Many Startups during their infancy stage have very limited resources as well as advertising budgets to help them get off the ground running. So, there is this delicate dilemma that Startups face where they need “Big Agency” services but can only afford small “Boutique” prices. In this post, I will discuss experiences as a Startup Agency myself and how I helped various Startup clients get off the ground and succeed even further once they reached that next level of success.
Understanding Startup Mentality:
I was fortunate enough to be a part of two Tech Startups before starting my own SEM agency. This valuable experience enabled me to have a much better understanding of the common questions, concerns and goals/objectives. For example, below are a few things that helped not only my business model, but also the client relationship.
- Setting achievable expectations
- Creating a Process for building a solid foundation
- Setting initial shorter length contracts so they do not feel pressured
- Cost effective strategies leveraging all platforms
- Educating the client on most aspects of PPC, SEO, Analytics, Attribution, etc…
- Overall 100% transparency with everything
- Yes, sometimes going “above and beyond” the initial contract to keep them moving forward
Building the Foundation
Just like with the Discovery phase with the client where the agency understands the Goals/Objectives, CPA, Budget, etc.., setting up the basic framework in the beginning of the relationship was crucial to any future success. Getting things in place such as the following
- Google Analytics Tagging
- Conversion Tracking
- Website Functionality
- Basic SEO Tactics (<Title>, <H1>, Content, URLs. etc,,,)
- Creation of Landing Pages
- Testing, testing, testing….
I believe that educating the client during these delicate phases are crucial to ongoing success, learning and quite honestly Referrals in the future. (very effective). I would have weekly meetings where we not only go over the metrics, but I would educate them on which metrics were important to them and why. In fact, having the client understand that some metrics that they thought were important such as “AVG Time of Site” was not as accurate as they thought. (ie. customers switching to tabs in browsers, possible usability confusion, etc..) The bottomline is that the more you educate the client on how things work and what they mean allow for a better collaboration and future ideas on how to grow their revenue.
When I launched AfterClicks Interactive in 2009, I wanted it to be a Boutique Agency that provided Big Agency Results. In my opinion, the best clients are Startups because they provide allowed me to refine and improve future business processes and strategies. Moreover, as someone who has seen firsthand how some “bigger PPC Agencies” handle their client, it motivated me even more.
Testimonial from one of former my Startup Clients:
Working with AfterClicks was an excellent experience on a professional and personal level. They were a true partner to our business, helping us conceptualize, launch and optimize many of our initial paid search campaigns. They were dependable in their execution, responsive to our requests and a strategic collaborator in helping us reach key goals in our paid marketing plans. AfterClicks achieved excellent results, with strong ROI, consistent acquisition growth and a dedicated approach to managing our accounts.
- Matthew Field, BirchBox.com