What Drives Digital Agency Growth?

By Jason Swenk on August 31, 2020

Have you ever stopped to really think about what really drives agency growth? What inspires you to keep doing what you do? Do you know your agency’s purpose?  Are you driven by something more than just profit? Research shows businesses with a purpose often fair better than those that don’t.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • How to determine your agency’s purpose.
  • The value of authenticity.
  • 2 tips to become a trusted partner.

Today I talked with Brian Powell, managing partner at Matchfire, a brand design and digital agency. Matchfire focuses on purpose-driven marketing and helping brands embrace who they are. Brian’s here today to discuss why all agencies should have a purpose and how your agency can find its own.

How to Determine Your Agency’s Purpose

Open up a book or turn on the TV and chances are, you’ll find something about purpose. There’s a growing movement to do everything with intention and create with meaning. From an agency standpoint, having a purpose doesn’t just help your clients understand who you are, it helps you and your team be better at what you do. When you understand the why, it’s easier to come up with the how.

For me, my purpose to create a resource I wish I had when I was running an agency. If you don’t know your agency’s purpose, consider these questions:

  • Why do you want to make money?
  • Why do you want to create your product or provide your service?
  • What makes you different?
  • What kind of void would there be if your product didn’t exist?

Talk to your partners and stakeholders and really dig deep. Why do you do what you do? When you can answer this, a whole new world will open up.

The Value of Authenticity

For some, the word authentic may come across as hippy-dippy as the word purpose. But trust me, consumers can spot phony a mile away. When you choose your agency’s purpose, it has to be authentic. Authentic, purpose-driven marketing can drive business and social impact.

Along the lines of authenticity, it’s important to know what you’re good at. When you know your areas of strength, you can specialize and be the best at one thing. Specializing doesn’t have to mean exclusivity but allows you the ability to say no. You can’t be all things to all people.

When you take a step back and say, “This isn’t where I excel,” or “Let me recommend you to someone who can help,” referrals, goodwill, and word of mouth will come back to you tenfold. Don’t try to pretend you’re something you’re not just to win over a client. When you’re honest, you’ll earn the client’s trust and they’ll be more likely to call you when something else comes up.

2 Tips to Become a Trusted Partner

As an agency, the worst thing you can be is an order taker. You don’t want to be treated like a commodity. The ultimate goal is for clients to view you as a trusted authority and an expert in your field. Purpose and authenticity will take you a long way in earning a client’s trust, but there are two things to really focus on if you want to be a go-to resource:

  1. Have an opinion: There’s a misconception that marketing is the business of ideas. When in fact, what we do is give people our opinions. Clients want to hear what they should do and why they should do it based on your experience and market knowledge.
  2. Ask questions: What is your client’s purpose? Why do they do what they do? From the very beginning you need to ask your client questions like: what do you want to do, what do you want to accomplish, and what are the challenges getting in the way? Finally, end with: how can I help you get there?

What is it that separates you from everyone else? Why should clients see you as more than just a “me too” agency? Answer these questions and be true to who you are and both you and your clients will reap the benefits.

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