Getting your agency employees on the new business bandwagon can greatly enhance your chances of success in obtaining new clients. But I don’t have to tell you, it’s easier said than done; especially for mid-size and smaller agencies, as time is at a premium and taking care of clients invariably (and understandably) comes first.
An article in Bloomberg Business Week talks about getting employees on the social media bandwagon. It’s good advice and it applies not just to social media (which can obviously also be, and should be, part of your new business strategy) but also to agency new business as a whole. I’ve listed their tips below, and added my two cents in bold underneath each.
1. Hold training/information sessions. Explain to employees why social media engagement is important. Give examples of the value it brings to the company in terms of return on investment. Explain search engine optimization (SEO), brand awareness, and the leads that can be generated.
-Absolutely, and bigger picture, hold these kinds of sessions to remind your team of the importance of a strategic team new business effort. The more of your team involved, the easier it is to stay consistent, which is crucial to the effort.
2. Seed topic ideas. Hold brainstorming sessions. Circulate questions about topics to facilitate new suggestions. Share links to recent industry news. Encourage employees to develop ideas for content, based on personal interests and professional experience. It shouldn’t always be about the company. Online content can be used as a way to provide leadership on industry issues, as well to communicate company culture and personality.
-I’m happy to say we do this at RSW/US and it works. There’s no way one person can be the font of ideas for the entire effort.
3. Identify “champions” or assign a group of individuals to a social media task force. Their job may be to assist in getting other employees to contribute, setting objectives/metrics, defining SEO keywords, and developing a schedule and ideas for content.
-Again, agree 100%. Take it a step further big picture, and where possible, create an agency new business task force.
4. Leverage existing opportunities. Content is everywhere; employees should think critically about what they already have available to them, including training presentations, customer stories, meeting notes, research, and statistics.
-Probably my favorite point because agencies so often overlook what they already have existing internally. Any and everything that can show agency thought leadership in your key sectors should be tweaked (if necessary) and used for new business. Our agency clients are often surprised just how much available content already exists that can be purposed for new business.
5. Help employees feel invested. For small businesses that are struggling to spark employee interest, making contributions part of their job objectives and even tying them to bonuses can help. A photo and name attached to individual contributions will give employees visibility—and the exposure will motivate them to contribute more frequently and with greater quality.
-Ties back nicely to number one, and once again, new business efforts generally. It’s quite a rush to bring on that new client 9as you well know) and even more so when the result of a team effort.
Hope this helps as you’re planning your new business strategy for the coming year.