Powerful Tips to Get Big Clients as a Small Agency
Big agencies may be able to offer an all-in-one package, and against their vast team and massive resources, you can’t compete. However, their generalist approach often comes to the detriment of a deep focus on a true speciality.
What we’re suggesting here is that you avoid the temptation to offer everything everywhere all at once. Instead, identify what you’re best at, expand it, and promote it. Yes, it’s scary to turn down big offers when you’re starting out on your business, but you can suffer great reputational damage by working in areas you aren’t comfortable in. And that says nothing for the pressure and stress you’ll put on your team.
So trust us on this one; it’s better to find what you’re good at and go all in on it. Maybe you’re never going to be an all-in-one marketing service, but you can knock SEO out of the park every time. This focus will change people’s opinion from “an average marketing company” to “the best SEO specialists in town” in a remarkably short space of time. Bit by bit, you’ll learn how to get agency clients without having to promise the earth.
Just because you’re small doesn’t mean you have to lose out on every contract. It might come as a surprise, but when you’re banging your head against the wall, wondering how to get agency clients from big competitors, remember that many clients like that small-business feel. Or should we say boutique service. Getting the picture now?
Massive teams with endless lists of clients often end up with a lot of robotic-sounding phone calls that take a lot of time and don’t offer much in return. You can get big clients as a small agency by creating a personal, no-nonsense connection with your clients. Who wants to deal with a corporate mercenary who arrived on the scene five minutes ago anyway? Instead, guarantee your clients that they’ll be dealing with the top dogs from the outset and will be your priority throughout the project.
Big companies can often be formulaic in their approach. To maintain their identity, they almost have to be. But as a small company, you can use being nimble and flexible to your advantage. Are you using agile methodologies? Of course you are. Talk your clients through your process of sprints and iterations that give them quick, efficient solutions that they can be a part of.
If they still have questions about your pace and professionalism, give them an overview of your secret weapon — automations. No time (or money) wasted on repetitive tasks: you get right to the bone of the matter and keep your clients updated throughout.
When it comes down to brass tacks, business is all about people. By schmoozing well and making life as easy as possible for the people you deal with, you can often get big clients as a small agency — and maybe even steal them from your competitors.
Start off with an excellent onboarding experience. It might take a lot of work and imagination to think beyond a corporate presentation, but it’s worth it in the long run. Nobody desperately wants to do an onboarding session, so the more fun and engaging you make it, the better. The good news is, you only need to do the hard work once. Then it’s about duplicating your workflow and editing it for the next client, always looking for ways to A/B test and evolve.
But how do agencies get clients based on a good customer experience for their current ones? It’s all about offering an unbeatable customer service. With fewer clients to deal with, you should aim to be on first-name terms with all of them, and be at the end of a phone line whenever they need you. Take the time to check in with them during your projects, get feedback, and address any issues they have. If you keep a smile on their face, they’ll be far more likely to refer you to others, and you’ll get more clients as a result.
In the same way as you should stick to what you’re good at, we’d also recommend not trying to promote yourself as something you’re not. If you’ve got values, that’s great — customers love a company they can relate to. But don’t try to present yourself as a company that cares about everything with nothing to back it up.
When you fight social justice battles on all fronts, you begin to imitate precisely the organizations you’re trying to distinguish yourself from. On the flipside, when you care genuinely for a specific cause and have a track record of action, it’s much easier to get big clients as a small agency.
So to stand out and get big clients as a small agency, you’ve got to bring new perspectives to the table. That means developing a unique value proposition and messaging that will resonate with your audience. Here are some quick pointers to get you on the right road:
Talk to your team and lay out your core values: those which are actionable by your team get top priority.
Create a visually appealing logo and brand identity: You want people to recognize you immediately.
Take that identity and get it online. If you don’t have a website or social media presence, you simply can’t get big clients as a small agency.
Make your customer service second to none and use that quality feedback to your advantage.
By implementing these steps, small companies can create a strong and professional image that can help attract big clients. There’s no way to compete with the big guns in terms of marketing budgets, but a consistent message focusing on the right messages will give you a serious advantage and customer loyalty. Got a supply chain? Take pride in making it sustainable. Producing clothes? Make them available for all shapes, sizes, and genders.
