How to Start a Local Marketing Agency: Develop a Premium Service

You have begun your local marketing agency by packaging your skills into a streamlined set of premium services.  They sound quite impressive - to you!  The problem is, when a prospect looks at your “amazing” list of services, he doesn’t see a single solution that solves for his most pressing needs. Imagine his frustration!  You have not shown him what possible use you could really serve.

If you want to eliminate the frustration and attract local businesses to your marketing agency more quickly see the conversation from the their point of view. Local businesses want marketing solutions that draw in new customers, create repeat customers, and generate continuous referrals. Define your service offering in terms of these goals.  This video will explain how to offer your premium services in terms of solutions to the three most important things to a business.

Video Transcription

You Do It All: Cross Functional Competence

First, a disclaimer:  Digital marketing in today's time requires cross-functional competence. You won’t get far in digital marketing if you only know how to do one very specific thing and must have additional help for any other facet of a job.  You’ll be passed over for someone who can handle the various aspects of digital marketing.

What is cross-functional competence?

What I mean is digital marketing in today's time period requires more than one skill to come together in order for it to be valuable to prospects. For example each of the skills below are required to deliver digital marketing services well: 

  1. SEO
  2. Content
  3. Copy
  4. Social Media
  5. Web Design
  6. Video
  7. Advertising

Even if you focus on SEO specifically, you're going to have to write some content. You've got to be good at writing copy. You're going to be engaged in some way on social media. Even if you do social media only, you will write some copy to go on those social media platforms. You will have to install it on their website in some way. Even if you only do video, you must put it on their website, you've got to promote it on social media, et cetera. Doing digital media, and doing it well, requires some mix of these skills in order for it to be valuable to a client. 

Your Service Should Solve for One of Three Main Goals of a Local Business

Your prospect has one of three major issues: pay, stay and refer. What do these terms mean to a business?

  • Customers who Pay:  All businesses want more and new customers.  How does your prospect bring in new business?  How does it promote interest in its services?
  • Customers who Stay:  The repeat customer is extremely important.  How does your prospect provide excellent service and value that keeps its customer base happy and returning?
  • Customers who Refer:  It follows that happy, returning customers can become a powerful sales force.  Word of mouth is golden.  How can your prospect encourage its solid customer base to share their great experiences with others?

Whatever you offer your prospect needs to meet one of these three needs.   Your challenge is to use your skills to solve for at least one of these problems - and to explain to your prospect exactly how it works.

Here's the major breakdown. Most of you have taken your skills and packaged them neatly into your marketing agency, providing what you call a “service.”   However, that service doesn't obviously solve any of your prospect’s three problems. 

When you sit down and have a conversation with your prospect, he is coming from the point of view where he wants customers that pay, stay and refer. You're still talking about your bag of technological skills. The two things may not connect in his mind at all.  Your marketing offer needs to be in the language of his business needs.

Let's fix that right now!

Develop a New Service Offering: Focus on Solutions Not Just "Services"

Instead of talking more and more about how your skills come together into a service, let's talk about this being the “Agreed Solution.”  Define your service offering in this way, and you’ll be speaking a language that your prospect understands and appreciates.  You then explain precisely to your prospect:

  1. How your digital marketing solution helps them attract new customers.  
  2. How your digital marketing solution keeps those customers coming back, by assisting your prospect with providing its services better, faster, more reliably, more economically, etc.
  3. How your digital marketing solution lets happy customers spread the word to other potential new customers.

The better you can present your skills as “Agreed Solutions,” the better your prospect will understand your worth to his bottom line, the more likely he will be to hire you, and the more money he’ll be willing to pay you.  

Additionally, with an “Agreed Solution” in mind, you will have a clear idea of what the prospect wants from you and how to proceed efficiently and effectively!

Now, sanity check. Here's what we both know: these are numbers on a whiteboard, and you can make these numbers say anything you want them to say. Depending on if you're focused at the 100K level, you think about things one way, and if you're functioning at the million dollar level, you can think about things another way.

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