With the internet continuing to run the world, it’s no surprise that marketing agencies - both digital and traditional - are coming out on top. If you’re in a position where you want to expand your reach and really make a name for your agency, then it’s time to look into how to appropriately scale your agency to match your goals.
Keep reading to see how you can scale your marketing agency using automation to make your life easier, while expanding your business.
Signs that You Are Ready to Scale
Scaling your marketing agency can be nerve racking, especially with all of the horror stories of other businesses that scaled too quickly and didn’t reach the goals they had intended to. Here are a few signs that you are ready to scale your agency:
Leads are skyrocketing
Have you been seeing an influx in the number of leads you’ve been able to collect? Do they seem to be more organic than paid? If you’re not spending much on advertising, but are continuing to see the leads flow in, it might be time to start scaling.
You’re making money. You’re spending money - but still making more. If your profits seem to be consistently positive for a considerable amount of time, maybe more than 2 years - it proves that you have a successful business that is in the position to begin scaling.
You’re turning clients away
Is the demand becoming too much for you and your team? So much so that you have to turn potential clients away from working with you? If yes, it’s time to dive into scaling your agency to handle all the demand.
You’re financially prepared
Scaling can get expensive, quickly. From hiring new employees to finding a new office space, the finances can pile up. Even if you’re profitable, the expense can be daunting. If you have the funds, scaling is within reach.
How to Scale a Marketing Agency through Automation
Scaling your business to allow for the demand, growth and change that you desire is exciting, but also daunting. It takes money, time and effort to appropriately scale your digital marketing business to match the expectations clients have.
Why not make it easier through automation?
The idea of automation is to use systems to produce automatic processes. This can include automating your lead generation, data collection, follow-up, and more. With your lead collection and follow-up automated, you’ll have more time to focus on the other aspects of scaling that require your attention.
Simplify the onboarding process
Use automation to onboard new clients with ease so the waiting period for someone to contact them isn’t too long. With Keap’s sales and marketing automation software, you’re able to set up automations based on when an action is completed, and initiate the rest of the “campaign” or the sequences that you have set up to deliver their confirmations, follow-ups or any other information that needs to be shared during the onboarding process.
Establish systems & processes
As your agency continues to grow, automation becomes increasingly important. The more workflows and processes you automate, the easier it is to handle an influx of projects and clients. With the right automations in place, your agency can become a well-oiled machine with minimal time spent on repetitive tasks and maximum time spent growing your business.
Here’s an example of a fully-automated process using software like Keap. A lead, Jill, fills out an intake form on your website. Jill is automatically added to your CRM, where she is tagged based on the service she is interested in (i.e., video production). An automated follow-up email is sent to her with a link to schedule an appointment. Once the appointment is scheduled, a confirmation email and reminder text are sent automatically.
After the meeting, automated follow-up email messages are sent to share helpful resources and remind Jill about next steps in the contracting process. Once the contract is signed, an invoice is sent via Keap. Invoice reminders are automatically emailed to Jill to ensure payment is timely. At the end of the (very successful) project, you ask for her feedback via an automated text sequence through PlusThis (a Keap plug-in). Her text responses are stored on her record in your CRM, and if her feedback was positive, you send an automated email asking for a review or referral.
Know when to outsource
Outsourcing can be a saving grace for your agency once you reach a point in the scaling process where you feel like you may be falling behind. While you can outsource certain tasks, such as customer service or bookkeeping, you can also outsource professional services to set up the automation that scaling requires.
There are many services, individuals and organizations specializing in automation that can bring a level of expertise and ease to automation. Automation doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds.
Scaling and automation truly go hand in hand
The concept of running a large business comes with the actualization of handling each client as if they were your only one. Automation allows you to do just that, at scale. Create personalization in your messaging, without having to manually add each individual's information. Create organization through systems and processes that make nurturing your influx of clients - and making money - easier.
About the Author
Kenna Branaghan is a member of the marketing team at PlusThis, which provides over 50 software tools and marketing strategies to small businesses who want to get more out of their existing automation platform. She loves seeing the optimization and creativity that automation brings to marketing.