We asked some speakers from this year’s Agorapulse Agency Summit their thoughts on some of the best sources for agency leads—including some that are too-frequently overlooked.
Then, tell us below:
What lead sources are working best for your agency?
At the top of the list, you’ve got to do more with the traffic you’ve already got. That is kind of a pet peeve of mine. A lot of you are actually getting enough traffic and getting enough leads, you’re just not harvesting them the right way.
Now, in the past, it was very difficult for small businesses to find out who was visiting your website—but there’s a new platform out there called Agency Sonar, and you can now turn what what used to be previously anonymous visitors into very warm prospects. This single platform is an excellent game changer, and it was not affordable in the past, but it is absolutely affordable for even the smallest agency out there nowadays.
The second one is referral partners. For some reason, this lead source seems to get overlooked by coaches, in my opinion. But if you want a stable of referral partners, they can send your agency
solid leads for years to come. And they’re almost always one-tenth of the cost to acquire over paid media and other sources.
Partnerships is one of the ones that I think is often overlooked, because you might not be focused on the content partnership, the tech partnership, the co-selling partnership—there’s all these different types of partnerships, right? So I think partnerships is a really key one.
I also think tapping into your employees’ networks is a great one.
I think events is a very good one to do. And people often overlook events because they think, “Oh,
I have to do this big event; it costs a lot of money.” You can do a lot with digital events. You can do a lot with one really nicely, highly curated in-person event a year, or maybe a couple a year.
I think having events is a great way to build those relationships, make introductions, add value to people through great content, ideas, education, whatever it might be.
The best source for us is strategic partners: agencies that are also in the digital marketing space but that don’t do what we do. So SEO, PPC, those have been really good sources of good clients for us.
I think a lot of people go to relevant conferences where it’s very direct to your lane, but maybe don’t branch out to a marketing conference where they’re going to be more unique, especially within the technical space. I think there’s networking opportunities that people probably miss because they’re a little too narrow in their focus.
The first thing you want to think of is: where do your ideal clients hang out, and how can you be helpful?
For example, a great client of mine, Tracy, does chat marketing for coaches who run free challenges.
So very, very specific. When we were sitting down, we were thinking about, “Okay, where are those people? Are they online or at events? Are they offline; where exactly are they?” And she identified that those coaches who run challenges are at Funnel Hacking Live. So we put a lot of her strategy to events like that. And it was amazing the results that she’s had.
When you’re in the right room and you’re helpful, it’s really encouraging because there’s people there that actually want what you offer and you can really be helpful. It’s like fishing in a barrel.
I think the most overlooked source is your own network: your own network of other colleagues, but also of past clients. I’m amazed at how I think a lot of agencies fear exhausting their network. And yet I’ve never I’ve never talked to an agency and never worked with an agency that is anywhere close to doing that! So most agencies that I work with ignore this incredibly valuable asset that they have: this database of people who know, like, and trust them because they’ve either worked with them in a client or a colleague type of capacity. So that’s number one.
The other place I think is often overlooked is strategic partnerships. Most agency owners know intellectually that business development is their number one priority, the lifeblood of the agency and all that. And yet they do find it hard to maintain a strong program, whether it’s marketing or proactive business development. And I think one really great way of shortcutting the business development process or the lead generation process is by aligning yourself with good strategic partners. So these would be entities or individuals who share the same target audience that you’re going after, but they sell different and complementary services.
One of my website design clients focuses a lot on higher ed. They share leads and they work strategically with a software company that, again, shares the same clients. They often partner together on projects. They’re the perfect type of strategic partner to share leads.
Those are two areas that I think are often overlooked.