Whether you’re a seasoned agency pro or simply starting your journey as a freelancer, attracting and retaining latest clients could be an unceasing task.
In this text, we’ve distilled key industry insights from the 2023 Mailchimp & Co Benchmark Report, made exclusively for agencies and freelancers and crammed with industry feedback from marketers worldwide.
We’ll also explore 3 approaches that might help enhance your ability to land latest business: the advantages of getting a marketing strategy, the power of specialization, and the importance of claiming ‘no’ to misaligned ventures.
Dive in as we share suggestions that might help increase your possibilities of landing your next major endeavor in 2024 and beyond.
Having a Business Plan
Having a powerful growth plan is certainly one of the most respected things you may do in your agency or business. It’s not only great in your peace of mind—its efficacy is backed up by research, including Mailchimp & Co’s.
In the 2023 Mailchimp & Co Benchmark Report, surveyed agencies say that they usually are not where they need to be by way of planning:
The report revealed that only 22% of agency respondents say they’ve a transparent, written growth plan in place. Additionally, nearly half of respondents say that while they’ve some defined objectives, they don’t have an in depth plan.
What explains this discrepancy? It could possibly be an effect of the changing business landscape, which has made long-term planning more complicated. It could possibly be a consequence of agency owners and freelancers feeling stretched too thin, and spending more time on administrative tasks than they would love.
The causes are likely quite a few, but their solutions are the same, and backed by insights contained on this yr’s report: Agencies who report having a written marketing strategy also reported a rise in revenue of 26% or more.
Hone in on a Specialty
Research from the report also indicates that respondents’ clients are willing to pay top dollar to work with specialists. In fact, agency respondents who say they’ve a specialty are almost 3 times more more likely to generate revenue gains of 26% or higher than respondents who say they don’t have a specialization. Therefore, making a marketing strategy can allow you to discover a specialization, or, at the very least, assist you in determining tips on how to more effectively market your existing specialization to prospective clients.
The Fear of Saying ‘No’
Data from this yr’s Benchmark Report also revealed that a whopping 60% of agency respondents say they rarely or never turn down projects that aren’t the right fit. The assumption driving this pattern is that each project, irrespective of how ill-suited, generally is a stepping stone to success. But is that true?
Responding agency owners say they fear turning down work will result in a discount in revenue. And that is sensible, seeing as ‘saying no’ could mean missing out on potential income streams, client relationships, and ultimately, a possible regular flow of projects. But this hesitation isn’t merely about numbers on a ledger; it’s about the essence of running an agency.
For agency owners, ‘saying no’ can understandably feel like balancing the scales between immediate financial gain and long-term sustainability. In other words, you would possibly decline a project that helps pay the bills today but puts you vulnerable to burnout or compromised quality tomorrow. On a deeper level, confronting the fear of turning down work and actually going through with it may well mean running the risk that your agency fades into obscurity.
Contrary to agency behavior, saying “no” strategically might help catapult your marketing business to latest heights. In fact, insights outlined on this yr’s Mailchimp & Co Benchmark Report uncovered a surprising revelation—those that report setting skilled boundaries by saying “no” were more more likely to double their possibilities of growing their revenue, in comparison with those that say they rarely decline work.
A Strategy for Success
Now, let’s delve right into a possible strategy for saying “no.” Every agency owner should strive to feel more comfortable (and confident) turning down or passing off opportunities that don’t align with their vision. While it’s easier said than done, it’s a skill that could make all the difference.
Defining Your Ideal Client
Getting comfortable with saying “no” begins with defining your ideal client. Imagine you’re working with clients who align together with your agency’s vision and values. What characteristics make them a dream to work with? Is it their industry passion, their collaborative spirit, or their modern problem-solving approach?
69% of agency respondents from the report say that client enjoyability is their top criteria. For one other 50%, it’s about potential profitability, while 49% say they value the potential for repeat work. Clearly, there’s more to a successful working relationship than managing client expectations and earning a paycheck.
Marti Kerner, Mailchimp pro partner and founding father of Spring Ahead Media Solutions, shared who her ideal clients are and what makes them preferable to other clients.
“Collaboration is so necessary. I need to work with clients who understand what makes their businesses precious; clients who know their limitations and value my expertise. I don’t necessarily have to learn every detail of each business and they don’t have to know the latest email marketing trends. So long as they’ve a vision of their very own, I might help execute it.”
Identifying the Wrong Fit
The next step in the art of claiming “no” is learning tips on how to discover the incorrect fit. This could possibly be a project that doesn’t align together with your areas of experience or a client whose values clash together with your agency’s mission; your workload could be at capability, or you would possibly know someone in your network who could be a greater fit. Maybe you just don’t connect with the services or products being offered. No matter the reason, recognizing these misalignments—and acting accordingly—has the power to allow you to preserve your resources for the right opportunities.
Having the Confidence to Say ‘no’—and Actually Saying it
Once you’ve identified the incorrect fit, it’s time to cultivate the confidence to really set your boundaries and decline. Having a crystal-clear vision of your ideal client and projects can allow you to find this sense of assurance. Crafting a personable, honest, and straightforward message that helps you decline an offering while maintaining a positive relationship, is crucial.
The 2023 Mailchimp & Co Benchmark Report isn’t just a group of information—it’s a useful roadmap to success, providing actionable, tailored industry insights.
If this text resonated with you, enroll for Mailchimp & Co—Mailchimp’s global partner program for agencies and freelancers. By joining, you may access exclusive resources, tools, and perks, all enabling you to confidently say ‘yes’ to a brighter, more prosperous future.
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