your clients to use
If you share any of the documents mentioned above, make sure to add your name, branding and social handles so they remember where it came from and how to get ahold of you when the timing is right.
4. Invite prospects to a free social media workshop
Most businesses need help with their social media marketing in some respect. As a new agency, your challenge is to be seen as an expert. Hosting a social media workshop can help position you as thought leader and build your credibility in the digital marketing space.
To find attendees, conduct a quick Google search looking for forums or groups that are asking where to learn social media marketing for business. Likewise, you can also try running a Facebook or Instagram ad to promote your event that targets local business owners. Ensure that you set up an Eventbrite page to capture peoples’ names and emails when they register for your event.
After the workshop, make sure you follow up by email or phone with everyone who attended your session. For the people that missed the workshop, send a recording with some notes on the major themes. Next, you can ask those who attended what their biggest takeaways were or if they put your advice into action. If it worked for them, great! If they didn’t have time to use it – even better. This is the time for a conversation about hiring your social media agency to buy themselves more time and freedom.
Bonus tip: Record your workshop or webinar and repurpose the content on your agency’s blog or social media.
5. Check out Upwork or Fiverr
If you’re new to the digital marketing space, Upwork or Fiverr can be a great place to find new clients for your social media agency. Both platforms allow you to create an agency account, so you can find new clients and hire freelancers to support you as your workload grows.
Use the advanced search functions to find projects within your niche and submit a proposal to projects that interest you. These marketplaces are a great way to find long-term or ongoing projects that can eventually evolve into quality clients for your business.
Make sure to optimize your profile with your agency’s information, website, services and include any testimonials from past client work. This will help you stand out from competing agencies on the platforms.
6. Let your clients build your business for you through referrals
Word of mouth is everything nowadays. You have probably seen firsthand how it can make or break a business.
The best way to leave a positive and lasting impression is by making sure you do remarkable work for your clients. The goal is to then let them build your business through referrals.
When a client makes a successful referral for you, be sure to thank them. Whether it’s something as simple as a thank you card or a gift card to their favorite coffee shop, it’s a nice gesture and keeps the referrals flowing. Eventually, you could even go as far as setting up a formal referral program and give clients a discount on their next month of services when their referral results in a new client for you.
7. Get out of the office and network
As an agency owner, your online presence is important, but keep in mind that there’s no substitute for getting out into the real world and connecting with people.
Start by attending local events where you will find business owners and other decision-makers. These include networking events, education events, expos and trade shows. These don’t always have to be business centric events either. If you live in a small community, strike up a conversation with people at your local coffee shop or gym. The goal is to establish a presence in the local business community and get to know your fellow business owners and potential clients.
When you attend events, always be sure to carry some sort of branded swag or a business card with links to your website. One of our favorite hacks is to carry a card with a QR code that connects right to your website or chat bot to make the experience as effortless as possible.
As you build your rolodex, start to refer people to the businesses you know when opportunities arise. Without a doubt, they will be grateful and more likely to become clients, but they’ll also be more likely to return the favour with referrals for your agency.
8. Focus on providing excellent service to your existing clients by planning for scale early
One of the biggest challenges agency owners encounter is a decrease in the quality of work they deliver as their business grows. It’s important that you maintain a consistent high standard of work as you onboard new clients.
The best way to do this is to plan for scale as soon as you land your first big client. To save time and maximize the efficiency of your workflow, it helps to have the right tools in place. This ensures that as you grow, your clients can expect the same high level of service from you.
Spend less time on admin tasks like spreadsheets and endless email threads and focus on what you do best – creating fantastic content for your clients. Consider a tool like Sked Social that allows your team to collaborate easily and saves you time with features like auto-publish.
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