At your advertising agency, you’re in the business of helping other companies reach the most customers and look their best. To get ahead, you must offer better services than your competitors’ products and the work your clients could do on their own. Here are a few ways to tweak your business model so that you can start earning six figures through your advertising agency.
1. Evaluate Your Current Performance
Start broad by looking at how your marketing strategy small business is working. How many clients do you have? Is that number up from this time last year, or have you lost customers? Do you work with the same clients over and over again, or do they tend to cancel or avoid renewing their contracts? Are most of your customers local, or do you provide remote work for customers who found you through search engine optimization or pay-per-click ads? Finally, are you maintaining your budget, or are you in debt and struggling to pay your employees?
Not all of these questions have straightforward answers. Most of them require you to examine your clients’ profiles and sales reports thoroughly. Work with your accounting team and human resources department to assess your current situation for the best results. If things are going well, the following tips help you increase your profits; if they’re not, here are a few ways to turn them around.
2. Increase Your Knowledge of Social Media
You know that your clients need to effectively engage with their customers on social media to succeed. However, if your understanding of social media becomes out of date or obsolete, you can’t help your clients learn how to use it. Stay current on trends for platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok by attending webinars offered by these companies. Monitor the news for updates that affect your clients’ marketing strategies, and test out these updates yourself before attempting to explain them.
As you monitor social media developments, keep track of which generation is using which social media platforms. You must be an expert in all major platforms, but you also need to know which platforms to focus on with each client. For example, if your client’s target market is Baby Boomers, you don’t need to go over the benefits of TikTok or Snapchat. However, if you’re working with a company that caters to teenagers, maximizing their Facebook page shouldn’t be your priority. These generational differences make or break your clients’ social media strategies, so make sure you regularly educate yourself on them.
3. Focus on Relationships
To increase your profits, you want to work with as many clients as possible. However, you don’t want to have so many customers that you provide poor service. With every company, focus on your professional relationship. If you talk to the same marketing representatives during each meeting, ask them noninvasive questions about their families and interests. Remember the details they tell you, and ask follow-up questions at your next meeting. Take detailed notes about all business matters so that you’re not asking the same questions over and over. Because advertising is so deeply tied to each company’s brand and product line, you must emphasize how you treat your clients uniquely.
As you develop relationships with your clients, find ways to stay connected between meetings. Connect with their professional accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other networking sites. If you have an idea about one company’s marketing strategy during a meeting with another client, reach out to the first company and offer your insight. The more contact you have, the better.
4. Prioritize Your Time
If you want to make six figures with your advertising agency, you must prioritize timeliness. It’s easy to procrastinate or have poor time management skills, especially when you’re your own boss. With every missed deadline or overlong meeting, though, you’re missing opportunities for profit. To avoid wasting time, find a time management strategy that works for you. Some people like to set labeled alarms on their phones, whereas others prefer agenda books or calendars.
Another way to prioritize time is to plan ahead. Before you meet with a client:
- Make a list of all the things you need to talk about.
- Note the ones that are simple enough to handle over email or in a memo, such as suggestions about a copy’s wording, and the ones that you need to talk about together.
- Order the in-person concerns by importance, and determine how much of your meeting time each issue should receive.
- Don’t forget to budget time in your meetings for your clients’ questions or unexpected problems.
5. Learn About Algorithm Trends
Unless your clients have never engaged in online advertising before, they’re probably familiar with search engine optimization and other algorithm-based marketing tools. For new clients, you often recommend a better content writing agency or improved keyword choices. However, most of your SEO consultations focus on updating your clients’ strategies to accommodate new trends. For example, most SEO experts agree that today’s articles need to focus more on what clients are looking for when they search for relevant keywords and less on what each host wants to say. Staying up-to-date on these changes allows you to guide your clients in picking the best writers and keywords.
6. Watch Your Prices
You don’t necessarily need to charge the highest rates to make the most money in your industry. If your prices per consultation session are too much higher than your competitors’, you risk losing clients. Affordable rates paired with high quality content are the best way to attract and keep customers. Of course, you must still charge enough to cover you and your employees’ time; don’t let your cash flow get so low that you’re not making a profit. Avoid changing prices too frequently, especially with long-term customers, but don’t be afraid to tweak costs to account for inflation or industry trends.
7. Think About Your Brand
You spend so much time thinking about your clients’ brands that you don’t focus much on your own. However, the way that you present your company has a huge affect on the number and type of clients you land. Take a careful look at your logo, slogan, and other marketing materials. Do you seem to target your services to one industry? Are you inclusive of people of all races, genders, and sexualities? Do any of your materials contain outdated information or language? As you conduct this survey, remember that it’s alright if you want to maintain a narrow focus. For example, if you specialize in marketing for clothing stores, that focus should be present in your advertisements. You don’t want to exclude an industry through implicit biases, though accidentally.
8. Avoid Overspecialization
Many industries prize specialization. For fields such as the arts, it doesn’t make sense to pay for anything less than an expert’s work. However, when you run an advertising agency, you want to offer as broad a portfolio as possible. If you’re only knowledgeable about pay-per-click ads or YouTube videos, your clients won’t want to use your services. They prefer being able to get all their advertising materials in one session. To avoid losing customers to specialization, force yourself to stay current on all aspects of marketing, not just the ones you like. Conversely, partner with another marketing expert whose specializations are complementary to yours.
9. Be Honest
When you meet with clients, be up front with them about your costs. If you have an hourly rate, include that in your initial email or phone call. If certain services cost more, tell clients that when you first discuss the service. Hidden fees give you a little extra money, but they ultimately damage your business relationships and cost you future contracts. Additionally, don’t recommend services or contractors that you know a client can’t afford. For instance, if you think a better SEO writer would help your client’s marketing strategy but the one you have in mind is out of your client’s budget, find a new writer. It’s easy to offend clients about their finances, so you must prioritize honesty and transparency.
You also need to be straightforward about the results of your sessions. Never make hyperbolic statements such as, “You’re guaranteed to attract ten times as many clients with this method.” Instead, explain the likely results of an action based on your other customers’ experiences and industry trends. For example, if your client is just starting to run PPC ads, show him or her how your clients’ ads have performed recently. Explain the benefits of running more ads versus the costs of paying for more clicks. By being honest with your clients, you prevent them from building unrealistic expectations and increase their trust in you.
Making six figures at your advertising agency isn’t a far-fetched dream if you run your business correctly. By incorporating these nine tips into your business model, you build long-lasting relationships with clients, and you increase the profitability of each meeting.