Three Tips to Make Your Agency a Better Self-Marketer

Can You Take the Advice You Give to Your Clients?

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Sarah Lessen
Sarah Lessen
As always, January is a time for new beginnings. We took a moment to brood collectively on the big picture and write down things we did well in the past year, as well as things that need improvement.

Top of the list for improvement: Become our best client.

For us, last year can be defined by one word: busy. Not a bad descriptor for an agency less than two years old. In the midst of taking care of other peoples' business, we stopped taking care of our own. We simply must start marketing ourselves the same way we ask our clients to.

Here are some basic recommendations for our new, favorite client.

1. Define the target audience. To date, you have relied heavily on personal networks and referrals. It's time to up the ante, and apply some thought to your own strategic growth. Are there categories you want to focus on? Capabilities you want to build in our own portfolios? Agency, focus your attention.

2. Develop a plan. Map out how you are going to get your consumer's (the client's) attention. And, yes, that does means creating a marketing calendar. Does your target audience have important pulse points throughout the year? Do research. Get ahead of the game, and be proactive with recommendations. Attend industry conferences. Publish articles and white papers. Agency, get their attention.

3. Update your marketing tools. Refine your message and update your arsenal. I don't want to embarrass you, agency, but do you need a website refresh? I've heard you mention this to other people. Social media? Perhaps you've heard of it? Write out your own social-media strategy -- and stick with it. Agency, articulate your talents.

In my 20-something years of marketing, I have had a variation of this exact conversation with every client, large and small. Some follow through. Some don't.

I hope we do.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Lessen Sarah is the director of client services for Ootem Advertising, a San Francisco-based agency whose clients include Method, gWallet and Trend Micro.
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