Building a successful agency is a challenge for business owners across the world. This guide is designed to help you overcome seven common challenges you’ll face as your company experiences growth. In this guide, you’ll get valuable advice from fellow agency owners including:
Marketing agency owner and CEO, Daniel Bussius has experienced all of the challenges in this guide and has shared his tips and advice to help you scale into a seven-figure agency.
It’s critical in this day and age to showcase your expertise. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to do this is to create high-value content that speaks to your target customers’ pain points. Creating content that your target customers need—and giving it away for free—begins a relationship for you to foster, and an opportunity to show your undeniable expertise in the industry.
Additionally, this strategy gives you the ability to market and advertise your content rather than market and advertise your agency.
You’ll attract more prospects by providing solutions to their problems, while also gaining exposure, site visitors, opt-ins, and ultimately, more leads for you to nurture and close.
Your agency services must be simple to understand and consume. People won’t spend money on services or solutions they can’t easily understand.
For example, here is copy I had on my old agency website:
The foundation of your business success is based on the systems running your operations.
Without a well-built CRM, your business will continue to struggle. Take advantage of a proven, certified expert who can provide you with the strategy, technology, and expertise to help you build your business, streamline your operations ,and automate your sales and marketing.
Here is the new, much simpler copy explaining the same services:
WE DO IT FOR YOU.
Fastest path to success.
We develop the strategy to get you the results you want and then we do the work for you.
The reality is, most business owners likely have no idea what you really do or what they aren’t doing. All they know is that they have an issue and they’d like it fixed.
The person or agency that can communicate that in the most effective way will get the business. Stop using marketing lingo, and talk to your clients/prospects in ways they’ll understand.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing. It’s incredibly powerful because the message is coming from a vetted source, typically a friend, co-worker or family member. Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMMA) and referrals can save you thousands in ad spend.
An easy and efficient way to do this is to develop a referral network of partner agencies that will refer business to you for services they don’t handle. You’ll want to create a reciprocal agreement so both sides understand the value and how to do the client/referral handoff.
Start by identifying the additional services your clients are seeking, that you could provide through a partnership. Everything from online advertising, web design to insurance services. Develop a powerful referral network and you can easily add a few zeroes to your bottom line.
A major hurdle many new agency owners and consultants experience is a lack of confidence in their pricing. They undervalue their worth and the outcomes their services produce for their clients. That underlying lack of confidence prevents them from charging a premium for what they do and can do more harm than good.
Charging a premium for your services empowers you to have a wider margin to reinvest in your agency. The fastest way to win and beat your competition is getting in front of your customers and into their minds more than anyone else.
The way to do this is quite simple: outspend them. In general, those who spend more money to get in front of their customers more often will be the ones that get the business.
If your agency isn’t charging enough, you won’t have enough money to do proper marketing for your own business. What will happen is that you’ll lose money on two fronts. You won’t be getting enough new business through the doors to expand and you won’t have enough money to spend to get in front of new customers. It’s a perpetual wheel of stagnation that you don’t want to be in. The fastest way out is raising your rates and getting smarter about how you run your business.
We do this for our clients but we don’t typically do thisfor ourselves. Look deep into your services and your customer base and identify what’s closest to cash. Then, make that one of your priorities to execute on. By doing so, take the money that comes from the short-term strategy and invest that in one of your longer-term strategies.
An example of how I did this most recently was leveraging one of my client’s network.
The extra infusion of cash was used to invest in future agency products being produced.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs see the world in a different view; they see a world of possibilities and they know they can affect change. However, trying to do everything robs you of the power to do one (or a select few) things incredibly well.
Trying to do everything will eventually wear you out and steer you to a land of confusion, not knowing where to go or what to do next. You’ll find your messaging unclear, your customers will have unrealistic expectations of you, and your team will be misguided, leading to a world of uncertainty.
As an example, my agency exclusively works on the Infusionsoft platform. We turn away potential clients all the time that don't have Infusionsoft or won’t to switch to the platform.
Because we are specialized experts in this platform, we know what we can and can’t do. We know that we can do it quickly, efficiently, and creatively with effective outcomes for our clients. If we try to be experts in multiple systems, our days would be spent trying to stay informed of every update and integration, and how that will impact us creating marketing strategies inside those systems.
Focus on growing your agency and serving clients, not trying to stay informed on multiple systems. It’s not the best use of your time and talents.
Focusing on your core service(s) will enable you to deliver best-in-class services and, your customers will seek you out.
Every agency owner needs to have a trusted community of like-minded individuals around him or her to be able to go to for support, advice and, learning. Even better if that trusted community is based on a platform that your agency specializes in and can monetize. For my agency, that is the Infusionsoft Certified Partner Program.
Infusionsoft has invested in developing the world’s best-certified partner program, a global community of agency owners and consultants focused on delivering best-in-class services using the world’s most powerful small business CRM system.
Their program provides you with training, masterminds, events, partner managers, a private support network, a rich suite of tools to help you grow in your business, and the freedom to grow and connect how you want.
After joining their program, in the first year, I saw an additional $90,000 in my business revenue. The second year their partner program provided me with an additional revenue of $180,000. The third year I saw a revenue lift of $301,000 and, in my fourth year, we are on track to see half a million dollars of added revenue infused into the agency.
If you are serious about being the best in what you do and desire the absolute best in technology, partners, and resources, I strongly suggest you join the Infusionsoft Partner Program.
No credit card needed
Infusionsoft is now Keap. That’s weird to write, but it’s also exciting.
In 2001, trying to get Infusionsoft off the ground, there were many times when I wanted to quit. I’ll never forget my wife, after two years of struggling to survive, hugging me and saying, “Keep going.”
Over the last two years, we’ve talked with thousands of small business owners to get a deeper understanding of their unique challenges in today’s market. We learned that it’s harder than ever to succeed in small business. Customers expect more. On-demand is the rule. There’s no shortage of platforms on which to complain. A failed job or two can be damaging to your business.
Keap is our signal to the world—and to ourselves—that it’s time to make it easier to succeed. We’re on a mission to simplify growth for millions of small businesses. Our new name is a nod to the tenacity of the small business owner and encompasses everything we know to be true when it comes to success: keep going, keep serving, keep growing.
Along with a new name, we’ve expanded to two products. Keap, our newest product, is smart client management software that helps service businesses progress leads to satisfied clients. Infusionsoft by Keap is powerful CRM and sales and marketing automation software for advanced business needs.
Both are designed to make it easier than ever for more small businesses to get organized so they can deliver great service and close more business.
To your success,
CEO + Co-Founder