Ad Agency Generates Inbound New Business Leads Through Social Media

Social media can greatly help with your agency’s positioning. It can also create appeal and generate inbound leads, but you’ll need to start by answering two questions:

  1. Who is our best target audience?
  2. What is our agency’s most appealing point of differentiation?

Holland + Holland, a small advertising agency in Birmingham, AL, provides an excellent example of how a small agency can create an appeal to a specific target audience using social media.

  • Their point of differentiation: Stephanie Holland, agency president and creative director is one of only 3% of female creative directors in the US, 97% of creative directors are men.
  • The strength of their positioning, 85% of all brand purchases are made by women. Women bought more product from HomeDepot and Lowes last year than did men, they also purchased more hamburgers, consumer electronics, NBA and NFL apparel … women are the purchasing agent for the family. Holland now has a distinctive advantage over their competitors, because most of them have male creative directors.  Its much easier for Holland to call into question their competitors understanding of reaching women.
  • Focusing on a target. The agency is targeting male advertisers who should be marketing to women. Stephanie, through her blog, educates her readers about this important consumer group that most are not reaching through their marketing efforts. She is careful not to talk down to or berate her audience. Her blog’s descriptor statement is crystal clear, “a guys guide to marketing to women.”
  • The initial results for Holland + Holland: For the first time in their 25 year history, the agency was selected to pitch for two nationally known brands, winning one of those accounts and invited to handle the social media for the other. The two companies are not headquartered within Holland’s market. They discovered Stephanie and her agency through their online presence using social media and were chosen for their expertise in marketing to women. One midwestern prospective client flew over hundreds of other agencies to meet in person with Stephanie at her office in Birmingham because of getting to know her through her blog.

Holland + Holland's Blog: She-conomy

Over a year ago, Stephanie created her agency’s blog, She-conomy: A Guys Guide to Marketing to Women. She has created a community of followers, providing helpful resources to their marketing challenges in reaching women.

Here’s an example of the kinds of posts that Stephanie uses to reach her audience and keep them coming back:

Stephanie is using her blog as the “gateway” to her agency. This is the place, the central platform of her social media strategy. Instead of the agency’s website, Stephanie generates traffic initially through her blog.

Stephanie has a strategic reading program that helps keep ahead of trends and her clients. Instead of searching for resources, most of the resources are sent to her through RSS feeds, Google Alerts, etc. Her writing is an important component to her professional enrichment. It helps her better articulate her thoughts and the way she communicates to prospective clients. She’s learned to lead her new business efforts through benefits instead of agency capabilities. She speaks to her prospective clients marketing challenges and provides to them her thoughts, opinions and resources to help provide solutions.

People have a strong desire to work with other people that they know, trust and like. Stephanie has become the face for her agency. Her audience feels like they know her, because they do.

sheconomy website

Holland + Holland’s website has become their online brochure. It is designed simply in a way which easily highlights the agency’s latest work and case studies. If you’ll notice, the blog intentionally lives apart from the branding of the agency’s website. It was allowed room to breath and grow. It will actually provide a great resource for the agency’s brand through the engagement with their targeted audience. It’s their audience that decides what’s appealing and what’s not.

Stephanie's Twitter Account

Stephanie's Twitter Account

Stephanie is using Twitter to network and repurpose her blog’s content to a growing following. Twitter has become the leading traffic generator to her blog.

sheconomy seo

She-conomy allows for greater SEO. Stephanie can generate organic search placement in Google by consistently using the search terms her audience is most likely to use to find the resources she provides.

She-conomy Email Newsletter

She-conomy Email Newsletter

A She-conomy email newsletter is generated monthly to a database of over 2,000. The newsletter is easily created and sent using blog posts that are already generating higher traffic. It takes only minutes to create and send. This allows the agency to be consistent, sending the newsletter out twice a month, even when they are at their busiest.

sheconomy facebook

Stephanie's Facebook Page

Facebook allows for Stephanie to integrate her professional life and personal life. Facebook shows a much more personal side. It is the inclusion of family members, friends, colleagues, fellow alumni. There are applications found in Facebook that allows her to repurpose her blog’s content.

sheconomy linkedin

Stephanie's LinkedIn Page

Stephanie uses LinkedIn to network professionally. It is a great tool for highlighting her profile and recommendations from others. Like FaceBook, LinkedIn has an application that allows for automatically repurposing of content from She-conomy.


The agency created a video for YouTube to create a strong appeal around their niche, which is marketing to women.

Stephanie Holland and her staff follow a simple social media plan for an inbound lead generation program for their new business. It is consistent and easily maintained. It is an integrated effort with specific goals and objectives and its bearing fruit.


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

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