How to Grow Your Agency by Fostering Connections

By Jason Swenk on November 23, 2020

Are you really fostering your client relationships? Are you going beyond the transaction and getting personal? People prefer doing business with people they know, like, and trust. Connections not only help you find and retain clients but place a greater value on the services you provide.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • The most important ingredient in your hustle.
  • Why is branded content so effective?
  • Why client relationships are so important.

Richie Kulchar is the Co-founder, Producer, and Director of a branded film content agency called Junk Films. Richie and his partner actually met in 2014 while they were both undergoing substance abuse treatment at a rehab in the Los Angeles area. The two finished their treatment and ultimately began an agency together in 2017. Among their first clients were substance abuse treatment centers. These businesses, as Richie explains, had a mission of hope but “their marketing materials were trash.” Junk Films now boast a client list that includes some of the biggest brands in the nation. Richie is on the show to share how he turned his life around and built an amazing agency.

The Most Important Ingredient in Your Hustle

“The idea behind Junk Films is that you’re dealing with ex-junkies,” Richie says. “We have been hustlers in our lives. We’re used to hustling to get what we want.” He and his partner’s substance abuse is something they’re both very transparent about. They use their backgrounds and their stories to help tell the stories of other people.

The leap from local substance abuse treatment center clients to well-known brands like Adidas “was lucky but it was also a hustle,” Richie says. He had a friend with an agency who had done work for Adidas’ original YouTube channel. The friend reached out to Junk Films for video content for the client, and Richie was able to use the work he did for that company to attract more clients, both through the quality of work as well as word-of-mouth. Starting with very little capital, Richie and his partner brokered deals in which the advertiser paid for their costs — such as rented camera equipment — and would, in turn, receive a high-quality video. After some time and successes, Junk Films began finding clients who were able to pay a standard rate.

Why Is Branded Content So Effective?

The industry of film advertising has changed, Richie says. In the past, a company would hire someone to shoot a commercial and then pay for media spots, whether they were the right audience for that product or not. Data analytics tools and targeted advertising online has changed the game for the better. Brands choose the demographics they want the ads to be displayed to while also measuring the impact of their advertising reach.

By reaching the targeted audience, brands are better able to connect to those who would be most impacted by their products. “Branded content is so important because there is no quicker way to tell your story,” Richie says. The vast majority of online content these days is, in fact, video content. For people who don’t like to read, he explains, video content is a way to grab the attention of the consumer and provide them with a balance of information and emotion.

One of the challenges conducting video interviews is many of the interviewees do not have experience on camera. This is where Richie is again able to use his own personal story to connect with them. He helps them feel comfortable telling their own stories. There are also a number of camera techniques, including the use of a longer lens so the videographer is at a greater distance from the interview subject.

Why Client Relationships Are So Important

Relationships are key when it comes to agency growth. When client-side contacts change jobs, they often go to another well-known brand. They take their connections with them, including their connection to Junk Films and the ability to obtain quality video content. This results in an opportunity to work with new brands and showcase their work in new ways.

In an industry saturated with agencies, providing film content helps your clients connect more with you and with their customers. But it all begins with the ability to share your own story and let your clients connect with you.

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Growing Your Agency With Client Relationships

The key to not only growing your digital agency but evolving client relationships is fostering connects and I hope this has helped shine a light on the importance of it. When growing your agency, there may be multiple challenges that come your way but don’t worry — this is where I can step in.

In addition to helping scale faster, I have advice for common agency obstacles such as dealing with bad agency clients, how to build authority for your agency and more. If it’s challenging growing your business, I have agency growth hacks, the best ways to improve management of your business as well as why building a remote team can be beneficial in the long run.

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

You can learn more from my experience from my Ask Swenk series and my videos on my Youtube channel. Check out advice and learn even more from other successful agency experts featured on Smart Agency podcast twice every week.

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