2 Strategies That Increased Agency Revenue 4X in One Year

By Jason Swenk on September 28, 2016

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • 2 strategies that helped quadruple agency revenue & client list in one year.
  • How to select your ideal niche to succeed.
  • How to create a sales process that keeps your pipeline full.

This week’s podcast guest is my client, Zach Williams who is the definition of crushing it. At his agency Venveo, the client roster has quadrupled year over year, the pipeline is full, sales cycle is shorter and conversion rate is higher. Learn all the strategies Zach and his team are using for such huge success.

Zach got his start creating websites at the age of 16 and continued to do it as a freelancer through college. It’s all he’s known, so starting an agency seemed like the natural next step. They grew organically for several years with referrals but hit a plateau where they spent two years. That’s when Zach searched for something to help get them beyond that plateau in order to scale… and found me 🙂

[clickToTweet tweet=”The 2 strategies that grew one digital agency’s revenue by 4X!” quote=”The 2 strategies that grew one digital agency’s revenue by 4X!”]

Strategy 1 – Focus on a Specialty

WHAT: Focus on a specialty where you can position yourself as an authority.

Venveo is a digital agency specializing in building manufacturing materials but they weren’t always in that niche. In fact, Zach says they had no niche – just another “me too” agency promising they could everything for everyone. It took his awhile to understand this was the one thing holding them back.

HOW: Stop worrying about what could go wrong and think about what could go right.

specialization-venn-diagramZach said the biggest thing was getting over the initial fear of turning work away and figure out what space you can make yours. Most people fear specializing because they think they will be turning off potential clients. Zach says he learned the opposite is true. When you are aiming at a specific target you have a better chance at hitting it.

It was a tough decision but Zach says he explains it as being the intersection between what you love, what you’re good at and what people need and described it like this Venn diagram:

It’s a stressful decision and once it was made there was a ton of pressure for it to work. Patience is key. It took 1.5 – 2 years for it to feel like selecting this niche was the right move. Zach’s advice is to stay the course.

Strategy 2 – Focus on a Sales Process

WHAT: Focus on a sales process for new client acquisition to keep your pipeline full.

New client acquisition is super important to the health of an agency. When Zach started focusing on a sales process he noticed a tremendous impact on his business. Agency client’s quadrupled year-over-year.

HOW: Create an irresistible Foot in the Door offer to attract new clients.

Most agencies want to go after the big, high ticket projects right off the bat. But using a foot in the door offer as a lower priced, smaller commitment is the way to go. Getting a chance to show your awesomeness in a small way will lead to bigger projects. This gives the client an opportunity to test you out AND gives you the chance to filter out bad prospects with a smaller engagement instead of a huge one.

Having trouble figuring out your Foot in the Door offer? Here’s a video all about it. Keep in mind, this is not a “paid proposal”. When you’re deciding on your offer it needs to be something that is valuable and packed full of information. This is bigger than a proposal because it’s your first opportunity to ‘wow’ them. Some ideas might be: a discovery session or audit, a competitive analysis, or analytics setup.

Beware of these 3 common Foot in the Door mistakes:

  1. Over promising. A great Foot in the Door is easy to understand and simple to deliver. After learning this lesson the hard way, Zach’s approach is to set expectations low and knock it out of the park with delivery.
  2. Lack of confidence. Remember you are an expert in your field and you see things other people don’t see. Something that might seem very basic to you could be highly valuable to prospects.
  3. Not building the relationship. People buy people. The Foot in the Door is your opportunity to build a relationship with a potential client. Work closely and develop a rapport. And for sake – do not send them the finished product – present it.

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