If you own a digital marketing agency, odds are you know everything about running your business.
You know exactly how to run your agency, how to win new clients and retain them, and how to wear all the hats and do everyone else’s job.
But despite all that knowledge, you’re still stuck in second gear.
You’re hoping to scale your agency after all this economic turmoil. You’re waiting for that miracle to happen (and I don’t mean the pandemic to finally be over!).
But what you probably don’t know is that you might be making huge mistakes today.
And those mistakes are stopping you from scaling. But the good news is, you don’t need the world to get back to normal before you start growing your business. You can be solving those mistakes right now.
And although to err is human, you shouldn’t really be erring with your business.
That’s why today, I’ll tell you:
- The biggest 9 mistakes that even the most successful digital marketing agency owners make—and what to do to fix them.
- How to turn those mistakes into big marketing wins.
- And how regardless of the pandemic literally sucking businesses’ revenue, you could be actually growing yours 💪.
Some of these mistakes I even made myself when I owned a web design agency. But when I started spotting them, my business growth started rising like crazy.
So ready to fix those problems in your agency? But before that, take a minute to answer this question…
Oh, and by the way, happy early Thanksgiving!
Why Should You Scale Your Digital Marketing Agency in the Middle of Economic Turmoil?
The impact of COVID-19 was felt by pretty much all agencies and businesses across the globe.
One survey by Uplers shows that 66% of agencies experienced a decrease in revenue.
And over 2/3 of agencies with less than 25 employees were the most heavily impacted.
The uncertainty of the prevailing pandemic continues to disrupt the digital business worldwide.
A survey by Uplers shows that most agencies believe COVID-19’s impact would last between 6-12 months.
And as the economy tries to slowly get back to normal, many industries, especially digital marketing agencies, have been facing tough challenges.
But even though the corona age may or may not last more months or even years, you as an agency owner must take action now.
Because as Chris Ronzio from Trainual told me in an interview once…
“There is chaos in every business”
….And I strongly believe that there’s opportunity where there’s chaos.
In fact, some agencies saw a 65% increase of leads during the pandemic.
And this shows that digital marketing agencies weren’t only negatively impacted by COVID-19.
See how you don’t really have to wait for the pandemic to be over to start getting those good numbers up?
All you have to do is avoid making these huge mistakes that most agency owners often make (like waiting around for the pandemic to be over)…
Mistake #1 Digital Marketing Agencies Make: Cha Ching! 💰 Focusing on Revenue & Not on Profitability
I’ve included this point before as one of the challenges growing agencies face.
Because agency owners (hopefully not you) actually obsess about generating lots of revenue.
But they completely forget about profitability…
“What’s that Matt?” 🤔
Profitability is the ability that your agency has to produce a return on an investment based on its resources.
Simply put, revenue minus expenses equals profits.
So your agency is profitable when your expenses don’t surpass your revenue.
Therefore, if your agency has sustainable profitability that can support its growth, it will allow you to focus on your clients, your team, and your business.
So focus not only on how much revenue you make each month. Focus too on seeing if your agency is remaining profitable.
Bottom line: Revenue shouldn’t matter so much if your expenses are higher. Keep an eye on those numbers and make sure that what you’re spending in your business doesn’t exceed your revenue.
Mistake #2 Digital Marketing Agencies Make: Not Keeping Clients Posted or Updated About Their Account
One of the biggest reasons why your clients may be requesting to cancel your service is because of lack of communication.
You see, when your clients partner with your digital marketing agency, they’re trusting you. They’re relying on your expertise. But they’re also relying on your transparency when it comes to sharing wins and results.
While it’s true that you shouldn’t be informing clients of every single problem their account faces (after all, you’re there to solve all of those problems)—you should communicate with them on a regular basis.
Because they don’t see the behind-the-scenes work that you and your team do for them.
And if you don’t tell them “Hey, here’s what we’ve accomplished so far with your account”, they’ll think no work has been done.
So what can really prevent clients from wondering or worrying is updating them about the progress on their account.
And for this, you can show them that progress in the form of video, reports, calls—whatever keeps them updated.
For instance, we at AutoGrow don’t only keep our clients updated through our web app’s live chat on a regular basis…
We also constantly share with them conversion pushups—or what we like calling performance checkups.
A conversion pushup is a run-through of each of our clients’ funnels that our Digital Marketing Strategists do.
Here, they point out typically small but significant changes we can make to their funnels to help boost… you guessed it—conversions!
