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How to Use Voice Controlled Devices to Drive New Business Development

Voice controlled devices (VCDs) like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri are exploding in the marketplace. There is no sign that the trend toward voice search and assistance is slowing down, and I’m here to assert that this trend can be advantageous to agency business development. As a matter of fact, I believe strongly that voice represents that next opportunity, that next patch of fertile ground where you can plant your flag. The opportunity for business development with voice controlled devices is big—huge even. Let’s do a quick dive into the data on VCD usage and where it’s headed. Then I will share what I consider the four top new business development strategies around voice. These are great to use in building your own business, and also strategies you can easily employ with clients. Voice is Getting Louder The market for VCDs is exploding. Echo and Echo dot were the best selling items last year for Amazon, which makes them the biggest seller on the biggest online retail platform. That’s big. In addition, once purchased, these items are frequently used. Google did a study that found 72 percent of people who own a voice-activated speaker or a smart speaker report that the devices are a regular part of their daily routine. Voice Controlled Devices are Doing More Last I checked, the Alexa Library is 30,000 skills, so 30,000 pieces of software that you can install into your Echo and then ask Alexa to do certain things for you. Google Home's library is less than 1,000. So in the assistance space, Alexa wins. But obviously, just like everywhere else, Google dominates voice search. Even more to the point, voice is on its way to becoming the default [...]

By |November 1st, 2018|

How to Multiply Agency Success With the Magic of Opportunity Stacking

There are so many things to do when marketing your business — how in the world do you get the most bang for your buck? I have already discussed how consistent action beats perfect action. But there is another principle that is essential to getting the most out of every single business development opportunity, which I call “stacking.” Stacking is the deliberate process of looking for ways that a singular marketing activity can be leveraged by “stacking” other opportunities for reach, exposure or impact on top of it. For example, if you are going to take the time to do a live talk about your core area of expertise at a local setting, why not stack getting photos and a video of the event on top of it? Why not live stream the talk for your non-local prospects? Why not arrange to meet a strategic attendee for coffee or dinner after the event? When you look for all the possible ways to maximize a marketing activity in your business, you will have a much better return on your investment of time, energy and resources. A stacking example Recently, Susan Baier, Chris Lee and I completed Crack the Challenge Code, a small business survey that looked at the attitudes small business owners have toward obstacles. This research is essential to do a better job in our respective businesses, since most of what our clients struggle with is not what to do (we all know we should market more consistently, write great content, build our product funnels, etc), but few know how to do it (we get in our own way by becoming overwhelmed, feeling imposter syndrome, sticking our heads in the sand, etc). Putting together and [...]

By |October 25th, 2018|

The Specialist Agency: An Argument For and Against

Earlier this year I had the honor of serving as the morning keynote speaker for PRGN’s semi-annual member summit in Toronto. My topic was on the five indicators of new business success that I consistently see in the agencies I work with (and, likewise, the corresponding indicators of agencies that stay stuck in a feast-or-famine cycle). One of the indicators is a specialist mindset, as opposed to an “all things to all people” approach. This elicited a comment from one of the agency owners in the audience. They tried this specialist agency strategy at his agency and it didn’t work. It had the opposite effect; they couldn’t find enough new business opportunities to sustain the firm. What did I have to say to that? (Gulp) Before I tell you how I responded, let me explain that I’m not a specialist agency hardliner. In fact, this time last year, I wrote about this. To be sure, I see enormous benefits to specializing when it comes to new business. Pitching for new business is a big investment. The more specialized your pitch, the more efficient your investment. That’s because: Generalists seek out clients; specialists are more likely to be sought Generalists differentiate based on price; specialists can afford to charge a premium Generalists will always be tempted to reinvent themselves to suit the nature of the prospect; specialists find it easier to home in on a consistent message that’s effective for the right audience But I also don’t see it as a stark choice. In my piece, I referred to the proverb about the shoemaker’s children who wear no shoes. This is a favorite to describe agencies that can’t seem to take their own advice when it [...]

By |August 7th, 2018|

Niches Get You Riches: What Your Agency Marketing Strategy is Missing

There’s that word: niche. And you’re likely thinking: “One more consultant is telling me to eat my vegetables.” If you are an agency owner and have thus far resisted niching as part of your agency marketing strategy, think you don’t need it, or are tired of the topic, perhaps I can change your mind. Niching is perhaps the best form of marketing strategy that can help get your agency where you want it to be. Niching has helped me generate over $10,000,000 as an entrepreneur. It’s the same idea I’ve taught to over a thousand graduates of my agency accelerator. In one case, an agency owner attracted over 2,000 leads for her business in just a single year leveraging this strategy. My goal is to help our clients make their agencies more successful, work less, make more money, and create predictable business models so that their agencies are assets that could potentially be sold at some point in time. When Drew asked me to share my insights with his community at AMI, I was excited to be a part of what he’s created, and I hope that some of what I have to share proves beneficial to you. Hope Marketing Isn’t Good Enough Referrals and word of mouth are the number one strategy digital agency owners use to grow their businesses. I call this, “Hope marketing” and it really isn’t a strategy at all. It’s called: Not doing anything. Hope marketing is the reason so many digital agencies struggle with predictability and scale in their business. And it might be why you can’t get out of the marketing and sales seats. When I tell owners that word of mouth is "doing nothing," the response I [...]

By |May 9th, 2018|
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