Is an agency deck the best way to sell your agency culture, ideas and services? Is the old PowerPoint presentation still a “crutch” agencies need or would it be better to ditch the deck in favour of a more interactive, informal conversation?
Jeff Bezos famously banned PowerPoint at Amazon replacing it with a four-to-six page memo which they call a “narrative” a number of years ago and Jeff Weiner, CEO from LinkedIn put a stop to them too so why are agencies so slow to follow suit?
New York agency Work & Co banned PowerPoint presentations as they just weren’t collaborative. It’s got me thinking, do we really need PowerPoint presentation (or Keynote) to be able to talk about our agency and showcase our work and ideas.
Talking over slides restricts dialogue and interaction and given that agency selection is hugely based on chemistry and strength of relationships, it’s probably not the best way to build rapport. Surely it must be boring for...
When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile, is it optimised well so that people can find you? LinkedIn is changing at a pretty fast pace at the moment and is becoming a great tool to get yourself known and build lasting relationships. I wrote a previous blog post which touched on how to use LinkedIn for new business but I thought it would be helpful to share some tips on how to make sure your profile is fully optimised and how, by spending just 10 minutes every day, you can raise your profile, get noticed and win more business.
Mark Williams, aka Mr LinkedIn, conducted some research recently on LinkedIn to find out what key areas you should focus on to improve your ranking in others searches. The main two areas he found made a real difference were:
I’ll go into more detail now and share some tips on some small changes that can make a big difference.
Think about what you do and what you offer. If someone were to find you,...
So often I work with agencies where the new business function pretty much works in silo from the rest of the agency, and then the MD gets frustrated when there’s a lack of results from the new business person or when the new biz person moves on.
New business is tough! It gets harder each year with companies blocking phone calls and email servers rejecting emails.
Please don’t just employ a new biz person or consultancy and expect them to be able to work miracles. Agencies that have a thriving new business culture find it much easier to win and convert new clients than those that don’t. The best new business strategies are shaped by their internal culture.
Here are some of my recommendations for building a thriving new business culture for your agency, some may be obvious but take a good, honest look at what you are doing and think about what you could change to make it work better.
1. Direct from the top
New business is the lifeblood of any agency and the direction...
Agencies can spend so much time, effort and money creating what they think is a new business campaign worthy of an Award, for it to then fall flat on its face with zero results. And by results I mean new clients in the door.
I’ve been really fortunate to have worked with a huge variety of agencies over the years from start-ups with very little money to spend through to big global agencies with big marketing teams and budgets. In this time, I’ve learnt a lot from what does work and also what doesn’t work so I thought it would be useful to share my thoughts on why some new business campaigns fail…
1. The audience hasn’t been researched
Using a list that you have bought from a data source usually won’t be good enough. It can be a great starting point to save you time on things like email address formats and postal addresses but you really do need to spend time on refining that list, especially if your new business campaign has a high print cost....
New business is the lifeblood of any creative agency, some agencies however just can’t afford to hire an in-house new business team. If you would like to be winning more business but don’t have the budget to hire someone, don’t let this hold you back. You too can learn the skills to sell your services and there’s no-one who understands your business better than you, so you are in a great place to do this. Sometimes you just need the confidence to get out there and also know some of the tricks and processes to make new business that little bit easier.
Investing in training, mentoring and support can be the best way to learn the skills you need as well as having the guidance to make sure you are saying and doing the right things to make your agency stand out. The Agency Growth Academy has been designed to help agency owners quickly understand the basics of new business. It’s an investment – not only money but also your time and I understand it can...
If you or your team aren’t getting the results you need from your new business activity then take a closer look at where you are spending your time. Are you doing enough of the right things or wasting time on the wrong things. Have a look at my list below to check you are on the right track.
Contacting new prospects every day
You need to always be building your pipeline and this means approaching new people every day. It doesn’t have to be a large number. If you are responsible for the running of your agency and new business is part of that then you won’t have time to contact lots of people. After all your approaches will be very tailored and personalized. Set yourself a goal – perhaps 2 or 3 new people each day.
Following up with people
The fortune is in the follow-up. Make sure you have an effective system in place to remind you when you need to follow up. I always recommend using a cloud-based CRM program such as Highrise, Hubspot or Capsule to keep...
One strategy that many agencies forget about when it comes to their own marketing and new business efforts is audience profiling.
"Understanding the differences between your audiences is essential for getting messaging right"
Something you know right but probably aren’t doing ;-)
Building personas for your core audience can help improve your marketing and new business efforts. Its means that you can be more focused on creating messages that are relevant to and that resonate with your audience.
According to Hubspot, the definition of a buyer persona is: “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
For agencies, I recommend you create between 3-5 buyer personas. There should be clear differences between each persona so start by creating one persona first based on your best client.
The strongest buyer personas are based on insight...
You recognise that you need external support with your new business drive but how do you decide between appointing a freelance new business consultant to work on your business development or whether to hire a specialist new business agency. There are some advantages and disadvantages to both which I’ve listed below.
A new business freelancer will typically cost less than hiring a new business agency. Usually agencies have overheads such as offices and staff that they need to cover. Having said that agencies are able to charge more because of the breadth and depth of experience of their combined team which I’ll go through in the next point.
2. Breadth of experience
With a freelancer you are accessing the experience of just one person whereas when you are working with a new business agency you have access to the wider team experience. Usually within the team they will have worked for similar agency to yours and will have targeted the sectors and markets you are...
If you are responsible for new business development in your agency, I'm pretty confident one of your biggest frustrations is the time you can spend trying to find peoples' email addresses. Companies don’t willingly give out email addresses anymore. They are safely guarded and difficult to uncover. Instead of wasting time trying different formats and waiting for bounce backs, why don’t you try one of my favourite tools below.
Prophet is a Google Chrome extension that finds information about people. Install Prophet and look at a person’s Twitter or LinkedIn profile, it will show you the user's Facebook, Google+, Blog, Sites, email address, phone number and much more. It goes beyond the web to analyse, generate and verify contact information that you can't find on the web. It’s very easy and simple to use, it’s not always 100% accurate but it’s a good starting point.
Reaching prospects using the traditional methods of email and phone is getting tougher and tougher with improved technology filtering emails and blocking calls. With the number of Worldwide users expected to reach some 2.95 billion by 2020, social media does give you an opportunity to connect with and engage with your prospects. Approach with caution though because there is definitely a wrong way to use social media which I see every day. So how do you build relationships over social media without looking spammy ;-) Keep reading to find out…
Getting your profiles right
First off make sure that your profiles are spot on. Your bios need to be consistent across each platform (not identical but saying the same message) and always use a headshot photo rather than a company logo as your profile picture.
Make sure your profile tells people exactly what is it you do and how you help companies.
And of course, make sure you are sharing valuable content on a regular basis.
Are you ready to stop wasting time and money on ineffective new business strategies?