If you thought setting up your marketing agency was the hard part, think again. Once you’ve built up a core team and have regular clients, it’s time to think of your next steps. How can you go from a reasonably successful marketing agency to one that thrives? 

💡 Read Creating a Marketing Strategy that Works: Benefits, Steps, Tools

Many factors go into growing a marketing agency. From keeping up with new digital tools and trends to winning new clients—it can get a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled five easy-to-follow strategies to help you close more deals and grow a market agency. 

Why Does Your Marketing Agency Need to Grow?

Thanks to the pandemic, which severely affected many industries, people have had to rethink how they run their businesses. And now that we’re on the cusp of a global recession, it’s become more critical than ever, not just to survive as a business but to thrive through times of change. Here’s why you should focus on growth: 

  • Beat the competition.  For marketing agencies, it’s not just the times that are tough, but competition is also getting tougher. As of 2022, there are over 14,000 marketing and advertising agencies in the US alone. The number doesn’t even include independent contractors and creatives. Among the thousands, only a handful have managed to become household names and top choices for big brands. 
  • Earn more money. It’s simple—growth means more money. Increasing income is a priority for all business owners as it enables investment in more opportunities for the business.
  • Gain reputation.  As your reputation grows in the industry, you’ll get more clients, and you’ll get invited to more pitches. And if you’re outstanding, clients will trust you enough to pick your agency with no pitching required. 
Media Analytics for Marketers Ebook

1. Streamline and Automate Key Agency Processes

One of the factors that can hinder a business’s growth is the number of administrative tasks and processes that take time away from other, more important aspects of running a company. Automating key processes can save you both time and money so you can focus on execution. 

For example, instead of manually sorting through brand mentions, there are tools available that can automatically gather mentions and conversations about your client based on keywords you set. This way, you can stay on top of your client’s online reputation and focus on building relationships instead of fighting fires. 

Automate gathering mentions with Determ and set alerts to keep you informed

Automating certain processes also allows you to maintain a lean team without sacrificing work-life balance. Automation can lead to a domino effect of productivity, leading to better performance, efficient and streamlined business processes, employee satisfaction, and better overall performance. 

A study by Salesforce found that marketing automation tools can drive a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and reduce marketing overhead costs by 12.2%. 

Another key benefit of automation is the ability to gather better data at scale, enabling you to make data-driven decisions. 

2. Scale Content Production with Creators 

As a marketing agency, you know that creating content is one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of the business. From brainstorming to assembling a team and getting approvals, creating a single piece of content can take weeks or even months. While content creation may be most marketing agencies’ bread and butter, in order to keep up, you’ll need to work with creators. 

Since content creators post content for living, it only makes sense that they can create more content at a faster speed. Additionally, having creators post the content on their personal feeds exposes your client’s brand to a bigger audience that is likely to convert. This is unlike regular branded content, which may take time to gain traction, even if you decide to boost it or post it as an ad. 

Plus, working with content creators can help your clients build trust with their audience. Unlike brand-produced content, consumers are more likely to engage with creator-driven content. In fact, 69% of consumers say that they trust influencers more than brands. 

This is not to say that working with creators should eliminate your role in content production. Your role will involve finding the best content creator for clients, brainstorming the type of content that will work, and setting up the collaboration.  

Content Production Example

Iconic chocolate brand M&M’s tapped on content creators to produce content at a scale to support its Caramel product launch. The brand used the PopularPays platform to connect with over 70 content creators, who supplied fresh content for the entire year of the launch. The content creators produced 204 assets in total.

Three pictures of M&M's chocolate candy
M&M’s collaboration with content creators for a new product launch

Through the partnership, the brand was able to connect with the creators’ personal networks of followers, which totaled about 6.6 million people. By tapping on multiple content creators, M&M’s was able to compile a high volume of unique, out-of-the-box content that resonated with all kinds of audiences. 

3. Build Stronger Relationships with Clients

Every business owner knows that their clients are their best assets. It’s important to maintain a strong relationship with existing clients to ensure they continue to choose your agency for all marketing needs and that they recommend you to peers. Plus, your working relationship will be smoother if they like you. This means faster approvals and mutual trust.

Here’s what Andriy Zapisotskyi, the founder of digital agency GrowthMate, says about their principles of building relationships with clients:

“At GrowthMate, we understand that success with clients is all about fostering genuine long-term relationships. From the first initial contact, we offer a comprehensive onboarding experience, consistently communicate deadlines, provide more value than they expect, and reward clients for their loyalty & referrals. We believe that when we prioritize these elements, we not only build a stronger foundation for our agency but also create a thriving ecosystem of collaboration and growth. Our commitment to building lasting connections and surpassing expectations sets us apart and ensures that together, we can achieve remarkable results.”

Building stronger relationships with clients can take a lot of time and effort, but it will all be worth it. Here are some tips: 

#1 Gather both “hard ” and “soft” information about your client

Hard information would be anything that involves their business, including their goals, competitors, and challenges. This ensures that you know what you’re working with. 

“Soft” information can be personal information like their hobbies, favorite coffee, and some simple facts like their birthday. This allows you to relate with them better and understand the best way to communicate

#2 Have an open line of communication

Always keep your client updated. Take them through your process, and let them know if you encounter some hiccups. Practicing complete transparency, even when it’s hard, will help you gain their trust. Having an open line of communication builds strong relationships, boosts collaboration, resolves issues efficiently, and drives continuous improvement—key ingredients for growing a successful marketing agency.

#3 Treat each client differently

Treat each client differently – Each client will have their own method of doing things, and it’s your job to learn that. For example, some clients may prefer having weekly meetings for updates, while others may want to touch base throughout the week. 

While most businesses will focus more on acquiring new clients, you must remember that acquiring new clients can cost you five to seven times more than retaining your existing ones. 

4. Establish a Strong Online Presence

How can clients trust you to successfully market their brands if you can’t market your own? Your potential clients will judge your marketing agency by what they can find online, so make sure it’s impressive. 

If your contracts allow it, use your social media pages to flaunt your portfolio of work. Take advantage of tools like Reels and Stories to boost your brand identity

Take a look at the Instagram page of this Philippines-based agency for inspiration: 

Screenshot of Instagram feed of Serious Studio
Establishing a strong online presence is a good way to grow a marketing agency

Serious Studio (@seriousstudio) shares their client work on their Instagram page along with other helpful content that would set them apart from competitors. Firstly, it provides visitors with useful information and increases brand trust. Secondly, it allows the company to attract more followers.

If you don’t have enough clients to post about consistently, you can post other valuable content that your audience can learn from. Teach your audience about your process, introduce your team, and show them the value of working with you. And if you want to create a cohesive feed without having images, you can make good use of AI image generators and make visuals for your content with ease.

Investing in a website where clients can access complete information about your agency is also essential. 

5. Leverage the Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

As a digital marketer yourself, you know that word-of-mouth marketing is still the most powerful type of marketing today. Nothing beats a good old client testimonial or personal recommendation. While word-of-mouth marketing should come naturally, as long as you’ve done a great job with your clients, it’s still important to gather evidence. If you’ve built a good relationship with your client, asking for a testimonial should be easy. 

You can ask for customer reviews, which you can use on your social media pages and your website, or a video testimonial. Brands shopping for a marketing agency will want to partner with someone with a proven track record of successful projects, excellent client relations, and a good online reputation

Screenshot of a customer testimonial
Client testimonials provide a reliable pathway for how to grow a marketing agency

Like user-generated content, having client testimonials is the most convincing sales pitch you can have—98% of people read reviews about local businesses. Here’s how you can ask for a testimonial: 

  • Make sure the timing is right – Have you recently closed a highly successful campaign? Your client has to be happy with the results before you consider asking for a testimonial. 
  • Provide questions or prompts to make it easy – A simple “why you loved working with us”  can help your client get the words out. 
  • Interview them  – A formal client interview can be helpful for your business because you can gather useful insights to help you improve your processes. It’s also a great opportunity to collect a testimonial. 

It also doesn’t hurt to simply ask your clients to put the word out for you. 

5 strategies to grow a marketing agency listed
Summary of 5 key strategies to grow a marketing agency

The Bottom Line

Building a successful marketing agency can be a daunting task, but with the right strategies, you can go from a small boutique business to a successful brand-builder. 

Remember: Don’t be afraid to embrace change. Use technologies to help you streamline your processes and work with the right partners to boost your business. Doing this lets you focus on important tasks like building stronger client relationships and establishing a solid online presence. 

Skip to content