21+ Proven Strategies to Grow and Scale Your Digital Agency

Are you struggling to grow your business online? With so many digital marketing options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Luckily, a digital marketing agency can help take your business to the next level.

In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for businesses of all sizes. However, creating and executing a successful digital marketing strategy can be challenging, especially if you lack the expertise or resources to do so.

A digital marketing agency can offer a range of services that can help your business grow, from creating a compelling website to managing social media accounts and running targeted advertising campaigns.

In this article, we'll explore the ways a digital marketing agency can help you achieve your business goals and reach your target audience online.

How to Scale your Digital Agency
Digital Marketing

Digital marketing, also called online marketing, is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the Internet and other forms of digital communication.

23 Ways A Digital Marketing Agency Can Help Grow Your Business

Improving Your Internal Marketing & Sales

1. Pick a Niche for Your Agency

In today's world, digital marketing agencies have become a dime a dozen. With over 500,000 agencies worldwide, it can be challenging to stand out. Focusing on a single niche can be one of the best strategies to separate your agency from the competition. This is a proven approach, and many companies are already seeing great success with this model.

Choosing a niche industry allows you to position yourself as an expert in that field and differentiate yourself from other agencies. It also provides other opportunities such as speaking engagements at industry-specific conferences.

Here are some niche industry ideas to consider: massage therapists, personal trainers, tattoo parlours, HVAC, water damage, rehab centres, auto shops, insurance agencies, optometrists, and restaurants. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and consider targeting a specific marketing vertical or targeting a specific vertical niche.

Ultimately, the goal is to distinguish yourself from the thousands of other full-service agencies out there. By specializing in a particular industry or vertical, you can establish yourself as the go-to expert in that field and attract more clients who are looking for your specific expertise.

2. Create a Lead Magnet for Your Agency Site

One effective strategy for generating leads for your digital marketing agency is to create a lead magnet for your agency site.

While many visitors to your website may not convert to leads for a variety of reasons, offering a valuable resource or tool can entice them to share their business information with you and take the first step toward becoming a client.

A lead magnet can take many forms, from a white paper or e-book to a free trial or consultation. The key is to offer something relevant and valuable to your target audience. For example, HubSpot offers a website grading tool that helps businesses identify areas for improvement in their website's performance.

When creating your lead magnet, be creative and focus on offering something that will address a specific pain point or challenge faced by your target audience. For instance, you could offer an SEO audit that points out technical SEO flaws on their website and provides actionable recommendations for improvement.

By providing value upfront, you can build trust with potential clients and position your agency as a knowledgeable and trustworthy resource in the digital marketing space.

Generate an SEO Audit

3. Walk the Walk When It Comes to Web Design

In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for any business. As a digital marketing agency, it's not just important to offer services to help other businesses succeed online, but also to have a professional and polished website of your own.

Your website is often the first point of contact potential clients have with your agency, and it must reflect your brand and what you stand for. Even if you don't specifically offer web design services, having a clean and easy-to-use website is key to making a great first impression.

Creating a great website doesn't have to be a daunting or expensive task. There are many agency-ready WordPress themes available for next to nothing that can help you achieve a professional look and feel. With a little creativity and effort, you can have a website that showcases your agency's strengths and helps attract new clients.

By walking the walk and creating a website that demonstrates your expertise in the digital space, you'll build trust with potential clients and show them that you're invested in their success. Remember that your website is often the first impression that potential clients will have of your agency, so make it count.

4. Reduce Your Lead Response Time

As a digital marketing agency, one of the most important factors for success is reducing your lead response time. When potential customers fill out a form or submit an inquiry on your website, it's crucial to respond to them as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, many businesses take too long to respond or don't respond at all. The average response time to a lead is a staggering 47 hours!

The reality is that potential customers are shopping around, and your agency is not the only one they will encounter. That's why it's essential to get back to them as quickly as possible. Research shows that firms that contact potential customers within an hour are seven times more likely to close the deal than those that wait even just an hour longer.

