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How to Attract and Acquire More Clients for Your Agency, with Brent Weaver – Episode 110




Last updated Nov 3, 2023


How to Attract and Acquire More Clients for Your Agency, with Brent Weaver – Episode 110

Last updated Nov 3, 2023 | 0 comments



This week, Marcel talks with the Founder and CEO of uGurus, Brent Weaver, about how to get more clients – and more freedom in the process. We dive into Brent’s framework, which can help you attract the right customers, establish your authority, and build a marketing engine that will help you acquire a solid, growing client base.

About Brent Weaver

Brent is on a mission to help 10,000 digital agency owners achieve freedom in business and life by helping them own their market. He also happens to be the founder and CEO of uGurus – a business training and education company dedicated to this mission.

He also hosts one of the leading podcasts in the business niche – The Digital Agency Show and is the author of Get Rich in the Deep End: Commit to Your Niche, Own Your Market, and Audaciously Scale.

On his down days, Brent enjoys his road bike, swimming laps, and spending time with the family.

Points of Interest…

  • What led Brent to start uGurus 2:39
  • Introducing Brent’s ‘Five A Framework’ to get more clients 6:37
  • Step 2 to increasing clients – ‘Awareness’ 10:08
  • Step 3 to obtaining more clients – ‘Attract’ 12:43
  • Step 4 – ‘Authority’ 21:24
  • Step 5 – ‘Acquire’ 24:45

What Led Brent to start uGurus

First of all; fans of The Agency Profit Podcast know that we don’t really like talking about how to “get new clients” on the show… In fact, it was a condition when starting this show; there’s already so much great “generating new leads” content out there that we wanna talk about the other side of the business. However, I’ve made a few exceptions over the lifespan and today happens to be one of those (few) occasions.

Why? Well, frankly, when someone has a really innovative way of thinking about a topic, they deserve the airtime! And Brent just so happens to be one of those brilliant minds behind getting more clients. But before we dive into that, here is what Brent does in his own words…

“We serve digital agencies that are looking to attract more leads, win higher value clients, scale their businesses, achieve more freedom, more income, and more free time so they can do what they want.”

Doesn’t that sound nice… And isn’t getting more time what our show is all about? Like all of our featured experts, Brent has had ample time in the digital agency space – from starting a business (originally founded in ’99) with his friend aged 17, before scaling to a workforce of 14 and serving such marquee clients as Dish Network, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Adobe.

Prior to being acquired in 2012, Brent and his team had started producing video content based on selling websites effectively – especially from a pricing, proposal, and design perspective. People then told them how much the content transformed how they ran their business and the rest, as they say, is history.

While Brent loved working alongside various companies, corporations, and nonprofits, plus experiencing (literally) thousands of discovery meetings, he knew there was something about working within a niche. That said, he couldn’t stay away…

“I decided to kind of dip my toe in again, co-founding an agency called Unlimited WP, it was one of the graduates of uGurus and that’s been really cool. We’re up to about 70 people in that agency now… So I stayed away from running my own agency for a while, focused purely on coaching and training. But, you know, that’s in a really good place, we have a great mentor team, and no we get to do some other stuff.”

There you have it folks; he’s in the trenches and then reaching directly back to serve his clients in that way.

Side note: if you’ve got a process for how you go about defining your scopes for projects, it’s best that you install a regular cadence to review and tweak these numbers based on past performance as time goes on. The Agency Profit Toolkit is a free resource that has meeting templates that you could directly apply to this, among other goodies. Grab your copy below!

Introducing Brent’s ‘Five A Framework’ to get more clients

So, what is Brent’s high-level framework for trying to figure out where the focus should actually be for an agency owner?

“In terms of what market to go after and how to gain traction in the market; we use the Five A framework that’s in my book – Audience, Awareness, Attract, Authority, and Acquire. So, a very ‘customer first’ methodology.”

In other words, you should identify your ideal customer, ensure that your overall strategy is the right fit, etc. Novices to finding one’s niche will often stress over the answers to these questions, but given Brent is on his 13th niche he can attest that it’s simply better to choose something that seems “about right” and then set about finessing the mechanics of pursuing a certain market.

“It’s like somebody who gets good at the basic fundamentals of weightlifting. It’s easier for them to then learn a new exercise, or new routine, because they have that foundation of strength. They can then move on to other more advanced techniques… So ‘Audience’ is that first thing to get really clear on within your market.”

As for how you start about doing that? You need to ask yourself some questions regarding your target Audience beyond just “who are they?” You need to define basic characteristics; is it vertical; is it horizontal; is there an identifiable revenue range? If you can answer those questions about your audience, then you’re on the path to finding out some fundamental market research, including…

  • Your total addressable market
  • Applicable associations
  • The top influencers in the field
  • Social platform audience sizes
  • Sample keywords alongside traffic generation

As Brent puts it…

“If you can’t do that on an audience, then you’re not really clear on your market strategy. And it doesn’t have to be crazy narrow, like ‘undwater basket weaving producers in Maine’… but if you’re not uncovering a market that’s 5,000 people on the low end, and 50-to-100 thousand people/businesses on the high end, then that could be a problem.”

Step 2 to increasing clients – ‘Awareness’

Once you have your ‘Audience’ validated, the second ‘A’ in Brent’s framework is ‘Awareness’. Simply put; where does your audience hang out? Where can you get your message in front of folks? So, you need to make yourself of your audiences’ preferred events, associations, their influencers, then you can orchestrate paid ads, advertorials, content, and so on.

Of course, this all boils down to what you have available to spend. If you have zero disposable funds, work on a laptop from home, and unable to travel, then you’d be angling more towards leveraging partnerships and content; i.e. you contact people and potentially get access to an audience. However, if you do have funds available, then you should be thinking about sponsoring content, paying for advertising, and potentially hiring legion companies.

