Podcast: 7 Tips for Ad Agency Professionals

A Podcast Interview: My 7 Marketing Tips For Ad Agency Professionals

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 10.31.43 AMI’ve discussed the great value of guest posting in earlier blog posts. The primary advantage is that you get your post and thinking out to a much larger audience than you would get by just posting on your company website.

Another way to get your message out there is to be interviewed by a company that is interested in what you have to say. In a recent case, I was interviewed by Paul Wicker of the super-smart ad tech company ADSTAGE. Here is how they describe their marketing platform. Cross-channel campaign creation and performance in seconds

Identical Workflows for Cross-Network Campaign Creation

Create campaigns faster with a simplified and seamless flow across Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter Ads. We support the most popular ad formats on each network so you can make most sense for your online ad campaigns.

Bottomline is that they can help you to better manage your multi-platform campaigns…. and isn’t that a very nice thing.

My PPC Show Interview

You can listen to the PPC Show interview and see the synopsis right here on ADSTAGE’s website. Below are a couple of the more (if I do say so myself) salient points… If you have been reading my blog, you know that these are two of my major business development recommendations.

  1. “We’re in a world where specialization wins.” If you’re looking to start your own agency, know that clients are looking for specialists. We’re no longer in the grand old days where agencies were either television, print, or radio. Know your specialty and make sure clients know it, too.
  2. “Your website HAS to be a sales tool.” So many agencies fall into the trap of turning their websites into fun, creative projects or brochures. While that’s all well and good, if your website is not set up to make a sale, then it’s not doing much for you. Sales is a 24-7 game now and your website is doing a lot of that work for you. Make sure it’s set up that way.

I hope you enjoy the interview. And, don’t forget to take a look at ADSTAGE’s ad tech tools and dashboard. I love dashboards…

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6 Business Development Referral Strategies

6 Business Development Referral Strategies To Get, Well, You Know

Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 11.17.05 AMMost of the advertising agencies that take me up on my Corleone Offer usually tell me that the majority of their client base growth comes from a positive client, friends, and family business development referral.

Perfect! A referral is a VERY hot lead.

However, for way too many agencies, referrals are a default sales tool. They get most of their new clients via referrals because they are not doing other forms of hard core sales. Simply put, they do not have a tight manageable sales plan that includes both in and outbound marketing.

But, the issue of the paucity of sound agency sales plans is another story. This post is all about how to goose referrals so you get all of the ones your agency deserves.

The secret? Be proactive… Ask and ye shall receive.

Referral Strategies

A key to having a robust referral strategy is to make sure that your current clients are aware that you actually want referrals. Referrals from happy customers are one of best ways that B2B companies generate new business. OK, this isn’t a huge surprise. However, what is surprising how few companies have a dedicated strategy for fostering these valuable personal hand-offs.

4 Obvious, Yet Wonderful Benefits Of A Referral

A referral is a white-hot lead. If we assume that your happy customers are savvy enough to recommend you to the right potential customer then you are well on your way to establishing a valuable conversation and a new business win.

The closing ratio of referrals is higher (it has been reported that the closing-ratio of a referral is 6 times greater than an unqualified lead.)

For the obvious reason that a referred prospect is generally a very motivated buyer, the referral-generated sales cycle can be as much as 75% shorter.

A referral strategy is cost-effective and will reduce your sales expenditures – free is good. Free is a great place to start.

6 Effective ‘Active’ Referral Strategies

I’ve generated referrals from existing clients and customers using the following set of strategies. Given the fact that you are talking to happy customers or friends, these strategies will be a very efficient use of your “sales” effort.

  1. Start with an objective. Know what increase in referrals you are targeting and what type of clients you want. Unqualified referrals are not a good thing.
  2. Determine which of your clients or friends, these could be people you talk with or people you stay in touch with on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are contacts that might know the people or businesses on your prospect list. Do the research to help your clients help you.
  3. Go ahead… ask for referrals. Some referrals come because your client or buddy is specifically asked if they know of a good company in a your business category. Some come because your customers love you so much they actively ‘sell’ you. Some need to be stimulated to think about how to help you. It’s OK to ask. It is also wise to let them know what type of referral you are looking for. Take away as much guess work as you can. Make it easy for them to refer you. But, do not overdo it. Clearly, you do not what your clients to feel burdened.
  4. However, before you ask, make sure that your current clients are motivated to refer your service or products. I’ve written about how to determine which of your clients might be referral magnets. Check out: Is Your Agency Loved?
  5. You might need a bit of time to massage your clients through the delivery of unexpected services ahead of directly asking for their help. As they say, give and ye shall receive.
  6. A big must. If you get a referral, make sure that you keep the referrer informed about your conversations and any progress. Don’t forget to say thank you. If you actually win new business, you might want to consider sending a gift as follow-up.

