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The 4 most common mistakes agency owners make when selling their marketing services (and how to fix them)

Too many marketing agency owners take a look at the offers and target market of their competitors, and copy them tit for tat. Then they wonder why they don’t get any bites from prospective clients.

The 4 most common mistakes agency owners make when selling their marketing services (and how to fix them)
[Kaspars Grinvalds / Adobe Stock]

Figuring out how to pitch your services is one thing. Figuring out which services to pitch is another.

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Too many marketing agency owners take a look at the offers and target market of their competitors, and copy them tit for tat. Then they wonder why they don’t get any bites from prospective clients.

Options for packaging, pricing, and delivering your service take trial and error, time, and deep strategic thinking in order to nail. On one hand, you want to put out a killer offer that almost seems impossible to refuse. On the other hand, you have to make sure your margins are in place and your product isn’t too customizable. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to scale.

Below are four of the most common mistakes marketing agency owners make when creating their package options, plus tips on how they can be avoided.

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MISTAKE #1: NOT HAVING THREE OPTIONS

I hear it all the time: “If I just have one option, I can keep things simple and scale it to the moon!” However, client needs are never one-size-fits-all. In fact, being a full scaling marketing agency gives you a huge advantage.

Think about it: if you are a business owner, would you want to rely on a handful of marketing companies to deploy your needs, or just one really good marketing agency to handle it all?

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Having different packages will allow you to customize the perfect solution for your customer. Start with having small, medium, and large options so clients can scale with you as time passes and trust grows. Make sure your foot-in-the-door offer is going to help them so they are quick to purchase your larger options.

MISTAKE #2: NOT MAKING YOUR OFFER IRRESISTABLE

If you are simply replicating what is working for others, then you aren’t likely to grow yourself. Clients are not dumb about what else is on the market, and the savvy ones (i.e., the ones who pay well) do their research.

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It’s smart to look at what packages and offers on the market are working, but you then have to find your unique value proposition and put it into your own offer. Can you come in at a lower rate? Do you have a unique perspective or process that makes your clients’ lives easier? How about a money-back guarantee? These are all things that catch the attention of potential clients.

MISTAKE #3: NOT SHIPPING FAST ENOUGH

We live in an Amazon Prime world. In other words, you can order something and have it the next day. Your agency should not be an exception to that. While you can’t design a strategy, create ads, and compose five SEO blog posts during a night shift, being quick and efficient about getting your clients their deliverables gives you a huge advantage.

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Make sure you discuss with a client how quickly you can get them their promised deliverables and their end results. Many times, clients will have urgent needs based on their business model or even what’s happening in the news. Ensure you have the resources in place so that you can punch out a newsletter the very next morning should they need it.

MISTAKE #4: NOT INCORPORATING VALUE-BASED PRICING

Too many agency owners get stuck in the ‘that’s the market-rate’ mindset when selling their services. Sure, you might have an hourly rate that you charge, but what is the real value in it? In other words, how much money can be made from the products you are providing?

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For example, if you’re creating a newsletter for your client that features a $1,000 product and your newsletter results in 50 new subscribers per month who might purchase that product in the next 3-6 months, what is the real value of your service? Such factors must be considered when you’re laying out your pricing structure and collecting money on royalties.

When it comes to products and services, it should be about the value, not the market price.

You can mix and match, underprice, and promise the world, but if your service isn’t creating as much value as the other guys, you will fail. Think about the long-term value of your product as well. Will it be making your customer money for months or years to come?

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Last but not least, remember YOU are the product as well. It should be a joy and pleasure to interact with your agency. Personal branding and customer experience are key benefits you can add to your product suite.


Solomon is a sales and marketing guru who has built a number of successful companies over the last decade. Read more at Thimothy.com.

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