To reduce your lead response time, consider implementing an automated email or SMS system that sends an immediate response to leads as soon as they submit their information. You can also set up alerts on your phone or email to notify you when a lead comes in, so you can respond promptly.

The bottom line is that reducing your lead response time can significantly improve your chances of converting potential customers into actual clients.

5. Set Up Outbound Sales and Fill the Pipeline With Leads

To start a digital agency, it is important to consider several factors, including outbound sales and lead generation. Many startups are hesitant to pursue outbound sales because it seems counter-intuitive when paid ads can generate leads.

However, paid ads are often more challenging and expensive than they appear. That's why it's essential to set up outbound sales and fill the pipeline with leads.

It is worth noting that outbound sales are not for every agency. However, you should consider building an outbound sales funnel, especially if you are starting and have few client referrals.

It is essential to create a sales funnel because it is not enough to wait for leads to come to you. Outbound sales help your agency to generate a consistent flow of leads, which in turn, can lead to more business. As a result, outbound sales can deliver significant returns for your agency.

Another critical factor is reducing lead response time. The average response time to a lead is 47 hours, which is too long. If you collect leads from your agency's website, you should get back to them as soon as possible. These potential customers are shopping around, and your agency won't be the only one they stumble on.

Firms that try to contact potential customers within an hour are seven times more likely to close the deal than those that tried even an hour later.

6. Turn Visitors Who Haven't Converted Into Leads

To turn visitors who haven't yet converted into leads, there are several platforms, such as Leadfeeder, that match visitor IP addresses to a database of companies.

These platforms essentially tell you who has visited your website even if they haven't converted to a lead. Although it doesn't match every single visitor due to dynamic IP addresses, you can often recover a large percentage of lost leads using this information.

One way to use this information is to track down the decision-makers through LinkedIn. If someone at that company has visited your site, there's a good chance they're looking for a marketing solution. Contact them to assess their needs, but be careful about how you connect the dots between their visit and your outreach. You may impress them by knowing that they visited your website, or you may creep them out!

However, it's important to note that not every visitor who comes to your site is a good fit for your agency. Take the time to qualify them before you reach out. It's better to focus your outreach efforts on visitors who are more likely to become clients, rather than wasting time on those who are not a good fit for your services.

To determine whether a visitor is a good fit, look at their behaviour on your site. Did they spend a significant amount of time on your services page? Did they download a white paper or sign up for a newsletter? These are all good indications that they're interested in what you have to offer.

By using lead generation tools and focusing on qualified leads, you can increase your chances of turning visitors who haven't yet converted into valuable leads for your agency.

7. Build Case Studies From Successful Clients

As a marketing agency, you know that client case studies are an incredibly effective way to showcase your success and attract new clients. These stories of success not only show off your skills but also give potential clients a glimpse of what they can expect from working with you.

To start building your case studies, look for successful clients who have achieved their goals with your help. Tell their story and explain the strategies you used to help them reach success. Make sure to include specific metrics and data to back up your claims and demonstrate your effectiveness.

Once you have your case studies, there are several ways you can use them to attract new clients. Consider using them as lead magnets on your website or including them in an email drip campaign. They can also be used as sales assets for your team members to help close deals with potential clients.

When creating case studies, it's important to tailor them to specific buyer personas. This ensures that you are showcasing success stories that will resonate with potential clients who fit those personas. By doing this, you'll be able to build trust and credibility with your target audience and ultimately attract more business to your agency.

8. Be Your Own Best Client

As a marketing agency, you have the talent and resources to create something amazing. So why not apply it to your product? Consider the success stories of 37signals and Coudal Partners, who began as web and creative agencies respectively and created their successful products.

37signals developed Basecamp, a project management software that started as an internal need. Coudal Partners created Field Notes as a side project, which quickly took off.

