Whether you are a new or established agency and you're looking to increase your client portfolio in 2022, this guide will help you get started.
Looking to gain clients for your social media marketing agency in 2022?
Now is the perfect time to start!
It might look difficult to get started given that there is a lot of competition in the social media industry. That's why we have put together this comprehensive guide on gaining clients for your SMM agency. Whether you are a new or established agency looking to increase your client portfolio in 2022, this guide will help you get started.
The mistake that most agencies make is offering a wide range of services to as many clients as possible. The rationale behind this is that the more clients you can reach, the more money you make. Following this strategy will only create problems for your business.
First of all, you don’t want to give clients the impression that you are a ‘jack-of-all-trades’.
Clients like hiring specialists.
To quote Karl Sakas, “ If you needed heart surgery, you wouldn’t hire a general surgeon. If your insurance was good enough, you wouldn’t hire a cardiac surgeon, either. You’d hire a cardiac surgeon who’s done your exact procedure 500 times before. When they have a choice, people tend to hire a specialist. ”
By specializing, you increase your value proposition and brand credibility.
Secondly, when you offer different services to a wide range of customers, it will be difficult to keep up with workflows. And since the world of marketing is constantly changing, you might find it difficult to keep up with new trends and resources. Your agency will begin to experience diminishing returns in terms of output. The quality of your services reduces, and with time, you lose customers.
Rather than serving every customer, identify your core services.
Your social media marketing agency should have a core service offering; a.k.a your value proposition.
What is a value proposition?
A value proposition is the value a company promises to deliver to customers should they choose to use their services or buy their product. For a strong value proposition, you need to focus on a few services.
For example, Viral Nation is an Ontario-based agency that specializes in influencer marketing. Their value proposition is that they create “ROI focused social media influencer campaigns for brands globally”
According to Robert H. Bloom, your core customer is, “The 'Who' that is most likely to buy your core product or service in the quantity required for optimal profit”.
Customers play a key role in determining the success of any business. To grow your business, you want to ensure that you are targeting your ideal customer with your marketing strategies. To identify your ideal customer, you will need to create client personas.
A client persona is a model of an ideal customer for your agency. They are a semi-fictional representation of the common attributes of your agency’s most profitable audience.
The purpose of creating a client persona is to get a clear picture of the audience you are marketing to. They help you understand your customers, their pain points, and how you can best position your service offerings to meet their needs.
To create a solid client persona, you will need to perform extensive research. Here are some ways you can gather information to help you create client personas:
A good place to start your research is on your existing customers. These are people that are already interested in your services and engaged with your agency. They will give you a good idea of who your ideal audience is.
The interview can be in the form of phone calls, in-person meetings, and online surveys. Depending on your niche or industry, there are certain “buyer persona” questions you will want to ask the customer.
These are the best possible questions for social media marketing agencies, broken down into categories:
Challenges, goals, & pain points
Questions that give insights into your product/service
These questions will give you enough raw-data to start creating your client persona. Here are some examples of what a persona template will look like.
You can also go a step further by using Iconosquare's social listening feature. Using social listening allows you to monitor what users are saying about your brand, as well as your products and services.
Using form fields can give you insight into your potential customer.
Which option best describes you?
Drop Down Options:
Be thoughtful about what questions you ask on your form fields. Ask specific questions so that you can easily identify buyer personas.
Your sales team is in contact interaction with your customer. They can provide useful information on who your target audience is. Here are some questions you can ask:
There are templates and tools online that can help you create a client persona. The best ones include:
Creating your client persona will give you a clear understanding of who your target audience is, their pain points, and how you can help them with your services. The next step is to reach out to them in places they spend most of their time.
What better way to market your agency than to actually spend time with your potential customers?
Tip: Before you start advertising your business, ensure that you are invested in their community. Customers can identify when you are just trying to sell to them. Build a relationship first by delivering value. When they see the value you offer, they will be more willing to work with you.
Here are a few places to check out:
This is a no-brainer. As a social media marketing agency, you must have an active social media presence. Social media networks provide a ton of opportunities to find new clients. You can join groups relevant to your niche, interact with relevant individuals, and collaborate with influencers to help build your brand reputation.
LinkedIn is one of the most effective networks for generating new agency leads. The platform is dedicated to professionals and will offer you direct engagement with potential clients. For example, if you are a social media marketing agency that provides services for B2B businesses, you can join related groups and start delivering value to its members.
The key is to deliver value. When prospects see that you are knowledgeable regarding their pain points, they are most likely to reach out to you. You can also be proactive by reaching out to members who regularly interact with your content. Since you already have a client persona template and know that they will fit into it, you can pitch your services to them.
Another advantage of LinkedIn is its advanced search features. LinkedIn allows you to search for potential clients using search parameters like company, industry, and location.
After identifying the social media networks your target audience are most active in, you can use a social media analytics tool like Iconosquare to analyze your performance.
Iconosquare helps you maximize your social media performance by making insightful, data-driven decisions based on intelligible analytics.
(No credit card required)
A forum is an online discussion board where users can discuss topics of mutual interest, share their experiences, and ask questions. Forums are an excellent way to interact with prospective clients and create social connections.
To search for a forum in your niche (say, Facebook advertising), type the following query in your search box:
By engaging in online forums specific to your niche, you increase the chances of gaining clients for your social media marketing agency.
Q&A websites like Quora and Reddit are similar to forums. The main difference is that you can place ads and links on relevant discussions. This can help you direct traffic from the Q&A website to your agency landing page. This feature can be an advantage and disadvantage.
You need to be careful when advertising your brand in comments and discussions. Add too much of your links, and it will be marked as spam. The best approach is to deliver as much value as possible and only advertise your agency once in every 10 posts. You want to build relationships naturally. When users notice the value you offer, they are most likely to check your profile. Use the bio on your profile to advertise your agency. Ensure that you include your contact information.
Public relations can be a strong addition to your marketing mix. A good PR strategy can help increase your brand exposure and also build a strong online reputation. A client seeing your agency name published on a trusted news source will leave the impression that your agency is credible and trustworthy.
Here are some examples of PR tactics you can try out:
Running press releases in magazines, news publications, and websites can help increase your brand credibility. 92% of customers say that they trust earned media.
Here is the information you should include in your press release:
Here’s an example of a press release from Tiqets which talks about the appointment of their new CEO.
An interesting way to generate attention for your agency is by writing a founder's story. Instead of writing about how your services differ from your competition, write about how the agency was started. The core problems your founders were trying to solve, the struggles they went through, and your company values. Stories like this are more interesting to read. And when pitched to the right publications, it can help increase significant awareness for your brand.
The biggest benefit of partnerships is that you expose your service to a brand new audience. The key is to partner with non-competing brands. Partner with other businesses that complement the services you offer.
Online advertising is one of the most effective ways to generate new leads for your agency. The biggest advantage of this strategy is that it targets people that are interested in the services you are offering. Social media ads like Facebook and Instagram ads, make it easy to reach your target audience.
Running Facebook ads is one of the best ways to gain more agency clients. The cost-per-click of Facebook ads is also cheaper when compared to other online advertising platforms. You can get started by boosting one of your posts or creating a new Facebook ad campaign.
Here is an example of a Facebook ad from Upfluence:
For agencies who have other businesses as their clients, LinkedIn is a great platform for running ads. This is because LinkedIn is a lot more specific when creating targeting parameters. LinkedIn allows you to filter through businesses via size, demographic, location, and more. You can even choose for your ads to be shown to people by job title. This is a very useful feature for reaching out to decision-makers in an organization.
Google Adwords is one of the effective ways to gain clients in your area. Rather than using demographic filters like age and location, you target the audience with your ads based on keyword intent.
For example, a user might search for “social media marketing agency in Ontario”. Queries like this show high purchase intent and conversion rate because the user knows exactly what they are looking for.
Due to the high purchase intent, there is usually high competition for keywords. This can make the price per click of Google Adwords expensive for small businesses.
To get the highest return on investments for your Google Adwords campaigns, you must direct visitors to a dedicated landing page. With a tool like Omnilink by Iconosuqare, you can create unique landing pages.
Starting an agency blog will help you promote your business online. Although blogging doesn't typically involve direct promotion of services, it is very effective as a marketing activity.
By discussing your industry and the challenges your target audience face, you position your agency as an authority figure. You are also getting your brand in front of your target audience. When they need the services you offer, you are most likely going to be the first name on their mind. Research also shows that companies with blogs see an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies without blogs.
Guest blogging is an effective marketing strategy for growing a business. Here are some of its benefits:
To increase the ROI of your guest blogging campaign, ensure that you post to websites read by your target audience. Don't just guest post to any website as it won't add any value to your business. Choose appropriate website(s) for your niche.
For a social media marketing agency, an appropriate website to guest post to is Social Media Examiner since their content involves teaching entrepreneurs and small businesses how to use social media marketing to grow their business.
To do this, type inurl: “keyword” + “write for us”. If you want to write a guest post on social media marketing, use the following query:
inurl: “social media marketing” + “write for us”
Reports show that 55% of the US population listened to podcasts in 2020. This number is up from 51% in 2019. Podcasts are increasing in popularity. They are also an effective way to reach out to your target audience and acquire new leads.
You can follow two paths; you can either host your own podcast show or feature in popular podcasts in your niche.
Here are few things to do when hosting a podcast or appearing in one:
Don't forget Iconosquare has its own podcast for experienced social media marketers! Check out esm²: the Podcast for Experienced Social Media Marketers here!
Attending events and conferences in your industry is a great way to meet new people and land more clients. You can speak at industry events to show your expertise, or casually network during break times or after the event.
Here are 3 simple tips to remember when attending networking events or conferences:
Gaining new clients for your social media marketing agency doesn't have to be a herculean task. The key is to put in the work.
Each of the ideas listed in this article will help you get started. The most important thing is to identify your core service offering and who your target audience is. This will serve as the building block for any marketing strategy you use in promoting your agency.
So what are you waiting for? Which of these methods will you add to your strategy?
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