If you run an agency, building a community around your business is a
brilliant idea. It adds value, develops a lock-in and you can invite prospective
clients. It might become a new sales funnel in itself.
But it requires you taking some steps. Here are 10 steps that might help.
- Begin By Building An Online Hub of Quick Tips. Tips that
you usually wouldn't charge for. Highlight things that have worked well in other
industries. Suggest ideas that would work well in the near future. Pitch a few
- Create A Tip Sheet Invite. Compile a short-tip sheet for
your clients. Put in 5 practical tips they can use immediately, and invite them
to register for the community to see the rest.
- Ask Clients To Post Their Top 5 Problems This Month. You
and your community's other members can solve them. Make a culture of helping
each other solve your top 5 problems each month. It's worth the time investment.
- Introduce Clients To Each Other. Be clever. Don't say
"Bob, I'd like you to meet Joe". Say "Bob, I think Joe might be
able to answer your tax questions".
- Highlight The Work You're Doing For Other Campaigns. Post
about the work you're doing for each client. If a client likes what they see,
they can ask for it too.
- Welcome Newcomers. Invite any perspective clients, or
perhaps a few business friends, to join the community. Perspective clients get a
taste of what you can offer, and your business friends increase the value of
- Develop Fun Events, Like Client Of The Month. Don't base
this on your favourite clients, but rather the client that has had the most
successful month. Why not given them a small trophy for it too?
- Start Debates About Your Services. "What more would you
like us to do for you?". That's a good way to start. Let them tailor-make
an agency that suits them.
- Let Clients Invite Friends. Keep the invitations scarce,
but once the community starts going – encourage clients to invite their friends.
It might be a great source of new business.
- Commit. A slapdash effort will do far more harm than good.
Make a real commitment to this for 3 – 4 months. Either find a staff member who
can spend at least 50% of their time on it, or hire a specialist.
If this sounds like an expensive or time-intensive process, imagine having
clients that can't be swayed by competitors and find news business for you. It's wort it.