Why collaborative partnerships are the way to grow your agency
How do you go about growing your agency? Do you rely on repeat business and recommendations? Or do you only pitch for work within the scope of your current service offering?
This post is about how you can grow your business in a different way, through partnering with other agencies and freelancers that offer complementary services to yours. Services that you don’t currently offer but that sit well with what your current clients expect.
We are living, and working, through unprecedented times and opportunities to grow your business and now more important than ever. Indeed, working together with agencies that offer complementary services allows you to increase your service offering whilst allowing you to increase profits and increase your customer outreach. Word of mouth recommendations still holds sway over people’s decision making so having someone who you can recommend as a partner service increases your client’s trust. This makes them more likely to spend money with your agency.
So, what do I mean by collaborative partnerships?
A collaborative partnership is where you seek out an individual or company that you can partner with to offer additional services to the ones that you currently offer. The key thing is that its someone who you work with together in a professional manner with mutual respect and shared business goals. These are beyond a simple transaction like you would have on a site like People Per Hour where you pay for a service and there is little personal contact. This is happy collaborating.
For example, If you run a marketing agency, find someone who can provide another piece to the puzzle who offers web design or development. If you are a developer, partner with PR and marketing agencies and offer those services as extras to your clients. These are business opportunities that you can take advantage of. Best of all, some of these partnership services can be white-labeled so they appear that they are part of your business when in fact they are an outsourced piece of work.
We find that its best to do your research and to collaborate with people who share similar values to yours. If open communication is top of your list for the characteristics that you are looking for, then make sure that you don’t compromise on this. If timekeeping is important (obviously), then make sure you get examples of where deadlines have been met. Identify what is important to you and seek that out by having conversations with people.
What else can you offer?
Here are some examples of additional services or professionals that you could partner with:
- Content experts
- SEO specialists
- UX Specialists
- Web developers
- Web developers with a particular specialism like WordPress or Shopify
- Marketing agencies
- Life coaches
- Digital experts
- LinkedIn lead generation experts
Best of all, these people can all be found in one place, LinkedIn, so don’t be shy, find the people who can add value to your business and reach out.
- Research services that you could offer that you don’t. Think about all possible opportunities
- Find reputable businesses that offer these services, either on LinkedIn or on the web. There are likely to be more and more self-employed professionals that are available now that have years of experience that you tap into.
- Research thoroughly to make sure that you share similar values and ethics
- Start a conversation and to see if you are a good fit for each other
- Do a trial piece of work together or hire them yourself to do some work on your business. The best way to be able to sell someone else services is if you are sold on it yourself.
- Form a collaborative partnership and define how you can communicate most effectively. Define if you want to be white-labeled or to work together as fully visible partner companies
- Advertise these new services and rinse and repeat for any other complementary services