Agency Management

How to Grow and Keep a Profitable Client Base in Your Creative Firm

by Mike Wang, August 24, 2015

Clients are the lifeblood of any creative firm. And while generating new leads is important, retaining existing clients can be just as profitable, if not more so.

To help strike a balance between growing and keeping a profitable client base, consider the following tips.

Know Your Prospects

Understanding your client’s needs provides your agency valuable insight on both existing and potential clients. Stand in your client’s shoes. Look beyond your own firm and understand the options your client has to choose from. What do your competitors have to offer? How does their messaging differ from yours?

Consider their entire spectrum of choices—from suppliers to partners—and discover your competitive advantage.

It’s also important to understand the demographic and psychology of your client. Find out as much as you can about them. What are their interests? Where do they spend their time online?

Ask specific business questions. What are they trying to achieve? What are their goals?

Understanding prospective clients can help you better anticipate their moves. This can also help your firm customize your services to meet existing client’s needs.

Communicate and Engage

Thanks to social media and digital marketing, engaging with clients has never been easier. Don’t let your clients forget about you. Communicate with them via email, social media, or even direct mail. Reaching out to clients is a great way to gauge what they want. Plus, it shows you as an empathetic agency—a firm that people want to work with.

While s, it’s important to hone in on your client service skills. How does your account team handle kick-off meetings? How are deliverables presented? How do you approach monthly reporting?

Retaining your existing client base should be more important than reeling new ones in. After all, a loyal client is worth up to ten times the amount they originally spend.

Cater to the Best—and Ditch the Worst

While this may seem counter-intuitive, it can actually be advantageous to fire difficult clients.

Prioritizing your clients—catering to the best and dropping the worst—makes it possible for your firm to refocus your efforts where they really matter. No matter the size of the client, there is a demand for resources and time. And if a client is intentionally orchestrating the loss, it’s best to cut your losses to eliminate any unnecessary headaches.

No firm likes losing business—but there are good and bad clients. It’s just the reality of the industry.

Learn What Works

It’s okay to test a variety of marketing approaches to see what works for your agency. Keep trying new ways to reach your audience and don’t automatically reject things that haven’t worked in the past. But be sure to monitor exactly where your leads are coming from—and which sources offer the most value.

Remember that every firm is different. And in a fast-paced creative world, it’s important to use your time wisely. Depending on the age and size of your firm, you will garner attention from different sources. It’s important to adapt as your business grows.

Learn what works for your business and center your efforts to retain your existing client base and grow your leads.

What approaches have you used to keep your client base happy and profitable?

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About The Author

Mike joined Workamajig back in 1997 and now serves as the Workamajig Director of Training and Support.

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