Marketing an agency, for me, is more about quality of leads than quantity of leads. Your automation strategy should ensure your agency gets the projects you really want.
Allow me to explain:
It’s not about scale, but about quality
If you’re selling a product, you can scale endlessly. You can invest in expanding your manufacturing capability and simply make more products. If you’re selling a digital product, you won’t even have to do that.
Either way, if you’re selling a product you want more leads.
But if you’re an agency, scaling isn’t quite as easy. Because most agencies deliver a service. Consultancy. Which means you need to have the people available to actually do all those new projects stem from your excellent lead generation.
And getting good people is hard. Training new folks takes time. Meanwhile, you want your consultants to be happy where they are. And not run off to the competition.
Automating lead qualification
So, if I were setting up marketing for an agency, I’d go heavy on automating lead qualification.
I’d build a funnel like I always do:
- Easy, top of the funnel offer. Cheatsheet that solves a problem for my prospective customer. Followed up by an email nurture pitching the next offer.
- More meaty, middle of the funnel offer. Ebook, an email course. Followed by more nurturing pitching the next offer.
- A serious bottom of the funnel offer. This could be an actual meeting with a sales rep, but it could also be a webinar. Either is a real time investment on the count of the prospect.
All three of these have different levels of commitment. They also give entirely new leads the chance to make themselves known to me by entering their information to get the offer (and I’d ask progressively more info of them as they move down the funnel).
Meanwhile, my actual content and offers have to be very specific about the type of projects the agency is successful with. Make it absolutely, abundantly clear which customers you want – and which ones are less of a good fit.
(Don’t actually say it, but make it clear through your examples and what you’re excited about doing.)
In a way, have leads qualify themselves. If they read your description of your ideal project and go: “That’s not us”, that’s fine.
I’d then make sure to set up lead scoring in my automation tool. I’d be closely monitoring three things:
- Fit. Does the prospect fit my ideal customer? The customer I know is going to be representing the kind of projects my agency is looking for?
- Activity. Is the prospect active on my website? If so, what’s he looking at (are there pages that we want to flag as important?).
- Engagement. Is the prospect opening emails, clicking links, etc.
Only qualified leads go through to sales. The rest you can nurture long-term, or forget about right now. Sales calls only those who get scored high enough to qualify.
All of this does require you make it crystal clear to yourself, and to your prospects, which projects you’re good at and want to do. Presumably, as I mentioned, projects that challenge your consultants, so they’ll want to stick around.
For agency lead qualification automation, I say quality over quantity!