How to 4x agency new business with online reviews

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Agencies are struggling. 

A recent survey from CallRail found that “66% of marketing agencies said they experienced a decrease in overall revenue” due to the 2020 pandemic. 

Survival is a struggle. 

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Many agencies have already begun to bounce back. The bad news is that many of these agencies are still stuck on the feast and famine treadmill. When things are good, they’re really good. When things are bad, they’re fighting to keep the doors open. 

You deserve better. 

Today, I’ll show you how to attract 4x as many clients using online reviews.

Online reviews won't produce the kind of revenue you need

Wait a minute. 

Isn’t the premise of this article focused on 4x your revenue with online reviews? Absolutely, but you’re not going to get the kind of immediate revenue increases you need with reputation management. You can do it, but it’ll take more time. 

I’m talking about generating revenue now. 

Here’s the other big problem with agencies. When agencies land a large new client, they celebrate; they hire more employees to take care of these new accounts. For a time, business is good. 

Then clients move on. 

Suddenly, these agencies are forced to initiate mass layoffs to survive. 

Everyone panics. 

When agencies land a new client, their expenses skyrocket as they bring on new employees and pay for more resources to take care of their clients. Those expenses decrease when those clients leave, but revenue drops off of a cliff. 

This isn’t a sustainable way to run a business. 

Reputation management campaigns are profitable, but they require a certain amount of time before they’re profitable. Get your client’s campaign up and running, and revenue will begin to pour in.

Agencies struggle to attract clients for another reason

It’s a trust issue. 

Agencies following standard pricing models ask clients to have faith in their abilities and invest thousands of dollars upfront. It’s difficult for clients to get behind; every agency sells itself as better than the alternatives, and every agency believes they can achieve amazing results for their clients… 

Until they don’t. 

It’s even worse if you succeed and you convince clients to sign on the dotted line. They will be watching your work carefully at first, looking for any signal telling them they need to pull the plug.

Why are they like this? 

Clients struggle because there’s too much risk. 

There’s an easy way to reduce the risk that comes with hiring your agency. It’s an unpopular approach, but it’s one that’s wildly profitable if you’re willing to invest the time and effort needed to make this work.

Fix your client's reputation for free

It’s common for local brands to ignore reputation management until they’re forced to address the problem. Those who wait are forced to address negative reviews after the fact. Disaster is the primary motivator for these local businesses. 

Some local businesses have: 

  • No reviews: These are new businesses that fail to establish any kind of review portfolio online. They haven’t claimed their profile on any mainstream review site because they’re trying to keep their business afloat. 
  • Low reviews: Most small businesses fit in this category; they have a sprinkling of reviews on a few review sites but nothing to give customers a true sense of their reputation or whether they can be trusted. 
  • Imbalanced reviews: These local businesses have a very strong review profile on a review site like Google. They’re active there, but they ignore the other review sites customers visit.

These are all fantastic opportunities. 

Here’s how you do it. 

Step #1. Create a list of target companies 

You’ll want to create a list of target clients. 

  1. Reach out to ideal clients/prospects in your target verticals (e.g., ecommerce, services, SaaS, etc.). 
  2. Request a lunch interview (lunch on you, of course). If you already have clients you love working with (and want more of), start there. Reach out to ideal prospects in your area if you’re just getting started. 
  3. Interview them.

When you interview clients, you’ll want to get the answers to these six specific questions. 

  • What’s your business’ biggest problem(s)?
  • How would your business be affected by a series of negative reviews? 
  • Would you look for help or attempt to fix the problem on your own? 
  • Would you be willing to pay for review management services? 
  • What would prevent you from buying review management services? 
  • What would you expect from this service? When? Why? 

 I’m sure it goes without saying, but your interviewee should do most of the talking. 

4. Then, use the lessons you’ve learned from your interview (demographics, psychographics, ethnographics, etc.)  to build a list of prospects. 

5. Create a list of mainstream, niche, and industry-specific review sites. 

6. Go through and save prospects that match your pre-determined criteria; you’re looking for a list of 100 to 200 candidates. Make sure that you’ve saved, bookmarked, or tagged these prospects, so you know when they receive a review. 


What happens next? 

When a prospect on your list receives a negative review, you send them the following pitch.

[Hi Name,] 

A reviewer by the name of [reviewer name] just posted this [negative review about your business] on Yelp. This review (and ## others like it) will appear in Google and Bing within 48 hours

Use this post to calculate the financial loss you’re facing.  

My name is [first name last name], I’m the [title] at [agency], and I’d like to fix this for you, free of charge.



Here’s why this pitch is so effective. 

  • They’ve just received a notification from Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, etc. about this negative review
  • These clients will be feeling stressed; these reviews need to be addressed immediately
  • You’re telling them about this review; if you’re watching, that means other people are watching their business too
  • You’re speaking dollars and cents. These clients can go to a third party ( and calculate the financial loss themselves

Wait a minute. 

Did I just say you should help them with review management, free of charge? 

Yeah, that just happened. 


How on earth are you going to be able to afford that? 


You’re going to use reputation management as a loss leader you can use to move clients into the really profitable service. 

Lead generation. 

You offer to fix your client’s reputation for free. In exchange, your clients will agree to purchase leads from you at a set price per lead. These clients pay you $50 -$150 per lead, and you provide them with a service that lowers your cost per lead!

It’s more profitable than the standard retainer agreement. 

Let’s crunch the numbers.

Agency A (reputation + retainer)

$1,500 per mo. retainer x 12 mo. 

$1,500 per mo. 

$18,000 annually

Agency B (reputation + pay per lead)

$75 per lead x 100 leads per mo. 

$7,500 per mo. 

$90,000 annually

Here’s the beautiful part. 

Agency B’s client has unlimited earning potential. As long as you’re able to deliver profitable leads, they’ll be able to purchase more, ensuring that your agency grows in lockstep with theirs. 

If they’re paying $75 per lead, but they’re suddenly purchasing 460 leads per mo. your annual income jumps to a whopping $34,500 per mo. or $414,000 annually

With just one client!

This means you can grow agency revenue, but your expenses can remain low.

That. Just. Happened. 

The best part about all of this is that $50 a lead is an easy sell. You’re offering reputation management free of charge, and you’re also decreasing the risk they face doing business with you. They can purchase a few leads from you, and if it doesn’t work, they can move on without losing a significant amount of money. 

It’s brilliant. 

What if your clients don't want to bundle these services?

It’s a definite possibility. 

But it also has an easy fix. If clients don’t want to accept free reputation management services from you to fix their very obvious problem, they can do it themselves. 

Good luck. 

Those who aren’t interested in your offer will disqualify themselves. Those who are interested will be eager to accept your offer provided that you can solve their problem. It’s a win for your agency, clients, and their customers.

You can 4x agency leads with online reviews

Your agency doesn’t have to struggle. 

You can use reputation management and online reviews as the gateway service. With the right approach, you can quadruple your agency’s leads. Many agencies have already begun to bounce back; your agency can use these opportunities to surpass your competitors. 

Reputation management campaigns are profitable, but they require a certain amount of time before they’re profitable. 

Use this strategy to generate immediate benefits.

With review management and pay-per-lead services, you can generate 4x as many clients as you’re used to. Negative reviews help you to identify the problem; reputation management provides your clients with the solution, your agency.