7 Things You Need to Do to Grow Your Agency This YearJan 17, 2023
Growing your agency year after year is something that’s on every PR pro’s mind. And for good reason! Setting annual growth goals is crucial to keeping your business on track and staying motivated when the going gets tough. But you can’t grow your agency overnight — you need consistently put in the work to get yourself from Point A to Point B and beyond!
How to Grow Your Agency This Year (and Every Year!)
Growing your agency is a constant process. There’s going to be a ton of trial and error as you work through obstacles and push your business to new heights! This journey looks different for every PR pro, but there are strategies you can implement no matter what growth stage your agency is in. Here are 7 steps you need to take to grow your agency and reach all your goals this year!
Nail Down Your Vision for Your Life
Working hard and generating killer results for your clients is amazing, but you need to know why you’re working so hard in the first place! Having an overall vision for your life and keeping that in the back of your mind helps you stay motivated on this journey. We go super in-depth about this in my Elevate High-Performance Coaching program — your vision for your life is the foundation of your success!
So, you should start by reflecting on what success means to you in terms of big-picture wins and small everyday victories. Let go of what others around you have achieved and figure out what leaves you feeling fulfilled at the end of a long day. Don’t think about numbers here — instead, shift your focus to things like your mindset, how your team works together, and your work/life integration.
Once you nail down what a successful life and agency look like for you, it’s time to plan your path there! What are the steps you need to take to grow your agency and achieve the type of lifestyle you’re dreaming of for yourself? Go as in-depth or stay as general as you’d like. What matters most is the effort you put in to create the life you want.
Set Clear Financial Goals for Your Business
Time to dig into the numbers! As you work towards your dream life, you need to build up the revenue to support that lifestyle. What you include in this will depend on your unique circumstances and vision, but be sure to take your business and personal savings and expenses into account. Don’t forget to include a savings cushion for unexpected expenses!
Once you have that number, work backward to determine your monthly revenue goals. How many clients do you need on retainer per month and what will you charge them to make that amount? Be sure to factor in your standard business expenses, like salaries for your team, software memberships, and continuing education programs.
You’ll likely have to take on more clients or raise your rates to make it happen. And that’s okay! Start small and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Expanding your client roster and charging higher fees will happen naturally as you grow your agency.
Define Your Boundaries
The fact of the matter is this: you’ll never be able to work on your business if you’re always working in your business. You can’t put time and energy into growing your agency if you’re always tied up with clients! Defining and enforcing your boundaries is one of the most important steps you can take while working toward your goals.
Set expectations with your clients on when you will and will not be available, from nights and weekends to your exact working hours. Limiting meetings and call lengths is a really powerful way to get time back into your day, as well. If a client begins to show red flags and your inner alarm bells start ringing, don’t be afraid to walk away and move on.
Saying no to things seems counterintuitive when you want to grow your agency, but it frees up space for you to work on the things that really matter. Instead of fielding supposedly urgent emails at all hours of the night, you can enjoy quality time with family and friends! Less time spent in meetings means more time spent working your creative and strategic muscles to land dream clients with massive retainer fees. Major win-win!
Become a True Expert in Your Niche
The media landscape is constantly changing for everyone, but staying plugged in is the best way to become an expert and authority in your niche. Your dream clients want to work with PR pros who know all they can about their industry and are up-to-date on what’s happening in their niche. Sharing your thoughts on current trends or recent industry events can score you major points on a discovery call!
Even just a few minutes each morning to scroll through your newsfeed, watch a review of new tech, or check in on your niche’s leaders can seriously improve your industry knowledge. But don’t sacrifice your PR education in the process! You should still stay up-to-date on what’s happening in PR as a whole and continue improving your skills.
Reset Your Mindset
Tons of PR pros underestimate the role your mindset can play in scaling your business, but mindset is everything. If you don’t believe you can grow your agency and reach your goals, you won’t have the motivation to put in the work!
To know what you need to work on, you need to figure out what’s been holding you back. Reflect on the past year to spot the limiting beliefs and negative self-talk moments that brought you down. Be honest with yourself during this process — you can’t transform your mindset for the better if you’re not committed to changing.
We talk a lot about manifestation and visualization techniques in my Elevate High-Performance Coaching group. You can journal each morning, put affirmations on sticky notes around your home, make vision boards…whatever works for you! Stepping into a more confident mindset and feeling secure in your value as a PR pro doesn’t happen overnight, but every little step forward matters.
Build Up Your Team
If you want to grow your agency and live your dream lifestyle, you need a team to support you. Stepping out of the solopreneur mindset is tough, but you can take on more clients, deliver better service, and grow your agency faster when you’re not a one-woman show. If you already have a team, consider doing a biannual or quarterly business review to see where you need additional support.
Start by reviewing the services you offer to see where you could use an extra hand or delegate tasks that drag you down. I recommend hiring for specific positions like copywriter or graphic designer instead of general roles like assistant or intern. With these specialized roles, you can offload work outside your zone of genius to people you know will knock it out of the park.
Find an Established Mentor
Working with and learning from a mentor is one of the most effective ways to grow your agency while improving your skills. They know how to do it because they’ve done it before! You’ll get the inside scoop on what’s worked for them and how they’ve moved past the most common obstacles in your niche.
You need to know what you want from a mentor before you start searching for one. Are you struggling with your mindset? Or do you want to grow your niche expertise or become a more skilled entrepreneur?
Honestly, the best mentors are the ones who are actually running agencies every day. Think about it: why would you take advice from someone who hasn’t been in the industry for 5+ years when you could work with someone who’s in the trenches right beside you?! You need a mentor who knows the current state of PR inside and out and can guide you accordingly.
You can’t grow your agency into your dream business overnight. To reach your goals and start living the life you’ve dreamed of, you’ll have to consistently take small steps forward. These 7 strategies will set your agency up for success and growth year after year!