Smart Agency Podcast: The #1 Digital Agency Podcast for Social Media, SEO, PPC & Creative Agencies

Looking to land those bigger retainer clients for your agency but don't know how to get there? I've got you covered in this week's episode.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • Why you might need to work for free.
  • 5 steps to landing bigger retainer clients.
  • How to implement the foot in the door strategy.
  • How to stack the deck to gain more new agency clients.

My guest today is Justin Brooke, founder of IMScalable and also known as “The Traffic Guy.” He’s got an awesome story about how he went from not being profitable, to working for free, to landing a couple huge retainer clients. In this episode, Justin shares his strategy for how to land the big clients you want and leveraging them to land more big retainer clients.

Why You Need to Work for Free

If you don’t have a success story or case study to use in your sales pitches, you might want to consider this strategy just get you one... Justin says he spent a couple years being unprofitable. However what he realized was that he needed one really great success story to ignite his business. That’s when he decided to work for free. It started with research.

Justin did some digging to find the right client whom he knew he could help. Then he posed a proposition to the owner - he would work for free to increase traffic and leads if he could use them as a case study for his own marketing purposes.

They agreed. He succeeded. And BOOM! Justin had his first case study to use for future sales pitches.

This is a great strategy whether you’re just getting starting, or if you want to begin targeting a new niche. You need some sort of “proof” that you are valuable. And when you select a business that you’re confident you can help, you’re setting yourself up for success.

How to Land Big Retainer Clients

A lot of us can relate. You’re doing ok, but you know there are bigger clients out there with issues you can solve. You want to catch the bigger fish you just don’t know how.

The key is to NOT go after the big projects right away. Start small. Prove yourself. Then move up the food chain.

Justin broke his strategy down into 5 steps for us:

  1. Identify some of the businesses you know you can help and make a short list.
  2. Do your homework to find out how the businesses on your list are spending their digital ad budget. Tools such as AdBeat can help.
  3. Look for a hole or gap in your prospect’s digital strategy. Pinpoint one, small but specific thing they aren’t doing, or aren’t doing well.
  4. Contact the prospect(s) you identified and tell them what you’ve discovered. Something like: “I noticed you aren’t doing ‘X’ and I think it’s because of ‘Y’. I know I can do ‘Z’ to solve your issue and get you better results.”
  5. Be specific. Be confident. And DON’T be afraid to promise results.

Stack the Deck to Gain More Clients

The real trick to building your revenue base is to continue working Justin’s 5 step process.

Keep targeting new businesses and researching to find what’s missing in their digital strategy. Keep going after the smaller projects and providing amazing results in order to earn larger ones. This is how you implement your foot in the door strategy and use it to grow your client base.

You can leverage your results from one client to earn you credibility with the next. It just takes some research, persistence and extra effort in your presentation.

When you’re working with another prospect, use your case study to report results however make it unique and relevant. Nothing generic! Do your homework - know your audience. Make it visually stunning, useful and relevant to a specific prospect... Check out Klipfolio (and the special offer below) to create an amazing analytics report.

PRO TIP: As attractive as it might seem, you do not want just a few large clients. Your client mix should be made of a variety of sizes. If you only have 3 large clients and one leaves, you’ll lose 33% of your revenue.

Analytics Software to Boost Your Business

Klipfolio is a tool that is helping agencies continuously monitor and report analytics. It's cloud-based software allows you to define KPI’s based on your preferences and filters. With 50+ built-in marketing metrics, you can create a dashboard for yourself and your clients which can be viewed on desktop, mobile or old-fashioned PDF.

For a limited time, Klipfolio has a special deal for my listeners. Get a FREE TRIAL and an amazing offer just for The Smart Agency Master Class listeners at

Next Steps For Your Agency

Need help with your agency? If you need advice on any topic, I have probably experienced them myself and can help you from what I learned. From what to do with your sales processes, ways to increase your profit margins or how you can build authority for your agency.

I can show you how to stop losing money on projects, why solid processes for performance based pricing can be the best pricing strategy and how having remote working or freelancers in your team can be beneficial and the best ways of managing them.

Learn about my career and different experiences as well as tips, tricks and insights by checking out my blogs that cover a wide variety of topics.

Find more from my Ask Swenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel. There you will find advice from myself and other agency experts.

Direct download: How_to_Stack_the_Deck_in_Your_Agencys_Favor.mp3
Category:#PODCAST -- posted at: 5:00am MDT