What would it be worth to your agency to have literally hundreds of people who were willing to communicate your message to others you may not be able to reach? What is the value to have them promote and recommend your agency’s services?
You need to create evangelists to promote your agency’s brand.
An evangelist is an individual who serves as the outside voice of your agency. They can be as passionate about your agency’s brand as you are. They are invaluable. One of the best new business resource your agency can have.
Agency brand evangelists … networking on steroids!
Mack Collier’s article, Eight Steps to Creating Brand Evangelists provides the influence for the following steps to creating your ad agency’s evangelists.
How to Create Your Agency’s Brand Evangelist:
Encourage Your Staff to Become Agency Evangelists. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. View your staff as your agency’s best customers. They are the agency’s ambassadors. If they are happy and excited about your agency’s brand, and want to evangelize it to others, your clients will follow suit. Encourage your staff to participate in social media. Have them link to each other, to your agency, your agency’s clients and beyond. Ten or fifteen minutes of networking online can be more valuable than attending an Ad Fed luncheon or Chamber meeting across town. Tap into your staff’s network.
Learn From Your Current Agency Evangelists. Discover what it is about your agency’s brand that motivates them to evangelize it to others. Learn where your clients are online and connect with them. Through interaction, learn why they chose to work with your agency.
Authors of the book, “Creating Customer Evangelist,” Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba explain that evangelists are the ultimate salespeople because they know your target audience better than you do because they are the target audience.”
Your evangelists are your direct link to your target audience, and they can teach you how best to reach them. Through them you will better understand what benefits and messaging is most important.
Be Personal. One of the great strengths of your agency’s blog is that it helps to personalize your agency. One of the biggest reasons brand evangelism works is that people want to work with people that they know and trust. Through an agency blog, your audience has the chance to kick the tires, look under the hood, check out the upholstery. They get a sense of who you are, how you think, what your agency is really like.
Create a Community. Your agency’s blog also provides a meeting place. Creating this online meeting place for your brand evangelist makes it easier for them to share information and recruit new evangelists for your brand.
Be Accessible. Making sure that your agency’s clients and prospective clients have lots of ways to give you feedback is a big plus. The fact that you take time to listen shows great respect and that you value their input. I always encourage agency principals to have a big part in their agency’s blog. Prospective clients always want to know how involved you are in with your agency’s clients, what better way to demonstrate to largest audience which can be found online.
Be sure to include ways to contact on your agency’s website, blog, email signatures, etc. Welcome and even encourage feedback. Your agency will be the better for it.
Monitor Your Agency’s Brand. Agency’s that are unwilling to participate in social media need to understand that conversations are taking place about your agency’s brand with or without you. I can assure you it is much better if you are a participant.
Brand evangelists may be passionate about your agency’s brand but that doesn’t mean they wont be critical as well. Evangelists feel a sense of ownership in your brand, and if they feel that your agency is doing something to dilute the brand they wont hesitate to express it. Mack Collier states, “the criticism is rooted in passion, and where there is passion there’s a potential evangelists.”
There are dozens of free online programs that help you monitor your agency’s brand, when and where those conversations are taking place such as Google Alerts.
The agencies that do the best job of creating brand evangelists start from the top down.
Your agency evangelists can sell your brand more than you can, they also are glad to do it for free.