August 24, 2018
Everywhere you look you can see the stories of doom and gloom for digital marketing agencies, for example, this recent AdWeek article describes how growth across all aspects of digital are down and agencies are actually laying people off. In the middle of one of the lowest unemployment periods in history, you heard that right digital agencies are laying people off.
You know better than anyone that on every street corner is yet another marketing agency advertising amazing SEO or website design solutions at rock bottom prices. It used to be a great portfolio could set you apart or some great combination of services like websites and social media marketing. But no longer, the game is up, everyone in town and even across the country is willing to do the same thing, probably for less.
And it’s only getting worse, every day some recently laid off digital marketing employee decides to start their “agency” and go into competition down the street from you. Thanks to years at working at some other agency in town or maybe even your agency (eeek!). They can trot out a beautiful portfolio of work without ever having to mention it was all made on the job and not on their own. Did I mention they’re working out of their one bedroom apartment and live on ramen? So they can out-compete you on price and they just tell their clients to meet them at a Starbucks. It’s enough to drive a person insane, but sadly it shows no sign of stopping.
Your whole job is to help your clients standout, but how can you do the same? As advertising services shrink and are now almost exclusively owned by two providers, Google and Facebook, it’s no longer as difficult for your customers to run a few ads by themselves.
Website design is even worse, not only do you have to compete against all the all providers in town, you have to compete with all of the online marketplaces now grinding designers down to the last dollar. Maybe it’s Fiverr or Logo Tournament or 99Designs. While you can tell your clients the work isn’t as good and you probably spend a fair amount of time cleaning up those messes, it’s always a temptation and for sure a source of less for even the best local digital agencies.
People Are Expensive
When times are good you can’t get enough good people, but when times are tough you’re all of a sudden you can’t figure out how to keep the lights on. Do you keep the employee you’ve invested so much time into or do you let them go and hope you can hire them back later when more client work comes in?
Now for sure things like retainers can help with this, but they are really a band-aid on the problem, not a solution. Agency work has always been this way and it will always be this way. It’s feast or famine and you’re constantly going to be chasing your tail trying to bring in more clients while trying to fulfill existing client work.
White-label for the win
So I’ve spent the last 5 minutes bemoaning all the problems of being a digital agency, but how do we get ourselves off this hamster wheel of difficulty and start growing both our top line and our bottom line? The answer lies in white-label agency software. The white-label software is a set of software tools that you can deploy for your clients under your brand and sell as a cohesive solution in combination with the design and marketing solutions you’re already providing.
These solutions enable you to provide what you’ve always wanted to provide, a full 360-degree solution for your clients to not only drive traffic but also to help them drive those leads all the way to sales and prove it, real ROI measured the dollar level. It’s a beautiful thing.
If you’re an agency owner you’ve no doubt been cold-emailed or cold-called by someone trying to get you to get you to hock their products and/or services, this is not what we’re talking about here. When you get your customer to use someone else’s tool you’re giving them the power over that customer and giving away your brand equity, in exchange for a measly 20% cut every month, this is generally bad for the customer and it is always bad for you, why?
Because you want to be the only point of contact for your client, the single source of truth, and the person with all their marketing needs, including software, come from. Passing them off to a reseller partner is basically saying “Hey you really need this solution, but I can’t really help you with that, sorry.” Not what anyone wants to hear, it also opens the door for that client to decide that down the road maybe they keep the software and ditch you. Not what you want for sure.
What kinds of software solutions work best?
If you’re in it to win it, the goal is to get your clients off and running on the right foot, let’s quickly cover the best way to get them started and what software you can deploy quickly to make a splash. To begin with, we always recommend listings management.
What is listings management? It’s the ability to control your customers business information across 80+ websites across the web, updating or adding contact information, business details like hours, holidays, etc., products/services they provide, and images of their business. This is a great lead on product because it can be pushed out without any work on the client’s side.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a good reason to get started offering white label solutions for your agency, for more information check out our agency success page and sign up for a free account here.