Easy Lead Generation Tactics for Agencies to Scale Client Growth
Lead generation can be especially challenging for B2B agencies. They need to find smart ways to get in front of their potential customers before they can attempt to convert them into a client.
In this blog post, I’m going to share 7 digital marketing strategies that agencies can leverage to generate leads and win more agency clients.
Plus, we’ll take a look at some real world lead generation strategies to see what works in practice.
1. Get involved in your local community
In the digital era, it’s easy to neglect your home turf, but getting involved in your local community can be a great way to connect with your target audience.
Look for opportunities to sponsor local events, host workshops, or get involved with local charities. You can also join relevant trade organizations and chambers of commerce.
By putting yourself out there, you’re more likely to be top-of-mind when potential clients like small business owners are ready to make a purchase. A nice side benefit is that you can PR for your agency in the process.
Showing your customers and employees you care about your local community by employing some strategic philanthropy is also a good way of getting your name out there.
Remember, this isn’t about hiding self-serving activities under the guise of good intentions or promoting a cause just to push your service offering! It’s about doing a good deed and leveraging the good will those results.
Citrus: a case study
Peter Levitan understood this with his ad agency, Citrus, when he aligned with Oregon’s Make-A-Wish Foundation to offer free branding strategies and marketing collateral to boost awareness.
He later leveraged his agency’s association with Make-A-Wish and shared relevant marketing work to close new clients. Peter also had his name on the Make-A-Wish board, which was great exposure for his company.
Citrus went on to serve clients like Nike, Oregon State University, and the United Nations.
Grow your industry knowledge
2. Engage on social media and online communities
Most agencies have a social media profile, but they’re not using it to its full potential.
Social media should be one of your top lead generation tools because it gives you an opportunity to connect with prospects on a personal level.
Here’s how you can include social media in your lead generation process:
Share your agency’s work.
Showcase your team’s personality.
Engage in relevant conversations.
Build relationships with potential clients.
Don’t forget to add social sharing buttons to your website so that others can share your content and help promote your agency.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular social media platforms that allow agencies to find qualified leads.
LinkedIn: Considering that 4 out 5 LinkedIn users are decision-makers for their business, the platform is a great place to catch the attention of professionals who can say “YES” to your services. Pro tip: don’t make potential leads travel to an external forms page. Instead, use the Lead Gen Forms tool to autofill a user’s information, making the sign-up process for your offer as easy as possible.
Twitter: Here’s where you can engage and build lead-generating relationships with fellow founders one-on-one by replying to tweets under relevant posts and threads. Twitter is also a great B2B content marketing tool. A study by Buffer showed that Twitter threads get 63% more impressions and 54% more engagement than simple tweets with links. If you want to see the power of the Twitter thread, head over to DonYe Taylor’s account, where she leverages the power of social media threads by sharing how to market yourself without actually marketing yourself.
Facebook: You can use Ads or Groups to get in touch with potential clients on Facebook. If you want to target a specific group of people, create an Ad and use “Custom Audiences” to upload a contact list so that only those leads will see your ad. For a more organic approach, post your content in relevant Facebook Groups and get involved in the discussion—just make sure to read the rules first so that you don’t get kicked out.
Reddit: There are a number of ways you can use Reddit for marketing, but one way agencies can use it for lead generation is by posting agency case studies in relevant subreddits (r/entrepreneur, r/startups, r/marketing, etc.). Only use your best case studies and offer value to the Reddit community; poor Reddit content will quickly get downvoted.
Reddit: a case study
Reddit user u/malchik23 leverages the power of the platform for his agency Apollo Digital. Every now and then, he holds a website roast session, critiquing the SEO implementations on websites owned by fellow entrepreneurs on r/entreprenuer. At the end of his post, he plugs his own sub-Reddit, r/seogrowth. This freebie strategy generates inbound leads while strengthening his position as an expert—all without the need of a dedicated sales team.
Another hidden gem: 6 Tips for Promoting Your Services on Quora
Don’t forget SEO
While social media platforms are a solid choice for B2B lead generation, you should also focus on ranking on the first page of Google for relevant keywords in your agency’s niche. In fact, SEO drives 1,000% more traffic than organic social media.
When it comes to SEO, you’ll want to focus on two main areas:
Content marketing: Create high-quality content like blog posts based on high-level keyword research to meet users at every step of the funnel. Also, build trust and familiarity, and ultimately gain quality leads.
Backlinks: Build domain authority by earning (or negotiating) high-quality backlinks from relevant websites—a popular way is guest-posting. The more trustworthy you are, the more the leads will roll in.
