The Savvy Marketing Agency’s Guide to Wild Growth in 2024

tree growing large

As a major player in the decision-making process at your web design or marketing agency, you have a lot on your plate. 

You love your current clients and do all you can to help them grow. 

In addition to that, however, you need to make choices that supercharge your agency and lead to agency growth. 

If you don’t focus on finding ways to execute to make that happen, things can quickly turn for the worst. You could lose your job, or your agency could fail.

I’ve been in your shoes, whether leading Gaenzle Marketing or working in decision-making roles with other agencies. As such, I’ve learned what works and, unfortunately, what doesn’t work. 

In this article, we’ll focus on a few things that do indeed work, and we’ll look at a few ways you can integrate them into your operations so you can experience wild growth for your agency in 2023 and beyond.

Are you ready to rock your agency’s growth? If you answered ‘yes,’ let’s get started.

Technology is key to agency growth.

You design websites, run social media campaigns, create and promote content, and execute SEO and digital advertising campaigns. Your business lives in the digital world and so do your clients.

As such, you need to have the latest technology in place.

If you’re running your efforts on antiquated platforms, you’re not only doing your clients a disservice; you’re falling behind and on your way to becoming extinct. 

You need to have a few critical technologies in place to get started. 

Fast Website Hosting With Quality Support

As a web design or marketing agency, one of the most important things you need to have in place is fast, secure hosting with top-notch support. 

If you build your clients’ websites using slow, cheap hosting, you leave their websites open to downtime, security risks, and other potential issues. 

When selecting the right hosting provider, there are certain features you just can’t afford to pass up. 

These are some of the most important features you should look for in the hosting provider you select.

  • Cloudflare Enterprise CDN: This reduces your content’s load time and helps the websites you build to deliver content more quickly, no matter where in the world.
  • Top-notch support: If you’re hosting sites for multiple clients, worrying about technical issues with your site can be exhausting. Make sure you work with a hosting provider that provides 24/7/365 support. 
  • Close to 100% uptime: No hosting provider can guarantee 100% uptime for your website (despite what some may say), but the provider you choose should be super close to hitting that mark (99.9% is a good mark to shoot for). 
  • Enterprise-grade security: There are far too many hackers actively seeking to bring down websites today to leave your site vulnerable. Be sure the provider you choose offers a Website Application Firewall (WAF), protection against DDoS attacks, and other high-level security features.

There are many other important features your hosting provider should offer, but ensuring the above four things are in place will have you set up with a site that stays live, delivers content fast, and protects both your business and your clients from harm. 

SEO and Content Tool

Using an SEO and content tool like Semrush is critical to keeping tabs on the performance of the sites you manage, as well as uncovering growth opportunities. This will help you to dig into your site’s performance and make necessary adjustments. 

The right tool should allow you to do the following. 

  • Highlight problem areas and source recommendations for corrective action
  • Review what’s working and not working on your site
  • Discover ideas for new content creation
  • Spy on the competition to find ways to leapfrog them
  • Research keywords
  • Keep track of your backlinks 
  • Assess on-page, off-page, and technical SEO

When you produce content, you should have both the audience and the search engines in mind. Leveraging an SEO and content tool alongside the human element of content production can help you boost your website and content in search and put your clients’ sites on the map.

Project Management Tool

Keep track of progress on all your projects, assign tasks to relevant team members, and ensure all projects and tasks for your agency and your clients are done on time.

As an agency, you’ve got a lot of projects flying around. No way anyone can keep all you’ve got happening on track without the help of technology. 

Spreadsheets and email no longer cut it. So, you need to look to a tool like Asana, Airtable, or Zoho Projects to keep everything rolling smoothly.

Image: Example of account tracking in Asana – source

When selecting a project management tool, look for the following features.

  • Project planning and scheduling
  • Time tracking 
  • Collaborative tools for sharing and chatting
  • Progress reporting 
  • Budgeting and proposal creation
  • Billing 

Any holistic project management tool needs to have at least the above six features. With these on your side, you can virtually run your agency directly from your PM platform. You’ll significantly lower your stress levels, and you’ll always know where things stand. 

Social Media Management Tool

As an agency, it’s essential that you have a solid digital presence. Social media plays a significant role, and having a management tool can help reduce the time and effort you put into scheduling posts. 

HootSuite, Sprout Social, Social Champ, Agora Pulse, Buffer, and others offer excellent options for managing your social media. 

Image: Example of calendar from Social Champ management tool – source

Using a tool like the ones above can help you more easily manage your social media as well as social media for your clients.

You can preschedule content, monitor for brand mentions, engage with your followers, and measure your results right within the same dashboard rather than having to migrate between multiple channels. 

A social media management tool is a huge time-saver, and a must-have tool for agencies. 

Don’t Take Your Agency Too Seriously

The most creative and successful agencies are the ones where the team members are comfortable letting their hair down. 

Marketing agencies are known for being intense. You run marketing, build websites, and execute campaigns for multiple businesses simultaneously. Most team members wear multiple hats, which can sometimes get overwhelming. 

As such, it’s essential to create opportunities for your team to unwind, be themselves, and let their creativity shine. 