These side projects can provide valuable learning experiences for your agency and serve as a testing ground for new ideas. Share the journey of your side projects in your blog, and it could lead to your agency's next big success.

However, it's important not to lose sight of your clients while pursuing these side projects. Keep their needs at the forefront and continue to provide top-notch service. Remember, your agency's success is ultimately measured by the success of your clients.

9. Start Blogging 

Blogging is an essential aspect of any digital marketing strategy, regardless of whether your agency offers SEO services or not.

Even if you don't specialize in search engine optimization, blogging can still help your agency rank for certain terms, such as "PPC agency in your city" or "creative agency in your city." Ranking for high purchase intent keywords can drive hot leads to your website and increase your revenue.

Guest blogging is an effective way to build quality links to your agency's website, which can improve your organic presence. However, it's essential to ensure that your content is engaging, informative, and valuable to your target audience.

By writing for reputable publications, you can position yourself as an expert in your field and build credibility with potential clients.

Despite some claims that guest posting is dead, it remains a useful tactic for building your brand and driving traffic to your website. As long as you focus on creating high-quality content that provides value to your readers, guest blogging can be a powerful tool for expanding your reach and attracting new clients.

So, don't neglect the power of blogging, even if you're not an SEO company!

Reducing Client Churn

10. Use NPS Surveys

Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys are a valuable tool for gauging customer satisfaction and loyalty. In essence, these surveys ask customers to rate their experience with a company on a scale of 1-10. The resulting score is then used to classify customers into three groups: detractors, passives, and promoters.

Detractors are customers who score between 1-6, and they are at a high risk of leaving your agency. It is essential to prioritize them and find out why they are dissatisfied with your service. Address their concerns and make every effort to improve their experience.

Passives score between 7-8 and are somewhat satisfied with your service but have something holding them back from scoring higher. It is crucial to find out what is holding them back and work to improve their experience.

Promoters, those who score between 9-10, are your most loyal and enthusiastic customers. They love your service and are willing to recommend it to others. Leverage their enthusiasm to generate case studies and set them up with your referral program if you have one.

NPS surveys are also useful for identifying areas of improvement within your agency. They allow you to pinpoint customers who may be at risk of leaving and take proactive steps to retain them. You can also use NPS to motivate your employees by offering a bonus to the one with the best score for the year.

In conclusion, NPS surveys are a powerful tool for understanding customer satisfaction and loyalty. They allow you to identify areas for improvement and prioritize customers who are at risk of leaving your agency. By leveraging the insights from NPS surveys, you can improve your service and create loyal brand advocates who will promote your agency to others.

11. Build Out Recurring Revenues Over Campaigns

Building a sustainable and profitable agency means focusing on recurring revenues rather than one-off campaigns. While campaign work can provide a significant influx of revenue in the short term, it's not a long-term strategy.

Recurring revenues are the foundation of any successful agency, as they provide predictable income and can help stabilize cash flow. This can be achieved by offering retainer-based services or ongoing campaigns that are structured as subscriptions.

The key to building recurring revenues is to provide value that your clients cannot easily find elsewhere. This could mean providing a unique and highly specialized service, or it could mean offering a more efficient and cost-effective solution than your competitors.

It's important to keep in mind that building recurring revenues requires a long-term mindset. You may need to invest time and resources upfront to develop the necessary infrastructure and processes to support ongoing work. However, the payoff is well worth it as recurring revenue allows for stability and scalability.

By focusing on recurring revenues over one-off campaigns, you can build a sustainable and profitable agency that is poised for long-term success.

12. Send Letters & Gifts to Clients

Building strong relationships with clients is crucial for any business. When clients feel connected to your agency, they are more likely to stick around and listen to your recommendations. A great way to build rapport and show your clients that you care is by sending them letters and gifts.

Sending a handwritten letter to a new client as part of your onboarding process can make them feel special and valued. While you don't need to relearn cursive and go to the post office, there are services like Scribeless that can write and send the letter on your behalf. This personal touch can set your agency apart from the competition and make a lasting impression on your new client.

