How to pitch digital marketing services to businesses

Getting leads for your service-based business isn’t a cakewalk. You need to spend hours understanding your target audience, identifying the channels they’ll be active on, creating content and combining different methods of lead generation to even start filling your pipeline.

how to pitch digital marketing

And this is just one part of your business, as an agency owner because you’re also doing client work, managing your team, keeping track of your work, communicating with clients, invoicing and so much more.

So, what if instead of having to invest a considerable amount of time posting content online, and still not getting enough quality leads, you could take the matter into your own hands and reach out to your dream clients.

Pitching is a great way to do it. In this article, we’ll dive into an effective step-by-step system to do just that, and never worry about dry months or inconsistent earnings as a service provider.

6-Step process to pitch your digital marketing services

From convincing a prospect to get on a sales call to attending networking events—there’s a lot that goes into a digital marketing pitch. But here’s a six-step process you can start following to get the ball rolling right away.

  1. Research the market and identify niches with scope
  2. Build credibility with a personal brand
  3. Create a personalized elevator pitch
  4. Set up a sales calls and share your pitch deck
  5. Handle client objections with finesse
  6. Develop a system to follow up with warm leads

1. Research the market and identify niches with scope

To build a profitable business, you need to ensure the market you choose has enough profit potential. Before you start researching, think about what you’re interested in. For instance, do you like running social media handles or does content marketing excite you more? Once you’ve figured out your preference, dive deeper into the niche you’ve picked.

  • Identify your competitors: Create a list of the top five competitors in your chosen niche and conduct a competitive analysis. This will help you understand how they’re positioning themselves and which services they’re focusing on.
  • Determine your profit potential: Use competitive analysis to understand how many people are offering the same services as you. If there’s a decent number, but not too many, your niche market is likely to be profitable.

2. Build credibility with a personal brand

Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Would you invest money in buying a service from someone you’ve never heard of? Everyone wants to work with people they like and trust.

This is where your personal brand comes in. Regardless of whether you’re a founder or a freelancer, you need to stop dropping money on advertisements. A personal brand will take you much further, helping you to increase your visibility, leading to more leads and a higher conversion rate. In fact, 92% of your prospects trust earned media – like personal brands or referrals—over all other forms of advertising.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a case in point of an entrepreneur who leveraged his personal brand to grow his businesses, VaynerMedia and VaynerX.

The easiest way to get started is through an online platform like Twitter, Linkedin or Instagram. Zero in on a particular platform and then branch out once you’ve built a sizable following. Your best bet is, to begin with LinkedIn. Here’s why:

  • 89% of B2B marketers depend on LinkedIn for lead generation.
  • 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs comes from LinkedIn.

Alternatively, you can build your presence on multiple platforms simultaneously. Content repurposing comes in handy over here. You must have seen a lot of Linkedin content creators share screenshots of their tweets as posts. Although it counts as repurposing and can help promote your Twitter handle, don’t overdo it. Instead, follow these four steps for a more effective approach:

  • Write a blog article for your website.
  • Break it down into chunks of information and tailor it for a Linkedin post.
  • Divide your Linkedin post into a series of tweets or a Twitter thread.
  • Use your tweets to create scripts for Instagram reels or design a carousel post around them.

And voila! You’ve got a hefty content bank to fall back on whenever you run out of creative juice.

Pro tip: Before you start posting, optimize your Linkedin profile. Add a profile photo, and banner image and update your work experience. Don’t get lazy with the bio section—Linkedin has a word limit of 2,000 words, so there’s plenty of room to write out your value proposition.

While it’s important to embrace the online culture, don’t underestimate the power of offline networking. There are a host of offline events you can sign up for, like alumni meet-ups, seminars and digital marketing workshops.

Ever since the pandemic, in-person interactions have been put on the back burner, so you might not have the usual gamut of events to choose from. However, online platforms like Meetup, Eventbrite and Facebook Events are great ways to connect with local business owners and find prospects.

3. Create a personalized elevator pitch

An elevator pitch—a quick summary of the services you offer, can make or break your chances of closing the deal. According to Microsoft, the average person has an attention span of about eight seconds, which means lengthy elevator pitches are a no-go.

A useful rule of thumb is to stick to a duration of 30-60 seconds. The idea is to keep your introduction short enough to fit into a quick elevator ride with your prospect.

Considering that people are being constantly bombarded with promotional messages every day, you need to find a way to stand out with your elevator pitch and improve your chances of conversion. Personalization is the secret sauce to this.

However, it involves a lot more than basic research and a lazy name insert. Before you start drafting your elevator pitch, identify your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)—a representation of your ideal client or target audience. There are a few factors to consider before you settle on an ICP:

  • Budget: How much are your customers willing, or able, to pay for your digital marketing service?
  • Location: Where is your client located? Account for cultural differences they may have.
  • Legal restrictions: Are there any laws that could have a detrimental effect on your customer base?

Once you’ve narrowed down on your ICP, you’ll be able to personalize your pitches as per income levels, cultural expectations, tone of voice and legislation. You can also use AI tools to understand your prospect’s buying traits and purchase decisions, helping you personalize your pitch even further.

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Now that you know what to approach your prospects with, it’s time to look into how you should do it—text is a great option. Only 22% of prospecting emails are opened, according to Mobile Marketing Watch as compared to the fact that 98% of texts are opened.

