As agencies win more business and are given access to more resources, it is tempting to take on projects outside of the agency’s core competency. Unless the agency can guarantee excellent work, it is not worth the risk of delivering subpar work.

Because of deep relationships on the brand and agency side of marketing, AgencySparks has unique insights into what brands are looking for in agency partners. Agencies wish to expand their capabilities and often believe they can handle more than their current skill set. Brands simply want effective solves to their marketing challenges. Brands are not OK with agencies learning on the client’s dime.

How does a Specialist Agency Grow while Capitalizing on their Strength?

Grow and expand, but plant a firm foundation.

Before attempting to master additional capabilities agencies should ask key questions to ensure they are ready:

  • The agency can financially handle an expansion (in team, resources, and focus)
  • The team is equipped to take on more responsibilities
  • The responsibility or success of the agency does not rely solely on the agency leaders
  • The current customer acquisition process is sustainable (Agencies cannot grow without profitable new business.)
  • Every action is proactive, not reactive (If reactive, then there needs to be a change before deciding to grow)

After establishing a firm foundation in current processes, grow slowly. Slow and steady wins the race, remember?

Whether trying to master a new skill, social channel, or tool, be proficient at one before taking on the next.

Become proficient in the channel that makes your agency unique

If an agency is offering excellent user experience and web design and has a terrible website or advertises itself as a social media strategist and is barely present on social media, then credibility to potential clients is low. Venturing into the world of virtual/augmented reality is tempting (and may be necessary since content is headed in that direction), but if an agency cannot show that they treat themselves as their best client, how can they show real clients that they are the best fit??

Make sure the agency has the experienced people and resources before advertising new services to potential clients.

Become proficient in your current resources

Before growing, agencies need to maximize the potential of their current staff and tools. Team members should log their time to ensure maximum utilization.

Are current agency tools being used to their full capacity? Ensure that each tool is being mastered before taking on a new tool.

Instead of hiring more people, use tools like Asana for project management or Calendly and Sprout Social for scheduling.

Become proficient on one social media channel

Social media channels can be overwhelming and each serves a different purpose. Choose the one that best fits with the agency’s brand, represents the agency’s brand voice, and puts the agency’s story in front of the right target audience.

It is clear to potential clients when an agency is mediocre on social channels. Bad first impressions lead to clients not rewarding agencies with their business

Agencies should not bite off more than they can chew.

Agencies should master their core capabilities before trying to add additional disciplines. It is better to be the agency who is a master at their craft and integrates well with the client’s team and their other agencies. Avoid being the agency that takes on too many responsibilities, juggles too many channels, and ultimately does not provide the top-tier work they were hired to do in the first place. Be the jack of your trade instead of the master of none.

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