Gifts are another way to show your clients that you appreciate them. However, it's important to choose gifts that are both thoughtful and memorable. Forget about the generic fruit cake gift baskets – get creative and think outside the box. Websites like "This is Why I'm Broke" offer a range of unique and fun gift ideas that are sure to impress.

Remember, building relationships is an ongoing process. Don't limit yourself to just onboarding letters and gifts – consider sending cards on special occasions like birthdays and holidays, or even just to say thank you for their business.

These small gestures can go a long way in strengthening your relationships with clients and creating a loyal customer base.

13. Client Staff Intake Training

As an agency, your ultimate objective is to help clients make more money. It is essential to ensure that the leads generated through your marketing campaigns are efficiently handled to avoid losing potential customers to a busy phone line.

Be Top Local's SEO case study highlights the importance of following up with leads within five minutes and incentivizing staff for every appointment booked.

Training client staff to handle phone calls gracefully and convert them into sales is an effective way to enhance client profitability.

By offering training on how to handle phone and e-calls professionally, ensuring that calls are never left on hold for long and are handled in a friendly manner, you demonstrate your agency's commitment to going above and beyond where other agencies may not.

Furthermore, offering this type of training can help increase efficiency, ultimately leading to an increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is crucial to remember that clients are more likely to stick around and invest more money in your services if they are more profitable with your support.

14. Be Laser-focused on the Results

As an agency, your focus should be on delivering results for your clients. Vanity metrics like clicks, likes, and impressions are not meaningful if they do not translate into profits. Therefore, it is essential to be data-driven and ensure that your efforts lead to financial gains for your clients.

When onboarding a new client, it is crucial to assess whether you can turn a profit on the services you provide. If not, there is no point in offering the services. By ensuring that your client is profitable, you create a strong incentive for them to stay with your agency.

In addition to focusing on results, it is essential to communicate your efforts and outcomes effectively. By doing so, you can build trust and confidence with your clients. For example, tools like AgencyAnalytics enable agencies to provide clients with clarity and consistency in reporting.

Fortunately, everything is measurable in today's digital age. Facebook, for instance, provides a way to measure in-store visits and sales from its ad platform. Even if you report on vanity metrics, make sure that you can demonstrate how they translate into money in your client's pockets.

By being laser-focused on results, you can deliver value to your clients and differentiate yourself from other agencies that prioritize vanity metrics over actual financial gains.

Scaling Systems & Processes

15. Automate Your Marketing Reports

In the world of marketing agencies, reporting can be one of the most time-consuming and tedious tasks. It can take up to a week of an employee's time every month to manually put together reports and answer client questions.

However, client reporting is one of the most effective ways to reduce churn and keep customers over the long run. It's crucial to keep clients in the loop with the state of their campaigns and the results they're getting. Reporting is also a great opportunity to upsell new services.

To streamline the reporting process and increase retention rates, agencies can turn to automation. Automated reporting tools like AgencyAnalytics can help agencies build reports and send them out on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. With integrations for SEO audits, PPC analysis, social media reporting, and more, these tools can save countless hours of work.

Not only can these tools save time, but they can also improve the client experience. By providing a custom-branded dashboard, clients can access their data in real time without the need for manual reports. This level of transparency can help build trust and improve client satisfaction.

16. Build a Client Onboarding Process

When you bring on a new client, it's important to have a clear and efficient onboarding process in place. Having a well-defined process will not only save you time but will also ensure that you gather all the necessary information and set expectations from the start.

Start by creating a checklist that includes all the necessary steps, documents, and information that you need to collect from the client. This may include gathering login credentials, understanding their business goals and objectives, identifying their target audience, and more.

Once you have your checklist, consider creating a template email or welcome packet that outlines the onboarding process and what the client can expect. This will help them understand what to expect in the coming weeks and reduce any confusion or anxiety.

