Founder reveals 6 tips for growing a digital marketing agency

FATJOE has been servicing clients since 2012, offering outsourced content and links. Turning over more than $10 million per year, Joe Davies shares six tips for agency growth.

“With Google updates, social media changes, and economic shifts; staying ahead of the curve is essential in this day and age if you’re running an agency. Economic changes, as a result of the pandemic, and recessions in the UK and US, have led to increased competition and a greater focus on ROI, forcing agencies to become more efficient and data-driven in their approach,” says Joe Davies, Co-Founder at FATJOE. “The marketing industry as a whole has become more dynamic and fast-paced, requiring agencies to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive.”

Identify your unique value proposition

The digital marketing market is saturated, with new agencies opening their doors every day it seems. My first tip is to ensure you identify a unique value proposition for your agency. If you’re a specialist, make it known to your audience. Perhaps you’ve got a one-of-a-kind approach to your niche. Use this value and proposition yourself as a trusted expert in this area.

After myself and Joe Taylor became colleagues, we pondered on whether there was a better solution for SEO and marketing agencies to outsource their content and link building. At the time the market was very limited to offshore and very low quality solutions, so we seized the opportunity ahead of us to create a company that offered higher quality outsourced services at affordable prices, specifically for marketing agencies. That was our selling point. 

Invest in the right people

You can develop a strong brand identity on the front of it, but it's the people who carry the work and deliver results who make the difference. Hire right and you'll open doors you didn't know existed. Hire wrong and you'll be constantly chasing your tail. 

What's always been imperative for us is that we invest in people who want to drive the company forward. My advice to any agency is to always strike a balance in your team between technical skills, creative minds, and leadership. But above all, it’s important to invest in people who are aligned with your values and vision, to help foster positive company culture. A strong team always equals better results.

Establish a clear brand identity

Developing a brand that is consistent across all channels, including your website, social media, and marketing materials, is key for a clear identity and messaging to prospective clients. To really cement your agency’s position as a unique solution to a problem, ensure your messaging reflects the core mission and values. Our ethos has never changed: to help agencies scale and deliver better SEO. From the time we spent working for agencies ourselves, we're very familiar with the issues they face and the dreaded burnout that so many experience. This is reflected in our brand identity online.

Focus on lead generation

As a marketing agency, it should be a no brainer to you that focusing on lead generation will grow your business. Invest in marketing strategies and practise what you preach - yielding results from both outbound lead generation with sales pitching, and inbound marketing by optimising your site and creating a strong brand. As a business we’ve historically focused on our brand awareness, investing a fair amount into our own digital marketing since day dawn.

Nurture client relationships

Closing the deal doesn’t mean that client sticks around forever. It’s so important to develop a client retention strategy that focuses on providing exceptional customer service and maintaining open communication with your clients about their marketing results. Not only will this retain your existing clientele, but it’ll likely lead to word of mouth referrals.

Make sure the price is right

Depending on whether your agency is generalist, specialist, or offers full service marketing, it’s important to get a good grip on industry pricing. Take time to research (and continuously revisit) your competition to make sure you never lose a deal from being outpriced. And if you still feel your agency offers more, make that messaging clear with your brand. 

Joe summarises: “The marketing industry as a whole has become more dynamic and fast-paced, requiring agencies to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive. This has been exacerbated by recent economic changes, and generally the advancement of the web. Clients, now more than ever, are looking for real ROI.”