We do this because there are tons of funnel optimization tweaks you can do to your sales funnels to boost conversions.
And sometimes, those small changes can radically boost your funnel’s conversion rate.
We’ve actually seen those results in the 313 case studies analyzed in our Proven Sales Conversion Pack.
And we’ve also seen a lot of those impressive results in the conversion rate case studies for eCommerce stores that we’ve also analyzed.
Bottom line: Keep your clients updated on a regular basis with easy-to-digest updates. Forget about long, tedious analyses and reports. Gone are the days when clients would sit down to read a 10-page report about where their account is at.
Mistake #3 Digital Marketing Agencies Make: Not Offering Client Support & Project Management Assistance
Ok. I’m not going to say that project managers are the most important team members within your organization. Every key team member is valuable, important, and special—blah blah.
BUT a project manager or a client support specialist is critical to making your marketing agency relationship with clients successful.
They’re key roles in improving client retention.
And not having them is one of the biggest mistakes your digital marketing agency is making.
You see, a project manager is your marketing team’s accountability expert. And it’s one of the 9 digital marketing experts you need in your agency or virtual team.
They’re (supposed to be) detail-oriented, organized, and able to spot bottlenecks and project snags before they become a serious problem in your clients’ accounts.
They’re also (supposed to be) effective communicators who can clearly set client expectations so that everyone’s on the same page. And also make that great first impression to new clients…
Your project manager and/or client support specialist will:
- Make sure projects are completed on time for your clients
- Make sure projects are completed under budget
- Make sure clients are updated on a regular basis
In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, organizations that invest in proven project management practices waste 28X less money than other organizations.
That means having a project manager in your team can actually save you tons of money!
Bottom line: The work your team does for your clients will likely not be completed on time and will probably run way over budget without a project manager there to keep track of spending.
Mistake #4 Digital Marketing Agencies Make: Not Offering 5-Star Customer Service
Part of the secret to a successful relationship between your digital marketing agency and your clients is offering 5-star customer service.
You may be the most knowledgeable agency owner. Or you may have thrived as an expert digital marketer.
But if you don’t provide great customer support to your clients, then not even the fanciest masters or degree will help you retain those clients.
Because while your “do-ers” are working (or dealing :D) directly with your clients, and while your client base increases, you need to attend each client’s inquiries with impeccable customer service.
In fact, according to HubSpot, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service.
And according to Glance, 78% of customers have backed out of a purchase because of a poor customer experience.
On top of that, 67% of repeat customers or clients are more likely to invest more money in your agency according to Bain & Company.
Customer experience matters. And it matters a lot when it comes to scaling your agency
Bottom line: If you’re wondering how to scale your digital marketing agency, invest in top-notch customer service. Period.
Mistake #5 Digital Marketing Agencies Make: Not Having a Highly-Talented Team of Pros
Your team of pros is made up of the people who will make all your ideas real—that’s AutoGrow’s goal by the way.
Through our web app, our clients (who are mostly agencies by the way!) submit a request (or idea) for any digital marketing task.
Email sequence copy, landing page(s) design, logo creation, retargeting ads strategy—literally anything.
Then, our team of pros (designers, copywriters, quality assurance specialists, ads managers—all of them) bring those ideas to reality.
You see, your team of experts are the people who do all the heavy lifting for your clients (and you). And not having the right team in place can result in serious damage for your agency.
But when you hire the right team of experts, make sure they are talented and skilled.
Because without skills, high-quality standards, and with plenty of mediocrity, the work you do for clients will simply translate into unhappy clients.
Bottom line: Without a team of highly-talented and reliable people, you won’t be able to deliver the work to clients nor meet deadlines. You need talented and highly-skilled people to make your clients’ work and ideas a reality.
Mistake #6 Digital Marketing Agencies Make: Surpassing Your Team’s Capacity & Taking on Too Many Clients Because You “Can Outsource All the Work”
Quick question—the more clients you get the better, right? Because the more clients you take, the more money you make, right?
After all, you can outsource all the work if your agency starts overloading, right?
By taking more clients you’re not necessarily making more money.
You’re making more revenue, yes. But that revenue won’t mean a thing if you’re not even profitable (remember mistake #1).
And you can outsource the work, of course. Actually, that’s what many digital marketing agencies do. They delegate all the work to AutoGrow.
But when delegating or outsourcing your clients’ work, you need to make sure first that you know the outsourcer. You need to make sure you know they will comply with all the work guidelines and deadlines. And you need to make sure that they won’t make you look bad in front of your clients.