When word gets out that you make promises and stick to them, you’ll gain a level of trust that you simply can’t gain with a bumper budget.
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The world of social media has branched out into a veritable forest of platforms where you can reach your clients. Even the biggest companies in the world can’t compete with a personable approach that solves actual questions for actual clients.
Anybody who has even a basic grasp of the internet will have turned to YouTube for tips on how to change a lightbulb, select a fine wine, or contact new customers. It’s kind of easy when you think about it. But behind every one of those videos is a smart-minded person who has used social media to get their edge.
When you consider that even the biggest organizations are made up of individuals, jumping inside one decision-maker’s head can really help you get big clients as a small agency. It starts with a lot of hard work, but once you’ve laid a foundation, you can start reaping the rewards.
Ideally, you want to be the reference point for your specific niche. If a potential client is asking Google a question about your industry, you’ve got to be number one on that list. Creating a website that is optimized for SEO means getting a backlog of super-relevant content that will pop up on every search.
If you can convert that authority to YouTube, even better. All of those videos can be further exploited by slapping them on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook to further spread your reach. Each of these platforms has their own audience, so while the major players in the industry might be hitting Twitter and LinkedIn, you can sweep up those who are searching in the lesser-explored parts of the internet.
Most of these channels come with excellent analytics tools too. With a bit of strategic thinking, you can hone your approach, invest in targeting the right people, and optimize all your ads and native content to boost your chances of conversion.
Hitting the marketing efforts can only get so far to increase visibility. But there’s nothing better than turning on the charm in person at an event. Start by creating an A/B-tested sales pitch that you’re happy with, then work on unlearning it.
What do we mean by that?
Basically, learn how to say it in a way that doesn’t come across as too rehearsed. This brings us to another key point: even if you’re the founder and CEO, you might not be in the best position to get big clients as a small agency. There might be a de-facto spokesperson hiding in your team who can shine in social events.
Bear in mind that your potential clients could feel intimidated by the big-name companies with their corporate approach. As a small company, you can offer that familiar feel that breaks down barriers and creates a level of trust that no multinational can compete with.
But aside from the people you come across in these events, industry events are a great opportunity for you to…ahem…borrow new ideas that come from companies that are leading the market.
If you’re just starting a small business that hasn’t secured any customers so far, this bit won’t be for you. But as soon as you strike those first deals, you can use their reviews to get big clients as a small agency.
Now you’re already present across all the socials, and you’ve got a conversion-happy website, you can cover it in stellar reviews from real people. Your company history, mission, and values can only go so far. There is no better method for how to get big clients than showing real-life reviews from your happy clients.
So how do agencies get clients to give them top-level appraisals?
A perfect way of ending a project with your clients is to send them a feedback form based on the areas you want to analyze. This has a double benefit. Anything negative goes into your “ways to improve” folder, while all the good stuff can get plastered on your socials.
At the same time, when you’ve been working hard to create long-lasting relationships with your customers, it’s not a crazy idea to ask them to pass your name on. Put simply, if your clients would like to come back to you, surely their contacts would find you valuable too. Never be afraid to broach the subject toward the end of a contract, and you never know where your name will end up.
You can encourage these links too. Who doesn’t love a referral discount? Offering incentives for word-of-mouth referrals can really take your company to the next level and provide an ideal response to the question of “how to get big clients”.
We hope our tips for how to get more clients have sparked some inspiration in your organization. They are tried-and-tested techniques that can be adapted to any industry and drive your company forward.
The points listed in this article are strategic, and can take a while to implement. But what if there was a way of making immediate changes to your business?
Bitrix24 has been at the root of overnight changes for countless organizations all over the world. From a single all-in-one business platform, you get:
Powerful project management software
A full suite of communications channels
Marketing automation tools
A website builder
Productivity tools and business analytics
To get big clients as a small agency, work on these areas:
You can establish a reputation and credibility as a small agency by consistently delivering high-quality work, building a strong portfolio, and getting positive client testimonials and references.
Some effective strategies include: