Finding Connection & Building Strategies to Lead Clients, Not Follow

May 15

As marketing agencies, owners and professionals, oftentimes we feel like we’re in this #agencylife alone. That’s partly due to the trappings of entrepreneurship or working in a small business.

But there’s a certain allure to being your own boss and having an outsized impact on what we achieve for ourselves and for our clients.

Agencies Want Connection

The added layer for agencies is the nature of the job—trying to deliver results for our clients in an ever-changing digital landscape. Who can we talk to about the most recent Instagram algorithm update? Or about how social will appear in search results?

In fact, 56% of new members of our Agency Network on Facebook said one of their main goals was to connect with like-minded individuals and have conversations about the things that affect us as agencies and organizations.

Who can we talk to about an uncomfortable client interaction? Or about how to position your agency as you shift services? Or about the growing pains of an ever-expanding client roster and team?

Where can we take a moment to focus on our own business?

And it’s why, last month, we brought 50 agency folks together in London for our first ever Agency Partner Workshop.

Agency Partner Workshop: A Day of Learning Together

Agencies have a never-ending to-do list for their clients. Whether it’s optimizing campaigns, providing context for early results, providing guidance on how to tweak and adjust strategy, or working internally to nail that perfect pitch for your new prospect—it’s hard to keep up with your current workload, much less to take the time to think about where you’re taking your agency and your own agency career.

 

At the Workshop we talked about the things affecting our organizations, the things affecting the social media landscape, and, yes, we talked about how the Sprout platform and the Agency Partner fit in as core components of that solution.

Bob Ruffolo, founder of the 2017 Hubspot Partner of the Year Agency Impact Branding and Design, shared insights into the reality of building and growing an agency.

Twitter showed us how social data can and should impact our client campaigns. And where we should be part of the conversation.

 

But we also knew that relaying what’s new and next back to our teams and our clients could only get us so far.

The concepts and best practices were great.

But there were real-life problems to solve. And our teams were waiting.

Clients Need Agencies to Lead, Not Follow

When news breaks about a development on how our social data is being used, when a big brand’s PR nightmare erupting on social intimidates our tentative clients back to passive strategies, and when questionable practices in the industry expose gaps in how our competitors are delivering their client base short-term gains…it’s us as agency pros that our clients look to.

And we need to be ready to meet the challenges head-on to instill confidence in our clients and our teams.

 

Some problems we tackled at the workshop:

  • Managing and Brand Misstep on Social: How do you handle a client’s internal team making a misstep on social? And how do you embed your agency in both the strategy of the crisis communications and the solution for how to ensure it doesn’t happen again?
  • How do you pitch and win business from an overwhelmed brand team: With considerations for both the re-education for an internal team on workflows and processes and the long-term prospect of winning the business…how do you do both business development and consultative services?
  • Salvaging a Client Relationship during Internal Transition: Client strategies and goals change. So do the decision makers and your internal champions. So how does an agency survive a shift in a client’s team makeup and strategy?
  • Repositioning your Agency in the Face of Market Upheaval: Whether it’s social media strategy, paid search, inbound marketing, or whatever digital marketing services you provide…the landscape can change. So how do we adapt and best position our agencies to do what we do best and do right by our clients?

Continuing the Conversation, Together

One thing we all walked away with was a renewed sense of community amongst our fellow agency pros. Whether our conversations would continue IRL through meetups or virtually in the spaces that we find and create—we knew that the more we could collaborate and share our own experiences the better off all of our agencies would be.

If you want to join this group of agency pros talking shop, find us in the Agency Network on Facebook.

And if you want #TeamSprout to become an extension of your agency to help you grow and scale your business, find out more and talk to us about the Agency Partner Program.

This post Finding Connection & Building Strategies to Lead Clients, Not Follow originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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