Referrals are nice, but one eventually runs out of friends with friends. How to deal with this unfortunate fact? Have a broader sales plan.

My Favorite Review of The Levitan Pitch

You Suck Levitan

b2ap3_large_dont-suckI haven’t looked at my book’s Amazon page for awhile. I’m happier looking at the Amazon Createspace page that shows my sales. However, I did take a look yesterday after a friend alerted me to a 1-star review and found this beat-down. Looks like I suck.

Me thinks that EverybodylovesKittens needs a good hug.

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OK, next step… for you. Buy the book, hopefully enjoy it (and win more new agency accounts) and then leave me a happy-puppy review. Thanks.

Stuff’s Happening

Time Keeps On Ticking

Bomberos-21Some things on my plate. Just thought I’d share them to get out a quick personal update.

I am now into my 8th month of living in Mexico. This was a great decision and great timing!

I am in the process of writing a long(ish) blog post on lead generation -> lead nurturing -> pitching -> closing. All tailored to my advertising, digital, design, etc. agency readers.

I am writing my presentation on agency business development for my talk at the huge (fabulous, great, incredible — Thank You Donald) PPC Hero Conference in L.A. in April. This link, go to this conference, it is the largest PPC conference, gets you a nice discount.

I am getting ready to interview Peter Shankman on the gift of ADD / ADHD and its relationship to working in an advertising agency and knowing how to get the attention of B2C and B2B ‘consumers.’ This will become a guest post on HubSpot and then amplified across my social networks.

I was just interviewed by Paul Wicker for the AdStage podcast. I’ll let you know when it gets published.

I am toying with the idea of writing a new book. This one on why you will NEVER get to, or want to retire. It would be an update to my ‘traing wheels’ book Boomercide: From Woodstock To Suicide. Boomercide was my first book. It about how you can use suicide as a financial planning tool. I’m serious.


I am working on my 3-year Mexican photo project GENTE.MX  I am in the process of photographing my town, San Miguel de Allende. Website up soon. Two images from the 300 – 500+ series are above and below.

SMA Street 4 stars 10.16-1

My Book’s Video On Ad Agency Pitching

My Book On Ad Agency Pitching – And, The Use Of Video To Sell It

TheLevitanPitch_COVER_Small-202x300A good and smart advertising friend is in the process of marketing his new book, “Rise Up: How To build A Socially Conscious Business”. Writing books is a good thing. He asked for some ideas on book marketing since I’ve published four books – two non-fiction and two photo books  – with another on its way.

Here is one big book marketing idea… Create an informational sales video for your book and get it up on your book’s Amazon page and… your book’s sales landing page. I put my video below to give you an example. However, here are a few more points.

  • Write a book to help sell your agency. Pick a subject that deals with your target market’s ‘pain points.’ My pain point, targeted at YOU, is how to win more new business pitches.
  • Your book will make you look like an expert and isn’t that what your future client is looing for?
  • The book does not have to be looooooong. Just, super smart and helpful. Look at how short many of Seth Godin’s books are
  • Use smart interviews with industry leaders and influencers to create content and make friends. About one-third of book is loaded with highly useful interviews.
  • Market the book in your inbound and outbound marketing programs. You know how to do this.
  • Repurpose and leverage the book’s content on your Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blog pages.
  • Guest post on big industry websites to gain broad awareness and message reach.
  • Get your friends, like me, to help promote your book.
  • Use the book to get invited to speak at conferences. I am in April in L.A. speaking at Hannapin Marketing’s Hero Conference. It is the world’s largest PPC conference. My session is directed to digital marketing agencies: “Is PPC The Smartest Way To Sell Your Agency’s Services? Um, No.”
  • OK, one more link. here is my HubSpot presentation on why you should write a book

My ad agency dedicated book, Buy This Book. Win More Pitches. (see above to purchase) just had its best sales month in January. I think that is because agency folks just like you thought hard over the holidays about how to grow your agency. As a FYI, in addition to books sales, I also get a large number of qualified leads for my consulting business at the start of the year. Looks like you guys have some pent up sales needs. Give ma a shout, I can help you get this whole process right.

OK, My Video

I asked Rebecca Armstrong, Managing director of Portland’s North agency to interview me. Easy!