Managing a marketing agency comes with a whole host of moving parts. If you’re trying to scale, you’re adding even more onto an already loaded plate.
You know you don’t have clear processes for every aspect of running your agency. You know things are falling through the cracks. You know customers aren’t happy because of disorganization and failure to consistently meet goals on your end.
Take a breath.
What you really want is to streamline your agency, put proper processes in place that actually get used, and stay on top of everything.
Doesn’t that sound better? Instead of stabbing in the dark, wouldn’t you like to know how to scale your marketing agency?
Well, you’re in the right place. You really can use digital transformation to create a tailored strategy for your marketing agency.
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1. Optimize Your Workflow Processes
Before you can scale efficiently or even run your marketing agency optimally, you need to take the time to go through your processes.
When you feel like you’re constantly firefighting and scrambling to meet deadlines, the idea of taking time to look at processes might seem counterintuitive. However, it’s your processes that will ultimately stop you from firefighting and losing clients.
Start here and you will see the benefits.
Check what processes you already have
Are they still correct or do they need updating? Are there any areas for improvement? Are there any parts of your business where you don’t have processes at all?
Make a list of what you need to do, decide on the priority processes that must be tackled first, and then make a plan.
Involve your teams in the improvements
It’s important to involve your teams in process improvement rather than tackling it on your own.
You may find that your teams are full of ideas on how to make life easier for everyone and far better for your clients.
If you involve your people, they will take ownership of new processes rather than feeling that they’ve been pushed onto them.
Frustrated employees that don’t feel heard tend to go elsewhere and you can’t afford to lose good team members.
What you want is for everyone to feel that they can contribute and their ideas will be taken seriously.
Simply learning how other departments work and what they need can be a real eye-opener for your employees. Getting everyone involved will generate cross-team effort and ideas you might not have had any other way.
Focus on the sales and client onboarding processes
Start with looking at how your clients come to you and what happens next when you sign a new client.
Is there a smooth process so that your new client gets everything they need quickly? Do you have a new client pack with:
- A welcome letter.
- Information on what happens next.
- Important contacts in your agency.
- Who their account manager is.
- Terms of service.
You need to ensure that your new clients feel welcomed and important as soon as they sign on with you. It’s important to guarantee that they’re not left wondering what happens next.
Next, tackle your sales process and ensure that you have a clear customer journey laid out. Check that everyone understands where your clients come from and how you get them to say ‘yes’ to you.
Look for the gaps in your sales process where clients may be slipping away to the competition. Fill those gaps to keep potential clients moving smoothly through your sales funnel.
Know that it isn’t over when you sign a new client
If you want to grow your marketing agency, you need to retain your existing clients. Think about how you can turn them into brand advocates who can’t wait to recommend you.
2. Track Time Accurately
If you’re not tracking your time, you could be spending it on things that don’t move the needle.
Not only that, but you won’t know where you’re wasting time and which employees aren’t pulling their weight.
With time tracking, you can find and eliminate bottlenecks, and increase productivity.
Process improvement can help you refine and streamline your agency. You can tighten and improve on how long tasks take. But you need to know what you and your employees are spending your time on first.
3. Re-Evaluate Your Buyer Personas
Your buyer personas are vital parts of your marketing. You can’t accurately tailor and target your own marketing if your buyer personas are out of date.
Since 2020 and the start of the pandemic, more people are buying online than ever. Even B2B businesses are now buying online, often without having face-to-face sales meetings at all.
The world has changed since the pandemic and it’s likely that who you should be targeting now has too.
Many businesses have had to streamline and discover better ways of working. You may find that what customers used to want is no longer what they want now.
It’s worth taking the time to redo your customer research and create new buyer personas. You can then be sure you’re heading in the right direction with your improvements and with your own marketing.
4. Upgrade Your Tool Stack
Your current set of tools and software may not be up to handling more customers. Before bringing in too many new customers, review your tech and tools stack.
Go through every piece of software you use and check if you still need it. Not only does this help you to streamline, but you might find you save money by canceling what you’re not using.
