Time is often your greatest enemy when it comes to consistently acquiring new business opportunities so knowing where to focus your time is critical for the best results.
I talk to people on a daily basis who don’t have enough time. Just this week, I was talking with two agency principals and a new business director that all basically said; “I’m out of time”. Each said they had no more time to give their schedules were overloaded. They were stressed and mentally and physically exhausted. To top it off, for most, all of this busyness isn’t effectively creating new business opportunities for the agency.
Does this sound familiar? Learning additional time management skills isn’t the answer, if the activities where most of your time is spent is no longer effective.
The cure is in understanding:
- How new business has changed
- How social media makes new business easier
- How to use social media to be easily discovered
- How to re-prioritize and refocus your daily activities
A paradigm shift for new business has taken place
A paradigm shift is simply a change from one way of thinking to another. It’s driven by agents of change.
Social media is an agent of change which has created a significant paradigm shift in how new business is acquired. There is a permanent shift from chasing after business to earning the attention of prospects and making yourself easy to be found. This requires that you grasp the importance of social media as a new way of thinking for new business. You’ll never re-allocate the time and resources to it until you are convinced of how it has changed business development. You must also realize that it is a more efficient use of your time than the “tried but now faltering” way you’ve done it in the past.
Social media makes new business easier
Social media is a savior not a nemesis, an asset not a liability, a time saver not a time killer for ad agency new business.
Business development is a tough business which requires a considerable amount of time and energy for success. It can grind you down, use you up and burn you out.
Here are some of the benefits for using social media that will make new business easier:
- Provides a better focus for new business
- 24/7 top-of-mind awareness without interruption tactics, such as cold calling
- Allows an agency to be more narrowly niched without the risk
- Pre-qualifies prospects
- Networking on steroids and increase in referrals
- Winning new business without having to pitch
- Eliminates the dating process with prospects
- Greatly enhances offline networking at seminars, conferences, trade shows and other events
- Consistent new business pipeline that is sustainable when the agency is at its busiest
- More qualified new business opportunities with less cost
- A greater market area, with the potential for national and international new business opportunities
- A positioning of expertise that allows charging higher premiums and working with fewer clients that are a better match
Social media allows you to be easily discovered
We are experiencing a paradigm shift in ad agency new business programs. The old way was the agency new business hunter seeking and intercepting prospective clients. Today, it is all about positioning your agency to be found by your prospective client community.
Instead of being the hunter, you learn to become the prey.
Almost five years ago I had an epiphany for new business. It came from a CMO Study, released in early 2008, where 85% of decision makers said they found their vendors not the other way around. I realized there was a paradigm shift taking place for new business. It became more important to be found by your prospective client audience than chasing new business through interruption type tactics such as cold calling.
Here are some ways to use social media to be found:
- Focus your online efforts to a specific target group. The tighter the target, the faster you will build awareness, prospective client traffic and engagement.
- Create a written social media plan to expand your agency’s online presence and define your goals and objectives. You will also want to create benchmarks and measurements to gauge your progress and easily make adjustments to your online strategies and tactics.
- I advocate a blog as the central hub for your agency’s online footprint. The blog should be centered around a specific target audience.
- Your agency’s online presence needs to be personal. People want to work with other people that they know, trust and like. Here are some other examples of how agencies are becoming more personal through their blogs by leading with their CEO, partners, creative directors, division directors, etc. Here are some good examples of agency blogs that are focused and personal:
- 5 to 9 Branding: Fresh ideas for marketing travel & leisure brands
- Altitude Marketing: People to people marketing for the aviation industry
- Asking Smarter Questions: Data driven marketing & business intelligence
- Blue Collar Branding: Helping brands connect with the American worker
- CPG Marketing Trends: Helping CPG industry marketers maximize brand and private label strategies
- Creative Triage: Market your community hospital efficiently
- Creativity Unbound: Ideas for navigating a consumer driven world
- Depth Finder: Navigating Manufacturer brands through the building supply channels
- Fifth Gear: Accelerating sales through analytical insights
- Fire Support: Marketing for defense contractors
- Healthy Conversations: Inspiration and insights for creating new value
- Jessica Clay: Strengthening health nutrition marketing
- Kelp-Beds: Growing biotech brands that enrich our lives
- Park Howell Sustainable Storyteller
- QSR Insights: Bite-sized Insights for QSR and fast casual
- Remarketing Marketing: Marketing ideas for wholesaling preowned inventory
- Roxanne Joffe: Helping women to start, run and grow their business
- She-conomy: A guy’s guide to marketing to women
- shoppertunity: Resources for increasing traffice and slaes for shopping centre marketers
- Simplexity: Intelligent systems marketing made simple
- The Main Artery: Getting to the heart of cardiovascular marketing
- Tradesmen Insights: Marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets
- Turn Up Your Volume: Drive the right patient with the right payer to the right service line
- Create and build social media profiles that are reflective of your target audience, especially for Twitter, Facebook, Google + LinkedIn and Pinterest.
- Be sure to add share buttons for your blog content to allow your posts to be more viral and be sure to share your new content through your social networks immediately when they are published. There are a number of tools and plugins to help automate this.
- Create an SEO strategy for your blog content to help propel your content rankings in organic search. Consistently use key words in blog post titles. This also helps to identify relevant content that is shared through other social media outposts to your target audience.
- Repurpose older blog content in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +. There are a number of tools that will make this process simpler such as SocialOomph.
- Jump start your blog’s traffic by building a targeted Twitter following using TweetAdder. Also, create an eNewsletter by repurposing your blog’s content in a template that is reflective of your blog and sending to your target audience.
- Integrate social media within your agency. Provide help with social media guidelines and training. Your staff can be your agency’s greatest ambassadors.
- Don’t neglect one of the most important platforms for agency new business, your agency’s website. Most agencies are in a perpetual state of redesigning their website. Allow your website to be your online brochure. It is the place for credentials, capabilities and case studies. It is the preferred platform for prospects to “look under the hood” and verify your positioning of expertise. Also, don’t expect the website to be your primary generator of online traffic. A blog is a much better platform to enlist daily engagement. People aren’t going to be re-reading your online brochure as often.
- Just as I have been doing in this post, be sure and link to any relevant content. If you do the work on behalf of your readers, it will make their experience more pleasurable and give them a reason to remain on your site longer.
Re-prioritize and refocus your daily activities for new business
Be an active participant in social media. It should be part of your daily routine. Remember that it is networking on steroids. It it not a time killer it is a tremendous time enhancement for new business. You will only understand social media’s potential value by actually participating in it. When you come to know its potential first hand you are more likely to commit time to it.
Here are some additional resources to help:
- Nobody Reads Ad Agency Blogs
- How to launch a blog for ad agency for new business — fast!
- A 70 Point Checklist for Jump-Starting or Tuning-Up Your Blog for New Business
- Study: 69% of Businesses Increased New Business Leads Through Blogging
- 50 Blog Post Ideas to Fuel Your Ad Agency’s Blog
- Ten Toughest Content Marketing Challenges for Ad Agency New Business
- 10 Ways to Create An Ad Agency Blog That is Reader-Centric
- 20 Top Inbound Marketing Resources for the Paradigm Shift in Ad Agency New Business