The age-old saying that agencies are their own worst clients is neither surprising nor offensive. In most cases, it's understandable that an agency would be more concerned with using its expertise and skills to help its clients find success, rather than spend valuable resources on itself.
We see this all the time in the agency world -- whether it's with a website design firm that hosts a website that would have been popular in 2002 or a traditional ad agency that isn't spending time developing its own brand strategy. So, what's the big deal? Agencies have been around for years, with most of them falling into this category of being their own worst customers, and they've seen plenty of success.
The fact of the matter is that markets are more cluttered than ever, and agencies -- no matter their specialty -- need to understand that it's harder to truly engage with a target market and gain trust. With a completely digital world upon us, it's crucial to not just be able to actively communicate with your market, but to be able to communicate value from a credible standpoint.
With the growing push for experts to become online thought leaders, it's important for agency leaders to follow suit. By consistently producing content that discusses industry trends, dos and don'ts, success stories, and failure explanations, agency leaders establish trust, visibility, and a positive influence in their industry.
How does an agency leader begin to gain credibility, visibility, and influence for his or her agency? Here are five tips to get you started.
It starts at the top
The idea of thought leadership and online credibility certainly isn't new. Leaders have been growing their personal and company brands online for years, but where a lot of agencies are falling short is by not starting with their leadership. Most agencies have a content team or a CMO contribute to publications, blogs, or websites, thinking that's enough.
Regardless of an agency's size, its leaders/founders need to be out in front of the company, contributing to publications, winning awards, getting involved with organizations, and speaking at industry-related events. Sure, they may not have as much time to do it, but we're talking about who can offer the most value -- not who has the most time.
Hint: If you want to truly engage and offer value to your market, the leaders of your organization need to be growing their influence, credibility, and visibility online, not just a content team. The payoff is well worth the investment of time and money.