I am a firm believer that agency biz dev is absolutely tied to earning a position of authority for your agency.

What does that mean exactly? Here are the elements of being an authority.

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Hey everybody! Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute, this week coming to you from Orlando, Florida, on site at the Beach and Yacht Resort, where I just wrapped up teaching a workshop called “How to build and nurture your agency sales funnel.” One of the things we talked about in that workshop is a principle idea that’s born out of the book that Stephen Woessner and I wrote, “Sell with Authority.” And that idea is that to be an authority, to be a thought leader, to be an expert, whatever you want to call it, there are three key elements that have to be in play. The first one is you have to have an area of specialty. Now that area area of specialty, when we talk about niching as agency folks, we almost always assume that that has to be an industry niche, and that is not the case. It could be an industry niche, it could be an area of specialty around a certain industry or vertical. It could be an expertise around an audience. So, for example, the vertical might be, we understand the world of pharma products for women over 50, right? So again, pharma – too big a niche, but pharma for women over 50, much more narrow niche, smaller set of products, where you can really drill down and talk with authority and expertise around that specific subset of pharma. Another way you could do it is by audience. So we know millennial moms better than anybody else. If you want to reach millennial moms, we’re the agency for you. Another way agencies will niche down is they will niche down in a deliverable. We are a lead gen agency. A lot of times for that, they’ve got a layer over, a lead gen agency for a certain audience or a certain niche because there’s too many lead gen agencies out there. And there are some agencies that for a while will carve out a temporary niche, which is the idea that we have a depth of expertise in something most agencies don’t know how to do. So right now, some agencies are niching down in terms of the Amazon marketplace, that they can help clients get their products into Amazon better, more effectively, more cost efficiently than anybody else. But you know what? The problem with that version of the niche is that it only lasts for a little while. Pretty soon, what you know, and what you have an expertise in, in terms of your deliverables, gets commoditized. Over and over and over again, we’ve seen the work we do get commoditized but our knowledge, our expertise, that doesn’t ever get commoditized. That’s why I’m a much bigger fan of the niche of industry or vertical, audience, or that you solve a special problem for a special subset of clients. So those are the niches. The second thing that is required to be an authority is that you have a point of view about the work. So point of view is something that you as an agency know is true, that you hold dear and that you talk about all the time. You probably have not identified it as your point of view. You probably have not articulated as such, but you have certain beliefs or things that you know that you apply to the work you do for clients. For example, I’ll give you a concrete example. My agency, our point of view is that clients spend their marketing dollars in the wrong place. We believe that they should spend the bulk of their marketing dollars against or for or talking to their existing clients and past clients. They’re creating love affairs with people who buy what they sell and who will talk about it to the world is a much better marketing spend than going out and finding strangers. Yes, they should spend some money to go out and find strangers and bring them into the fold, but not the lion’s share of their budget. That’s our point of view, that makes our work and our recommendations unique. And then the third element is that you need to be a teacher. You need to generously and frequently share what you know with no request for or expectation for any sort of payment back, that a true authority, thought leader, expert, notaries, anybody like that shares what they know over and over and over again, because what that does is it builds a trust relationship with an audience long before they know they’re ever going to become your customer. So those are the three elements, we talked about those a lot in the workshop, and I’m going to be talking about them a lot in future videos, and some of the other coursework that we’re doing for 2021. So, you’ll be hearing a lot about what’s your niche? What’s your point of view? And are you truly a teacher? All right? I’ll talk to you next week.

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