Agency self-marketing strategy: Use Inbound Branding to get more great clients

Written by: Karl Sakas

Want more perfect-fit clients at your agency? Inbound branding can help.

What is inbound branding? It’s a marketing and positioning strategy to attract more of the clients you want—and repel the ones you don’t want. It combines client-vertical specialization and inbound marketing.

Inbound branding has three steps—position your firm as a specialist agency; deliver high-value thought leadership marketing, consistently; and use marketing automation to stay top-of-mind to your ideal clients.

Do you need to use Inbound Branding as your marketing strategy? Nope. But it’s worked well for me, and I see it work well for clients who focus on a consultative approach to sales.

Let’s take a closer look at each step!

Step 1: Position your firm as a specialist agency.

Your clients want specialists. If you’re a generalist agency, you’ll struggle to attract clients because they have better options with more experience solving their marketing problems.

If you needed surgery, you ideally would want a specialist who’s done your specific procedure hundreds of times before without killing anyone—not a generalist who’ll do any procedure for any patient who asks.

Here’s how to choose a client-vertical specialty for your agency.

Step 2: Deliver high-value thought leadership marketing, consistently.

Your clients want to know what and how you think. That’s where thought leadership marketing (TLM) comes in.

For most agencies, this likely includes a combination of blogging, public speaking, webinars, books, and other tools.

Your target market will ultimately determine what’s truly “high-value” but it’s ultimately about quality and relevance. The world doesn’t need another “top 5 Pinterest tips” article.

You’ll need to find the combo that works for you and your target market. But whatever combo you choose, you need to be consistent. “The shoemaker’s kids” is no excuse if you want to attract clients.

Step 3: Use marketing automation to stay top-of-mind to your ideal clients.

Marketing automation helps you stay in touch with prospective clients until they’re ready to hire you. Give people a reason to sign up and share useful content—they’ll raise their hand when they’re ready.

You’ll need to do other sales efforts, too, but life’s a lot easier when prospective clients contact you first. Staying top-of-mind through marketing automation helps.

Applying Inbound Branding at your agency

Ultimately, you need to follow the three steps:

  1. Position your firm as a specialist agency.
  2. Deliver high-value thought leadership marketing, consistently.
  3. Use marketing automation to stay top-of-mind to your ideal clients.

You might be doing a combination of the three steps already—and you’re likely advising your clients to do these.

If you’re currently struggling to get more perfect-fit clients at your agency, you might need to be more strategic and more integrated about it. You take great care of your clients—don’t forget to put on your own oxygen mask first.

Want help making the right choices and/or staying on track? Contact me to set up a call to see if there’s a fit for me to help you.

Question: Do you have enough ideal clients?

Image credit: Magnetic attraction photo by David Mulder, via Creative Commons

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