Believe it or not, there are 7-figure agencies around the world that are essentially one person with some contractors and a lot of software tools.
These micro agencies may even have Fortune 500 level clientele, too. You could be running your agency out of your spare bedroom, but if you can make your marketing agency seem bigger than it actually is—better paying clients could be yours.
Maybe you're rocking it out in your basement, or a small office space, or even a nifty "shedquarters". (It's a real thing.)
Getting big budget corporations to sign a monthly contract could make all the difference in the world for your small agency. You could finally hire a few more skilled workers, quit your day job, or just keep working by yourself with fewer customers (aka better lifestyle).
It's not that difficult either, but it does take some prep work.
Today's post is to help anyone who is a bit self-conscious about their agency. Hopefully, you'll:
Let's get into it.
What Corporate and Large Clients Really Want
When I say bigger, I don't mean large and impersonal.
You're not trying to create a vibe that the CEO can't be bothered and send an impression that you dole out a lot of memos. Instead, you want to give large businesses the peace of mind that you are professional and will take care of them.
That word "freelancer" may as well be a synonym for "unreliable" and "questionable work". So, it's not about seeming big.
It's about presenting yourself as professional through means of showing that you are an actual agency and not hanging out in your garage (even if you are).
How to Make Your Marketing Agency Seem Bigger
We'll just dig into several different tips.
1. Get a Real Address
The about page on your website is one of the top 3 most visited pages. This fact is even truer for services and B2B businesses.
You may know that even the about page should be about your clients, but there will still be the basic info about yourself.
Not only that, but the invoices you send and business cards (if you're still into those) will have it as well.
If you have a nice 4 bedroom/2 bath at 1234 Elm Street and do your business there, that's awesome, but it shouldn't be the address your clients know about.
Simple Solution: Get a P.O. Box. They're usually pretty cheap and you can even bootstrap it by getting one in a more rural area (they're cheaper usually).
Advanced Solution: You can get a bit crazy here, but there are rentable addresses. If you are living it up in Bali doing your marketing work and want to seem like you're in New York—that can happen.
2. Add Details to Your Website
I'm not going to tell you to have a cool-looking website. That should be a given. It's probably a service that you offer.
That said, there could be some things that you don't have on that sleek design.
Sending invoices in the 4-5 figure range is awesome (more on that in a second).
3. Get Better Invoicing
You want to make your marketing agency seem bigger in order to send more and bigger invoices, right?
It just makes sense then that you'd want to make those nice. Trust me on this one from direct, personal experience.
Sending Paypal invoices, or ones from a program isn't professional. And Paypal has a history of jacking with people's money for little to no reason.
Getting a payment processor and invoicing program is extremely easy. Stripe and Freshbooks can be set up together in minutes and make you look like you know what you're doing.
Possible Tip: Start your invoices at some abstract number (e.g. 37854). Your clients won't think that you have that many clients, but it's better than sending a 0007.
Bonus Resource #1: Here's a list of ten invoicing solutions from Entrepreneur.
Bonus Resource #2: Think about how you want to set up your invoice payment terms with your clients.
4. Do Social Media Well (for Yourself)
Most digital marketers are amazing at social media for their clients, but their own pages aren't nearly to that level. Yes, you usually show the results of your clients and not your own.But that doesn't mean a buying team won't check out your personal and company profiles.
Sure, you probably have a 500+ on your LinkedIn, but how many likes do you have on your posts? How regularly do you post articles on LI and how much engagement do those get?
Spend some time there, because your prospects will.
Your clients' success screams talent, but your own social accounts show the potential client a snapshot of your company's health. If they see an active account with a good amount of engagement, they know that you run things (at least in that regard) well.
5. Actually Grow (a Bit)
If you're in a place where you can take on more and higher priority clients, it could be time to bring someone on board.
I know it's not really a tip to make you "seem" bigger, but c'mon you've thought about it.
The only thing is, you've probably thought about hiring the wrong person.
We may be a bit biased here, but hiring someone for your sales process could be the perfect addition.
An SDR may be great for nurturing your funnel and qualifying leads. They can send you only those who are ready to close—freeing up your time while simultaneously increasing your business.
Here an article we put together to help you gauge whether adding an employee is right for you.
Since we're on the topic...
6. Complicate Your Sales Process
If you'd had a couple of larger prospects on the hook, but they ended up falling off—this could stop that from happening.
The bigger the business, the less fluid things usually are. Once a company hits the $10 million or above mark, getting a quick yes/no is going to be next to impossible.
If you want some of those in the high seven or low eight figure client accounts, you'll have to know their way of doing things.
Everyone has a team or a day set to do things—buying stuff is no different.
Adding a step to your sales process and actually slowing things down can make all the difference. It helps those larger accounts wrap their heads around the "decision-making day".
Bonus Resource: Here's a post about a sales process specifically for agencies.
What is it that you're good at doing in the digital marketing world? Where can you use that expertise and tell others about it on a stage?
Professional speaking may not be your career of choice, but there is something about someone who has publicly declared their expertise that just gives the impression of being good at what it is you do.
It's my opinion, but I think we're at the tip of a boom of conferences.
People love getting together out of town to network and get inspired and (again, my opinion) we haven't seen that need met as well as it needs to be.
This means opportunity. Read up, practice, and put up a speaker page already :).
Further Reading: Here's The Art of Manliness's take on becoming a public speaker.
“Best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you’re talking about.” – Michael H Mescon
Now, It's Time to Deliver Results
If you really want to make your marketing agency seem bigger, you'll want to perform at the level expected by larger clients.
It's likely you told potential clients they'd have more business and better reviews (among other things). We all know that these things take time and strategies to pull off and the only way for a small agency to pull them off is to have skill and use great tools.
All of our tips today will help you get to the table, but at the end of the day it’s all about execution.
How well can your agency execute for a regional, national, or even international brand?