8 Ways to Achieve Agency Growth (No Matter Where You're At Right Now)May 22, 2023
Every entrepreneur wants to grow their business regardless of how long they’ve been in business. That might look like taking on 1-2 clients at a newer agency, or established agency owners could focus on expanding their offerings instead. But agency growth is possible no matter where you’re at, even if it seems like an uphill battle!
How to Achieve Agency Growth at Any Stage of Your Journey
No matter how long you’ve been an entrepreneur, you can experience massive agency growth. It’s all about focusing your energy where it really matters and aligning your daily priorities with your goals. Here are eight ways you can boost your agency growth and work toward your dream business at any stage of your career!
#1: Focus on Mindfulness
Mindfulness helps you stay grounded and present in your agency no matter what’s on your plate. It helps you stay calm when you would normally start spinning your wheels and stress yourself out. Mindfulness practices can give you an extra burst of energy and focus, too, which helps you power through big projects or figure out tough strategies that move the needle and boost your agency growth.
There are a ton of mindfulness practices you can incorporate into your day, from journaling and meditating to disconnecting from work and setting intentions (more on that in a minute). But consistency is key! Mindfulness practices have the most impact when they’re done every day. Carve out a bit of time in your schedule to recenter yourself and get present, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes.
Related: Why Mindfulness in Business is So Important (and 7 Tips to Get Started!)
#2: Become a More Intentional Agency Owner
Intentionality is a huge part of working toward your agency growth goals at any stage of your business. Something intentional is planned or done by design; being intentional means being deliberate and purposeful in everything you do. Growing an agency takes a major dose of intentionally! You can’t waste time, energy, and resources on projects and clients that hold you back from your goals.
When you decide to implement intentionality into your business, you commit to only taking action on the things that are most important to you. This helps you streamline your agency’s offerings and delegate tasks that aren’t in your zone of genius. You can be intentional with your time and dedicate yourself to high-impact tasks while your team takes care of the everyday responsibilities that keep your business running.
#3: Know Your Value
Lots of agency growth comes from landing new clients and securing larger retainers, but you have to have the courage and confidence to go after those opportunities! Limiting beliefs around your value as an agency owner can hold you back at any stage of your career — just because you have 5+ years of experience doesn’t mean self-doubt can’t sneak up on you!
These limiting beliefs can be about anything: your skills, the price of your retainers, your ability to work with big clients…you name it! The best way to ward them off and keep your confidence levels high is to fully know your value as an agency owner.
You have valuable, sought-after skills that clients need, and they want to work with you because of your unique talents. No one else brings to the table what you can! Focusing on these positive thoughts instead of negative ones is a big mindset shift to make, but it’s crucial to your agency growth.
#4: Niche Down Your Business to Reach Your Agency Growth Goals
I’ve said it a million times before and will say it a million times more: niche down your business! When you niche down your agency, you hone in on a specific industry, client type (individual vs. company), and/or set of services you’re uniquely able to offer clients. Your niche should be something you truly love that lights you up and gets you excited to work every day: you won’t be motivated to grow if you’re totally disconnected from your work!
A lot of people think that getting super-specific with your business can hinder your agency growth, but it’s actually the opposite. When you niche down your business, you can cultivate deep expertise and relationships in your chosen industry, which helps establish your credibility. You’ll be seen as the go-to agency in your niche, both for clients and media contacts. Clients of all sizes (and budgets) are looking for that extensive knowledge and will pay a premium for your experience, resources, and connections.
#5: Protect Yourself From Burnout
Burnout is a major problem for every entrepreneur, but especially for agency owners with a ton of projects on their plate. Long-term stress like this leaves you emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted, and you won’t be able to execute any projects to your standards or continue generating killer results for your clients. Burnout can lead to procrastination, a lack of creativity, or a sense of dread every time you sit down at your desk. You can’t lead a team or push your agency closer to your goals if you’re working from a place of burnout and exhaustion.
Protecting yourself from burnout is a key part of maintaining consistent agency growth, and it should be a top priority for agency owners of all experience levels. To prevent burnout, you need to listen to yourself. What do you need from your personal life? From your team? From your clients?
Set down firm boundaries where you need them. Don’t be afraid to step away from your desk, disconnect from work, and take time off when you need to. Delegating more tasks to your team and saying no to projects and clients that aren’t aligned with your vision for your agency is a major part of warding off burnout!
Related: How to Avoid Burnout When You're a Busy PR Professional
#6: Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Every agency owner will deal with impostor syndrome at some point — you’ve probably already dealt with these feelings! Impostor syndrome is when you feel unqualified to be where you are and undeserving of your success. It can come with a lot of anxiety and fear over being called a fraud and suddenly losing all you’ve worked for. Many people experience impostor syndrome when they get stuck in a cycle of comparing themselves to others or have gotten some not-great results for the first time in a while.
Feeling like a fraud leaves you scared and anxious about going after new opportunities that can boost your agency growth. You won’t put your best foot forward with a new project or dream client proposal if you think you’re undeserving of it! Your confidence can really take a hit with impostor syndrome, so you need to beat it!
Niching down, improving your skills, and developing your expertise can all help you overcome impostor syndrome. When you find yourself playing the comparison game, remember that you’re comparing yourself to a highlight reel: everyone has setbacks as well as successes, but we don’t share our failures online, do we? Avoid putting unrealistic expectations on yourself, let yourself fail and learn from your mistakes, and take time to celebrate your (totally deserved!) wins.
#7: Prioritize Work-Life Integration
You’ve likely heard of work-life balance before, but I much prefer work-life integration. With work-life integration, you’re totally in control of your time, both in and out of the office. It’s all about building a life that aligns with your vision of success; for me, my goal was to be a successful entrepreneur while also being a plugged-in, supportive mom to my two sons.
Work-life integration gives you a flexible schedule to get all your work done while still resting and fostering strong relationships in your personal life. To achieve this, you need to set boundaries, say no, and structure your agency to support your vision for your life. You need to say no to clients and projects that don’t serve you (and will only hinder your agency growth) so you can dedicate energy to what lights you up and inspires you. Then, you need to charge what you’re truly worth to have the revenue that allows for agency growth and time off when you need it.
#8: Boost Your Productivity the Right Way
You know I’m all about staying away from hustle culture, but you still need to be productive to grow your business! Just make sure you’re avoiding productivity traps: tasks and routines that keep you running in circles completing small tasks instead of working on high-impact projects. Productivity traps divert your energy from what actually moves the needle for your business and prevents major agency growth.
The worst thing about productivity traps is that they’re so common! Things like responding quickly, multitasking, or loading up your schedule with calls can feel productive, but they’re just zapping your energy.
Instead, focus on being intentional with your time and energy; seriously consider what the best use of your time is before you put it on your calendar. You might get fewer things done in a day, but you’ll complete the projects that really matter and will have a major impact on your business. I mean, what matters more: another client touch-base (that totally could’ve been an email) or a thorough proposal for a dream client?
Related: 4 Business Productivity Traps to Avoid in Your PR Agency
Agency growth can sometimes feel impossible, but it’s anything but! Whether you’re new to your niche, have been established for years, or are experiencing a growth plateau, you can get your agency to the next level. These eight strategies will help you push past obstacles and get your business on track to reach your biggest goals!