It’s easy to launch a marketing agency: set up a website and use a pretty template, and in a couple of hours you’ll have a custom-designed website that’s just for you. Making money and persuading clients to part with their cash, on the other hand, is a little more challenging. As the market is so fiercely competitive, finding new ways to retain customers and manage your cash flow can be tough – below, we’ve put together a few ways you can do exactly that…
Put clients on retainers
One of the biggest challenges facing marketing and web design companies is one-off clients and finding ways to turn them into subscribers. Once you’ve pressed publish on their new website or you’ve got their keywords to number one, it’s natural that they’ll drop off or reduce their monthly spend. Put them on retainers and offer services like web hosting, maintenance and monthly SEO pruning and keyword analysis, and you have an excuse for a monthly fee.
Sell ‘pay as you go’ packages
Another way to turn one-off clients into monthly clients is to allow them to ‘pay as you go’ rather than a set fee for a service. This is great in the world of graphic design – charge by the hour rather than the project, and any edits or amends the client requests will be billable. The same is true in SEO. Don’t promise to get keywords to rank one – instead, charge them £500 per month until you get there. You’ll likely make a lot more than you would as a one-off fee.
Outsource additional services
Add new strings to your bow by offering services you don’t currently provide in-house. Work with a social media reseller, for example, who can take care of your client’s accounts for a set fee, and add a percentage markup so that you’re in profit every month. Of course, you have to find a company you can trust and sign non disclosure agreements, but that’s pretty easy to do and means you’ll earn some extra income for relatively no work on your side.
Spread the cost and pay monthly
Some companies are switching from promoting their expensive services (like web design) to pay monthly packages. If you charge £3,000 for a new website, let clients pay £250 a month over the year instead. Sure, you’ll earn the same amount, but it makes your services much more accessible to small businesses and keeps your cashflow ticking over nicely. And at the end of those 12 months, you can encourage them to sign up again on a lower plan for edits and maintenance – all simple ways to generate recurring revenue from your agency.
Offer training and development
Finally, consider selling your expertise to small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to get into the industry. Social media workshops, online training courses or consultancy – all of these services can be offered to customers both locally and nationally, introducing new ways to add value to your brand and generate more income for a few hours’ work. Host a class on social media management for 20 guests and charge them £25 each session – that’s £500 for a few hours of talking and a PowerPoint presentation. This strategy also positions your company as a leader in its field – they’ll come back to you when they want professional support, whether that’s a new website, public relations, graphic design work, and more.