Does your agency have the tools it needs to grow?
If you’re working with SMB clients, you’ll need the right set of tools to manage your projects and campaigns. If you’re running an agency, you’ll have to address a few specific issues for your SMB clients.
- Cashflow: Small businesses go through feast and famine cycles more frequently; you’ll need a suite of tools that are low cost for them if they need to sign-up, register, or use a tool you recommend.
- Staffing: These clients typically have a small group of employees who are wearing many hats. It’s common for these employees to be overwhelmed, running from one fire to the next.
- Time: These clients don’t have the time needed to pour over an avalanche of reports, deal with a huge feature list, or fly out for training on the latest and greatest tool.
This is especially important if your agency is also a small business. Software is typically broken down into five basic categories — product, systems, legal, communications, and finance. We’re going to look at three of these categories.
- Marketing: These tools manage key aspects of marketing, including ads, content, social, analytics, or direct mail.
- Systems: Tools that help you manage your agency, clients, projects, procedures, and workflows.
- Legal: Apps and tools that streamline routine legal work or facilitate legal hr.
Today we’ll focus our attention on tools that are tailor-made for SMBs. We’re going to look at tools from a few perspectives (a.) tools you use to serve your clients, (b.) tools your clients use with you (c.) tools your clients use on their own (for you).
Let’s dive in.
1. Agency tools for marketing
These marketing tools are especially helpful for agencies; they’re excellent for SMBs because most of these tools are best-in-class but priced low enough to deliver exceptional results.
- SEMRush enables you to do SEO, content marketing, competitor research, PPC, and social media marketing from a single platform. It’s an absolute must for digital marketing agencies today. Pricing starts at $99 per mo. (if paid annually).
- Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset complete with keyword research, ranking checking, site audits, content explorer, and more. Pricing starts at $99 per mo.
- Grade.us If you’re reading this, you’re probably already familiar with our reputation management tool. Our review management platform is different because it’s built for agencies, multi-location businesses, and franchises — it handles the difficult to manage components of review management with ease. Pricing starts at $110 per mo.
- AuthorityLabs is an easy way to track and measure your content performance across all of your keywords. What’s awesome about AuthorityLabs is the fact that the platform can process massive amounts of data rapidly. Another Traject company; pricing starts at $49 per mo.
- HubSpot is the number one CRM platform for scaling your agency. If you’re looking to grow your agency quickly, HubSpot is a must-have. Pricing starts at $45 per mo.
- Google Marketing Platform is an incredible (and free) suite of tools from Google. GMP includes Analytics 360, Data Studio, Optimize 360, Surveys 360, Tag manager 360, and more. This is ideal for agencies because most clients already have Google accounts, which makes user adoption straightforward. Pricing varies.
- Sendible is social media management software that’s designed for agencies that work with clients. It’s an all-in-one tool that enables you to manage your clients’ social media profiles across all major platforms. It’s a Traject company; pricing starts at $29 per mo.
- Adobe Creative Cloud is the gold standard for creative tools. The world’s best designers and creators use Adobe’s suite of design tools every day. Pricing starts at $9.99 per mo.
- Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant. Writers can get correction and feedback on tools they’re already using. Grammarly has both free and paid plans.
- Enthusem is direct mail automation; their platform enables you to deliver hyper-personalized, well-timed, trackable content that syncs with your digital strategies. Contact them for a quote.
2. Agency tools for systems
These tools cover a range of areas, including reporting, analysis, project management, automation, and password management. These tools create the leverage, access, and management support you need to manage and maintain your agency successfully.
- Cyfe is a dashboard management tool that collects and displays all your apps’ data in one, easy-to-read dashboard. Full disclosure, Cyfe is a Traject offering; pricing starts at $19 per mo.
- Basecamp started as a project management tool; now, it’s an all-in-one toolkit for working remotely. Basecamp offers a free plan with paid plans set at $99 per mo.
- Trello is a free project management tool that’s low cost and offers minimal features. It’s a free tool with paid upgrades.
- Slack started as a chat client but quickly became a communications platform. Slack provides your team with multiple methods of communication, including voice and video calls. Pricing starts at $6.67 per user, per mo.
- Zylo is a SaaS management platform. It monitors SaaS applications purchases, integrating with a variety of the tools and resources agencies use on a daily basis. This is a great way to prevent cash flow leaks.
- LastPass Enterprise is a sophisticated password manager that enables you to share passwords safely with your team. Pricing starts at $4 per user, per mo.
- Calendly helps you schedule meetings without the constant back-and-forth emails. It automates scheduling and logistics, giving attendees an instant snapshot of your availability.
- Zapier connects your apps, enabling them to talk to each other. Zapier has a free plan and paid options from $19 per mo.
- IFTTT is an automation tool that allows users to create automation workflows called “applets.”
- Zoom became well-known during the pandemic; its conferencing platform offers HD quality video/audio. Zoom has free and paid plans.
3. Agency tools for legal issues
These tools are helpful must-have options for clients for several reasons. Clients typically won’t read your agreements. They’ll scan it if you’re lucky. They’ll penny-pinch when it comes to hiring legal help, and they’re far more likely to take a minimalist approach to all things legal.
- DocuSign a SaaS for signing contracts, agreements, SOWs, and documents. It starts at $10 per mo.
- Adobe Sign a SaaS for signing contracts, agreements, SOWs, and documents. Plans start at $9.99 per mo.
- LegalZoom helps clients create legal documents without an attorney. Pricing varies by service.
- UpCounsel An online marketplace for legal services. Pricing is negotiable.
- LegalShield Is an affordable legal marketplace connecting attorneys and clients. Pricing varies by service.
- HelloSign SaaS e-signature tools for signing legal documents.
Why these tools?
They’re simple to use, easy for clients to learn and helpful for protecting clients and your agency. Working with a law firm is best in an ideal world, but small business clients aren’t always on board with that.
These tools help you grow your agency.
But they’re also tools you can use to work with your SMB clients.
Give your agency the tools it needs to grow
Your SMB clients struggle with cash flow, staffing, and time management issues. They’re constantly fighting their way through feast and famine cycles, doing everything they can to keep their business afloat.
These tools meet them where they are.
If you’re working with SMB clients, you’ll need the right set of tools to manage your projects and campaigns. Focus on tools that address these three core challenges, and you’ll find your SMB clients are open to the tools and resources you use to grow their business.