During the onboarding process, be sure to communicate regularly with the client to keep them informed of progress and address any questions or concerns they may have. This is a great opportunity to build trust and rapport with the client and ensure that they feel confident in your ability to deliver results.

By implementing a well-designed client onboarding process, you can streamline your workflow, reduce the risk of errors, and provide a positive experience for your clients from the very beginning.

17. Systemize Proposals & Contracts

Creating customized proposals and contracts for each client is a time-consuming process that can cause a lot of headaches for agency owners. Moreover, the process of getting these documents signed can be a hassle, often leading to delays and lost opportunities. Fortunately, there are tools available that can help streamline this process and make it more efficient.

Software such as PandaDoc and Jotform Sign can be invaluable for agencies looking to systemize their proposal and contract workflows. These tools allow you to create templates that can be easily customized for each client, saving you time and effort.

In addition, they provide collaboration features that enable multiple parties to work on a proposal simultaneously, making the process more efficient and effective.

Another advantage of using these tools is that they provide real-time updates on the status of your proposals and contracts. You'll be notified when the client opens the proposal, allowing you to follow up and answer any questions they may have.

And when it's time for the client to sign, they can do so directly within the software, making the process more streamlined and hassle-free.

18. Streamline Appointment Scheduling

In today's fast-paced business environment, wasting time going back and forth with clients to book a meeting time is simply not acceptable. This activity doesn't add value to your business and can be a significant time hog. Fortunately, there are a few tools you can leverage to streamline your appointment booking process and improve your overall productivity.

One such tool is Calendly, which allows you to share a link that enables people to book meetings according to your availability. This platform automatically sets reminders before the meetings and even shares a Google Hangout URL if you prefer to have video chats. Calendly can save you a lot of time and hassle by removing the back-and-forth communication involved in finding a mutually convenient meeting time.

Another tool you can use to streamline your appointment scheduling process is x.ai. This AI-powered assistant can automatically schedule meetings on your behalf at the best time and location for both parties. X.ai can save you the headache of scheduling by freeing up your time to focus on more critical business activities.

By streamlining your appointment scheduling process, you can increase your productivity, improve communication with clients, and save valuable time that can be used to grow your business. So, consider adopting one of these tools to help automate your appointment scheduling process and make it more efficient.

Growing Your Team

19. Outsource as Long as You Can

Running a digital agency has become easier these days due to the ability to outsource almost everything. Outsourcing allows for a one-man freelancer to offer "full service" agency offerings and be successful, but it can be challenging to find the right talent.

However, when the right talent is found, it can be a goldmine, with high-quality work provided at a relatively low cost.

When growing an agency, it is advisable to outsource as much as possible until there is enough work to hire a superstar in-house. It is important to leverage the superstars to be the core competencies of the agency. In some cases, outsourcing can even lead to location-independent superstars.

Using outsourcing platforms such as Upwork or Freelancer can help freelancers and small agencies find the talent they need for their projects.

While the majority of outsourced talent may not work out, the benefits of finding the right people are significant. The right talent can offer high-quality work at an affordable cost, which can help a small agency grow and compete with larger agencies.

20. Leverage Internships

Internships can be an effective way to add some extra hands to your agency team without breaking the bank. While some have criticized unpaid internships as exploitative, there are many options to bring on interns at a lower cost than a full-time employee.

Not only can you save money, but you can also benefit from the unique perspectives and fresh ideas that interns can bring to the table. Interns are often eager to prove themselves and can be highly motivated to deliver high-quality work. With proper guidance and mentorship, interns can quickly develop skills and grow in their roles.

Additionally, internships can be an excellent way to identify future talent for your agency. As with outsourcing, some interns will stand out as high-performing individuals who have the potential to become key members of your team. These individuals can become the foundation of your agency and help to shape your core competencies.

When considering bringing on interns, it's important to be upfront about what they can expect from the role, including compensation, responsibilities, and any potential opportunities for growth within the agency.

