Agency growth secret: sharing job leads

Howdy! Yours truly recently had coffee with a friend of mine. And he reminded me of a great new business idea.

It’s easily worth a few hundred words for agency new business growth seekers. Because the idea will help build your relationships with prospective clients and referral sources. And is a great way to keep your network green and growing.

I’m talking about sharing job leads.

It’s one of the easiest and more rewarding way of networking. What my friend does is monitor The Ladders, as they send him an email based on some keyword searches he has identified. They also focus on senior-level talent. The kinds of jobs that people want. He has a list of folks that he knows is looking, and plays selective matchmaker.

It’s a great relationship valentine. And, since many of his friends are looking for client-side gigs…

This is the kinda thing that puts your agency in another new business pitch or two.

Of course, it can also work for prospective clients you may know who are also looking.

Beyond the really big potential benefit of knowing the decision-maker on a brand new to his or her job and them indebted to you for telling them about the job, putting you in an excellent position to pitch and win the business (and making this sentence even longer when you win said business, retiring to an Italian villa or paying off hookers, booze or gambling debts)… here are just three quick benefits you might realize should you share job leads:

Get the inside scoop on a pitch

Nowadays, no one can promise you will win a piece of business. But inside scoop is a major advantage that can dramatically increase your odds of winning a new business pitch.

Identify other companies looking for marketing talent

Learn a bit more about your friend’s search. Some of these could be potential new business pitch opportunities for your agency!

Become a Godfather

Relationships are currency in new business and growing your agency. Build goodwill and your relationship with this professional by sharing a job lead now. And gain something that just might make the difference in a new business pitch later.

Looking to be a bit more savvy with this approach? Consider doing what my friend does. He checks his LinkedIN network to see if he knows anyone at the company with the job opening. And then, if it makes sense, offers to introduce his job-seeking friend to his connection.

So, next time you hear of a friend or prospect looking for a job, help them. And yourself. And share a job lead.

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Changing jobs and moving to the client side

ad agency new business strategySome dear friends of mine are now looking for senior-level, client-side gigs. So, I thought it might be worth a few hundred words to explore the advantages agency professionals might have vs. client-only candidates.

You are not stuck to one industry

You, the seasoned agency veteran, have probably worked on a variety of brands and categories. Which means your past experience can work across multiple categories, potentially offering you more jobs for which you qualify.

You have seen more

You’ve been in “the shit” more than client-side only counterparts. You have helped brands solve a wide variety of marketing problems. Which again means you might be a fit for more jobs. The benefit to employers? You can help them solve the current challenges more quickly, but continue to be helpful moving forward. You’re an experience utility player.

Your network of contacts might be broader and larger than a typical client’s

This is an added benefit of working across multiple businesses. Your network will be made up of both agency folks and client-side associates. The more people know you are looking for a job, the greater the chance you will hear about a job that’s a good fit for you.

You can bring innovation to a given job

The thinking, strategies and execution you did in one category could be refreshing and therefore very valuable in a new one. This angle can be particularly helpful should you be angling for a job in which you have no prior direct category experience.

You just might be more up to date than your competitors

Some folks with client-side experience might be behind the times a bit. Successful agency people have to stay a little more intellectually nimble. Your mileage will vary of course. And naturally, fans of this particular blog are a little more savvy than the average bear!

You may be a better communicator, too

As a senior-level professional, you are used to presenting and writing decks, internal memos and using the intrapersonal skills your Mama gave you. This can provide you a valuable advantage throughout the search process.

All of this, of course, does not suggest you are inherently better than someone with strictly a client-side marketing background. But it’s my hope the above can give you a bit more hope that your agency experience can prove to be valuable as you search for client-side gigs.

 

Being sneaky with testimonials in agency new business

ad agency new business strategyToday’s few hundred about ad agency new business is inspired by a recent commercial for the University of Phoenix. The spot opens on a portrait of a professional-looking woman working at Red Cross. The camera pulls out. She’s one of many portraits hanging on the wall. The camera pans left, moving over another person working at Red Cross, and settles on a man working at Yahoo.

Sneaky, huh? The camera moving past the other Red Cross leader helped reinforce the idea that there’s a big fat network of U of P grads out there. Willing to put your resume at the top o’ the pile due to the alumni factor.

Lemme get to the point, and share a couple of potentially sneaky ways you can use other clients in your new business efforts. These can be particularly effective for clients who have more relationship-based personalities:

Personal client testimonials

It’s a given that a testimonial can describe things like the work, qualities of the relationship or results of the client / agency partnership. But how about including other milestones that send a slightly different message. That your agency can help clients be more personally successful when they hire you. Consider:

  • Worked with client since 19xx
  • Celebrated three promotions
  • Helped client through two layoffs

Sharing testimonials in unusual ways

Here are some sneaky thought starters beyond putting testimonials on your website or in other capabilities pieces. By the way, you don’t really see that many testimonials on agency websites. Which seems like a missed agency new business opportunity.

  • In emails between RFP and capabilities round
  • On walls or easels in your office or in conference room
  • In RFPs to add personal context to references or case study questions
  • On LinkedIN company pages

Interested in this topic? Check out these other posts, lovingly hand-crafted by yours truly to get you thinking a bit more about how existing clients can help grow your agency:

How to use testimonials in agency new business

How a Chief Experience Officer can improve the client / agency partnership

How to grow your ad agency beyond new business

new business development ad agency spyglass announcement pitchI don’t know about you, ad agency new business buff, but I pay attention to agencies that grow very quickly. How did they do it? What can we learn from that? I’m not talking about the fact an agency has added new business and then new staff. But the stuff that happens BEFORE those blessed events. The cause for all the new business.

Which is why this story caught my eye. It’s about a digital agency that has grown from a staff of 2 people to over 65 people in three offices. The company is BMI Elite. Here are three things that immediately caught my eye, and might offer a fellow agency new business tip-seeker an idea or two that will grow your agency…

Service is critical to this agency’s success

Their own CEO says this best. From the story: ”There’s business out there to get if you’re paying attention to the client,” said Rosen. “It’s about giving the best customer service possible. We’re accessible. We answer the phone. We provide quick turnaround and our clients get results.”

This agency’s focus on service is not unlike another Florida-based agency, Zimmerman. Jordan Zimmerman is infamous for being available at any and all points through the day and night.

They don’t smell like a traditional agency

They scream “we create business and leads for you” vs. the high falutin’ brand and digital positioning that comes out of many agencies. It’s almost…what’s the word I’m looking for…refreshing? Unique. Smart. Profitable.

They may offer services you don’t

Spend just two minutes on their website and you will find out they offer call center support. And they have access to over 150 million opt-in emails through their own database. They are looking for sales executives, not account management or new business people. Maybe these are some of the reasons they don’t smell like a traditional agency. Because they’re not.

Anywho, thought you might appreciate learning a bit more about how one agency is growing. In a very real sense, it’s because they don’t act like an agency.

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Some recent posts that are related to this one:

 How a chief experience officer can make your agency more efficient

How service can differentiate your agency

How the Apple experience might translate to your client / agency experience

Pitch Predictor: MasterCraft Boats

ad agency new business pitch predictionThere are lots of agencies out there that would love to work on a sport boat account. If you already follow the industry, you probably already know that MasterCraft just hired a new Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

But if you didn’t know…enjoy.

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