Agency New Business in Just an Hour a Day

By | October 15, 2012
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Mark SneiderFollowing is a guest post from Mark Sneider, owner and president of RSW/US, an outsourced lead generation and business development firm for marketing agencies. He is a 25-year veteran of the consumer-packaged goods, advertising and marketing service industry.

Mark speaks at numerous agency events and conferences including the 4A's, TAAN, Inbound and MCAN. He has also been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer and Forbes. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Don't Reach for the Moon. Just Find a Groove, and Stick with It!

As discussed previously on the Marketing Agency Insider blog, agencies often prioritize paying client activity ahead of agency initiatives. Unfortunately, that prioritization often takes hold and agencies have a hard time letting go. As a result, they do little to help themselves position, market and sell agency value.

That said, when opportunities come to agencies via referrals or networking opportunities, it is much easier to re-prioritize because the potential opportunity is (much more) ready at hand. 

The problem with relying on this as a strategy is that the number and value of referral and networking opportunities has consistently been diminishing year over year. As companies consolidate, workforces shrink. There are fewer marketers moving from company to company and bigger agencies are going after pieces of the pie that they never went after before.

Since we started surveying agencies in 2005, our RSW/US reports have consistently cited a decrease in referral and networking opportunities for these reasons. Agencies, in turn, often find themselves in need of new strategies to keep their engines running.

Stopping and Starting Isn't a Good Strategy.

What we often see is that when agencies (with good intent) try and start up a new business initiative and "go on the hunt," they often don't keep it going long enough and consistently enough to make it worthwhile.

You need to think about the marketing of your agency like you'd think about marketing one of your clients. You need to build awareness, credibility and interest in your value proposition. Talking about it in January, then not again until April simply won't work.

Don't Think About It As an All or Nothing Affair.

Marketers get information about agencies from a variety of sources. Just because you can't hire somebody internally—or hire an outsourced firm like RSW/US to represent you—doesn't mean you shouldn't have a dedicated marketing and business development program.  

In our most recent survey of marketers (to be released October 22nd), marketers told us that the top ways in which they find out about agencies (other than referrals) are email, mail and calls, respectively. 

RSW Chart

So, while the ideal state of affairs is to "hit" it on all cylinders and articulate your value via as many different platform touch points as you can, just doing a little bit of it, consistently, can go a long way.

If All You Have Is an Hour a Week...

Don’t have a lot of time to commit to new business? Here are some pointers to get started, in just one hour a week.

  • Define the sector where you have the most experience.
  • Post one blog post a week that talks about your experience in that sector and offers insight to marketers. Use words in your blog post that your prospect might search on if they're looking for information. This way, your agency is more likely to show up.
  • Create a nice graphic email template that showcases your agency's logo and offers a visually attractive platform for communicating your message.
  • Every week, drop the first paragraph of your blog post into the body of the email, with a "//Read More" link to your blog.
  • On the bottom of the email, showcase some of your work from that sector and rotate it every week. Note: It's okay if the same work appears in week 1 and week 10. Marketers aren't paying that much attention.
  • Track opens and clicks. If after a few weeks, you see some patterns of people clicking through frequently, send them an email to introduce yourself and see if they need any help.

Make it easy on yourself. It's at least a place to start, and it's certainly better than doing nothing.  

With limited time in the day, what new business tasks do you focus on? Share your strategies below.