Are You Losing Prospects & Clients Because of This…?

By Jason Swenk on March 11, 2020

Do you struggle with losing prospects and clients? Do your agency clients understand the value of your agency’s work? Does your pricing structure feel like it’s completely out of whack? Not sure if your agency is competitively priced? Pricing and process are two areas where clients and agencies often have trouble finding common ground, but it can make all the difference when it comes to your agency’s success.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • Do you know your agency’s value?
  • How including the client in the process helps them understand value.
  • #1 Reason you need to lead with strategy.

Today I had the opportunity to chat with Tammy Dahlin, owner of digital marketing agency Element 212, based out of Indiana. Though she has a degree in marketing, like so many of us, Tammy somewhat fell into starting her own agency. As such, she found herself undervaluing her agency’s services and struggling to find a balance between the amount of work she puts in and client expectations. When she figured out she needed to implement a process and invite clients into the process, she discovered her place as a strategic agency. Find out what Tammy learned along the way.

Do You Know Your Agency’s Value?

Anyone who has been in the agency realm (or any business, for that matter), understands the complexities of pricing. You don’t want to price yourself too high where you’re not attracting any clients, but you don’t want to go so low they don’t take you seriously. When Tammy first started her agency, she quickly realized just how much she was undervaluing her work. She says she charged about $600 for her first project where other firms were charging upwards of $15,000. Between working too much and charging too little, Tammy and her team slowly became resentful of the process.

In the beginning, it’s hard to accurately balance the client’s perception of what they are getting with what they are willing to pay. So Tammy made a change. She upped her prices to be more in line with the work she was actually putting in and the value her clients were receiving. But she was still getting pushback because clients felt her rates were too expensive.

How Bringing a Client into the Process Can Build Trust

Naturally, Tammy knew the value of the work her team was providing. Unfortunately, her clients weren’t able to see all the research that was going into each project. But then it clicked. Tammy’s team was already doing market research with the client and their customers, a process she calls “brand insight.” She decided to bring the client into it that process and most importantly, charge for it.

This had a dramatic effect on Element 212’s growth. Clients began to see what was going on behind the scenes and appreciate the process. By giving the clients an “inside look,” Tammy and her team could establish trust and get their clients more involved in understanding the value of their work.

#1 Reason You Need to Lead With Strategy

Everyone can execute, it’s the strategy that sets you apart. When you lead with strategy, your client will view you as the authority. When you don’t lead with strategy, they will view you as a commodity.

Early on, Tammy decided to market her agency as a strategic agency. Now she has developed a system where she has biannual meetings with her team and her clients to talk strategy. If they want to implement the strategy — great. If not, she gives them tips to make sure they all stay on the same page.

Element 212 is an agency that focuses on strategy at its core. By being transparent about the process with her clients and bringing them into this process, Tammy has finally found a balance between customer expectations and the value of her agency’s work.

Pricing and strategy are two of the most complex and difficult parts of running an agency. But it’s so important to get a handle on these areas from the start. When you do, you’ll find everything else comes so much easier.

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