Because if you take 100 clients and your team’s capacity is 80, then, 20 clients won’t be receiving the promised deliverables. And if they do receive them, they’ll probably not be on time and without quality standards.
And what do you think will happen with those 20 clients who don’t receive the work on time or who won’t receive it at all?
They’ll probably complain (at the very least), cancel, and post a bad review about your service.
And of course, you can always turn a bad review into a marketing win. But it’s better to prevent that from happening in the first place.
So a huge mistake digital marketing agencies make is taking as many clients as possible and surpassing their team’s capacity. And to blindly rely on outsourcers to delegate all the work without even reading their business’ reviews… well that’s a huge mistake.
Bottom line: Even though you can outsource and delegate your clients’ work, you need to have at least an understanding of what’s involved in the service you sign up for. Make sure to know first the business’ reputation to see if it’s worth outsourcing the work to them. And if they’re not worth it, then delegate your clients’ work to us.
Mistake #7 Digital Marketing Agencies Make: Going Niche
If you’re a digital marketing agency owner, you don’t necessarily need to go super niche.
For example, you don’t only have to offer clients website design. You could offer website design along with copywriting services and web development.
Or you don’t only have to offer copywriting services. You could offer copy plus sales funnel strategies.
Actually, going super niche can limit your agency.
You could stay niche to one industry, but it’s ok to offer a variety of services.
Let’s say for example, you start as a web design agency. Then, you can add related site traffic analytics management and conversion optimization services.
More clients will likely sign up for your service because those services you’re offering (web design, traffic, conversion optimization) work together.
Bottom line: You can offer a broad range of services to your clients. Especially if they work like a “combo.” Because clients will more likely need a burger, french fries, and soda than just a burger.
Mistake #8 Digital Marketing Agencies Make: Not Having a Clear Value Proposition
One big mistake marketing agencies always make is not having a clear value proposition.
And if clients skim through your website to find out about your services, and your copy and value proposition isn’t clear, guess what?
They won’t sign up.
Your copy and unique selling proposition must clearly state what your agency offers.
That’s why you must always follow copywriting techniques to capture leads.
Because if your copy isn’t clear or persuasive enough and isn’t aligned with your offering (Law of Alignment from the Laws of Sales Funnel Physics), you’ll miss the opportunity to convert those leads.
So if you offer SEO services, web design, or social media marketing services—like many thousands of other agencies do—why should a client choose you?
Stand out from the crowd.
Be clear and transparent about what sets you apart from the rest with a clear value proposition.
Bottom Line: Don’t let potential clients wonder what your agency’s value proposition is. Make it clear and give them a good reason why they should choose your services.
Mistake #9 Digital Marketing Agencies Make: Not Qualifying Leads Properly & Saying YES to Every Prospect
This is another big common mistake I see marketing agencies make. They say yes to every single prospect.
And I get them. They do that out of desperation.
They just want so badly to get any clients to sign up.
But here’s the thing. You have to be selective.
You have to learn how to say no to people who won’t be a fit for your service and that will end up cancelling.
And if you need help to qualify leads and sell to the right clients, think of a merry-go-round.
Put every prospect who gets on a consultation call with you in there.
Then, start spinning the merry-go-round. And after it spins for a while, see the riders who “survive” or hold on tighter.
The merry-go-round is your lead qualification process. And those people who held on tighter and didn’t fly away are the prospects who are a fit for your business.
Bottom line: There’s no way you can say yes to all clients. Some won’t be a fit. And some will be. But lead qualification plays a critical role right before you ask for the sale.
All agencies make mistakes, including the most successful digital marketing agencies.
But the key is to spot these mistakes early and take immediate actions to remedy them.
The pandemic is no longer an excuse. You can be growing and scaling right now regardless of the coronavirus.
And as you saw above, all marketing agency mistakes can be easily fixed.
But if you need help along the way, no worries. AutoGrow is here to help you.
You can delegate to us all of your clients’ work and we’ll have the work done for you and for your clients.
All you have to do is outsource your clients’ tasks and projects to us and we do everything—from strategy to implementation (these are some of the digital marketing tasks we can complete for you and your clients), we bring your clients’ ideas to reality.
And trust me, you’ll feel relieved when you do it… It’s what we keep hearing from our clients who are agencies!
Now tell me something, how’s your agency handling all of your clients’ work? What are the most common mistakes you see you make as an agency owner?
Let me know in the comments below. And if you have any questions, let me know. I’ll be more than happy to help you scale your agency 💪.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.