I recently caught up with Brad Farris of Anchor Advisors to chat about the links between your confidence and the performance of your digital agency.
We spent a little over half an hour unpacking how, as the owner of the business, your confidence influences the performance of your agency.
I’ve plucked out six key take-homes from our conversation to get you on your way to boosting your confidence, winning more leads, and growing your agency.
The first area you can practice improving your self-confidence is within the pitch room. The majority of agencies who win their sales pitches understand that their prospective clients are buying results, rather than processes, and as such — their pitches always lead with a direct, measurable benefit to the client.
“No one cares about how you do something unless they know it’s going to make a difference for them.” — Brad Farris
They deliver this claim with confidence and support it with facts and evidence in their ability to deliver exactly what the client needs to grow their business. This power and confidence resonates with the client and leaves no room for doubt and the deal closes more easily.
Brad summarised this idea nicely when he said — “We have to lead with the transformation that we’re going to make, and then people might care about how we’re going to do it.”
The actionable item? Start your pitch with an Executive Summary that illustrates what you do, the results you deliver and the investment required. Deliver this Executive Summary with confidence and watch your win rate grow.
At Digital Agency Coach, I see some digital agencies within the UK that serve local businesses and are charging less than the average living wage for their expertise. This is particularly common in start-ups, where new agency owners are suffering from a combination of imposter syndrome and price competition.
As the founder of a new firm, it’s not uncommon to be daunted by what you see in the marketplace. When you’re up against established agencies with a portfolio of big-name clients and an impressive team, it’s easy to think the only way to compete has to be on price, and you end up charging next to nothing.
Most agencies start off from this position of low confidence and wait for a moment of validation where they earn the merit that will allow them to charge an appropriate fee.
Ask yourself how you can take that leap sooner rather than later, and price your services and your products as a reflection on the value they offer.
Most agencies who consistently pitch well and regularly land new clients have taken proactive action before they’re even in the pitch room.
If your digital agency is tightly positioned and you’re only targeting clients within your niche, you have the opportunity to deliver your insights and expertise with confidence and ask your prospective clients smart, leading questions that demonstrate your domain expertise.
“If there are (services) that people are asking for that’s not really in their wheelhouse, they’re saying no to that. Because they know they can’t walk in there with that same, ‘knock it out of the park every time’ kind of voice.”— Brad Farris
If you’re not playing within your niche, you’re speaking to a broad spectrum of clients and you’re unable to offer that same level of confidence and conviction within your pitch, and nothing seems to stick.
Positioning your agency correctly begins with asking where your expertise and passion are. Once you have this cemented, all else falls into place and your knowledge and enthusiasm is conveyed in the quality of your work.
In this episode, we talk about building confidence in your expertise, for both your personal brand and your agency’s brand.
When you’re confident in your expertise and you’re pitching within your niche, you’re able to listen to your customer in a different way. If you know the market, the industry trends, best practices and benchmarks like the back of your hand, you can respond to those unspoken fears and unknowns from your client.
If you’re confident in your knowledge and understanding, you’re able to be present in the room to listen and ask deeper, more insightful questions which demonstrate you know your client’s industry as well as they do.
This forms a deep connection and level of trust between you and your client, and they’re likely to pay a premium for your service because they know you have the level of expertise required.
Alternatively, having confidence in your expertise could mean building your own personal brand and sharing your opinions, perspectives and insights. This could be as simple as publishing regular thought leadership pieces on your blog or creating a monthly newsletter to open up opportunities for conversation.
Brad and I spoke about the importance of understanding and respecting the limitations of both your agency and yourself.
If a prospective client makes it known that they’re looking for an agency partner with specific expertise that you don’t have, be honest and say you’re not the right fit for them. If you know you won’t be able to deliver what the client needs, then it’s best not to continue the conversation.
The client will appreciate your transparency and the confidence you have in where your expertise lies. They might decide to change tack and go on to buy a different service from you as a result of your honesty, confidence and willingness to say no will change the power dynamic.
Put simply, don’t sign your agency up to deliver something you’re not good at.
When it comes to building confidence within yourself, you have to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Know where you can add value to your own business and where outsourcing or delegating certain tasks will improve your productivity.
If you know you’re not great at managing your calendar and you have a fear of letting people down as a result of a potential mishap, allocate your diary management tasks to someone else and eliminate the chances of you making mistakes. By doing so, you’ll eliminate feeling discouraged and unconfident as a result.
Outsourcing tasks that aren’t within your remit, gives you the space to do more of what you love and what you’re good at, giving you a better sense of job satisfaction and self-confidence.
If you’re the agency owner, chances are you’re not the one working on the deliverables — you’re working with an exceptionally skilled team to get the job done.
If you’re pitching to a prospective client, understanding your team’s capabilities and being confident in their ability to deliver on your promises once you’re back at the office is key to building trust and repeat custom from your clients.
Make sure you invest in your team and equip them with the best resources, training and skills to deliver the projects you’re promising to your clients. Avoid the pain of making a commitment to your clients and then being fearful of the ability or capability of your team to get the job done.
1 — Practice making big promises to yourself.
Even outside the office, if you’re committing to rising early and working out each day — you’re boosting your confidence levels, just from achieving something and accomplishing a challenging task before the day’s begun.
2 — Take existing clients and start making bigger promises to them. Use these comfortable, established relationships to practice making your big, bold promises. Identify a metric from within the current service that can be improved and make a commitment to your client. Regularly achieving these ‘little wins’ will give you the confidence to make similar promises and commitments to prospective clients.
3 — Practise Ikigai — Ikigai is a Japanese concept combining your Passion, Mission, Vocation and Profession to create a real sense of purpose or direction. If you’re happy and fulfilled in your work and you’re skilled and passionate about what you do, this will shine through in the quality of your work. If you genuinely love what you do, your clients will buy into this authenticity.
Your self-confidence can influence the performance of your digital marketing agency and if you’d like to find out more about how you could improve yours, Watch The Full Video or Get In Touch with the team at Digital Agency Coach and one of our consultations would be delighted to help.
I'm an ex-agency founder now coach and mentor to digital agencies and trusted by Google and Forbes to deliver agency growth programs across the globe.