Are You Committing Any of the 7 Deadly Sins For Digital Agencies?

By Jason Swenk on September 14, 2016

In this episode, we’ll cover the 7 deadly sins that agency owners commit in their own marketing, and how to quit sinning and start winning new business.

This week on the The Smart Agency Master Class I talk with my friend Diane Young, co-founder of The Drum which is Europe’s leading marketing news platform, and recently has made it’s way to the US. Diane has spent over a decade observing and interviewing agencies. And in that time she’s been able to pinpoint 7 things that agencies do to themselves to negatively impact their own growth.

Diane shares the 7 Deadly Sins for Agency Marketing. Find out if you’re committing them and what you can do to stop before it’s too late!

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7 Deadly Sins of Agency Marketing

So what are the 7 deadly sins of agency marketing you need to avoid to elevate your marketing strategy? Let’s break them down..

  1. Lack of unique selling proposition.

    Agencies often either the lack a USP or lack the expression of it. So many agencies aren’t telling the story about why they’re different. What does your agency do better than anyone else? That’s what you need to communicate. Being a ‘me too’ agency or trying to service everyone is actually a doing a disservice to your business.

  2. Lack of vision.

    Where’s your agency going? What’s your end-game? Your clients and your team want to be part of the amazing journey your on. However, you’ve got to identify and communicate where you’re going so they can get excited about joining you. If you have destination, it’s much easier to get where you’re going.

  3. Lack of commitment.

    A lot of agency owners don’t fully commit to marketing their agency. They can’t or won’t put themselves out there – this is especially true of digital agency owners who are more technical and usually avoid networking and personal connections. Avoid committing this sin by going out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there. No one knows how awesome your agency is better than you!

  4. Lack of inertia.

    Often agency marketing takes a backseat to clients. And yes, clients do come first. But they can’t first, middle and last. Be sure agency marketing is somewhere on the priority list. You can do this by having a dedicated person or setting aside dedicated time to market. Also, adopt the motto: “done is better than perfect.” Agonizing over the perfect post, the perfect video, the perfect…. Anything, somehow goes from being an obsession to being an excuse. Don’t let it happen. Action leads to transactions.

  5. Overselling or over claiming.

    This one’s a doozy. An agency that claims to be the best, first, biggest, fastest, most award-winning is full of it and a prospective client’s BS meter is going to pick up on it. Don’t make claims if you can’t state a source. You don’t have to the best, fastest, most award-winning if you can simply own a specific skill in a specific niche and use your expertise to establish yourself as an authority. Be true and convincing in your agency marketing.

  6. Disinterest or isolation.

    Agency owners, specifically digital agency owners are sometimes so focused on the technical side of their work they forget to spend time in the world around them. Some don’t see the value in getting out from behind their computers, meeting people face to face and learning more about others’ experiences. Professional networking groups like The Drum Network are great for gaining an understanding of what others are doing. When you let your guard down and start sharing your experiences with other agency owners you’ll be able to help each other build and grow, just like this agency that doubled their business in 6 months just by networking!

  7. Lack of insight.

    It’s hard to detach yourself and see things objectively. The sin some agency owners commit is being too shortsighted to recognize their business’ strengths and weakness. You can avoid this by seeking out a third party perspective. Gain valuable insight by researching and understanding what you’re aren’t doing well. Then you can concentrate on getting better at it.

Bottom line, in a wide sea of agencies you’ve got to find your way to stand out. Have a unique selling proposition and a vision for where you’re headed. Then, commit to taking action and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to get it done. And remember not to commit the 7 deadly sins.

Agency Tools You Need to Check Out…

There’s a couple pretty fantastic tools that all agency owners need to check out with some amazing deals just for Smart Agency Master Class listeners…

Cashflow or bookkeeping issues? FreshBooks is the solution. FreshBooks makes ridiculously easy­ to ­use cloud accounting software for agencies that will help you work smarter, become more organized, and most importantly, get you paid quickly.

Check out and enter SMARTAGENCY in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section for a FREE 30-day, unrestricted trial.

Klipfolio is a tool that is helping agencies continuously monitor and report analytics. It’s cloud-based software allows you to define KPI’s based on your preferences and filters. With 50+ built-in marketing metrics, you can create a dashboard for yourself and your clients which can be viewed on desktop, mobile or old-fashioned PDF.

For a limited time, Klipfolio has a special deal for my listeners. Get a FREE TRIAL and an amazing offer just for The Smart Agency Master Class listeners at

What Do You Do When You Have Your Ideal Clients?

Being aware of the 7 deadly sins of agency marketing can help you elevate your marketing strategy and bring your digital agency to the next level within the industry but why stop there? Through evaluating other areas of weakness within your agency, you can create a better business and improve as an agency owner. And I can help you get through all of it.

I have provided many successful agency owner with support and advice on many topics from what to do when you want to speed up sales processes, ways to increase your business profit margins or how you can build an authority for your agency.

Growing pains within an agency can be a major struggle and I can show you how to identify the different phases of agency growth, why placing a solid process for performance based pricing can be the best pricing strategy and what the three questions you need to ask yourself are for you to sell more!

Learn about my career and different experiences as well as tips, tricks and insights by checking out my blogs that cover a wide variety of topics.

Find more from my Ask Swenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel. There you will find advice from myself and other agency experts.

Would You Like To Get Access To A Proven Agency Framework For Growing Your Agency?