There are two ways to win new business:
- Lie, cheat, and steal your way to the top
- Tell it like it is
The first method is simple. We see it everyday on the internet (and people are duped everyday off the internet too).
There may be honour amongst thieves, but it’s a hollow honour. Anyone can do it provided they first remove any notion they may have about ethics (ethics is the study of action and asks the question “how far are you prepared to go to get what you want”)
Politicians are masters at it. Dictators are masters at it. And anyone who has tasted power and cannot let it go, becomes a master of it too. Winning is the only goal for these people.
Path 2 on the other hand is the fun side. When your confidence builds to the point that you no longer care what anyone thinks about you because your focus is on serving and not taking, the world opens its doors.
Be warned though. Path 2 is not easy and will take every ounce of courage you possess. You will take hits to every part of your system (villains hate type 2 people), but that’s nothing compared to the love and loyalty you will receive from those who matter (people who also care).
So to that end, ask yourself again who you want your agency to serve. The haters or the lovers.
Once you get clear on your agency’s vision and position in the world and you start broadcasting your message, you will attract one or the other (if you start attracting both, there’s a problem with your messaging).
This is why teamwork is so important. If your team is not aligned with your vision, the team’s messaging will fail and you will attract the wrong audience. But get it right, and the force becomes unstoppable.
This is how giant companies are created.
In 2001 Apple started launching their first retail stores across the world. Jobs’ vision was for a new kind of store. Ones with friendly, non-pushy, non-salesy staff who knew their products well. They were there to educate and inform.
Around 2008/9 I signed a 6 figure deal with Apple and my software was launched across their European stores.
I was invited to speak a number of times at their UK flagship store in Regent Street, London, and won over many more fans.
I also visited many of their other UK stores and talked with staff about our products. This method of face to face contact helped promote our software further by creating ambassadors (I cared, so they cared – reciprocity at its finest).
All this was possible because both companies were single-minded on their vision. We knew our goals (happy customers), and were confident in our offerings.
It was that same confidence that got us another 6 figure deal with PC World in the UK (and kept us there longer than we should have been when cloud computing really took off and ripped my world apart – but that’s another story).
Right now, I’m starting it all again from scratch with the International Copywriters Association (ICA). We’ll see how that pans out in time, but how long that takes is not important. All that matters is it exists and continues to strengthen its vision and mission.
This is partly achieved through my posts for Science of Copywriting, and also through paid memberships of the ICA. Everything I do has those two components at the core.
Do this with your agency and you will reap the benefits: strong, single-minded vision and team, educational marketing via your landing pages, plus outreach to specific companies you and your team want to help. You don’t need anything more complicated.
If you’re thinking of starting an agency or are struggling to build one, read through the whole series and let me know how you get on in the comments.
PS. Over the coming months, watch out for more on the journey of finding clients and building a business whether you’re a freelancer, pro, or agency owner – and don’t forget to sign up for the ScienceOfCopywriting.com weekly newsletter delivered fresh to your inbox every Sunday.