Many successful agencies hire SEO specialists to handle every aspect of their lead generation via SEO, as it can be rather time-consuming task. The investment pays off in the long-term, though. With the help of powerful automations, specifically built landing pages, as well as email drip campaigns, you can nurture your leads slowly until they are ready to make the purchase.
3. Consider productizing your agency and its services
Productization is overlooked by many companies in the service industry. That being said, do productized services really work? The truth is, if you’re in the B2B service-based business, you should have a good idea of who your ideal customers are, what they’re looking for, and how to satisfy that need.
This is why productization makes getting leads easier, resulting in a high conversion rate. By offering standardized services based on what works, you eliminate a lot of the back-and-forth and guesswork that comes with starting from scratch. You don’t need to test several marketing campaigns and different sales funnels as you have a good understanding of where to focus your efforts. Clients also know exactly what they’re in for. The prices are transparent and your services are more concrete—the certainty element helps close deals.
So how do I productize my agency?
Customizable agency client portal software like Service Provider Pro allow you to create high-converting checkout pages that allow you to convert more leads.
Here are some ways that you can productize your agency:
Bundle services together: show clients how they can derive greater value from your service offering by purchasing a discounted bundle. Pro tip: Model your bundled packages after the best practices in your field. For an SEO agency, that can mean optimal posting frequency/length of posts.
Offer tiered plans: You could get more sales by offering tiered pricing options. Customers will be more focused on finding the best plan for them (based on budget and services offered) instead of comparing you to the competition.
Use subscription-based billing: This is especially effective if you have a service that needs to be performed on an ongoing basis (e.g., social media management, copywriting, etc.).
Looking for a few examples? Check out our case studies featuring successful agencies.
4. Host live webinars for free
You can generate leads by hosting a live webinar and requiring potential attendees to sign up with their contact information to watch. This is a great way to show off your expertise, build trust, all while providing value upfront.
You should market your webinars to people who might want to use your service. For instance, if you’re a web design agency serving SaaS businesses, you’ll want to promote your upcoming event where the store owners hang out: online communities, LinkedIn, Twitter, and email.
Consider recording your webinars and using repurposing the footage later. You could post snippets on social media or embed the full video on your website. An alternative is to create an evergreen webinar (a pre-recorded webinar that can be watched at any time). Use it as a lead magnet to get people to sign up for your email list, and nurture them slowly with drip campaigns.
Pro tip: Be sure to hold live Q&A sessions at the end—82% of people prefer this because it helps them get more personalized information regarding the product or service.
5. Take on some speaking gigs and podcasts
Similar to webinars, public speaking and taking part in podcasts are excellent ways to showcase your expertise and provide value. You also get to reach a new audience that may not have heard of you before. These can help you expand your reach and, in turn, generate more leads.
To find speaking gigs, start by searching online directories such as HeySummit or by contacting the organizers of local events in your field. When it comes to being a guest on a podcast, such as this one Chris attended, make a list of a couple that has an audience you want to attract – then reach out via email or LinkedIn.
A few things to keep in mind:
When reaching out, be clear about what value you can provide and how you can help the podcast host or event organizer.
Don’t be afraid to start small – there are plenty of opportunities to work your way up to bigger platforms.
Prepare, prepare, prepare! This is your chance to make a great impression, so you’ll want to come across as confident and professional.
6. Give clients a reason to talk about you with a referral program
A referral program is a great way to get your current clients talking about you to people in their network.
Here, you offer an incentive (usually a discount or free service) for every new client they refer to you. When those referred customers come in, be sure to give them the VIP treatment so they have a positive experience and are more likely to use your services again in the future.
Pro tip: Make it easy for people to refer to your agency by creating a custom URL they can share, providing referral cards or flyers, and/or adding a “Refer-a-Friend” button on your website.
The great thing about tools like SPP is that they allow you to create affiliate and reseller programs with ease—no need for external tools.
7. Consider offering an ebook
One of the best ways to generate leads is by offering something of value in exchange for contact information. This could be an ebook, checklist, white paper, or even a free trial of your product or service. SPP, for instance, has created the Epic Guide to Productizing ebook.
With your lead magnet, target a specific audience and provide them with information that has a high level of insight, knowledge, and authority. While blog posts, videos, and infographics may be used to meet top-of-the-funnel brand awareness and visibility, ebooks allow you to go a lot deeper into a particular topic. This makes them very attractive to decision-makers.
Once you’ve won new clients you’ll want to make sure they stick with you. Read our blog post for tips on how to retain customers.
Closing a new lead is exciting for any agency. It proves that all the hard work you’ve put into your email marketing, PPC campaigns, and other ways of generating leads have been succesful. The seven strategies mentioned in this blog post hopefully provide inspiration to kickstart an effective lead generation that will reward you with multiple new clients.