CEO of Agency Management Institute, serving 250+ marketing agencies to help their owners build profitable agencies that evolve and scale.
Wouldn’t it be great if the right clients actively sought out your agency? While you might be used to chasing down the perfect clients to work with, it’s possible to flip the script. The best way to do this is to double down on what makes you unique. Think about your offerings. What do you specialize in? Why do companies choose to work with you? Pulling in the best fits means shifting your mindset to “be interesting, not interested.”
What exactly does it mean to “be interesting, not interested?” When you’re interesting, you draw clients to you. Prospects will stick around until they’re ready to buy. When you’re interested, you have to chase down leads. They’re more likely to run when you try to close deals. If you can shift your mindset, your business development goals will be easier to accomplish.
So how do you facilitate this shift in your agency and start attracting clients? Here are the top four things you can do:
1. Niche down.
The first thing you need to do is niche down. A big mistake many agency owners make when starting out is being too general with clientele and offerings. They think that catering to more people draws in more people. In reality, it has the opposite effect. Being a generalist makes you interested; being a specialist makes you interesting. So instead of doing several things well enough, aim to do one thing the best.
Start by changing how you talk about your agency. Switch up the language you use on your website and in your case studies and adjust the content you’re creating, too. Focus on who you’re trying to attract and what that niche market is, and then shift your business development efforts accordingly.
It’s not too late to make this change even if you’re an established agency. You don’t need to fire your clients or make a drastic overhaul. It’s an evolution, not a revolution, and evolutions are done one step at a time. Chances are that most of your business is already coming from a specific niche—you just haven’t claimed it yet.
2. Become the expert in your area.
Most clients are no longer looking for agencies based on geography. Rather, they’re looking for agencies based on expertise. Once you define your niche, stake your claim as the expert.
To become an expert, you need to specialize, define your audience and speak directly to that audience. Market to them and them alone with a deliverable that proves your agency is the best. Overlay your niche with a strong point of view about that work. You’re not trying to attract any client who needs agency services. (That would make you interested.) You’re trying to pull in clients that are the perfect fit. Once you update your marketing materials, you can start creating helpful content that showcases your knowledge.
3. Earn prospects’ trust.
To gain prospects’ trust, you must consistently create content. It needs to be informative, not sales-based. Teach your followers something. Take them behind the scenes at your agency. Give them an inside look at your team. Share your accomplishments and big wins. When you’re consistent, helpful and authentic, people begin to trust you. And when you’ve earned their trust, they’ll come to you when they’re ready to buy.
A lot of this process takes place without knowing exactly who is engaging with your content. But when you remain focused on your niche and consistently showcase your expertise, they’ll be more likely to make the first move. Being promotional and sales-focused makes you interested. Becoming a trustworthy thought leader makes you interesting.
4. Be patient and let clients come to you.
You’ve established yourself as an expert in your niche, and you’re starting to gain trust. Now is the time to be patient! Let them come to you. No matter how good your offering is, if the timing isn’t right for your client, they’re not going to purchase.
I like to use this analogy: You’re at a cabin and you spot a doe in the woods. You set food out for the doe on your porch, and she slowly starts coming closer to it, showing her interest. If you approach her while she’s sniffing out the area, she’s going to run off and probably not come back. But if you patiently wait, she will eventually trust you and realize you have something to offer her that she wants. When will she realize this? When she’s ready. Become interesting by being patient and letting your clients make the first move.
Want to reach your business development goals? Stop being interested and start being interesting. This mindset shift will allow you to pull in the right clients without needing to chase them down.