7 Q1 Initiatives Your Marketing Agency Can Use To Attract New Business Year Round Katie Culp It’s a familiar problem for any marketing agency: So much time spent marketing your clients and not enough time marketing yourself. In the hustle and bustle of client conference calls, pitches, and brainstorming, it’s easy to shove the agency’s marketing onto the backburner. But when the work dies down, you’ll be counting on your lead acquisition channels. If you didn’t dedicate any time to developing them, those channels would be depressingly dry. Want to rev up your revenue in 2018? Here’s what you can do in Q1. Produce Compelling Case Studies Being too busy with client work to develop a marketing strategy is a pretty good problem to have. Make that problem part of the solution. Work on a case study outlining your successful projects. Tell a compelling story about how you met a client’s objectives. Include both qualitative and quantitative data about how your agency’s work produced results whether it was in the form of increased sales or added exposure. Release your case study in the new year, promote it on your website and social media channels, and use it to build credibility with potential clients. Arrange Speaking Gigs For Members of Your Agency Conferences are a great way to gain exposure and build authority. Go one step further than attending them. Arrange for your founder or the head of your design team to deliver a speech on what your marketing agency does differently. In this way, your agency reaches a large number of people, your brand benefits from the promotional efforts of the conference organizers, and you have video of the speech to share on your social channels and with current and prospective clients. Send Newsworthy Press Releases to Media Contacts Do you have anything exciting coming up in the New Year? Win any awards? Land a huge brand as a client? Take the time to read about what journalists look for in press releases (and how they choose which emails to even open) and consider whether your agency has a story other people will care about. If you don’t have anything exciting on the calendar, come up with a creative idea for press attention. The holidays offer ample fodder for publicity stunts, and a stunt isn’t inherently bad so long as it’s executed well. You do this work for your clients all the time. Brainstorm ways to put your agency in the news by coming up with an idea that piggybacks on the warm fuzzy feelings of the holidays or the fresh-start ambitions of the New Year. Contribute Editorials to Industry Publications Did your team stumble on an interesting insight while working on a project? Perhaps you tackled a marketing campaign in an innovative way? Maybe there was a challenge your agency faced that you handled brilliantly? Pitch a piece to an industry publication. Even if your desired clients don’t regularly read these, the byline is enough to boost your credibility when they research you. It also boosts your profile to others in the industry, so that you’re considered for industry awards or invited to speak at conferences. Don’t forget to think about popular, yet respected, online publications as well. You might get more reach with a guest post on a widely read blog. Revamp Your Brand Conduct an audit of your brand. Ask yourself if it’s still indicative of the value, vibe, and culture of your marketing agency. Does it represent what you want to convey to potential clients? If it’s the logo you created when you started your agency, perhaps you’ve outgrown it. Produce a (Video or Podcast) Series Think about topics that are useful to your clients and potential clients. Choose the one that’s likely to get the most response and produce a video or podcast series around that topic. We suggest these formats because they’re easy for busy people to absorb. A well-produced, informative, and engaging series can generate leads, increase your exposure, and even lead to press mentions depending on how creative it is. Update Your Testimonials Page Stay on top of your testimonials page. Prospects seek social proof, and they want to see that others worked with you and loved you before they invest their own money. When you’re just starting out, you likely had “friends” as clients who gave you your first testimonials. To give you some traction, those testimonials were likely a bit over the top. It’s time to swap them out for the measured, reassuring feedback from clients whose brand names speak louder than over-enthusiastic praise. Be sure to follow up with clients to get this feedback. If you did a good job, they’ll be happy to provide it – they’ll just be busy. In this case, there’s nothing wrong with giving them some pointers on things you’d like the testimonial to touch on (i.e. process, results, professionalism, creativity) without putting words in their mouth. Prioritize your agency’s future success by taking a proactive approach to its marketing. If necessary, put together an internal marketing team and treat the firm like you would any other client. Get started laying down the foundation for a client-rich 2018.