How to Turn Your Digital Marketing Agency into A Profit Making Machine
Having your own Digital Marketing Agency is like a dream come true for most entrepreneurs. However, making it churn out handsome profits for you is a whole different ball game.
In this article, we shed some light on the common issues faced by digital marketing agencies when it comes to generating business, and how to overcome those deftly.
If you are an agency owner, you must be familiar with a lot of these common issues including campaigns going awry, delays and difficulty in getting approvals from clients, and the need to satiate all of your clients’ content and/or website-related requirements.
With a lot of competition in the digital marketing space, these issues can potentially snowball into a high client churn rate and ultimately a survival crisis for an agency. So, to become a profit-making business, you need to promptly address these issues and aim for higher customer satisfaction rates.
How to Build a Profitable Digital Marketing Agency?
Once you arrest the churn rate and successfully establish working processes that keep the customers’ experience and satisfaction at the forefront, you can scale your agency and boost profits.
Do Digital Marketing Agencies Make Money?
Yes, of course. In fact, it is among the most lucrative businesses currently. However, your profit and revenue will largely depend on the number of clients and the services you offer. The average fee digital agencies charge for their services ranges between $2,500 to $12,000 per month. To make decent money from digital marketing services, you need to find at least ten clients and keep them happy with quality outputs and services.
What is Considered Profit in Digital Marketing Terms?
To calculate your digital marketing profit, you can use this formula:
cost + markup = price
Usually, agencies charge a markup of upto 20% to 50% of the service cost. Therefore, the average valuation of a digital marketing agency is estimated to be anywhere between five to ten times its annual revenue.
What Are the Most Profitable Niches for a Digital Marketing Agency?
The top 15 most profitable digital marketing niches are as follows:
- Real Estate
- Legal Services
- Musical Artists
- Non-profit Organizations
- Dental Services
- Financial Services
- Educational Services
- Medical Services
Below, we list a few tips for building a profitable agency which is a buzzing cash machine for life:-
1. Understand the Business of Your Client
When it comes to an understanding of the client’s business, most marketers start with competitor analysis. This step is crucial as to chalk up effective digital marketing strategies, you need to be well-informed about the client’s business.
Analyzing your competitors’ business strategies and tracking their moves will help you formulate a robust plan to map buyer personas and tap into their target audience.
You may want to use buyer persona templates and other tools for this purpose if manual scaling isn’t an option for your agency. Given below are a few examples of buyer persona templates that you can use for this step.
How to Create Buyer Personas?
Once you choose an appropriate buyer persona template, you need to know how to create buyer personas. Below is a step-by-step procedure to help you:-
- Choose a Photo: You can use a stock photo that closely resembles your target customer(s).
- Carefully Study their Backstory: Use their personal and professional details to bring their persona to life. You can include their workplace, experience, career history, expertise, and hobbies when finessing your buyer persona. Primary research, social, and CRM data can come in handy to help with this step.
- Assign Psychographic Attributes: You can include their personality type, social behavior, content preference and consumption habits, buying habits, attention span, level of digital literacy and fluency, and favorite sites, etc. to customize and fine-tune the buyer persona.
- Assign Demographic Identifiers: Include basic facts such as age, gender, title, industry, geographic location, salary, family status, marital status, and the vehicle they drive to give the buyer persona a more intimate touch.
- Include Goals & Motivations: Their goals, passion, needs, and everyday issues such as performance drops, efficiency needs, performance boost and process needs, and personal reputation objectives, etc. can also factor in your buyer persona.
- Identify Roadblocks: Frequent shuffling and reorganization in the company that may affect individual performance, a rare or difficult niche, lack of understanding of problems and their resolutions, etc. can all be examples of such roadblocks that the target audience faces. Ensure to include these in your buyer personas.
- Consider Sales Objections: Factors that prevent people from buying from you, such as poor perceived quality, poor marketing, high price, and relatively new product without many reviews, are all factors that can affect whether someone buys from you or not. Consider these while designing buyer personas.
For a more detailed treatise on sourcing this data, you can go through this Kane Jamison article.