“Where do our people hang out – the people that meet this preferred profile? We might not get great answers in the early days, but every conversation we have with somebody, every email we send, every Google search we make, we get more and more clear on where our people hang out!”

This is where my framework comes in; there are basically four ways to get that awareness:

  1. You can pay for it
  2. Compete for it; where people are already searching
  3. Borrow it from people that already have it. And that’s what Brent and I are doing right now; I went on his show and now he’s on mine (I’ve built my entire business on borrowed attention; just figure out who’s already got a group of people)
  4. Take the attention; can we interrupt them in their inbox, on the phone, or via their DMs…

It’s just a question of understanding your competency and trying to commit to one. That way, you can figure out what works because, naturally, there’s going to be some trial and error before you build that momentum.

“A pro tip is if you can find a market champion – somebody who’s already established in the niche, that you can rely on to introduce you and give you the lay of the land – I think it can help you make that decision.”

Step 3 to obtain more clients – ‘Attract’

This is talking about stuff that your market cares about – in terms of attracting people to us. It’s all about knowing what’s going through your customer’s head. For example, your target market might struggle with attracting leads, getting high-value clients, and creating scaleable systems. So, in Brent’s experience, you should probably be talking about those things 97% of the time.

“I’m not out there trying to convince people to hire us because they need business coaching. I convince people to hire us ’cause they need more leads, right? And a lot of people in the agency space get stuck in their discipline. They talk about SEO and pay-per-click advertising a lot.”

That’s not going to get your target market excited. If, however, you dive into the ‘why’ of things, then that’s going to attract people.

For example, why is somebody investing in Facebook ads? Why are they investing in a new website – is it because they just like the way websites look? Or is it, are they trying to get more leads or customers? Maybe they’re trying to automate things or create an application and serve their members/customers in a certain way? When you spend your time talking about that stuff in the market – all of a sudden – people listen to you.

“I get people coming back to me and saying, ‘Oh, nobody’s signing up for my services! Nobody in this market needs more leads’. And I’m like, ‘Well, what do they need?’ And they say, ‘Oh, they need more employees’. To which I say ‘Well, how do you find new employees? You probably market, you build funnels, you probably do all the same stuff!'”

In order to ‘Attract’ you also must listen to your niche – in order to know what they actually need. It’s another thing entirely getting your client to realize what they actually need is something faster… ***more on that (and “chocolate broccoli”) from 17:04 minutes***

Step 4 – ‘Authority’

Simply put, authority is something that is attained in the marketplace. Word of mouth is particularly powerful in terms of people telling other people that you are the authority on something. It validates you and your company. Ultimately, though, you need to own it.

“You’ve got to say to your clients or your publishers, or your audience – THIS is why you should listen to me. Give people a couple of proof points – the context of who you are, who you help, and how you help them – in your content, pitches and proposals.”

Now, you don’t have to unfurl your entire client list, just the big hitters, and/or your mission (if you haven’t quite nailed a niche as yet). It’s also a good idea to have some case studies and relevant examples of work to hand. This compounds the fact that you know what you’re talking about, you’ve completed projects successfully, and this is where you’re headed.

Additionally, if you have engaged in any collaborations, do get those third-party endorsements in a row.

“As you’re reaching out to those publishers, partners or whatever, and you produce content together – get permission to use their brand, use their logo, and start putting those things into your proposals, right?”

At the end of the day, it’s all about trust. Humans (quite rightly) require trust in order to do business, and there are lots of mechanisms for how we identify trust – you just need to pave the way. Give the people what they want – and that’s usually a range of solid testimonials.

“You have to put that stuff into your marketing collateral, into your sales collateral, and even into your delivery collateral – ’cause every one of your team members is constantly selling the organization.”

Step 5 – ‘Acquire’

Our final step involves making sure that you have the right system and process from our audience to our calendar. In Brent’s experience, this is where a lot of agencies “screw up”. How? By having an ill-defined call to action.

“They go and give a webinar and then they finish somebody asks them ‘Hey, how can we find out more about you?’ And they go, ‘Um, Yeah. Um – check out my website!’ Then they just barf the URL or whatever. They haven’t thought about what their offer is. What’s the valuable thing that they can give to people to make them take action right now.”

Think about leaving a little nibble, a nugget, or a gift in order to acquire that lead. Having a really good immediate offer for “a next step” at every piece of content is imperative. If you’re doing a webinar, or indeed a podcast, what’s a little nugget that somebody can engage with in order to get more information and get you a captured lead?

Let’s face it, nobody is going to go to your website just to hunt down your contact page. Instead, add a little signature at the end of your emails saying (for example) “Fancy a free audit on your social media account? Drop me a line.” Acquire those leads at every interaction.

You need to think about the people who might not be ready to buy yet, the 80% of your readers or listeners who aren’t actively seeking anything apart from information. That’s where you need to bring the freebies – be it a demo, a template, or a spreadsheet.

Key takeaway…

Too many agencies rely on word-of-mouth referrals or waste advertising dollars to grow their business. When really, all you need to do is give people free stuff first! Hey, it helps to build trust.

Brent, being a man true to this ethos, is offering you – our APP fans – a free copy of his book. All you have to do is drop him an email at brent@ugurus.com and say you heard him on The Agency Profit Podcast! Loving the freebies.

See more from Brent…

Did you learn anything new from this episode? Let us know in the comments below! We have helpful blogs designed to bolster your agency profitability, such as How To Calculate Your Billable Employee Cost-Per-Hour.

Our next installment of #APP, on April 19th, will see Marcel talk with Peter Levitan for our 111th edition. Our previous blog – Episode 110 with Adam Rundle – can be viewed here…

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