Look into using a single management system for your marketing agency. You may find you pay less for one streamlined system that does everything than you would for many pieces of software.
It’s also far easier and more efficient to work on one platform than it is to try to make different platforms work together. With one sign-in for everything, you’re saving time and frustration too.
A professional management system will allow you to automate and standardize processes in all areas of your business. You’ll be able to manage your marketing tasks, including social media, content marketing, email marketing, and more, without leaving the platform.
A good marketing system will also integrate easily with the latest apps and software for the smooth running of your business.
This step really can take a weight off your shoulders and improve things for your employees.
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5. Hone Your Hiring Process
It can be difficult to hire the right people for your marketing agency. In addition to looking at other processes in your business, you need to hone your hiring process too.
The recruitment process can be long and take up a lot of time. Streamlining your process can reduce that time and save you money.
Think about what you can offer to employees. Can you offer flexible working and allow remote working? What benefits do you offer that would entice quality employees from other agencies?
One other option is to use a recruitment agency that specializes in marketing candidates. Instead of handling everything yourself, you can hand things over to them, while you focus on other things.
6. Outsource strategically
However passionate you are about your marketing agency, you can’t do everything yourself, and nor should you try.
Outsourcing is an excellent way to hand off tasks that are beyond your skillset or that you simply don’t want to do in-house. Prime examples are IT systems, accountancy, and content writing.
You can hire experts who can do these tasks far more efficiently than you can.
This allows you to focus on working on your business, rather than in it. You have the time and the space to think about the big picture and to plan for the future, without firefighting or getting behind.
That benefit on its own is priceless, but with outsourcing, you can also save money too.
You can hire someone on a retainer or simply pay them for the work they do as and when you need them.
That way, you’re not paying for full-time staff. This saves you having to find extra space for new staff, buying new computers, and paying out a full-time salary and any benefits.
As long as you have your in-house processes worked out, it’s a simple job to show new hires what you want them to do. And you get to add fresh eyes and expertise to your business.
Outside companies can bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to your marketing agency that you simply might not have thought of.
In addition, with an outsourced company, you can hire them for as much or as little time as you need.
You can bring extra people in, for example, if you have a backlog in one area. You could also use outsourced help if you want some time for you and your team to focus on improving your business.
7. Focus on customer experience
Customer experience really is all-important for any business. Customers expect to have an excellent experience wherever they shop and their standards are getting higher.
They expect personalization, superior customer service, and knock-your-socks-off service from their marketing agency. Not only that, but they expect it consistently.
Focusing on customer service as a priority will pay dividends as you grow your marketing agency.
8. Increase Your Prices
Once you’ve ironed out your processes and taken a good look at the value you offer your customers, you should be convinced that you deserve to put your prices up.
If you’re at the point when you’ve already scaled so fast that you’re struggling to keep up with demand, raise your prices. This has two benefits:
- You make more money.
- You will lose customers that can’t afford you.
Losing customers might seem like a bad thing, but you’re getting paid more. You’ll also find it takes the pressure off a little as you’re not struggling to manage too many customers.
Look at the value you provide and communicate that to your customers. Send them an email to announce your price rise but make sure they know what they’re getting for the increase.
You can always look at how you package your services too. If you sell a marketing package, rather than trading time for money, you have more room for growth and you make more profits.
9. Establish Beneficial Partnerships
You may be able to partner with other quality companies that provide complementary services to yours. You could then offer more options to customers than you currently provide.
Look at how you can build good relationships, and ultimately partnerships, with other businesses that will benefit you both.
The more you network and become known for your quality marketing, the better relationships you’ll build.
With a great reputation, you’ll then get higher-quality clients that are used to paying a premium price.
We’ve established that if you’re trying to figure out how to scale your marketing agency, you can’t do it all. Don’t even try.
So build your systems and processes. Involve your employees and make them feel like part of something. Outsource what you don’t need to handle.
Make a plan, work it through, and you will have a thriving, growing marketing agency.
You need the right partners to grow and scale effectively.
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