9 vital tips to finding & winning clients for your digital marketing agency

Acquiring new clients for any business - especially digital marketing agencies - can feel like an uphill battle. With social media accounts vying for attention, begging you to follow them, bombarding the public with ads and contests, it’s easy to feel like you’ll be drowned out in the clamor.

It is doable, however. We’ll cover nine very effective methods for getting more clients and the best thing is that you don’t have to work super hard to achieve this goal. You just have to make smart choices for maximum impact.

1. Utilize Word of Mouth

The first trick to finding and winning clients is also the oldest - and most reliable - in the proverbial book. Our reliance on reputation is as old as the first neanderthal grunt. Nothing sells a business better than a satisfied customer. If you’ve got the best berries in the valley, word (or grunt) quickly gets around.

One way to maximize customer satisfaction is through feedback. Don’t wait for your customers to give you those five-star reviews, feel free to ask for them. Trustpilot is a popular space for leaving reviews and a good way to compare multiple competing companies. By directing them to leave reviews on Trustpilot, you’re making it easier for folks to find out how great your berries (read goods) are.

Luckily you can use automation software to streamline this and other processes.

2. Confer with others

Do you know where all the cool kids are hanging out these days? Online! Because we are still experiencing a pandemic! Bummer aside, attending online marketing conferences is a great way to get your brand name out there and into people’s minds.

What’s more, it looks super professional to be seen attending a conference. It’s an important-person kind of activity, the kind of thing companies who distribute branded pens attend. The best thing? You can do it from the comfort of your home office.

As the pandemic is slowly becoming more under control, a greater number of in-person conferences are beginning to occur. If you’re not too shell-shocked from the past two years, give it a try. It’s good to get some fresh air, and nothing really beats meeting people face-to-face. At least that’s what someone said on Reddit.

When it comes to online meetings with current and prospective clients, you can also make use of screen-sharing solutions, like those offered by Crankwheel. How it works is by the presenter sending a link to the viewer and the session can be opened on any device and on any browser.

Digital agency clients find it really helpful in their outbound sales to share a screen during a phone call. They can use a mock-up of a new website ready to show the prospective client or to demonstrate how they appear on search engines result from pages such as Ecosia or Google.

3. Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Like a timid teenager about to go on their first date, you should check yourself over a couple of times before stepping out the front door. Make sure your portfolio is looking fresh, your website is in top form, and your Instagram has had a new post this week. You don’t want your online presence to look like yesteryear’s berries slowly decomposing on the compost heap. You want it to look like tomorrow’s zingy jam.

An up-to-date portfolio is a great way for potential clients to assess whether you can take on their project. If you’ve done something similar to what they’re looking for, that’s reassuring. If you show a diversity of projects, that shows flexibility, versatility, and adaptability. It shows you have the know-how to make your dreams a reality.

Make sure to:

  • Include only your best and most recent work.
  • If you have permission, include the client’s name.
  • Create a logical layout for your portfolio.
  • Include a CTA (call to action) button so that potential clients can get in touch easily, and improve your website click through rates.

4. Put pen to paper

Or pixels to blog, in this case. You can use SEO (search engine optimization) to get people to your website through this tried and tested method. Blogs luckily no longer consist of only the dregs of existential rants of the MySpace era. They have morphed into potent marketing potations. The power is yours, should you wish to harness it.

You could consider hiring an SEO content writer or get someone to do this in-house, with relevant SEO experience.

You can showcase your knowledge and abilities to prospective clients and stand out from the crowd just by writing about what you know about. Not only will you be luring people to your website, but you’ll also be seducing them with your fine digital marketing know-how once they’re there. This is just one business communication tool of the many at your disposal.

5. WWJD?

What would Jesus do? Create a following - on social media, baby! We’re talking about Instagram, Twitter, Facebook - make sure it’s all over your socials.

We live in a world where followers equal credibility. It seems as if popularity contests have now jumped from high school lunch halls to the business world. So what can be done? We have to feed the beast - and it’s starving. Regular posts, carefully curated hashtags, attractive filter choices, contests, and engagement are all essential here. Yes, you do occasionally have to respond to the comments, especially if they’re asking a specific question.

Having a good following and up-to-date posts will make you look like:

  1. You’re open for business.
  2. You’re responsive.
  3. You know how digital marketing works - kind of helpful considering you run or work for a digital marketing agency.

Social media has become particularly important because we humans seem to be attracted to visual elements. Making the most of these vital tools is essential.

6. Face your fear of public speaking

Oh, you don’t have that? Well, whoop-de-doo for you.

Anyway, giving a talk at a conference will improve your standing as a leader in the field, which then increases trust in your brand.

You can take things a step further and speak for all to hear. This would definitely make your berries look shinier and more pie-worthy than that of your competitors. To go back to our hunter-gatherer analogy, you’ll be seen as the head forager, rather than a mere berry gobbler.

You should aim to maximize your time in the limelight and there are many marketing opportunities you can utilize effectively here. You can get your own booth, with signs and stickers and pens and other objects with your logo emblazoned on them. You can fend off - ahem - answer questions from overly enthusiastic attendees. You can also exchange the aforementioned merch for contact details of said attendees. Then you can email them and attract them with your excellent digital marketing services.

7. Get in with the big guy

We’re not referring to whichever deity you pray to, or don’t. We’re talking business directories - a wonderful land where all the reputable businesses are listed clearly for scrolling ease. It’s essentially a fantastic signposting system.

Business directories are also used as a ranking metric by Google, as well as other search engines. The more you appear on different online directories, the higher up the pecking order your brand appears in the search results when people look for digital marketing services. This is because the internet now deems you to be a popular and active member of e-society.

Showing up in business directories also makes your business look credible, because verified listings on a reputable site can’t be faked.

8. Don’t throw money at the problem

You could invest in digital signage solutions (those dynamic, electronic “posters” you see on the street sometimes). Maybe an ad on social media. Social media has a captive audience, often with at least a little bit of spending power.

Instagram provides a range of options for different budgets, along with engagement analysis tools to see how your ads are faring. Facebook allows you to define your target audience to hone in on your potential customer base using nuanced targeting capabilities. It also finds individuals with similar tastes to your existing customers to show your ads to. This makes traffic to your website relevant and targeted - quality over quantity.

Social media ads are also a cheap option compared to the things that were available in the 90s (such as newspaper ads). And it works. Another useful tool is email marketing.

9. Get your guru on

One sure-fire way to establish yourself as a legitimate expert in your field is to create seminars and online courses. These demonstrate to the world that you know what you’re talking about and also that you have the confidence and ability to teach others. This credibility will lend itself well to your business when it comes to acquiring more clients and reassuring them of your ability to provide a reliable service.

Winning clients depends on standing out as a leader in your field

You can do this both online and offline, by sheer effort and commitment, and by investing in advertising and automation. Many of the tips we’ve mentioned here can be combined.

You can go to a conference where you tell people about your online course, give out merch, and get people on your mailing list. You can use social media to link to your blogs where you have a CTA button.

While some of these might seem daunting at first, they’re pretty intuitive and easy to get a hang of once you start. So, what are you waiting for?

About the author

Nick Brown is the founder & CEO of accelerate, an enterprise SaaS digital marketing agency that exclusively partners with enterprise tech companies to scale their SEO and social media marketing. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, written and published a book and grown accelerate from a UK based agency that now operates across US, APAC and EMEA. He has written for sites like Hubspot, and BambooHR.