Providing a positive and supportive environment for interns can help to attract top talent and create a mutually beneficial relationship.

Enhancing Your Service Offerings

21. Partner With Other Agencies

As a digital agency, it's essential to offer comprehensive services to your clients. However, it's not always possible to be a jack-of-all-trades, especially when it comes to specialized fields like web development or SEO. This is where partnering with other agencies comes in handy.

By collaborating with specialized agencies, you can provide your clients with a complete package without the added risk of taking on projects outside your core competencies.

There are two ways to approach partnerships with other agencies. Firstly, you can white label their services, which works well if you want another agency to handle smaller projects such as PPC or reputation management. This way, the client will see your agency as the sole provider of the service, but the partner agency will be behind the scenes, handling the work. Here are some of the services you can white-label to increase your agency's revenue.

Secondly, you can quarterback the relationships between clients and agencies, which is suitable for more significant projects such as complete web design makeovers or strategic planning. In this case, your agency will work as an intermediary, connecting the client with the partner agency. You can work out a finder's fee system with the partner agency, ensuring everyone benefits from the collaboration.

Partnering with other agencies can also open up new business opportunities, provide cross-promotion opportunities, and strengthen your network. It's essential to build relationships with agencies that share similar values and standards, ensuring you provide the highest quality services to your clients.

22. Think About Alternative Marketing Channels

As a digital agency, it's essential to stay ahead of the curve and consider alternative marketing channels beyond the basics of web design, SEO, and PPC. By branching out and becoming experts in additional areas, you can upsell and offer a wider range of services to your clients.

One avenue to explore is social media marketing. With so many platforms available, it can be overwhelming for businesses to navigate, making your expertise highly valuable. Additionally, businesses may struggle with creating engaging content, which is where your agency can step in and help.

Another area to consider is influencer marketing. This type of marketing has exploded in recent years and is highly effective in reaching niche audiences. By partnering with influencers and creating sponsored content, you can generate brand awareness and boost sales for your clients.

Email marketing is another channel that can be highly effective, but many businesses may not have the time or expertise to execute it properly. By offering email marketing services, you can help businesses create targeted campaigns that generate leads and drive conversions.

Lastly, consider content marketing. This includes creating blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other types of content that provide value to consumers. By creating engaging content, you can establish your clients as thought leaders in their industries and increase brand awareness.

The benefit of exploring alternative marketing channels is that they often have lower costs per acquisition (CPA) than traditional advertising, making them highly cost-effective for businesses. By offering a wider range of services, you can become a one-stop shop for your clients and establish your agency as a leader in the industry.

23. Offer Corporate Training

As the digital landscape evolves, more companies are bringing their marketing efforts in-house.

According to the Society of Digital Agencies, there has been a substantial increase in the number of companies that no longer work with outside agencies. Instead, they prefer to have complete control over their data and employees.

While this trend looks to continue, it presents an opportunity for agencies to offer corporate marketing training.

Corporate training is in high demand as colleges and universities are still catching up with the digital world. Agencies can leverage their expertise by offering training courses in areas like SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and more. If you have superstar employees, consider using their knowledge and experience to teach clients who want to tackle aspects of their digital marketing on their own.

Offering corporate training not only generates additional revenue for your agency but also helps build stronger relationships with clients. Clients who have a deeper understanding of digital marketing will appreciate your agency's expertise and may be more likely to continue working with you. Additionally, training can be a great alternative for small business owners who can't afford your monthly fees.

Brainstation is one example of a company already offering corporate training, but the demand for this type of education is high and corporate pockets are deep. As an agency, you have the potential to fill a gap in the market by offering high-quality, targeted training to businesses looking to take their digital marketing efforts in-house.

Tumisang Bogwasi
Tumisang Bogwasi

2X Award-Winning Entrepreneur | Empowering Brands to Generate Leads, Grow Revenue with Business Strategy and Digital Marketing | Founder, CEO of Fine Group

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