Here are a couple of things that work for us and that I’ve seen work for other agencies to lower the pressure levels. Hopefully you can implement them where you work and lighten the mood while lifting up your agency.

Dress Down (Every) Days

At one point in my career, I led the marketing for a major law firm turned startup incubator (long story). I would get ready for work every day by getting decked out in my best suit and pulling a tie tight around my neck. 

Nothing stifles creativity more quickly than a suit and tie. This attire is perfect for some industries, but it just doesn’t make sense when it comes to a creative agency like a web design agency. 

Allow your team to express themselves by dressing the way they want. With limitations, of course. You wouldn’t want your team showing up to work in a Speedo, right?

A hip t-shirt and jeans. Shorts and flip-flops. These are all ok. If you meet with a stuffier client, break out the suits. But, for your day-to-day work, keep it relaxed.

Get Your Game On

Earlier in my career I led the marketing strategy for a global content marketing agency. We worked with major brands like Marriott and IHG, as well as universities, large manufacturing companies, and other brands across the globe. 

The work could pile up very quickly, and things could be intense when complex projects were in the works.

In many companies, this level of work would lead to low morale, high stress, and a feeling of being overworked. Not in this company. 

One example comes to mind. 

We once rebuilt a website and rewrote a ton of pages for a full university website with over 30 programs. That meant working with the heads of each department (they were professors, typically, so personalities were definitely involved). 

Planning and production were huge lifts, and the approval process was even more challenging. We had to navigate some very murky waters with many roadblocks, and we managed social media for five academic departments in addition to everything else going on.

Why didn’t we all break under the pressure?

We embraced our inner gamers. In the breakroom, team members had access to arcade games, table soccer, and other gaming activities. When stress bubbled over, it was perfectly ok to leave your desk and join a co-worker for a game of pac-man or a ping-pong match. 

And if you didn’t feel like leaving your desk, you could take a break and play solitaire, mahjong, Minecraft, or any number of other video games on your laptop. You could listen to podcasts or watch videos. Simply put; you were permitted to have fun. 

As long as the output for client work remained high and the agency kept growing, a little gaming was a welcome activity, and it helped keep us all sane during hard times. 

So, set boundaries, but lighten up. Let your team partake in some fun and unleash their inner gamer to lower stress levels and ultimately increase productivity. 

Rock Your Content Marketing

It’s no longer a secret. Content is the fuel that makes your agency’s digital presence run. 

Content forges strong connections with your customers. It boosts awareness of your brand and presents your company and your team as industry leaders and thought leaders. 

If you really want to shine as a marketing agency (or in any business line for that matter), content is key; or “king” as they say. 

In a recent study, 67% marketers reported that their content marketing efforts generated demand/leads. That’s big. 

Content marketing helps with brand awareness and a lot of other things, but ultimately, it leads to business growth, and that’s super important. 

The brands that outperform their competition in the content arena are the brands that set themselves up for long-term success. 

HubSpot is one of our favorite examples of content marketing done right. The SaaS brand offers tons of free (that’s the key – “free”) resources on its website. 

In addition to blog articles, eBooks, and other free downloads, HubSpot created a bunch (and I mean a bunch) of free tools. Talk about offering value for your audience, which is the core component of content marketing that makes it work so well. 

Image: HubSpot lists 11+ free tools in its footer alone

Create content that adds value for your agency’s ideal clients and your current clients. Give it away freely and generously. 

While some businesses fear the concept of giving something away free, the goodwill that you’ll generate will make your agency a recognized, trusted name and keep your target audience coming back for more. 

Create your content strategy, and start rocking and rolling your agency all the way to the top. 

Get a Little Help From Your Friends

In today’s business climate, the wisest, most successful agencies understand that going it alone isn’t an option. By creating partnerships with other complimentary companies, and even other agencies, you can all grow together. 

You know the saying. A rising tides lifts all ships. 

Work with your clients, vendors, even other agencies to create ways that you can promote one another and help one another grow. 

Here are a few ways you can benefit from creating powerful brand partnerships with other companies. 

  • Expose both brands through content partnerships.
  • Generate new leads that benefit both brands through co-branded webinars. 
  • Create co-hosted podcasts that expose your brand to a whole new, relevant audience. 
  • Help your clients more by offering complimentary services you don’t provide but your partner does. 
  • Trade services (you help with marketing an SaaS brand and they give you their project management tool for free – for example). 

These are just a few of the powerful ways you can build and benefit from creating partnerships to help your agency grow in 2023. 

Get Savvy and Grow Your Agency Wildly

This guide was designed to help you turn your agency into a place people love to work and a brand your clients trust. 

By putting these things in place, you’ll position your agency to become an industry leader and be set up to attract new clients to create consistent, long-term growth. 

Technology will help your marketing or web design agency create efficiencies and produce optimal results. It will help you keep your projects in order and grow your business quickly. 

Letting your hair down and unleashing your inner gamer will help your team thrive both creatively and strategically. 

Leverage these things along with the power of content marketing and partnerships, and your business will achieve wild growth for years to come. 

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