The Secret to Avoiding the Wrong Agency Projects and Clients
Ever had a client that just didn’t feel like a good fit right off the bat? Ever taken on the wrong agency projects out of desperation to pay bills and meet payroll? If it doesn’t feel right or there are some red flags, pay attention and go with your gut. Listen to the hard lesson this 25 year agency owner learned, how it knocked him down, and how he got back up again.
In this episode, we’ll cover:
- How to avoid the wrong agency projects or clients.
- Setting up a successful agency structure.
- Tips on improving your search for inbound leads.
Today I got to talk with Jim Stewart, industry pioneer and CEO of StewArt Media and SEO/Digital Marketing Evangelist on his YouTube channel, Jimboot. With more than 25 years experience, Jim has good insight into both the struggles on the business side as well as great information on maximizing search.
Avoiding the Wrong Agency Projects or Clients
Jim’s biggest piece of advice with knowing wrong agency projects is: Trust your gut instincts!
If something doesn’t feel right or there are some red flags, pay attention, listen to your gut. If your gut says run – then run!
And if you’re white labeling or on the receiving end of an outsourcing situation, beware:
- Being white labeled is tough and you get little to no credit for your work.
- You don’t get direct interaction with the client and receive information through a third party.
- You’re being sourced for your processes, yet the larger agencies don’t want to follow your processes.
- Getting the work done on time can be challenging when your agency isn’t the main point of contact.
- Determining how to charge isn’t clear cut when white labeling.
Using this type of structure in the beginning for small agencies is not uncommon, I did it. Just make it work for you by:
- Letting the big agency know up front that you will credit them as a client name.
- You will have direct contact with the client.
Sometimes in these situations, the big agency will start failing on the project and the client could start approaching your agency directly. Don’t burn any bridges. Being up front with the big agency is key, but you will find that sometimes, they are aware of their shortcomings and tell you to just go ahead and help the client with what’s needed. This can be a great opportunity to build your client base.
Creating a Successful Structure
You can’t change your first hire but if you could, would you? I sure would. Bringing someone into the fold that has the skill set to handle all the stuff you can’t, or aren’t very good at, is key… So, who should you hire first?
It really starts with self awareness. What are you good at? What do you like doing? Where do you want to take the agency? Take all that info and hiring accordingly. Then…
- Invest in those people.
- Train those people.
- Educate those people.
As the agency CEO it is important to know your five roles – and daily operations isn’t one of them.
And, if you have you been thinking of yourself more as an owner than a CEO, it might be time to transition from Owner to CEO.
Be the leader. Communicate the plan. Make sure everyone knows the direction the agency is headed. Set goals and clearly outline them. This provides the team the freedom to work within their goal structures and figure out the best tools to utilize to achieve those goals. Even though ours can be a transient industry, we still have to invest in good people.
With the client, clearly outline the plan for them as well. Many clients have been burned before which is why outlining and communicating goals is crucial. Tell them what you’re going to do, when they can expect it and follow through.
Improving Search for Inbound Agency New Business
There is one major factor in Search: Trust
The way to build trust is by having a strong brand. The best thing you can do for search and your overall business is: Build That Brand.
There is no silver bullet when it comes to building your brand. It takes hard work and consistency. You need to be putting out valuable content that either educates or entertains. This content creates an impression of you and your brand; it is what your brand becomes.
The ultimate goal is to get people to associate your content, or brand, with keywords in your category and viewed as the authority in the industry.
Need Guidance and Support to Grow Your Agency 3X Faster?
Are you overwhelmed by all the information out there on various ways to grow your agency? Do you want direction on how you can grow your agency faster and easier?
Then you’re in luck! I created an innovative mentorship called Agency University.
Agency University is a program which provides the 1-on-1 mentorship and ongoing support that is crucial to the success of your agency. Click here to see if it’s the right fit for you.
What’s Next for Your Agency?
Knowing when to say no to wrong agency projects will make you a better agency owner and help bring your digital agency to the next level in growth and authority. But what other challenges do you have?
By looking at the bigger picture of your agency, you can focus on areas you haven’t explored yet as well as struggles you need to focus on to improve your business and then check out how I have all you need to get through these obstacles.