Two weeks ago, we started our journey on agency growth without creating more content.
To truly have agency growth and to do so without creating more content and continually spinning our wheels, there are some mindset shifts we need to make.
The first three shifts are:
- You don’t need brand cachet;
- Consider adding new revenue streams; and
- Stop relying on referrals and word-of-mouth.
I’ve addressed the final two shifts below.
Here we go!
You Don’t Need MORE Content
Yes, I’m serious.
You don’t need more content.
I remember when Christine Mortensen said to me:
My entire life is a lie! I built my business around content marketing!
We had a good laugh and then I assured her organizations still need content marketing.
They just don’t need to do all the things.
I know this comes as a surprise to those of you who have been around Spin Sucks for any length of time.
I am the queen of content. We produce a ton of content.
We have worked tirelessly for years—more than 10 years—to build brand cachet and thought leadership and awareness so we can reach our eight-figure goals in the business.
It turns out, we have built brand cachet and thought leadership and awareness, but the dirty little secret is NONE of that has sold for us.
In fact, we have the pretty girl syndrome—the one where everyone assumes she’s already been invited to the prom so she never actually gets the invitation.
It’s like that in business, too—we are so well-known in the communications industry, that everyone assumes we’re too busy to take on new clients or their business is too small for us or that they can’t afford us.
So they don’t call, opting instead to ask our community for referrals. Imagine the irony!
I rested on our content laurels for far too long.
It’s comfortable for me and I enjoy doing it. But it has not allowed us to grow and scale as I would like.
The Old Way for Agency Growth
In the old days of content marketing, you had to do it all. You had to have:
- A book or two
- International speaking gigs
- First page Google results for all of your priority keywords
- A paid membership community
- A big presence on all of the social networks, particularly Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram
- Video—lots and lots of video
- A podcast
- eBooks and other small items for people to buy
- Multiple online courses
- A certification created with your professional organization
With all of this, you will succeed.
Or will you?
As it turns out, not so much.
It’s all great for awareness and building thought leadership and even crafting the ever elusive brand cachet, but it does not create an agency that doesn’t rely on referrals and word-of-mouth.
This is “cross your fingers” marketing.
The New Way for Agency Growth
You don’t need a blog, a podcast, or tons of content.
ONE spectacular thing can replace all of them.
I like to describe it like this…
Let’s say you created a webinar about marketing or communications in the digital age for an industry publication or association.
Now take that webinar and repurpose the crap out of it:
- Upload the webinar to YouTube and embed on your website (under resources or on your blog)
- Send the webinar recording to Temi and have it transcribed
- Have someone give the transcript a good edit
- Go to Upwork and hire a designer to craft the transcript into an eBook
- Using Upwork again, hire a video editor to pull video and audio quotes
- Use the sound/video quotes in your social media efforts—and drive back to the webinar recording embedded on your site
- Use the transcript to create multiple blog posts
(This process, BTW, works for your clients, too.)
The New Content Marketing Process
Now that you have all of that finished, take your eBook and webinar and put them behind landing pages.
The webinar can still be embedded on your site, but it’s gated.
(Alternately, you can do some some Facebook ads that retarget those who visit the page and those who watch the webinar. I prefer doing that, but it’s more sophisticated than just putting it behind a landing page.)
Then you’re going to use both of those things to create a strong call-to-action, such as schedule a meeting, and get to work.
Remember your audio and video quotes are going to be scattered throughout social and bring people back to the eBook or webinar landing pages.
Your blog posts are going to do the same.
And then you’re going to retarget anyone who visits your blog posts or the landing pages—as well as those who download the book or watch the webinar—with Facebook ads.
(You can also retarget those who download or watch with an email drip campaign.)
This is what it looks like:
In this case, it would be:
- Facebook ads
- Landing pages (for both the eBook and the webinar)
- The eBook and/or the webinar
- Invitation to book a call so the prospect can learn more about your services
- Have meeting
- Close client
And, at the top of the funnel, your social media quotes and blog posts are driving people organically to the landing pages.
One piece of content used a gazillion different ways—and with a strong call-to-action that gets you new clients.
A Homework Assignment
Your homework assignment between now and the end of the year is to figure out what your one piece of content will be that you can repurpose the heck out of.
This could be:
- Speech or presentation
- Series of blog posts that you build into something bigger (I could certainly do that with this three-part series)
- Longer-form content (Neil Patel says 3,000-word blog posts do the best)
- Web or video series
- Onboarding guide
Once you figure out what it will be, craft a plan to create it in Q1 of next year.
After it’s been created and launched, do the following:
- Everything listed under “The New Way for Agency Growth” above
- Build the funnel that will drive paid and organic traffic to your landing pages
- Create landing page with your call-to-action
- Talk to prospects
- Close new clients
By second quarter of next year, you’ll be crushing this.
Get to work!
Invest in Coaching
And the last mindset shift is to invest in yourself.
Did you know the masters all have coaches?
Michael Jordan had a coach (arguably one of the best of all time).
Steph Curry has a coach.
Steve Jobs had business advisors.
Nearly every leader of growth companies belongs to a professional organization and works with business advisors.
Even the CEO of WalMart has a business advisor (maybe even more than one).
Heck, I have three coaches—a cycling coach who is more than happy to beat me up every day, a business coach who helps me figure out how to build a business around information products, and a personal coach who helps me maintain my sanity.
It seems counterintuitive.
You wouldn’t think someone at that uppermost levels would need counsel or strategic advice.
I mean, shouldn’t leaders we all look up to have it all figured out?
But the reason they seem to have it all figured it out is they use multiple brains to brainstorm, innovate, challenge ideas, get help, and sometimes just vent.
The kind of professionals who bring in outside advisors are the go-getters.
The people who are good at what they do and continually strive to hit that next level.
While everyone else thinks they can just read a book and do it all on their own, top performers know the right advisor can help you apply that material and get results quickly.
Top performers KNOW this is true, so rather than fight against it, they gladly work with someone who can help them get to that next level as quickly as possible.
It’s like rocket fuel for your career.
Change Your Mindset—and Your Outcome
The challenge with not investing in yourself is that we all have beliefs about what’s possible and the quality of our ideas are dependent solely on us.
Perhaps if we have really smart friends or family members who understand what we do, the ideas can germinate a bit more.
But generally, we are left on our own.
Those beliefs and ideas become our actions—what we actually do.
So if you think you can’t charge a premium price or that a service business can’t have passive income, you’d be right.
Those actions, then, drive your income and your happiness.
To change your outcome, you have to change your mindset and your action.
A coach help you change your thinking about what’s possible—and what you can achieve.
You will have help crafting bigger and stronger ideas that you don’t overanalyze or let sit on the back burner.
A coach helps you change your actions—and hold you accountable to results, so that the outcomes, your income and your happiness, are more aligned with what you truly want.
Take Control of Your Own Destiny
Ask yourself these questions:
- How much did you earn last month? Not how much you brought in, revenue-wise, but how much was left over after you paid for all of your expenses, and payroll and benefits, if you have it.
- Are you happy with that number?
- How happy are you in your business right now?
If you’re not happy, you need a new mindset, a new plan, and accountability.
You need a coach.
Don’t go it alone.
Find the best coach out there (cough, cough…me!) and spend what it takes to work with them.
Want to Learn More About Agency Growth?
If you want to learn more, the Close More Clients Masterclass will give you the fodder you need for all five of the mindset shifts you need for agency growth.
As you think about this for your agency’s growth, let me know what questions you have or if you need help brainstorming.
The comments are yours.
Or, if you prefer something private, join the agency owner channel in the Spin Sucks community and you can DM me there.