Here’s The Way Agency Owners Are Growing A Raving Fan Base

by | Mar 11, 2024 | Business Development

Do you want to attract and convert more right-fit clients? Then don’t try to create a large follower base. They will only have a limited level of engagement at best. Instead, grow a fully engaged community.

Case in point: the seven-figure marketing agency Predictive ROI uses a Community Tree Model to map out the different elements of building a community for its brand and the brands of its clients.

“Building a strong community is much like growing a tree,” says Hannah Roth of Predictive ROI. “If you try to skip the roots, your tree will wither and die over time. If you don’t have a strong trunk, your tree may bend and break in bad weather. If you take shortcuts when building the foundational elements of your community, it won’t thrive, either.”

Roth’s title at Predictive ROI is mad scientist and strategist. Formerly a fisheries biologist before turning to marketing, she has a bachelor’s degree in science and went on to earn a certificate in business strategy from the Harvard Business School. We caught up for a phone interview for this article. For full disclosure, I was a client of hers who became a raving fan because we believe in applying the scientific process to marketing.

Roth’s advice to agency owners and strategic consultants is to build an actively engaged community that mentions your brand in social media posts about you, shares posts about your brand, tags you in posts, tags friends in the brand’s feed, writes about you in blogs, features you on podcasts, attends your online workshops and more.

Wait, can the brands of trusted advisors like marketing agencies, business consultants, and professional services really have raving fans? Yes, the trusted advisor brands can.

According to research from McKinsey & Company, brands that create community enjoy superior engagement levels with their client base, “which usually translates into higher conversion rates.”

Here are Roth’s six steps to grow your community tree:

Start with the roots of core values, goals, and intentions. “It’s important to know that your business has a culture whether you are intentional about it or not,” says Roth. “Be intentional about it. Our goals are about our financial targets. When thinking about this, try to envision a realistic view of where you’d like your business to be in the next one, three, and five years.”

Next move up the tree to niche, audience, and followers. “Having a narrow niche helps you water your community tree so you can be strategic with your content, the resources you share, and the assets you are providing,” says Roth. “Having a narrow niche also maximizes efficiency and profitability. We have shared dozens of resources relating to the benefit of niching down, so if the thought of that brings your anxieties bubbling to the surface, please take some time to dive into our content around this topic.”

Then start watering your tree with helpful and strategic content, resources, and assets. “Blog posts, frameworks, visual aids, infographics, and primary research are just some examples of what you can water your tree with,” says Roth. “And, it doesn’t always have to be original content. Being a synthesizer of information is also beneficial when nurturing and building your audience. Notice I said synthesizer, not aggregator. It is not enough to create a glorified news feed. You must infuse your point of view and thought leadership to add value for your audience.”

As we move up the tree, shift from audience to followers. “This often happens after a transitional moment, or change in relationship,” says Roth. “Maybe you have devotees of your blog posts or subscribers to your podcasts. Maybe someone follows you on LinkedIn.” Roth says whatever the platform, you often have low context with your followers, and you do not have email addresses for your followers. She calls this group “the unaddressables.” 

Look under your “digital bed” to find content that you can dust off and share again. “Do you have blogs, podcast episodes, frameworks, or tutorials?” asks Roth. “Pick three pieces of content and create a content calendar so there is no question about what you will share and when. You may even be able to schedule this ahead of time if your platform has tools for that.”

Think about adding value to your community. Roth asks: “Do you share exclusive content? Will you highlight your members? Do they get access to special training or events? How do you elevate your community so that members are getting consistent and relevant value?”

“Building a community takes work,” says Roth. “I won’t lie to you and tell you that it’s easy because it isn’t. It takes planning, intentionality, time, assets, content, and resources. At Predictive ROI, our sales cycles are shorter, trust with our clients and prospects is higher, our sales conversations are easier, and our conversion rate is significantly higher than others in our space.”

Henry DeVries

Henry DeVries is the editor of Agency Owner News and the CEO of Indie Books International. He is the host of the Agency Rainmaker TV Show, editor of the Agency Rainmaker Newsletter, and the author of 20 books including Marketing With A Book For Agency Owners.