With a solid strategy ahead of us, we hit the ground running in 2018 with our Growth Hacking Giveaway winner, Ola Moana Marketing. The discovery process illuminated a number of key areas where our team of digital marketing experts could assist Jeton, the owner of Ola Moana, and help him grow his business. We realized quickly that he was spending too much of his time worrying about the day-to-day minutiae of his clients’ campaigns and not enough time focusing on converting new leads. Further, it became evident that many of the agency’s leads were coming from word of mouth and referrals; as a result, we discovered that there was a sizable opportunity to strengthen Ola Moana’s organic marketing channel to drive more leads. Keeping these pillars in mind, the UpCity team devised a first quarter plan that would begin to bolster Ola Moana’s organic presence while freeing up Jeton’s time.
Start, Run, Scale
Here at UpCity, we’ve studied the agency growth process for years. What we’ve found is that agencies tend to experience three distinct phases of growth: Start, Run, and Scale. Each of these phases brings with it different challenges and different opportunities, so it’s essential to keep this in mind as you formulate your growth strategy.
Agencies in the Start phase tend to have a small team and a small book of clients. They don’t have established processes, they haven’t integrated any tools or systems into their workflow, and they generally are quite disorganized. At this stage of the growth process, it’s absolutely essential to begin to define structured processes and create order out of chaos. Your business strategy may evolve during the Start phase, so don’t be afraid! Your main concern during the Start phase should be crafting your agency’s identity and beginning to build up your marketing channels. By the time you’ve developed effective workflows, discovered the tools that work best for your team, and started actively marketing your agency, the leads will have started to roll in!
Agencies in the Run phase are medium sized. They may have established processes, but they aren’t totally effective. Their team likely uses a number of tools and none are integrated too deeply into their workflow. At this point in the growth process, an agency will have already begun to build up their channels, but they may not be efficiently converting the leads they are generating. One of the key concerns for agencies in this phase should be solidifying your processes and ensuring that your team is ready to scale!
By the Scale phase, agencies will have grown to a large size. Your team may even include remote employees. You likely have solid processes in place, you’ve discovered the right tools for your team, and your funnel is full of leads. In this phase, the emphasis is on maximizing productivity and efficiency.
Based on what we uncovered during the discovery process, we determined that Ola Moana fits most closely into the Run phase. As a result, we wanted to start 2018 off by strengthening some underperforming marketing channels and freeing up more time for sales. Since we already helped establish a concrete business strategy during the discovery phase, our first quarter strategy focused primarily on operations and sales and marketing.
Reducing Operational Stress
A large portion of Jeton’s time was previously spent worrying about the day-to-day duties and deliverables for his clients’ campaigns. Namely, creating and scheduling social media and blog content was becoming a huge time sink. In order to alleviate this hassle, our team of experienced writers took over the content duties for a handful of clients and streamlined the scheduling process by running the posts through the UpCity platform.
Free Up More Time for Sales
Now that Jeton is no longer bogged down by operational duties, he’s free to interact with clients and pursue new leads. As the UpCity team continues to help Ola Moana grow their organic reach, having more free time will give Jeton the opportunity to experiment and adapt his sales process to the new, more localized target market that we helped to uncover during the discovery phase. As he closes more deals, UpCity will continue to support Ola Moana via our Reseller team, so he won’t have to worry about slowing down due to being at operational capacity.
Bolstering Local Presence
The UpCity team was also able to support Ola Moana by providing expert keyword research to determine exactly how their target audience searches and behaves online. After identifying the key terms and phrases that would drive the most actionable traffic, our SEO specialists devised a content strategy that would rebuild the agency’s local presence from the ground up.
Promotion and Lead Generation
The UpCity Top Local Agency Marketplace gives us the unique ability to instantly create a new stream of referral traffic for agencies of any size in most every city across the country. By optimizing their Top Local Agency listing and working with Ola Moana to bring them to a Bronze partnership level, we were able to increase the amount of referral traffic that their site receives.
Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Year of Growth
The first quarter of 2018 was really all about setting Ola Moana up for success in the year to come. We sought to open up new traffic channels and begin to generate more leads from sources other than word of mouth. Moreover, we’ve started to take on more of operational work so that everyone at Ola Moana can get back to focusing on growth. As we look towards the second quarter and beyond, we hope to continue finding new areas where we can kickstart growth for Jeton and the entire Ola Moana team.