In the early years of any agency there is understandably a strong emphasis placed on the need for customer acquisition. This is sensible given that clients are the financial lifeblood of agencies.
However, within a few years those agencies that go onto to become successful have usually identified the type for client that is a good fit for the agency’s values and services. Although it might sound counterintuitive, sometimes as a managing director, the best decision to make is to let go of clients who are not only problematic, but do not subscribe to your philosophy. The reality is that clients who do not appreciate the kind of value you bring to the table are not worth the time or the stress, no matter how well they may be paying you. It is important to remember that your brand is bigger than any individual client. After that project is completed, you will still have a company to run and a reputation to keep. Your reputation is likely to be tarnished by working with a client who forces you to compromise your values or ethos. So, how do you avoid any potential disasters and attract the right clients?
Image is everything
This cannot be stressed enough. How the general public, including your potential clients view you is very important. People make snap judgments based on what they see and hear. That is why you must take the time to create the right image for your brand. From your web-design to the copy in it; your social media and employee profiles; your portfolio and even how you handle disputes all goes into showing the world how you want to be perceived. You will need to be able to communicate a difference that makes you stand out.
If the appropriate image is projected, this will help potential clients to self select themselves. It will filter out the wrong kind of client while attracting those that believe in what you stand for; those that respect your quality of work as well as the ethics involved. The quality of your brand image determines the quality of clients you attract and how much you can realistically charge them.
Based on what they see, they already expect a price that matches that level of professionalism and sophistication. Be bold, disrupt and have a point of view.
Be an industry resource
Information is power. Commit to using Content Marketing to promote your agency to prospective clients. Publish new blog content on a regular basis. You can help your potential clients feel more empowered by providing them with valuable content and insights on a regular basis. Discover your potential customers’ problems and offer solutions in your content. Your content should address the needs of a narrowly defined customer; include case studies, free industry reports and video posts. Doing so will instill trust in your potential clients. They will learn to come to you as a resource and eventually, a solution to their industry related problems. You will attract clients who are interested in becoming the best; clients who know that you are the best and that they should trust you to do your job for their own benefit. Only produce content that reinforces what you want people to think about you.
Build great customer relationship offline and online. Significantly relationships developed online are having more impact on future purchasing decisions because millennials now wield more power in businesses. The kind of relationship you have with the people who interact with your brand online says a lot about how you treat your clients. You need to be helpful, respectful and precise. These are all attributes that attract clients who hold these values in high regard. Don’t just chase the projects.
Deliver on your promises
This is true in every business. When you consistently deliver on your promises you will find that great clients will be more than happy to refer you to businesses of the same calibre. Attracting the right clients is the result positioning your company appropriately and conducting your business in a manner that is consistent with your values. Once business owners recognise your brand and everything you stand for you will receive more requests from them.
by Miles Welch
Partner at Waypoint Partners