Your agency needs to treat itself like a top paying client, or risk death

For a modern marketing agency to tread water, let alone thrive, it needs to treat itself like a top paying client, explains 3 Phase Marketing's Sonia Majkic.

The traditional agency is a dying breed thanks to the digital age. We know that. But moving online won’t be enough for an agency to survive; you also need to be marketing yourself in order to stay afloat, applying the same marketing tactics to your agency that you expect your clients to.

I’ve worked in media and marketing for 20 years and remember the days when a Friday lunch would get you a booking and a deal, back when a lot of business was done at restaurants, bars and football matches in a corporate box. But nowadays – although we still crave connections and human relationships – the only and best way to get picked is to adopt your own marketing recommendations.

“If you’re not investing in your own internal marketing strategies … I predict your cigar-smoking business has two to three years left.”

The correlation between promoting your agency online, sharing your client success stories and attracting new business isn’t exclusive to anyone or any industry, but it’s particularly startling when you’re a marketing agency.

So many agencies want to fly under the radar, and, to be honest, I used to be one of them. It’s easy on the budget, resources and talent – and some just don’t like too much attention. But this strategy, or lack thereof, will eventually kill your business.

I quickly and thankfully woke up to the fact that if I’m recommending my clients invest in SEO, Google Ads, PR, social content, relevant content and being a source of information and inspiration, why shouldn’t I apply those methodologies to my own business?

It’s not necessarily the best products, but rather the best marketed products, that get picked up. And in this day and age, that means digital marketing tactics are the lifeboat that’ll keep agencies afloat in this competitive market.

I’m talking reviews, third-party endorsements, user-experience on your website, regular meaningful social media content. All the basic fundamentals we learn as marketers that we need to be applying to ourselves.

If you want to be successful in this digital era, you actually need to start treating yourself as a client. You need to schedule jobs and allocate resources internally. Stop bumping your own projects and treat yourself like a top paying client.

The reason why I know this works is because, despite the fact that nobody has any access to our profit and loss statements or any of our performance reports, I constantly get complimented on how well my agency is doing. I will see other people in the field at industry events and the first thing they say to me is, “Gee … you guys are doing well”. And yet, they have no idea whether that’s reality or just perception; it’s based purely on how we look online.

Not to mention, our marketing also helps us attract great talent. People don’t just want to work for great clients, but a winning business. One that looks polished, organised, has a finger on the pulse and is ahead of the game. They don’t want to be part of a traditional model anymore.

If you’re a marketing agency, and you’re not actually applying all of your recommendations that you give to your clients to your own business, you won’t survive. If you’re not investing in your own internal marketing strategies and all those things we tell clients to do, I predict your cigar-smoking business has two to three years left.

You need a positive presence online. You need to generate meaningful content, share case studies, reviews and position yourself as the best in field. That’s the only way you’ll get picked. Leave the Friday arvo drinks in Richmond and go produce some meaningful content to future-proof your business. It’s the only way to survive.

Sonia Majkic is the co-founder and managing director of 3 Phase Marketing


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