Ask any agency what their biggest challenge is and they’ll tell you it’s finding new clients.
You might think you can launch a revolutionary PR campaign and expect to be “discovered” by your target clients but that’s far from reality.
PR agencies need to keep looking out for new clients and find avenues to grow. What’s more, many agencies make the mistake of trying to fill their client pipeline without realizing that they might not be targeting the right ones.
So, start with establishing a target audience — it will help you focus your efforts and prevent you from shooting in the dark. Once you know who you’re targeting, it’s about reaching your audience where they are, with the right communication.
Let’s take a look at how you can win new PR clients and grow your agency.
1. Optimize your website
On reaching out to potential clients, the first thing they’ll do is take a look at your website. Being your biggest marketing tool, it’s essential to create a website that makes a good first impression.
From providing information about your agency and leadership team to highlighting your expertise, and clients you’ve worked with — the purpose of the website is to instill trust in potential clients, encouraging them to reach out to you.
While offering great website content and seamless user experience is essential, don’t overlook the importance of optimizing your website for SEO best practices.
An optimized website increases your chances of attracting relevant, organic traffic and helps you establish a stronger online presence.
2. Create thought leadership content
As a PR agency, you’re expected to be experts in the public relations field. What better way to showcase your expertise than by creating content that draws your target audience and makes them believe in your potential.
This is referred to as thought leadership content. It involves creating valuable and insightful content that positions your agency as an expert in your field or industry.
However, it’s not enough to write generic content pieces. You need to offer unique insights and create content that brings out your agency’s area of expertise while keeping it focussed to the clients you’re targeting.
For instance, if your PR firm caters to travel and hospitality clients, create content that resonates with them in order to be noticed.
Here are a few content formats you can consider for creating thought leadership content:
3. Showcase success stories
Another tool that plays a huge role in building trust is case studies.
Case studies are a must-have on your agency website because they serve as social proof, helping you generate leads and attract more clients.
Showcasing success stories through case studies is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and build trust while letting potential clients understand what you’re capable of.
Make sure you weave a compelling story, emphasize on your strategy, include enticing visuals and share statistical data to strengthen the case study.
The purpose of a case study is to generate interest. So, ensure you end it with a powerful call-to-action, making it easy for people to get in touch with you.
Here’s an example case study of how Lift Consulting, a Portuguese PR agency, used Prowly to streamline their client work.
4. Make meaningful connections on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great platform to build your personal brand and connect with high-level decision-makers — and as a PR agency looking for new clients, you must leverage it to grow.
Apart from having an optimized company page, it’s important to be active on the platform by posting useful content regularly. Use the search feature to find your target clients as per industry, company size, or even connections.
It’s also a good idea to join relevant LinkedIn groups and participate in them. This will help you expand your network, and add value.
5. Use social media monitoring
Social media monitoring is all about keeping an eye on your target audience and monitoring conversations to get insights into what they’re looking for and uncover opportunities.
After all, you need to understand your potential clients well in order to give them what they want.
Apart from getting a better understanding of your target clients and their customers, it’s also important to see what their competitors are up to.
Making this a practice will give you access to some valuable intel that can be used to reach the right prospects with relevant pitches.
Don’t spend time on manual monitoring — turn to social media management and monitoring tools to track industry keywords and target clients.
6. Implement a referral program
One of the most effective tactics to grow your PR agency is by running a referral program. It saves time and money while offering high returns.
Taking a cue from word-of-mouth marketing, referral marketing involves leveraging your existing network of clients to find new ones. So, you offer an incentive to your clients for every new client they bring you.
You can automate the referral process by sending out email campaigns, communicating about it on your website and social media channels and even including referral program details as part of your email signature.
7. Prepare customized pitches
Let’s say you acquired a lead and have been asked to submit a pitch. Chances are you’re among a few in the shortlist. The only way to stand out is to prepare a compelling business pitch that’s customized to their needs.
Start with gaining a complete understanding of the client’s business, customers, past work, pain points and competitors. Offer tailor-made solutions that address their requirements while establishing your agency as an expert in the field.
Apart from making it content-rich, make sure you design an engaging pitch presentation by using visuals to aid storytelling along with bold fonts and colors in line with your brand’s voice.
It’s also a good idea to be prepared to tackle any sales objections that might come your way on the day of the presentation.
Having a healthy pipeline of clients is essential for agency growth and success. While it’s not easy to land new PR clients, these seven strategies will help you establish a process to expand business, focus your efforts, and grow your agency effectively.