How to develop a knock-out marketing strategy for your design agency
It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that design agencies are quickly becoming a dime a dozen. The market is saturated with hundreds of boutique agencies, and you can easily fall behind if you aren’t constantly fighting for yourself, your team, and your work. If your goal is to beat out the competition and scale your business, then it’s imperative to create a bold and brilliant marketing strategy for your design agency. Ready to throw your hat in the ring and fight for your business?
Follow these tips to develop a knock-out marketing strategy for your agency:
- Optimize your online presence .
- Define your niche or target audience.
- Network, network, network.
- Use tools that help your team succeed.
- Embrace change.
Optimize your online presence
First impressions are important. Before you announce that your design agency is ready for business, make sure its digital footprint is up to par.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself regarding your business:
- Is your website equally practical as it is stunning? Make sure it’s easy to navigate and that it’s full of beautiful examples of your work.
- Is your agency on social media? If it isn’t, read why it should be here.
- Is your Google My Business listing current and correct? Make it easy for customers to find you.
If the answer is yes to all of the questions above, then you’re one step closer to perfecting your marketing strategy for your agency. Next, it’s time to consider who will best benefit from your creative services.
Define your niche
It can be easy to think that the only way to make it as a design agency is to accept every client that walks through the door. In reality though, you’ll be throwing money away in no time by collecting information and prepping work for clients and industries you know nothing about. Specializing in a particular industry allows you to narrow your focus, time, and energy. In turn, you can refine workflows, increase productivity, and provide invaluable knowledge to your clients.
If you’re unsure how to define your niche, take some time to figure out what your agency is passionate about. Identify what your strengths and weaknesses are, along with what work your team loved and what caused a lot of time and stress. From there, make sure the niche you select is a growing industry that could benefit from an agency like yours.
Network, network, network
Now that you’ve discovered your niche, it’ll be super easy to pitch your services to potential clients. So, how do you find potential clients? Well, it’s time to put your best work forward and network. Now, don’t think of networking as an awkward, stuffy conversation that ends with handing over your business card and never speaking again. Rather, networking is simply an opportunity to get to know people.
People want to collaborate with other people, not robotic salesmen. Make networking enjoyable by simply striking up a conversation. Get to know them by asking what they’re passionate about. If/when you do discuss your profession, tell a good story about your design agency instead of droning on about sales pitches and statistics.
If your niche is centered online, then get in the conversation by tapping into social media. Twitter and Instagram are great ways to connect with others if you’re running a creative online business. (Especially Insta, thanks to all the different Instagram picture sizes that are perfect for showcasing visual work.)
Establish trust online by providing solutions, creating helpful content, and demonstrating industry expertise. Instead of just sliding into a client’s DMs, seek out industry forums and community groups. These relationships could be just as valuable as an in-person relationship.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you meet someone, but rather the way you earn their trust and respect as a potential creative agency they could see themselves working with.
Use tools to help your team succeed
Now that you’ve onboarded some clients that are a perfect fit for your design agency, it’s time to get to work. Having the right tools is a major key to the future success of your company.
- Project management: Asana or Trello
- File storage: Google Drive or Dropbox
- Password Protection: 1Password or LastPass
- Web hosting: Flywheel’s managed WordPress hosting
Let’s not forget about the most important asset you have: your team members! Spend some time with them and ensure that they have everything they need to be great at their jobs. As new projects come in, create a workflow that is streamlined for everyone to understand and complete. Communication is key, especially as you begin to scale your business, so scheduling a quick meeting after a project has wrapped is a great way to get feedback of what went fantastic and what could be tweaked for the future.
It can be easy to get comfortable, but that isn’t an option in this industry. No matter how well you may be sitting, don’t forget that there are dozens of other agencies that are in your same weight class, fighting for the same success that you are. As your business begins to scale, be sure to remain loyal to who you are: a scrappy design agency that started with just a few clients. Always be on the lookout for new clients that could use your help, new tools that can enhance and expedite your workflow processes, and new talent that could help scale your business.
If you found this article helpful, gain even more insight about developing a knock-out marketing strategy by downloading our ebook, “How to get more clients for your design agency” here.
Keep growing your marketing skills! What do you want to learn next?
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- A guide to content marketing for web designers
- 9 content marketing ideas for designers
All photography in this article was created by Flywheel (hence the “Fly” hats!). This article was originally published 4-25-2018.