Most marketing businesses look to diversify clientele as they grow. However, adding new clients from a different industry can be difficult in the early stages of your marketing business. This is particularly true when their industry is very different. Thankfully, there are navigational tools you can use to relieve problems that may arise.
When your business is just starting out, it is often safest to focus on a particular industry. This will give you time to refine your process and build a successful track record. As your business grows, you might want to utilize these skillsets and tools to expand your reach into other sectors and industries. However, there are a few things to be aware of when making this leap.
When meeting a new client in a different industry, one of the things we have done is focus on the success of our previous clients. Additionally, we provide them with examples of how we can replicate this success for their business despite obvious differences. These examples must be relevant and applicable. Don’t focus on showing efforts of your success that aren’t applicable to their industry. Offer ideas about how other tools can be tailored to fit their needs.
The next concern of new clients is not having the right team in place. They want to know why they should choose your agency over another that has focused on their industry. One of the key ways we have broken this barrier is hiring the right people with the right backgrounds. Curating a great team will demonstrate that you not only have the toolsets but the mindsets to improve their marketing.
Taking on a new client often means that the onboarding process and marketing retainer can cover multiple aspects of your business, but it also may require taking things a bit slower. One way to get your foot in the door is to focus on a key area of their business where your team has had great success. Offer to work on that area specifically. This allows you to get new business and build your reputation in that industry. It also gives you time to really learn the nuances of their business. As you establish a good track record, your client should be more willing to add on more services.
Lastly, do your homework. Read relevant articles, follow social media feeds and learn the language of your clients’ industry. If you cannot speak the same language you certainly will not be able to write their content or engage their core customers.
While diversification is a great way to leverage your agency’s talents and presence in the industry and open more doors to newer business overall, there are times when bringing on new clients may actually hurt your business. For example, if you cannot find the right people to fit the new business’ needs, you may find that you are overwhelmed and your work ineffective. Not only can this create a bad relationship, it can distract you from your existing clients. Our advice is to refine your process and ensure you can deliver by finding the right people. If you cannot and the efforts will spread your agency too thin, then come back when the timing is right.