How to Get Your First Few Digital Agency Clients

By Jason Swenk on January 8, 2020

Are you still struggling to score your first few agency clients? Or maybe you’ve scored them, but now you feel like you’re stuck handling them and not growing. Making it past those first few agency road bumps is difficult. And finding your first clients and figuring out how to use them to springboard your growth is the biggest initial road bump. But finding those clients doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You just have to get a little creative. In this show, we talk about a cool strategy for landing the first five clients and how his agency took off from there.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • Why sometimes even the best agency team members quit.
  • How to score your first few clients.
  • #1 thing to do after you secure your first digital agency clients.

Today, I talked with Benjamin Arabov, Founder and CEO of Pure Digital — an agency specializing in PPC, ad design, and influencers. Benjamin is passionate, hardworking, and above all, dedicated. When his brother told him about an agency internship while he was in college, he pounced on the opportunity. From there, he moved into full-time while taking night classes.

Why Sometimes Even the Best Agency Team Members Quit

Keeping your agency employees can be the hardest part of your initial growth. Replacing team members isn’t cheap. In the past, I’ve talked about how you can dominate employee retention using a variety of methods like profit-sharing and killer training processes.

But here’s the thing. Even if you give your team members big chunks of cash, it doesn’t mean that they’re all going to stay. There’s no way to prevent employees from leaving. Some people just want out. And I’m not talking about those poor performers you should be firing already. I’m talking about some of your best workers. They may want out.

In Benjamin’s case, he was crushing it at his first agency job, but he wanted more. Born from a long line of entrepreneurs he decided to chase his own dream and create his startup agency. You should be prepared to lose anyone. And you should have a backup plan in case your most valuable employees up-and-leave.

How to Score The First Few Agency Clients

The hardest clients you’ll ever land are your first ones. You need incoming cash to fuel agency growth. You may have clients in mind. But you don’t have past client results to show off and win them over. Why should they even look your way? Benjamin says his agency’s early growth was largely due to referrals and a super successful email campaign.

If you want to grow early, you have to get scrappy. You need to flex some of those creative muscles. Back in 2015, Benjamin sent out an email campaign offering a performance review (audit),  that scored him 5 BIG clients. Let’s be honest — that may not work in 2019. Audits have been done to death. But you can identify your own Foot in the Door offer and create a winning email campaign surrounding it.

#1 Thing to Do After You Secure Your First Agency Clients

When you finally figure out that magic formula to get a few initial clients (call in some favors if you have to!), you need to do something ASAP. You need to hire some people. You don’t want to be the person making all the creatives for this account.


Because you’ll get stuck and unable to scale your agency to the next level. When you spend all your time on those first few clients you put yourself in a prison and you’re chained to client work. But when you hire creatives or project managers, you are free to work on business development. You want to scale. We all have different agency goals. You probably want more than just those first few clients. And you need people to make that happen.

What role should you hire first? The role you’re worst at! Eventually, you want to move away from creatives unless you have an agency partner who can handle the business side.

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