Spring is in the Air
Another month gone by and the weather is getting to the warmer side. Well, at least here in Texas. Unfortunately Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which inevitably means 6 more weeks of winter if you are one to listen to a groundhog. We shall see.
A hard business…
I know it’s been a whole month gone by. You may recall from the last newsletter our discussion of a few reasons why running an agency can be particularly hard. If you’d like a refresher, check it out here.
But alas, as promised there is hope. In this month’s newsletter I’ll share a couple of steadfast, proven ways successful agencies have overcome these obstacles. And guess what? We get to solve 3 challenges for the price of 2. Everyone loves a good deal, am I right?#1 – Unique Positioning
Because one can easily start an agency with a few relationships in their pocket and gain a few more here and there by doing decent work, most agencies can get by just fine for a good long while. That is until they can’t. Over time, one might have to work a little harder for the same level of revenue. Some stress and frustration begins to build because it starts to feel like you’re stuck against an invisible wall. That wall may hit at a few hundred thousand in revenue, all the way up to couple of million. But it’s there nonetheless.
Unique positioning, if done well, is the answer because it gives a clear line of sight for matching your solution to a very specific customer. You can now seek out this specific customer and because your messaging matches your positioning, your ideal customer can self-identify themselves as well. Knowing exactly who your ideal customer is and where they hang out can lead you to specific strategies to earn a seat at the table. For most of the agencies I talk to and work with that have good positioning, their key challenge isn’t finding new clients, it’s how to get all the work done.
This is why positioning is often one of the first things I recommend focusing on for the agencies I talk to and work with. It’s critical to solving the scaling challenge.
#2 – Be Your Own Client
The cobbler’s kid has no shoes. The painter’s house is never painted. I get it. It’s hard to prioritize your own business when you can easily trade that less than certain effort for paid effort. If you think about it for a second, what does that convey when a marketing company doesn’t take the time to do the work for themselves that they claim is so beneficial to the client?
Agencies that eat their own medicine do better for because they learn what works and what doesn’t faster and they inherently build the same value for themselves that they create for clients. This fortuitous cycle creates the learning curves necessary to produce good work rather than just going through the motions. Let’s face it, we’re going to be more incentivized to be efficient with our own dollars, if only slightly than how we treat client budgets. We must do the R&D on ourselves to improve our effectiveness for clients.
3 for 2
The common theme so far? The ability to self-generate leads is critical to an agency’s ability to thrive, and if desired, scale. But wait Russel, what about that thing you said about creative work being tough? Getting quality leads doesn’t solve that right? Yes and no. Agencies that are uniquely positioned and deliver tremendous value aren’t easily replaced. Coming to the table with an upper hand in the value equation, i.e. they need you more than you need them, helps grease the wheels to eliminate parts of the process where you have to “show your work” to get client buy-in. Not to mention, your team is more effective because they’ve practiced on themselves many times over and they’ve become experts in their own right for your line of unique positioning. Riches in niches.
An Agency Story – Featured Episode
It’s only fitting to feature this episode in this month’s newsletter. Listen to how Abhi and his fellow co-founder Tory navigated their path toward their own unique positioning and what that has done for their business.
That’s all for this installment. If you’d like to chat more about how to effectively position your business, don’t hesitate to reach out. You know I always love a good conversation.
Enjoy your week!