How to Land and Retain Big Agency Clients

By Jason Swenk on August 28, 2019

Are you struggling to capture those big fish clients? Does it feel like your agency is constantly battling for every account? We’ve all been there! You’ve still got some growing pains. But, what if you could skip those growing pains and go right to be big leagues? Here’s how one agency owner made his first client Kobe Bryant.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • How to score big agency clients.
  • 3 reasons your agency should hire some freelancers.
  • #1 way for digital agencies to stay competitive.

Today, I talked with David Brickley, CEO of STN Digital and Host of The Business Of Social podcast. We all have our own unique origin story but, David’s story is downright crazy. Not only did he score one of the biggest names in sports (Kobe Bryant!) as his very first client — he continues to work with some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment. James Harden, Shaq, Amazon, UFC, the Olympics, and even movie stars are his bread-and-butter. David’s here to share his story about how you can grow your agency event while you’re a small or mid-sized shop.

How to Score Big Agency Clients

What if I told you that David convinced Kobe Bryant to be his first client through a cold email? It’s true! And, there’s a lot we can all learn from that…

Scoring your first big client is all about taking chances. Get out there and chase them – because why couldn’t it be you?

Forget about sticking to inbound and waiting for them to knock on your door. If there’s something you want bad enough, get out there and chase it. And you know as well as I do — it only takes one big client to completely change the course of your agency.

Once you have a big name or a big brand, you can leverage them to get other big clients. It’s the domino effect. And, winning with outbound doesn’t require a big budget – it’s all about the grind.

3 Reasons Your Agency Should Hire Some Freelancers

Don’t worry – you don’t need a huge team to serve big clients, you may just need to add some freelancers. The gig economy is in full swing. You can talented and highly skilled freelancers to work on a project basis. And here’s why:

  1. Freelancers give you tons of flexibility. You don’t have to worry about onboarding for each unique client need. If your next client needs a little camera work done, you don’t have to go out and hire someone for the one job. You can pay someone by-the-hour, and you never have to make a commitment.
  2. Freelancers give you scale. What happens once you get your first big client? Do you have a team ready to handle their projects? If not, you’ve got an unlimited number of freelancers ready to tackle that project.
  3. Freelancers are cost-effective. Does it really make sense to hire a full-time writer for 40 hrs a week to create a few blog posts? Do you really need a full-time animator? Freelancers allow the flexibility to pay-as-you-go on a project basis, without the overhead of full-time employees.

#1 Way For Digital Agencies to Stay Competitive

Every year, hundreds of agencies close their doors for good… and for most of them it’s not intentional, but rather the result of lacking one basic thing. They didn’t adapt.

The algorithms keep changing and what worked last week or last month or last year isn’t cutting it. For example, EO isn’t the same this year as last year. And, it could be wildly different next year. Digital agencies have to be flexible and they need to be constantly innovating.

If you aren’t creating bigger, better, and more interesting things, you’re headed down a dangerous road. You can’t keep performing the same old tricks; you must keep things new and evolve to the needs of your audience.

Client retention isn’t all about wooing them (although the right gifts don’t hurt!) It’s about providing them value with innovative solutions they can’t find with anyone else.

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