Don’t Package Your Digital Agency Services This Way

First of all, Happy Halloween to everyone celebrating.  (And, Happy Birthday, Mom!)

I hope it’s a safe and fun holiday for all of you with kids (or just doing the dress-up thing). 

Cole (my son) is going as Spider-Man...which he already does every other day, so for me, it has felt like Halloween for a year. 😂

Ok, let’s jump into today’s topic. 

I want to talk about a strategy…

...a strategy that is being taught by a lot of people, but in reality, it’s just a band-aid

Which is SCARY.  (and not just because it’s Halloween).

When you peel back this band-aid of a strategy…

...you’ll expose the REAL problems in your agency. 

I see this holding so many agencies back because it actually makes your REAL PROBLEM even worse. 

Like pouring gasoline on the fire in a bad way kinda worse. 

The band-aid?

Selling an audit as your first offering. 😮

An audit where you get paid to figure out what the prospect needs before sending a formal proposal. 

Selling Audits = Bandaid. 

Watch today’s episode to learn why. 

​Transcript / MP3

Digital agency owners are being taught this one strategy that while on the surface might feel like it's solving some of your marketing and sales challenges is really just a bandaid covering up real big problems in your agency. ...That's what we're talking about today.

Let's get it going.

For three years. My agency built funnels and automation systems for the biggest names in marketing today since then have transformed that agency into a hyper profitable training and consulting business. While everyone is out there talking about scale like it's some sort of destination, we'll be asking the real question, how do you transform your business into a more scalable model using the knowledge, skills, and expertise that you already have? This podcast is here to give you the answer. Join me and follow along as I learn, apply and share the strategies I'm using to build my multimillion-dollar business. My name is Greg Hickman and welcome to Scalable.

Like I mentioned, I want to talk about a strategy that is really just a bandaid that I see being taught by a lot of people. Specifically to digital agency owners as a means to solve a lot of the sales and marketing challenges. But what I found is that it really is just a bandaid that when peeled back or exposed, we start to see the real problems that are happening that are preventing most digital agency owners from growing, scaling their business and actually removing themselves from the day to day operations. And that's what I want to talk about today. So if that's you and maybe you've even been adopting this strategy, I want to peel back the bandaid and uncover why this is a challenge. So let's jump to the iPad here and here's the reality that I see today in most agencies, right over here you have your services and like most digital agencies, you have a wide variety of service offerings that you can offer your clients.

Not only that, but many of you are probably serving multiple types of clients. You have different avatars. So not only is your service offering wide, but your avatar is wide, your, your niche is too wide. And so when you have the market over on this side, on the left side of this, this drawing, it's really difficult for you to go out to the market with a specific and clear message stating how you can solve the market's problem because the market is supermassive to you. And what that usually leads to is the fact that you have really a feast and famine style business, that income roller coaster, the hamster wheel that most agency owners talk about where most of your clients come from referrals and or word of mouth, which isn't really predictable and you can't really control that, which really kind of exposes you in many ways.

And so what ends up happening is this, the strategies that I'm seeing, B being taught are that you should go out into the market and you should offer an audit, some sort of, you know, 75 point checklist or what have you that you can sell for anywhere from, I've seen 15 to $3,000 where you get to go out to a prospect that you still get from word of mouth and or referral, thus still not predictable. And you get paid for the front end work to diagnose their problems and then present them a solution which leads you to sending a proposal that includes your wide variety of services and maybe it's just a couple of them based on the diagnosis and then they either accept it or you don't. But the reality is when you do that over and over, the likelihood is that what you are delivering is still unique.

You're essentially starting from scratch every single time you get a client. Yes, you collected some money on the front. This is work that typically you would do for free. So this is better than doing nothing. So the strategy that is being taught is to sell this audit. Right. And the, the thing here is that it's actually a good solution if you weren't doing anything else up until this point. But again, what I'm saying is really the selling of the audit is just a temporary bandaid because you're still going through this proposal process and choosing a variety of services that the prospect will probably likely just cherry pick and say, I want this or that. And what ends up happening is when your prospect is choosing the services that they want from you, and then negotiating price or delivery time and scope, they're in control. They're in control from the get go.

That's usually what leads to the scope creep and then then saying, Hey, this is not actually what I meant when I said I wanted X, Y, Z, yada, yada, yada. And so the story goes and you as the agency owner go in this cycle where you're doing more and more accustomed work and your margin decreases and you have little to show for it after you go through that experience. So what I'm saying here is that if you've been doing nothing, an audit is a good first step. But the real problem with this audit that I want to talk about is the fact that you're still serving a too wide of an audience with too many services. And the audit is just allowing you to get paid for work that you typically did for free. Again, that's a pro. But the con is that you still can't go out into the marketplace with a clear and concise message right here, right?

With a clear and concise message that allows you to attract clients on demand because you're not serving any one specific problem for one specific type of client. So the audit is really just a way for you to collect a little bit of money to not do work for free before going into your existing and what you currently have, your, your custom business, your done for you custom service, everything starts from scratch business, which is still not scalable, right? You're collecting some money on the front end, great getting paid for a little bit of your work, but where the margin ends up being lost is usually in the onboarding and the scope creep of those services. So hopefully you see what I'm saying here is doing the audit. It really is just a bandaid for you going to the marketplace saying, Hey, mr and mrs. Prospect, I already know the problem that you have that we don't even need this audit anymore.

You don't need to go through this 1500 or $3,000 experience just for me to tell you what problem you have because I've served hundreds of people just like you. I already know the problem that you have and I can solve it and I can solve it in 60 to 90 days and whatever your timeframe is, that becomes a much more compelling message that will allow you to go into the marketplace, create marketing collateral, use things like paid traffic, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, et cetera, to attract the clients to you, which is what's going to take you off of that. Only relying on referrals and word of mouth marketing that really just has you scrambling to sell an audit to make a few bucks because you need a new client. It's almost like your business for many digital agents, owners is you just selling audits and hoping that someone continues on to the next level of service, but that's not predictable.

That's not scalable. That allows you to get, get paid for a little bit of the work, but it doesn't allow you to create that repeatable client acquisition system, repeatable lead generation, stabilized and predictable lead nurture conversion and sales processes, fulfillment systems that allow you to remove yourself from delivery. So what I'm saying to you today is selling an audit on the front end of your agency services is really just a bandaid for you to get paid for the work that you've been doing for free right now. So it's a good step in the, in the, in the right direction, but it's not going to get you to your end goal because you're still solving whatever problem that prospect wants and you're still serving way too many pros types of prospects, likely with way too many types of services. So when you productize your service and you solve one problem, big problem for one type of avatar, you can really build out a lead to client journey experience that can be automated, that allows you to remove yourself.

In addition to setting up the systematic structure in fulfillment and delivery to remove yourself from being the bottleneck in generating those client results and that my friends is when you actually have leverage in your agency. So don't fall for the bandaid solution and take the next step into productizing your service. If you want to learn how we did this and how we've now coached over 150 agencies to do this, there is a link below this video where I take you through a 75 minute training. It's free, it's on demand. Watch it at your convenience where you can learn the actual progressions to eliminating this bandaid, actually solving real problems so that you can automate and systemize your agency moving forward. So hope you enjoy today's episode. I'll talk to you guys soon.

If I give you five to 10 new clients, would you or your agency break if so, your current agency model is broken? I struggle with this too until I found a better way by adding online programs, training and coaching to our agency, we've doubled profits without adding more hours. If you want to work directly with me and my team to transform your agency, visit myscalablebusiness.com to learn more.

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ปั้มไลค์ - May 21, 2020 Reply

Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

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