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

Do you spend too much time securing new business for your agency? Are you constantly scrambling to attract new clients? You could be missing opportunities to provide more value to existing clients. It’s also time you’re not dedicating to your agency, which leaves you marketing yourself last. Pouring effort into your own marketing fills your pipeline with your perfect clients and the ability to pick and choose who you’re working with. Today’s guest saw fast growth early on with his agency until he ran into this very issue: new business from referrals was drying up and finding new leads took a lot of time and effort. What changed everything for him? Content marketing.

Jon LaClare is the founder of Harvest Growth, an agency focused on video marketing and, to a lesser degree, infomercials. His team helps high-growth companies selling consumer products and services grow sales through the power of direct response.

Jon shares how he went from one-off projects to a predictable recurring revenue model and some of the challenges he’s faced, like the difficulty of consistently finding new leads. He also reflects on the tendency among agency owners to prioritize their clients over marketing their own agency.

In this interview, we’ll discuss:

  • What to do after referral leads start to dry up.
  • Transitioning from project work to ongoing campaigns.
  • Why you have to stop marketing yourself last.

 

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Sponsors and Resources

E2M Solutions: Today's episode of the Smart Agency Masterclass is sponsored by E2M Solutions, a web design, and development agency that has provided white-label services for the past 10 years to agencies all over the world. Check out e2msolutions.com/smartagency and get 10% off for the first three months of service.

What to Do After Leads Dry Up: Challenges Following Early Success

Jon always envisioned himself as the future owner of some type of business, although not necessarily an agency. Now he sees every step in his career journey always had this intent in mind. A big moment in his career was working at OxiClean. It was a phenomenal opportunity and a great place to work until it was eventually sold. At first, Jon figured it was time to look for another job. He realized, however, this was a perfect opportunity to start his own business. It took him some time to finally figure out what he wanted to do and, in a way, he feels he lucked into the agency business.

Growth came fast in the early years thanks to a handy list of contacts made during his time at OxiClean. However, at some point, those leads started to dry up and businesses slowed. This was the first big obstacle he found as an agency owner, as he admits he didn’t realize the time and effort it would take to bring in new leads.

Pivoting from Charging by Projects to Ongoing Campaigns

Jon’s agency used to heavily rely on video production projects for revenue, which was great when times were good and very difficult when they weren’t. The ups and downs made it ultimately not sustainable in the long run. He spent a significant amount of time and effort getting projects in the door but fell behind on his agency’s marketing and sales efforts as he focused on delivering good work for clients. This would lead to drought spells where he and his team would have to scramble to find new projects.

This reactive business model wasn't sustainable. So they pivoted from one-off projects to ongoing campaigns, becoming a long-term partner maximizing value over time. Instead of just delivering a one-off TV spot or infomercial, they started focusing on how they could help their clients launch and grow their products over time. This shift allowed them to not only provide ongoing value to their clients but also stabilize their revenue stream. They started small as they found their niche, slowly raising prices as expertise and confidence grew.

Jon learned that sometimes the time and energy spent on finding and selling new clients is time you lose on existing clients. This may lead to missing out on opportunities to provide more value. By stretching out the revenue of their clients over time, the agency was able to alleviate some of the pressure and focus on being more strategic and creative.

Embrace Content Marketing and Stop Marketing Yourself Last

Jon wishes he'd embraced content marketing sooner. Now he cultivates posts showcasing expertise for ideal clients. However, he stresses the importance of choosing formats that play to your strengths. Look for something that resonates with your audience and showcases your agency's expertise.

In his case, it was launching a podcast where he interviews business owners, inventors, and entrepreneurs. It’s a form of content that aligns with his strengths and allows him to share his knowledge and expertise in a way that resonates with their audience. He struggled with writing blogs in the past and found it time-consuming and challenging. However, finding a content format that fits his skill set helped him be more consistent with creating valuable content.

Are You Using Video in Your Marketing Strategy?

Video works well and the science of video marketing is very similar today as it was 20-30 years ago. The look and feel are very different, of course. But if you're thinking about using video for your business, the core is still about communicating the benefits, not just the features of the business or agency.

It’s all about getting credibility and, for Jon, applying what he preaches to clients. He recommends getting clients to do testimonials, which are an incredibly powerful tool to demonstrate success. Furthermore, remember to have a call to action and a compelling offer in everything you do in terms of marketing material. But those same scientific approaches, apply today, even for an agency video. So if you’re looking to use video to boost revenue, Jon recommends following that same structure.

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 helps you 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.


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