Tips to Understand Your Customers Better
So what can you do to understand your client(s) better? We list a few tips below:-
Arrange a Direct Meeting to Understand Their Business
It is essential to meet your client directly to understand them better. Skip phone and Skype calls and arrange face-to-face meetings whenever possible. It minimizes confusion and paves the way for clear communication and transparency.
Meet on a Monthly basis for Reviews and Goal Setting
Try to conduct one-on-one meetings with your clients for monthly reviews and expectation settings. It maintains transparency and prevents any unsuspecting surprises on either side. You should utilize these meetings for goal setting and performance evaluation. It would also serve as an opportunity to interact with your clients, take their honest feedback, and address any doubts and concerns they might have.
Conduct Brainstorming Sessions
Conduct brainstorming sessions together whenever possible to develop better working relationships with your clients. Ensure that you leave no room for ambiguity in such sessions. The better you understand your client’s business and expectations, the lower would be the churn rate.
Stay Cordial and Develop a Warm Relationship
Aside from monthly review meetings, try holding weekly or bi-weekly meetings too if possible. This helps you develop an intimate relationship with your clients that transcends boardroom boundaries. Utilize these meetings to share any innovative ideas your team has come up with, or simply to share any valuable insights on their business. Update the client on the current status of their services and maintain frequent communication with them for better engagement. It’s a powerful way to reduce churn while also making better relationships.
Stay On Top of the Latest Trends
Following trends can be costly for an agency, given the limited resources and time it has. Hence, it’s important to zero down just which trends are relevant for your clients, and which ones are better left alone.
Send Your Customers an Alert About Any Upcoming Trends You’re Going to Follow
Riding on the latest trends is the best way to follow top influencers and offer things that can be included in the digital marketing services package. Inform your clients about any upcoming trends you’re going to follow and how you plan on using those to gain an advantage.
Be Transparent and Implement Cost-Effective Marketing Methods
Let the clients have the final word on the decision to boost sales and branding using the trend(s) in question. As an agency, it will reduce your burden and help your clients achieve more with less effort and cost.
2. Establish Robust Communication for Quick Approvals
If you are running an agency or working for it, you must be aware of the frustration that comes along with getting clients’ approvals. It is always an arduous task to get approvals from clients in time. Even if they say they’ll respond on priority, they rarely respond even after multiple reminders via emails or phone calls. It results in unnecessary delays, and might also affect the overall campaign performance. So what should you do if you are not getting quick approvals from your client?
A. Send Them Alerts About the Forthcoming Issues
Instead of getting involved in firefighting when the fire breaks out, you should proactively send them alerts about the forthcoming issues. It will help you to get quick responses in time and address the problem accordingly.
B. Talk Big to Attract Their Attention
To catch your clients’ attention, you should highlight the gravity of the issue using what they most care about, hard numbers. A plain fact without numerical data to quantify it can easily be ignored or overlooked. So ensure to back up any claims you make with solid data, preferably large digits.
C. Send Them Polite Reminders and Express Urgency
Always be polite when sending reminders. You can ask questions such as, “Any Updates?” etc., and follow those up with more urgent yet polite emails. Express the urgency and its possible outcome if it helps. For example, you can say, “Hi, as it’s the festive season, thousands of our fans are eager to hear from us, and we can’t just keep them waiting. We have created a few posts and need your quick approval to be scheduled and posted on time. Anticipating your early response.” This helps them understand the urgency of the matter at hand without sounding too desperate.
3. Reduce Response Time
To survive and thrive as an agency, it’s crucial to reduce response time. A study by Harvard Business Review reveals that businesses that respond within an hour are almost seven times more likely to have positive conversations with people in charge of decision-making. Companies that miss this time frame may miss the golden opportunity to talk to the right people and close the deal. So how to ensure that your agency’s response times are in single digits? Follow the tips listed below!
A. Have an Estimated Quote Ready for All Kinds of Industries/Niches
It becomes extremely tough to respond when customers ask for a quick quote. For a busy agency, it’s not always possible to provide quotes on short notice. A minimal analysis is always needed before you can send a fair quote. Having estimated and pre-defined quotes for some of the most common industries and niches are a great way to go about doing so. It helps you save time and automate the quote listing process.
B. Seize the Opportunity in Time
Respond to hot leads within an hour. As emphasized above, you reduce your chances of closing the deals drastically when you respond after an hour or more. Response times are crucial and can easily make or break an otherwise profitable deal. According to the sales dynamics, your sales leads are at the highest point of interest in your brand, with the highest intent to buy. Faster lead response time ensures that you seize the opportunity in time before their interest fades.
C. Automate Reporting
Reporting is highly time-consuming and taxing for digital marketing agencies. Typically, reporting consumes precious employee hours and distracts from the essential tasks that need priority attention. Furthermore, reporting is a regular task that eats up your productive hours almost every week.
Pro Tip: Switch to automated reporting using DashClicks’ InstaReports tool. It builds reports instantly and highlights gaps within your clients’ marketing. It not only analyzes the gaps in marketing procedures but also provides relevant quick solutions.
It allows you to close more deals quickly by providing instant in-depth marketing reports showcasing the most significant pain points and potential areas of improvement for the business.
4. Be Transparent With Your Deliverables
Ambiguity can lead to frustration and sometimes failure to retain a client. In order to reduce the chances of that happening, mention the terms of the contract clearly in your quote.
A. Highlight if It’s a Monthly or Yearly Package
It’s important to highlight whether you’re offering a monthly or a yearly package in your quote. In absence of clear instructions, your clients may confuse the two and take the annual deliverables as monthly, which may lead to unpleasant situations.
B. Give a Quotation Only After Performing a Detailed Analysis (Agency Performance)
Don’t give quotes without carrying out a proper analysis first. It might lead to unwanted surprises and financial loss to your agency. You should determine the exact scope of work and an accurate estimate of the requirement of workforce and time before deciding the final price.
5. Promise Less, Deliver More
It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver than have it the other way round. It leads to customer delight and improved business perceptions. On the flip side, over-promising and under-delivering lead to frustration and dissatisfaction among the customers. It may also increase the churn rate dramatically.
A. Strive for Lead Generation in the Backend
Don’t wait for the leads to automatically fall in your lap through campaigns or organic rankings. Instead, you should always strive for sales leads in the backend to receive a steady flow of leads. This will ensure that your clients are satisfied and happy.
B. Nurture the Leads Using a Telemarketing Team
It’s also crucial for an agency to nurture the leads given the various steps it requires before a lead is converted. The funnel is getting complex and longer with increasing competition. Sometimes, in an increasingly uncertain case, the sales lead may even drop off. A telemarketing team can help you nurture the leads and convert those with increased certainty.
6. Invest in The Latest Tools and Technology
Digital marketing has become increasingly data-driven. Sometimes you need to work with real-time data, and it’s impossible to collate it all manually. From decision making to achieving your objectives, the technology always helps you save precious time and money. This fact makes investment in digital marketing tools and technology inevitable.
Some popular tools and technologies that will help you speed up processes and reduce manual investment are given below.
- SEO Keyword Analysis: Google Adwords, Ubersuggest, Google Trends, SEMrush, Spyfu, Bing Ads
- Social Media Listening Focus: Brand24, Mention, BrandWatch, TalkWalkerAlerts
- Social Media Publishing: HootSuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, Cision
- Social Media Campaigns: ShortStack™, Pagemodo, Khoros
- Website Builder: Agency Website (For creating an effective agency website aimed at conversion, InstaSites (For developing multiple professional niche-specific websites instantly)
- AdWords Paid Search Analysis: WordStream, SEMrush, SpyFu, BidCops, Adthena
- SEO Backlink Analysis: Google Search Console, Bing Ads, Majestic, Moz, LinkResearchTools
- SEO Rank Checking: Google Search Console, Search Metrics, Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush
- Digital Analytics Tools: Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Kissmetrics, MixPanel
- Blogging: HubSpot, WordPress, Drupal
- Site Audience Comparison: Google Analytics, SimilarWeb, Alexa, Compete, Experian
These tools offer a high degree of accuracy and the ability to quickly process a vast amount of data with brilliant presentation and reporting. They thus save you tons of time and energy in executing a medley of tasks.
7. Offer a Smooth Onboarding Experience
If you are serious about making your agency a money-making machine, you need to provide the smoothest possible onboarding experience for your clients. Onboarding can be a significant challenge, especially when face-to-face meetings have become difficult due to the pandemic.
