The New Year always brings with it new opportunities and new challenges. In 2019, starting your own social media marketing agency might just be the right new beginning for you!
While there are many benefits to owning and operating your own agency, such as being your own boss, making your own hours, and making the world your workplace, there are also many challenges that come with growing your own business.
The most challenging step after starting your SMMA is finding and attracting clients. In this article, I’m going to be exploring what you need to do to land clients for your SMMA in 2019.
While cold calling and email marketing both have their place when it comes to landing new clients, if you really want to increase your success rate, then there’s a bit more to it. The five steps to landing clients for your SMMA in 2019 that I’ll be going over in this article are:
- Qualify Businesses
- Reach out with Value Offer
- Set Info Meeting
- Create Proposal
- Present Proposal & Close
Qualifying a business means is essential to making sure that you’re not wasting your time. And when you’re the boss, you want to make sure that every minute of your time is spent on growing you business.
The point of qualifying is a business in to determine whether or not someone would be interested in your services and would be a good fit for you as a customer. If, during this process, you find that they are worthy of your time and effort, then you can work on turning them into a customer.
The first thing you need to do when qualifying a business is determine whether your prospect has a specific need or challenge that you can satisfy, and figure out whether it’s feasible for them to implement your particular product or service.
Google is your friend in this stage of your process. Get online and research what the business’s revenue is on a monthly and annual basis. This will give you an idea of how much revenue needs to be generated through your services in order to show that you are providing value to them, and will also ensure that you’re not wasting time on businesses that can’t afford your services.
A good trick if you can’t find their revenues information is to look for a business that has multiple locations. If a company only has one location vs. one that has six, it makes sense to align your SMMA with the company with six locations.
During this research phase you also want to check out customer feedback on the business. Look at online rating sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google to get an idea of how that business is doing—if you they have a lot of positive reviews and offer high-ticket services, then it could be a good idea to approach that business.
You also want to check out the business’s website and social media to see what they are already doing, get an idea of what their current digital marketing budget might be, and what new and improved services you can offer. If the business you are prospecting is already on social media, then you should monitor their posts so you can get a feel for their voice and make constructive suggestions once you reach out.
Part of landing new clients involves showing prospective clients that they should choose you over your competition. This means offering the client something that your competition does not.
Once you’ve qualified the business then your next step is reaching out to the business either through email or cold calling. During this step, you obviously want to introduce yourself and what you do, but you also want to offer them something that offers them value and shows your value as a potential investment.
Tell the prospect that you would like to offer an audit of their social media accounts, or a 15 minute consultation, or strategy session over the phone or in person. Whatever you offer, it has to be something that will make them want to hear more from you with little risk to their business.
This value offer will be even more tempting if you are able to show them that you’ve done your research in Step 1. Be sure that you have a good grasp of what the business is doing well and what needs improvement, and show that you can provide tools and resources that they can use to make improvements if they retain your services.
Once the offer has been put out there, inform the prospect that you will be following up in a couple of days, preferably about 2 days, to answer any questions they have. At the conclusion of the follow up, be sure to offer different days or times to set up a face to face meeting so they have many options.
When your prospective client agrees to an information meeting, you want to put your best foot forward, while also resisting the temptation to sell. This first meeting is about getting know the client and their business—the time to close the client comes later, so make sure you’re not coming across as though you are pitching.
To get to know the client and their business better, ask questions like:
- Can you tell me more about your business?
- What type of marketing have you used in the past? What worked and what didn’t work?
- What is your revenue? What is your profit margin? What have you spent on previous marketing?
This meeting is also when you will follow through with your value offer, by presenting them with a digital marketing audit, give them a 15-minute consultation, or engage in a strategy session, or whatever else you decided on when you first spoke to the business.
Throughout the meeting, show the prospect that you care about their business and that you know what you are talking about. However, don’t sell the customer anything on the first meeting. Never discuss price, but simply explain your services and how you can apply them to their business.
If the client asks for pricing, offer to put together a proposal to present at another meeting, and at the conclusion of the information meeting inform them that you will be following up in 2 days to set up a second meeting. When you follow up, make sure to give them several days and times to meet.
The proposal you put together needs to be designed around the information you collected from the Info Meeting in Step 3. This is not a contract (though it can be if you want it to be).
In your proposal, outline what you plan to do for their business in reference to digital marketing, what results they can expect, and how much it will cost. This includes setting out a marketing plan, a step-by-step process of what your agency will do to increase value and convert new customers to sales.
Some of the major proposal components include:
- Posting schedule: Which networks are you going to be monitoring and how often will you be posting? Is a posting approval process required? If yes, be sure to outline what that would look like.
- Content creation and curation: This can include creating a social media content calendar, taking photographs, and keeping a pulse on industry news.
- Brand keyword monitoring: Be sure to note which keyword(s) you will be tracking.
- Analytics and reporting: How often will you be reporting on analytics and what will you be tracking?
- Social media management details: When will you be available to engage on social media? How much time will you be dedicating to the client?
Present Proposal and Close
Now is the time to really pitch your services and land the client. In this meeting, you’ll go over your prepared proposal section by section. Make sure you know your stuff and remember to be confident.
Allow the client to ask any questions or address any concerns they may have. If you don’t know an answer to a question that they ask, just be honest and tell them that you’re unsure but that you WILL find the answer and get back to them.
During this meeting be sure you:
- Explain pricing: Break down each line item of the proposal and explain to the customer the pricing and the reasoning behind the amount.
- Ask if they have final questions: Make sure the customer is clear on pricing and the rest of the proposal.
- Get the signature: Have the customer sign the proposal.
- Get payment info: Get a credit card authorization form so you’ll be able to use their CC for Facebook Ads, PPC campaigns, etc.
- Have them fill out a client intake form: This will gather account information like Social Media account login information, Google Adwords account if applicable, what marketing agencies they have worked with, goals, etc.
If, after presenting your proposal and pricing, the customer is not sure if they want to sign and move forward with your SMMA, ask them why they are not ready to sign and see what you can do to change their mind. If they appear as if they could be persuaded, then set up a third meeting.
For the third meeting, make small adjustments to the proposal that address their concerns and present to them in person. Only email if the customer is too busy and is unable to meet.
To attract and land new clients for your Digital Marketing agency in 2019, you must first research and qualify the business to make sure it is a good fit and that they are able to afford your services. Then you need to create a value offer, put together a proposal describing what you will do for that business and how much it will cost. Follow these steps each time and your agency will grow!
If you want to learn more about starting your own SMMA or digital marketing agency, then enroll in Cereal Entrepreneur’s Digital Marketing School today! You can also follow us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for helpful information daily, or visit our blog for more FREE training!