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

Are you looking to connect with decision-makers in big brands? Do you want to land bigger, high-value clients? Big brands realize there's a good match with boutique agencies that provide a fresh and innovative approach. So how can your agency unlock inbound marketing strategies and get noticed by big brands? One agency has worked with household names like Disney and Shopify. He explains why he strongly believes in the value of forming and nurturing strong relationships with people rather than brands, and how betting on someone’s growth can help you land big clients and take your agency to the next level.

David Mausolf is the owner of Apex Growth, an agency focused on helping big brands that aren't fully staffed or are uncertain about their growth strategy crush their financial forecasts. David’s team becomes seamlessly integrated with partners and provides clients with the tools and training they need to grow.

In this episode, we’ll discuss:

  • Nurturing relationships before selling services.
  • Starting conversations with big brands.
  • Earning the attention of ideal prospects with targeted content.



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Sponsors and Resources

Attract Masterclass: Today's episode of the Smart Agency Masterclass is sponsored by the Attract Masterclass, a free masterclass series where you'll learn how to create a magnetic agency, become an authority in your niche, and master the art of client attraction. Make sure to check it out at


Nurturing Relationships Before Selling Agency Services

Years ago, David and his partner were working full-time jobs while trying to grow their agency on the side. However, it wasn’t sustainable and in 2020 they decided to make the jump to focus on scaling the agency full-time. In just three years they’ve grown to have 25 employees and over one million in revenue.

How did they do it? David believes it all started with relationship-based selling. Most agency owners approach their relationship with clients from a service-based standpoint, where the focus is on what they’re selling – whether ads, SEO, CRO, etc. Instead, his agency's model revolves around cultivating meaningful relationships with clients to uncover their unique needs. Then they craft tailored solutions that speak directly to the clients' needs.

Depending on their needs, David’s team helps companies hire new team members or executives. The relationship may also start directly with the specialist searching for new job opportunities. By strategically connecting specialists with target companies, they foster meaningful relationships that organically develop into sales opportunities with large enterprises. This strategy helps them stand out from the competition who are just selling services.

Getting Conversations Started with Bigger Clients

David understands the opportunity to work with a big company may come every 1-3 years. In the meantime, he works on planting the seeds to first build and nurture a relationship with that company. It’s a very different model than trying to sell to a mid-size company or startup, which can be much more transactional. When you’re trying to work with a brand like Facebook, that relationship must be pre-established so they feel they know you on a personal level.

Start by supporting them in a way that’s not transactional. Keep in mind you’re selling to people, not brands. David’s team focuses on building valuable relationships with executives knowing they will move on to work at other companies and bring the relationship with them. Someone currently working at a small startup might end up working at a big international company in a few years. The relationship-based model focuses on the individuals as their career progresses.

For instance, David’s team may even make introductions for one of these individuals looking for a new job. The agency doesn’t gain anything from that, but it’s part of establishing trust and making a bet on someone who is likely to be a valuable contact at a big brand someday. It’s definitely a long-game strategy. Eventually, when this person needs your agency's services in their new company, your agency is one of the first they reach out to.

Earning the Attention of Your Ideal Prospects With Targeted Content

Relationship-building is a strategy that has worked wonders for David’s team. However, if you want to get your foot in the door right now then it’s all about getting attention with great content.

Ask yourself what type of content would be relevant for someone in your niche/ industry. David focuses on LinkedIn content by posting about the type of problems his ideal clients usually face. Then he might also run ads to target that specific audience. It’s a way to create a passive relationship before ever talking. In fact, he prefers using ads over sending direct messages, which can feel invasive and repetitive. Many times, after consuming his content for a few months, clients come to them.

Keep in mind you might not get concrete data that your content is being seen by the right prospects. As David explains, executives and decision-makers are very busy and don’t necessarily comment and engage with your content. This doesn’t mean they’re not paying attention. Many times an executive will tell David during their first meeting that they’ve been following him for months.

Is LinkedIn the Best Place to Grow an Audience?

Is LinkedIn the best place to find these decision-makers? Yes, you are more likely to find that audience there. However, David and his team are starting to organize round tables and invite people from the industries they’re targeting. They also participate in private Slack work groups where they get to meet ideal prospects and bring their expertise. Their goal in these forums is to present themselves as a resource that can help with specific issues. It’s not a place for selling, it's more about establishing authority and gaining trust.

How often to post? Most don't have meaningful and insightful advice to offer by posting daily. David’s team focuses on quality over quantity, which means posting about 3-6 times in a two-week period. There’s no need to post daily - people don’t need to see you every single day. David's agency has a formula focusing 20% of its content on personal stories and 80% on industry-relevant content. This too, establishes authority in the industry and followers begin feeling like they know you on a personal level. Finally, they also mostly focus on written form, which gets them better results than video.

Do You Want to Transform Your Agency from a Liability to an Asset?

If you want to be around amazing agency owners who can see what you may not be able to see and help you grow your agency, go to Agency Mastery 360.  Our agency growth program enables you to take a 360-degree view of your agency and gain mastery of the 3 pillar systems (attract, convert, scale) so you can create predictability, wealth, and freedom.

Direct download: Unlock_Inbound_Marketing_Strategies_That_Attract_More_Clients.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST