New Business Ideas from an Agency in the Trenches-3 Takeaways Ep41

New Business Ideas from an Agency in the Trenches-3 Takeaways Ep41

Hey, hope everyone’s doing OK, this is episode 41, “New business ideas from an agency in the trenches”.

First, thanks to all of you at agencies and PR firms that have given us feedback-we really do hope these episodes help as you’re trying to figure out how to keep your new business efforts going.

And we also know some of you watching are just trying to keep it all together-you’re worried about your business, then you’ll figure out new business.

Fair enough, and if you’re not aware of them, we’ll put links to a few resources at AMI and Second Wind in the video description.

Drew McLellan and Laurie Mikes are doing a great service in pulling this information together.

But before we jump in-you do have to try and keep new business going, even if it’s on a minimal level.

We released a new report this week, Agency/Marketer Response to COVID-19-we’ll also provide a download link in our description.

We felt it was important to get perspective from agencies and marketers, ideally it’s helpful to see where their heads are.

Your first takeaway is from our report, and it’s this stat:

61% of Marketers have only somewhat reduced, or not changed marketing spending at all.

Now, I know timing during all this is like bizarro dog years, the days feel longer and things change quickly, or you look down at the clock and it’s 6 pm.

Point is, this stat probably already changed-but the key here is that things do change quickly.

What you’ll see in the open-ended comments in our report, marketers that are still spending and, even in those industries hardest-hit, they’re planning their comeback.

Potential opportunities for all of you.

I realize that’s not across the board, but you have to stay with prospects, you have no choice.

Peter Levitan has a very good post on, amongst other topics, being a friend to clients, not in a kumbaya kind of way, but in offering guidance, and there’s a version of this for your prospecting as well.

I’m not doing the post justice, but it will be in our description as well.

OK, your next takeaway comes from one of your peers, Kelly Callahan-Poe, President at Williams Whittle Advertising in DC.

A big thanks to Kelly-she offered some helpful insight on content we could get out to all of you-and one of those is your second takeaway:

Inspire your younger staff to help with new business when/if billable work is on pause.

I love this, and you can see evidence on their site (which we’ll have in description as well), and this could apply to any staff member of course, but the younger staff will most likely have more time.

So here’s a list of ways Kelly and her team are doing this:

  1. Updating case studies, video and otherwise
  2. Adding vertical expertise landing pages to their site and backing that up with email
  3. A huge focus on SEO, blogging more often and increasing the word count of existing blogs to 1K words for SEO and to be featured in Google Snippets,
  4. Being more creative with social ideas
  5. Nonprofit marketing tips
  6. Kelly committed to reading a business book a week 6 weeks ago and launched the #WWBookClub
  7. And last-the team are working to get more certifications for things like Google Adwords and Analytics.

You can see all this on Williams Whittle site, and Kelly was very gracious to share these ideas, thank you.

Last takeaway is a short one:

Watch out for scammers.

I know, I shouldn’t have to tell you that, right, you’re well aware, but we’ll put two links to articles on new ways they’re getting crafty, especially around Zoom and the SBA loan programs.

With Zoom, they’re just changing one letter and hacking in, and at first glance might be hard to notice, and then with SBA loans, I had one leave me a message this week.

It’s worth your time to read it.

Any time they’re saying a payment to them will get you that loan faster, or promising a really quick turnaround, watch for that.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Kelly that I hope will give you a little inspiration and get you moving:

“Now is not the time to slow down. It’s the ONLY time we may ever have to get all this concentrated amount of work done in a short period of time that we will need later for new business efforts.”

Ideally these new business ideas are helpful.

Links from our episode:

COVID-19 – agency survival tools – AMI

Second Wind COVID Help & Resources

Agency/Marketer Response to COVID-19 Survey Report

Peter Levitan: An Advertising Agency Survival Guide

Williams Whittle

If You Work From Home, the FBI Has a Warning for You

4 Ways to Spot an SBA Loan Scam

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.