How Are You Spending Your Time for Ad Agency New Business?

time management for ad agency new business

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

1.  How not to waste time – How new business has changed

You’ll never re-allocate the time and resources necessary for success until you better understand how new business has changed. 

Social media, fueled by the Great Recession, created a significant paradigm shift in how new business is acquired.  My epiphany of this change in new business 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’s become more important to be found by your prospective client audience than chasing new business through interruption type tactics such as cold calling.

Instead of chasing new business, it’s now more important to be found. 

This is a permanent shift from chasing after business to earning the attention of prospects by creating positioning of expertise through an integration of social media, content and inbound marketing strategies. It’s a new way of thinking about new business.

2. A time saver – 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

Even though I had effectively used cold calling in the past, since starting Fuel Lines Business Development back in 2007, I’ve never made a single cold call for any new business. Why? Social media is a more efficient use of my time that provides superior results than the interuptive tactics of the past.

3. How to spend your time – Social media allows you to be easily discovered

The old way was the agency new business hunter seeking out 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, learn how to become the PREY.

Here are some ways to use social media to be found:

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.

4. Master your time – 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:


photo credit: BramstonePhotography via photopin cc

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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