April 21, 2020 - Brittany Garlin

The Complete Guide to Building Credibility as an Agency

Many brands have incorporated digital as a key part of their marketing strategy – however, there is still a huge percentage of businesses that have been slow to embrace this change. As a marketer, especially one working at an agency, this may not seem relevant to you at all – but, I’m here to tell you otherwise. 

With the rapid increase in small businesses turning to digital while their stores are closed due to the coronavirus – there is a huge opportunity for marketing agencies to attract new clientele. When businesses reopen they won’t have the time or resources to manage their online initiatives and they will look to agencies for help. Does your agency rank at the top for your services on search engines? Have you invested in your agency’s online reputation? LoSasso, an integrated marketing agency in Chicago, reported that 70% of B2B buyers cite company reputation as the most influential factor when choosing which company to do business with. 

As marketers, we’ve been conditioned to be prepared for any changes or disruptions that come our way. Being in such a fast-moving industry, we have no choice but to be proactive and embrace the pace. By capitalizing on current digital efforts, agencies can not only continue to push through the hard times and stay relevant, but they can also attract new business.

What do clients look for when searching for an agency?

Businesses now have the time to do their research to find the ideal partner for their specific marketing needs. They’re going to look into whether your agency has the experience in their industry and can deliver on executing key results. Potential clients, especially small businesses, that are interested in working with you need to trust you. They’re signing contracts, handing over sensitive information (like passwords for their social media accounts), and are likely spending a sizeable amount of money on your services. 

These businesses are going to spend the time weeding through the options to find the best and most credible agency for their budget. You can be sure that they will be browsing your online presence and reading a handful of reviews before deciding to enquire about hiring you. As attention spans have become shorter, it’s also important to be mindful that your website must be designed to be scannable without the intent of people reading the information. Incorporating an Agency Vista profile into your marketing strategy can alleviate these common problems and help your agency attract new business by providing interested buyers with a place to view key information that is crucial to their buying decision.

Effective Ways To Build Your Agency’s Credibility

Build a Strong Portfolio with Social Proof

Buyers are savvier than ever before – they do their research before committing and know what they want. Brands know your rehearsed pitches, shiny sales decks, and well-crafted case studies – show them something real and authentic through an Agency Vista portfolio

Why? Because a strong portfolio proves you know what you’re doing. It shows you’ve done the work before, and gained results in an industry or product similar to theirs. Nobody wants to see a case study from 2 years ago on a brand from a different industry on a budget out of their price range. And as an agency you don’t want to work with a brand that doesn’t fit your ideal clientele – you want to generate the most qualified leads to eliminate wasted time and resources. 

Part of showing a potential client a case study is to validate your expertise – and one of the best ways to do this is through social proof. Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of the people around us (either in real life or online) have on our own behavior. A great way to influence your target audience is through testimonials and reviews from previous and current clients. Turn your happiest customers into your best marketing channel by asking for reviews on your Agency Vista profile.

Drive Leads and Increase Your Visibility

Ok so you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. – but how much overlap is there in your network, and are you really connecting with your target audience? Most agencies use their social channels for attracting new employees by showcasing their company culture than actually focusing on generating leads. Marketing agencies need to concentrate on expanding their network through platforms that provide them with a new audience to engage.

Agency Vista allows agencies to aggregate their social channels to a network of buyers that are actively searching for those services. The best part? You don’t have to do anything to manage this – the content is automatically uploaded whenever you share a new post onto your current channels. This allows your business to increase your discoverability and visibility without losing time or money.

Build a Solid Team Page to Add a Personal Touch

Nurturing a lead use to involve a lengthy process of impressing a potential client through multiple sales meetings and sometimes even expensive dinners. However, with globalization teams have expanded from different neighborhoods to different countries. Now, agencies can work with brands that are on the opposite side of the world. This means little to no face-to-face time, which still is an important aspect of a business’s buying decisions. 

Adding your team to your account can attribute a personal touch to the company and can lend trust to visitors. There’s suddenly faces behind the names, and it becomes a company to the visitor, rather than just another company. Connecting your team members helps potential customers and clients get to know the people they might be working with.

Ask For Referrals

Nielsen reported that 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. And 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. But only 33% of businesses are actively seeking out and collecting reviews. If you haven’t incorporated reviews as part of your marketing strategy – there is a huge opportunity for your agency to take advantage of this. 

Did you know that half of all agency owners report referrals as being their main source for acquiring new clients?

WordStream-state-of-the-agency-report

Asking for a referral from a brand that already trusts you will increase the likelihood of that lead being more qualified. The best way to ask for a referral is by sending a personalized email to a past client or industry friend letting them know that your agency is taking on new clients. 

Want to get started? Here’s an email template you can shoot off to land more referrals:

Hey [First Name],

I hope you are doing well! I just wanted to thank you for [describe client relationship, whether loyal, long-time industry friend, etc.] – it’s been my pleasure to help [service you have provided].  

I won’t take too much of your time, but I just wanted to ask a quick favor. Do you know of any companies in [industry of focus] who’re currently looking for [agency service]? We have some space open to take on new clients starting from [month], and I’d really appreciate an introduction to anyone you know who could benefit from this type of work. 

Thanks,

[Your Name]

Become a Verified Agency and Receive a Badge For Your Website

Tired of PPC bidding wars and agencies that use black-hat SEO tactics to get listed above your business? With the rapid growth of ‘award-winning agencies’ and ‘marketing experts’ – businesses don’t know where to turn. And unfortunately, if your agency isn’t listed where businesses are searching and unable to rank high enough in that search – you won’t be discovered by companies that are actively searching for your services. Agency Vista’s ecosystem works with the current expectations of brands to have key buying information accessible at their fingertips while regulating the accuracy of that information to help forge a successful partnership. 

When businesses come to Agency Vista or your website – they want to know that you are a credible company so they will look for a badge or certification. Earning the Agency Vista badge shows your clients you’re a trusted company known for excellent service. Plus the verified badge allows your agency to receive access to increased exposure of your profile that would otherwise have a fee associated with it. This includes being featured on the homepage, higher search ranking, and eliminating the similar agencies section at the bottom of your profile.

Final Thoughts on Building Credibility as an Agency

It’s important to always monitor your agencies online reputation and brand credibility. With the rapid increase in small businesses turning to digital while their stores are closed due to the coronavirus – there is a huge opportunity for marketing agencies to attract new clientele. These businesses will do their research to find the ideal partner and your agency should ensure that you are accessible wherever these brands are. 

If you have an Agency Vista account take some time to improve your profile so that you can increase your discoverability and visibility. Becoming verified can help increase your agency’s exposure and eliminate the risk of driving potential clients to your competitors. Don’t have a profile? No problem. An Agency Vista profile is completely free to sign up and takes as little as 10 minutes to complete. 

We’d love to hear from you, if you have any feedback or suggestions on how we can make Agency Vista a better resource for you, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

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