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    3 Ways Advertising Startups Are Finding New Clients

    Launching an advertising agency in today's business climate can be challenging to the point of being discouraging if you're not prepared to deal with intense competition and other inherent obstacles that come with it.

    New brands have a bit of a dilemma – most prospective clients are looking for agencies that have extensive experience in their niche and a lengthy portfolio of satisfied clients, so most newcomers to the field can't compete with more established firms in terms of authority and reputation.

    Nonetheless, there are still plenty of fast-growing startups in the advertising and marketing industry, and every brand has to start somewhere, so lack of experience isn't a valid excuse to give up on client solicitation. For starters, here are at least three ways some of the fastest growing ad companies are expanding their client bases:

    Spreading Untargeted Brand Awareness

    As the owner or manager of an ad agency you should already know the importance of exposing your brand to as many people as possible. However, many new firms get so caught up in trying to generate “targeted” traffic that they forget the overarching goal of becoming widely known. Expanding into international companies can be especially beneficial for businesses that operate globally.

    According to Gurbaksh Chahal, founder of Gravity4 – one of the web's first cloud marketing platforms, one of the keys to the company's success was the decision to provide a service to businesses in 20 different countries.

    Although targeted advertising is ideal when you're promoting a client in a specific niche, when you're trying to market to all businesses who need advertising services you don't have to be as picky about how or where your brand appears, so long as it is in an appropriate context.

    Providing Referral Incentives and Being Accessible

    One of the best ways to generate new business is to motivate existing clients to become brand advocates. Many firms are achieving this through affiliate programs and referral incentives. Such initiatives not only allow your clients to receive benefits, discounts, exclusive deals, or percentage commissions for referring leads, it also gives third-party marketers the green light to begin promoting the agency as affiliates.

    In addition to making it easy for your clients to refer others to your services, you'll also want to make sure you're easily visible and accessible online by maintaining active profiles on all the major social networking sites. If a prospective client wants to examine what you have to offer or reach out to your agency, it should be as easy as conducting a quick Google search.

    Many agencies also have their leadership and employees personally visible on social media. A good example of this would be Chahal's public profile on Instagram. Taking such steps will create transparency and trust because it helps people get to know the key players in your agency, while also giving them another way to contact you.

    Utilizing In-House Advertising Leverage

    Finally, if a company is providing advertising as a service to other businesses, it should be able to use some of its own resources, expertise, and manpower to generate a good amount of traffic and leads for the agency itself.

    After running a robust and multi-faceted campaign for about 6 months to a year, most agencies have enough work to stay busy and facilitate expansion. In many cases an ad agency will land a few powerhouse clients that keep them busy working on their projects.

    Results Matter Most

    With all of the above taken into consideration, it's still worth noting that initial client solicitation is only the first step in building a client base. Agencies also have to deliver on their promises to ensure repeat business and positive reviews, and that's yet another reason why the industry's power structure is so difficult for newcomers to circumvent – the biggest agencies tend to have the most outreach potential, which gives them an unfair advantage when it comes to generating tangible results fast.

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