Like reporting, onboarding is also a time-consuming task because it involves pushing lots of reminders to the client to complete the documentation and share it with the agency. Smoother onboarding processes reduce any unnecessary delays and help you move forward with the contract quickly.
It also helps you make an excellent first impression on the clients and enables you to convert one-time service seekers into long-term customers.
Pro Tip: DashClicks’ white-label agency platform allows smooth and automated client onboardings through its user-friendly onboarding center that takes away all the hassles and stress associated with the process. The tool automatically gathers crucial information from your clients through an intelligent onboarding process, providing you with the freedom to complete the onboarding yourself or guide your client your way with your white-labeled dashboard. The AI-based software also sends reminders to them if they don’t respond in time.
8. Optimize Your Website for Relevant Keywords
Optimizing your website with the right keywords is the first step to ensure that it reaches your intended audience through organic search, which still remains the most reliable way to attract customers to your solutions.
Properly optimized and quality website content answers users’ queries helping them make the buying decision faster. Creating quality content is crucial to your success as an agency as it presents valuable information at the right time in the buyer’s journey. According to Google, 80% of smartphone users will likely buy from brands whose websites or apps offer helpful and satisfactory answers to their questions. You can also create pillar pages and topic clusters to render this process even smoother.
According to another Google study, about nine out of 10 shoppers have no fixed mindset concerning which brand to buy from when they search for information on the Internet using their smartphones.
With the right content optimized accurately, you can grab this opportunity and position yourself as the one-stop destination for the services they are looking for!
9. Create Convincing Case Studies From Successful Clients
According to eMarketer, client case studies are considered one of the most reliable and proven marketing and promotion tactics by digital marketing agencies worldwide. These case studies are compiled to highlight the capabilities and strengths of the agency through real-life examples, numbers, and statistics.
Agencies use screenshots from Google Analytics and other tools to support their claims with evidence. Case studies and “how-to guides” can also serve as lead magnets and are usually posted in PDF format to attract potential clients. They can also serve as marketing collateral for your sales team to present during pitch meetings and closing discussions.
According to an eMarketer survey, 62.6% of respondents affirmed that case studies were highly effective in generating leads.
Case studies are revered as evergreen content that is versatile and long-lasting. You can also use them in email drip campaigns to make any potential clients aware of your agency and services.
Pro Tip 1: Speak to your existing or previous clients who can participate in the case study creation exercise and share their stories with your prospects. Back your claims with accurate and verifiable data and screenshots to win a potential client’s trust and give your sales an instant boost.
Pro Tip 2: You can also create video case studies using tools such as Wave. video.
Tools like the one mentioned above offer several video templates that you can choose from and customize.
Here is an example of a case study related to an accounting & taxation business.
10. Try Chatbots and Other Conversational User Interfaces
As technology advances, people get increasingly impatient and need instant responses to their queries. Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft Cortana are all here to fill this gap. Try to utilize such smart conversational assistants to help you streamline your response processes and reduce response times.
The latest in the series is AI-based chatbots that are integrable with your website and provide quick answers to customers’ queries. They are digital marketers’ preferred tools as alongside providing an enhanced customer experience, they also act as the “deal sealers” by giving instant answers to customers’ queries at a time when the lead is ‘hot’. In other words, they help you retain potential customers when their buyer intent is high.
For instance, some potential customers may wish to know the business’s opening or working hours, and a quick answer helps them schedule their visit in a timely manner.
Turning your digital marketing agency into a profit-making machine requires strategy and hard work. There is no shortcut or ‘quick fix’ here, but you will soon experience the tide turning in your favor if you follow the above-mentioned tips.
A successful digital marketing agency requires standard processes and strategies. Using white label services can be a game-changer for agencies of all sizes. It relieves them from the burden of managing an oversized team, hiring professionals to carry out tasks they don’t specialize in, and investing in additional resources and tools.
This should be your cue to enjoy the benefits of investing in white-label services while remaining resourceful, agile, successful, and profitable in your client dealings.
We would like to hear from you about the tips that you found most helpful. Share in the comments below to give us more insights!