Pro tip: Call your prospect before sending them a text. Research says 40% of prospects are less likely to respond without an initial call.

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4. Set up a sales calls and share your pitch deck

Once your prospect has displayed interest in learning more about your services, shoot a Calendly link across and ask them to book a slot. This will eliminate a lot of back and forth since they can choose a convenient time from a list of options.

Stick to the afternoon or evening for your sales calls. 30% of your prospects are more likely to show up for a meeting at 3 pm than one at 9 am.

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Once you get the ball rolling, prepare for your meeting and conduct some research into your prospect’s company. Identify pain points and areas of improvement to discuss during the call. Here are 6 pointers to keep in mind while pitching your digital marketing services over a sales call:

  • Don’t dive into your pitch right away. Build rapport with your prospect and create a friendly environment before you start selling your services. Ask them how their day was and if they seem unforthcoming, volunteer information about yours. Engage in casual conversation for a few minutes and naturally segue into discussing the agenda for the call.
  • Ask your prospect whether they would like to add or remove certain sections in the agenda. This shows them you’re open to feedback and understanding their problems.
  • Qualify your prospect straight off the bat. Prepare a digital marketing questionnaire and discuss it during the call. This will help you determine whether the prospect is worth pursuing or not.
  • Ask 3 or 4 questions about their pain points and challenges. Once you’ve identified a problem, ask 11-14 targeted questions about it. According to research, both sets of numbers lead to higher success rates.
  • Discuss pricing at the end of the call. Talk about commercials only after you’ve discussed the value you can add to the prospect’s current digital marketing strategy. It’s important to show them you’re prioritizing their needs over yours.
  • When pitching to hard-to-reach small or local business owners, use an instant screen sharing solution. CrankWheel allows you to share your screen to any device during the call. That way, you can how they stand on Google and you can even build the website for them during the call.

5. Handle client objections with finesse

You’re done with your pitch and it’s time to close the deal. Just as you see hope on the horizon, your prospect snatches it away with a few strongly worded client objections. Maybe they aren’t focusing on digital marketing currently, they’ve already got some great digital marketers on board, or your services aren’t in their budget.

How do you handle objections in sales? Here are a few helpful tricks.

  • Be a mirror: In his book “Never Split the Difference”, Chris Voss emphasizes on how important it is to mirror your prospect during negotiation. This helps build trust and increases your chances of closing the deal. There are a number of ways to mirror your prospect—through tone of voice, gestures, body language or communication style. You can even repeat some of the words they say to make your case impactful.
  • Validate the objection: Your prospect wants to feel understood, so show that you empathize with them and acknowledge their problems. If they present you with an issue, suggest a few solutions or talk to them about how you faced a similar situation.
  • See through empty words: Sometimes, your prospect won’t be completely open about what’s bothering them. It’s your job to pick up on these tiny white lies and understand the real reason for their hesitance.

The types of objections you are bound to get as a digital marketer depends on three main factors—value, trust and competition. If your prospect has made it clear they don’t need your services, then they feel you cannot bring any value to the table. In their eyes, they can handle digital marketing on their own, which brings us to the value objection.

In cases where they already have a team in place, their objection would be a competitor objection. Your prospect may be uncomfortable with the idea of trying someone new.

Most of the objections you get will fall into one of these three categories. Prepare a standard response for each. For example, if they bring up a trust objection, offer them a trial period of two months where they get a 30% discount on your services. Your confidence will make them think twice, and entrepreneurs never say no to a good deal.

Complete your objection handling with an unbiased resolution. Ask them if there are any other concerns that haven’t been addressed. If yes, walk them through the objection handling process again.

6. Develop a system to follow up with warm leads

60% of your prospects will say no to your pitch four times before they agree to go ahead with your services. This goes to show how important it is to follow up with people you’ve pitched to. Create a system to ensure you aren’t leaving money on the table.

• Collect complex customer data

You need to find ways to connect with your prospects through more than one channel. If you’re following up with an individual, ask for contact details like their email and phone number. Connect with them on social media platforms like Linkedin too. If they don’t respond to your email, shoot them a quick text.

While pitching to an organization, connect with multiple people from the organization. In case of someone ghosts you, reach out to one of your other contacts

• Provide clear directions during your conversation

Schedule the next steps with your prospect at the end of every call. Let them know when they can expect another call from you so that when you reach out, they won’t be caught off guard.

Ask them specific questions like “When would be a good time to call you again to discuss this further?”. This eliminates ambiguity and you won’t be left guessing about whether your prospect is still interested in your services.

• Follow up after your initial contact

You need to start following up with your prospect soon after you connect with them, or else they could forget about the interaction altogether. Give them discounts within a limited time period. This will create a sense of urgency, encouraging them to respond quickly. You can also use free email marketing providers to optimize your email follow-up.

If you’re still not getting a response, try a different contact time. You could be catching them at a particularly busy hour in the day, so keep experimenting until you find an ideal time.

Conclusion

It’s easy to get complacent when your business is doing well. You might not be able to prioritize outbound lead generation enough. In such cases, drawing out a quick game plan can come in handy, because you’ll know exactly what steps need to be followed on which day.

The above steps can help you structure your strategy, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Tailor it to your needs and start pitching!

See our article on how to grow a digital agency.

About the author

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.