There is one thing every digital agency, WordPress agency, and services company needs: clients. In the services world, clients make the world go ‘round because, without clients, you wouldn’t have a business.
Every business strategy, marketing tactic, and sales call is designed to do one of three things:
For most agencies, the second two tasks, closing the sale and keeping your existing clients, are relatively easy when compared to the first task. Finding new clients is one of the most difficult tasks a services agency has because while there is more than enough business to go around, no one can hire you if they don’t know that you exist or they forget that you could be a viable choice.
With that in mind, here are nine ways you can increase the visibility of your WordPress agency, expand your brand reach, and get in front of new potential new clients.
1. Join Local Business Networking Groups
- Research all of the local business and networking groups in your area
- Identify the groups your ideal clients belong to and attend
- Go to a couple of events for each group to try them out
- Pick the top two groups you can commit to attending regularly and go
The idea here is to maximize your return on investment by not only ensuring the room you’re networking in has at least a handful of potential clients in it but is also expanding your network at the same time. You never know who else the people you meet know and can refer to you.
2. Join Complimentary Business Associations
- Public relations agencies
- Marketing agencies
- Advertising agencies
- Social media marketing firms
- Copywriting agencies
- Search Marketing Firms
- Photography studios
- SEO agencies
While the WordPress industry has WordPress meetups and WordCamps, complementary industries have their own trade organizations with directories, local networking groups, and large conferences. Consider joining complementary industry organizations where you can be the only WordPress agency in a room full of potential partners.
3. Attend Business Conferences
If you’re going to attend one conference next year, make it a business conference. Choose to invest in learning how to do business better while surrounding yourself with hundreds of potential clients instead of the three to five you may get at a local event if you’re lucky.
Even better, consider attending an entrepreneurship conference or a conference for online business owners where speaker after speaker is telling attendees they need a WordPress site. Then when you introduce yourself to someone new, they ask what you do, and you say my company builds WordPress websites, they’ll immediately want to know more and the chances of landing a sales call skyrockets.
4. Attend Niche Conferences
If you serve a specific niche, find out what events, workshops, virtual summits, and conferences exist specifically for that niche and get involved. Find out how to speak at the event, attend the event and participate in everything available to you, post to social media and use the event hashtag for greater visibility, or even consider hosting a breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktail hour, or a party at the event.
Remember, the greater the focus is on the niche, the bigger the chance is that you’re the only WordPress agency in the room.
5. Publish Case Studies And Share On Social Media
One of the best lead generation tactics you can invest time in is creating case studies for your successful projects. Case studies tell the story of a project and allow prospective clients to step into the story, experience it for themselves, and get a taste of what it could be like if they also chose to hire you.
In your case studies, be sure to include:
- The initial challenge or problem and concerns the client had
- What made them choose your agency
- What the scope of work was and how you approached the project
- What stood out for your client along the way in terms of their experience working with you
- Any hurdles the project encountered and how you moved past them
- The results of your work together and the project’s impact on their client’s business
- A testimonial from the client, including what they would say to a prospective client who is on the fence about hiring your agency
The key to a great case study is participation from the client. Host an interview with the client to get their side of the story and a testimonial. Just don’t forget to ask what hesitations they may have had. By including what your client was hesitant about or unsure of when deciding whether or not to hire you along with why they were happy to have selected your agency, you’re helping future prospective clients move past their objections before they even speak with you.
6. Speak At Events Targeting Your Ideal Client
Once you have identified events and conferences that your ideal clients attend, and you have attended several to get a feel for the attendees, the event vibe, and the inside perspective, find out how you can speak at the events.
- Is there an application process? A call for papers?
- Do you have to know someone? If so, who?
- Who are the main organizers?
- Who is responsible for selecting speakers?
- Is there a deadline to apply?
- Are there specific requirements you must meet?
The key is first attending the events to get to know the crowd first-hand. This way you can craft your talk to perfectly fit the needs of the audience and deliver maximum value.
7. Sponsor An Event
If you’re going to invest in attending an event anyway, why not choose to sponsor the event? From a table or a booth and/or special swag to hosting a meal or cocktail hour, requesting a room drop, getting your branding on the event materials, or speaking, there are often many sponsorship opportunities available to put your brand center stage.
Just make sure that if you invest in event sponsorship, you also invest time, effort, and resources into your event conversion strategy so you leave the event with as many warm leads as possible.
8. Join Online Business Programs
One of the best things I ever did when my agency was young was joining online business programs. These programs that taught online marketing and business strategies had anywhere from 50 to several hundred people in the program, and even more in their Facebook groups. While I didn’t necessarily need the training the program was offering, I did need exposure for my brand and these programs provided a captive audience of business owners who needed WordPress websites.
The trick to making this strategy pay off big time is that you can’t sell yourself or pitch your business or services.
Instead, you show up every day and answer questions from other program members and students in the forums and Facebook groups. That’s it. Show up, be helpful, provide answers, tools, recommendations, and resources, and be visible—all without mentioning your business or your services.
With this approach, you’re positioning yourself as “one of them,” you’re helping others get to know you, you’re establishing trust, and you’re building relationships. That way, when someone in the program needs a WordPress website, you’re the first person that they think of. Or, when they post in the forums or groups that they need a referral to a great WordPress agency, everyone else jumps in to recommend you—and that is 100x more powerful than you recommending yourself.
9. Create Strategic Partnerships
Find complementary business owners and agency owners who offer a different suite of services but serve the same target market and reach out to them about a potential strategic partnership or referral partnership where you each agree to refer business to each other.
Strategic partnerships also work great when you can partner on a single client project, with each agency or firm providing their services and contributing to a larger scope of work. This type of service partnership, where both companies can expand their overall service offerings through the strategic partnership will help you land bigger clients and larger projects that also have larger budgets and often an ongoing recurring revenue component.
The Secret To Finding New Clients
Did you happen to notice a common thread connecting all nine client attraction tactics listed above? A similarity between the options? No?
Let me make it easy for you…
To easily find new clients, you need to go where your prospective clients are.
I know it’s easy and comfortable to go to your local WordPress meetup and attend WordCamps. The events are fun, you know lots of people, and it makes you feel professional — almost like you’re taking action to move your business forward. But did you catch that almost? For most WordPress agencies, WordPress meetups and WordCamps are great places to scout subcontractors and potential hires or partners and not-so-great places to actually find paying clients.
That’s why it is imperative that you and your employees make an effort to go where your ideal clients are. Find opportunities to be the only agency in the room, to be surrounded with a hundred potential ideal clients instead of three, to be featured for added visibility, or to gain access to decision-makers you wouldn’t normally have access to.
Trust me, if you go where the clients are, you’ll already be so far ahead of your competition that closing the sale and keeping the client will be a piece of cake.
Try Managed WordPress Hosting
For those that need more time for scouting new clients, try Managed WordPress with Liquid Web. They handle the core WordPress and plugin updates, image compression and more.
Jennifer Bourn is founding partner at Bourn Creative a full-service design and development company specializing in WordPress. With twenty years in the industry under her belt, she is an award-winning designer who consults on branding, website strategy, and content strategy. Jennifer speaks often, delivering workshops and keynote presentations, co-organizes the Sacramento WordPress Meetup and WordCamp Sacramento and writes regularly about freelancing, client services, blogging, marketing, websites, and branding. Learn more at the Jennifer Bourn website.
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