Like many other industries, marketing has had a difficult time this year, with an almost 5 percent decline in ad spend (versus last year’s 6.3 percent growth). But as businesses realize the value in advertising even now, there are still ways for your marketing agency to grow in the last quarter of the year.
Here are nine practical things you can do to increase your revenue and hit your end-of-the-year goals.
1. Protect the clients you have by communicating
Reach out to every single client and tell them you want to end the year as strong as you can. Set up a weekly sync-up with them and tell them you want to be there for them. Communication helps you understand how clients are feeling. This helps you either upsell or cross-sell when things are going well, or fix a problem if things aren’t.
If you can do a video call, do it. Our brains are wired to respond to faces more than anything else, so having a face-to-face call will have more of an impact.
2. Be a solutions person
Find out if things are working and see if you can pivot. If one product isn’t working, switch to another one. Add a CRM. Add SEO. Instead of digging deeper into your niche product, expand into other things that can offer solutions, and retain your clients.
3. Ask for referrals
Ask your family, friends, and clients to refer two other businesses to you. Business owners know other business owners, and even if they don’t want your services, they can point you to others who might.
4. Reach out to friends and family
Many people don’t like offering their products to family and friends, but if you do it with sincerity and humility, you can do it right. Be upfront with them and be ready to actually bring them something useful — a package or plan that you truly believe will help their business.
Offer to just audit what they’re doing with their marketing. Auditing allows you to show them what you know and what they’re missing out on. Frame it as “practicing” or giving them a plan of action, no strings attached.
5. Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot
Go to your local hardware stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot early in the morning and sit in your car in the parking lot. Write down the name of every business whose truck you see visit the store: HVACs, plumbers, roofers, etc.
When you get back to your office, create workflows in your CRM to reach out to these businesses. Contact these businesses and invite them to lunch or dinner. Get 200 business owners in your pipeline, and build relationships with them.
These clients are your neighbors and friends, and they have a long-term life cycle, so if you can get them, they’re valuable for your agency.
Cross-selling can be a great way to build on your retention efforts and increase revenue without prospecting new clients. If your clients are happy, cross-selling them to another service should be easy; it just has to make sense.
Call up your clients and ask them about their growth goals. Come up with a marketing plan that can help them reach those goals, and pitch it to them.
7. Use your calendar and put in the work
It makes no sense that anyone would work 40 hours a week for someone else, but not want to do the same work for their own business. It takes work to get your agency to a stable place, and it takes work to increase your revenue consistently as well.
Fill up every minute of your workday with your tasks, calls, learning, networking and more. This also means having time for your family and yourself and filling up that time intentionally as well. Set aside time for each task, whether it’s cold calling or spending time with your kids, and use it.
8. Exercise and meditate
Exercise and meditation has myriad benefits for your mind and your productivity, aside from the physical benefits. Exercise can help our brain’s plasticity, making it easier to learn and improve our memory. Exercise also helps us decrease our stress hormones.
Meditation, meanwhile, will help you refocus your mind on your goals and on these steps. You can focus on repeating and refining your commitments and reflecting on the purpose of your business and growth.
Whatever activity you prefer, make it a routine, and start or end your day with it to get those benefits and aid your journey to professional growth this quarter.
9. Find a mentor
Surround yourself with other people who’ve done what you’re trying to do. Many business owners employ coaches who’ve never had an agency, never owned a business and never done marketing. Coaches can help, but having a mentor can be even more valuable to give you advice and guidance on specific issues.
Mentors can look like someone in your niche or industry who’s been doing marketing longer or even a mastermind community.