How I’ve Found My First High-Ticket Client in 23 Hours

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A simple social media post helped me launch a new digital marketing agency

Quite recently, I started a marketing agency that focuses on the french market.

I have been working in marketing for a little while now, and I noticed that the majority of digital marketing agencies in my home country weren’t as competitive and innovative as in the United States.

So I pitched a few fellow marketers, and we decided to start a digital agency that would be more in line with the latest best practices, to make sure we can deliver better results than the competition.

But before building such agency, we had to test the idea first.

Sure, we seemed to have a competitive advantage because we would be using more recent and performant marketing techniques, but would these work in the french market? And would companies hire such agencies?

So the goal, before starting a website, creating content, or having any sort of social media presence, was to find a client. A client that would accept the experimental aspect of the project, and a client that would be willing to pay the high-price that we were planing on asking for.

Naturally, we decided to go for paid acquisition as it seemed to be the obvious quick way to get our first client.

Exploring Paid Acquisition Options to Get a Client

Naturally, my first ideas were to run Facebook and Google Ads.

But a few things were stopping me.

Designing ads takes time. For this project, it meant designing a few landing pages, some creatives, write some good copy, do keyword research, do audience research…

It just seemed like a lot of effort. And on top of that, who would go from “I may need an agency” to “Let’s hire these guys for a few thousand euros” after reading a couple of lines of copy? Not saying this can’t happen, but I don’t believe that I am this good of a copywriter.

My next idea was to find some good potential leads on LinkedIn and maybe hire a closer to turn the lead into a client. But after a couple of research on the french market, being a closer is the new “get rich quick and make 6 figures easily in two weeks” thing. Lots of people are now selling digital products, telling people they can be a closer within 2 weeks of training and make bank.

I thought that these people probably knew as much about closing as I do if the only thing they got was a 2-week training.

So I decided that I will be the one closing.

But I encountered one more problem on LinkedIn: French people don’t use it as much (and not nearly as well) as people in the United States. Often times, people wouldn’t tag the company they work for, or they wouldn’t fill in their title, some executives aren’t even on LinkedIn at all. This made finding good potential leads quite hard and time consuming.

So I decided to outsource that part of the process.

And so, I published a simple LinkedIn post asking people if they would know anyone interested in hiring an innovative digital marketing agency. If they did know someone and if we ended up signing a deal with them, we would pay them €200 (around $250) for the lead.

Original LinkedIn post I published (translation below)

I trade you €200 for an email address!

Sending me an email address isn’t much effort, but it should pay you a few extras this summer.

A friend of mine and I are looking for a company that needs help in marketing. Ideally, it would be a company that has been disappointed by the traditional marketing agencies they hired in the past!

Does that ring a bell?

Do you have a friend that often complains about agencies that bring in questionnable results while charging a lot of money?

Or maybe your boss is looking for someone that can do something more elaborate than just pouring money into Facebook Ads while hoping that it will be profitable this time?

Or maybe one of your suppliers is looking for a new way to promote their products and services?

Good, because that’s what we’re looking for. Connect us.

If it seems like a good fit and if we can fix their problems, my friend and I will send you €200, as soon as the contract is signed!

If you need more information, please send me a DM!

I told you that I wasn’t the best copywriter out there.

I intentionally left the like count on the post. As you can see, it didn’t perform well. I’m not very active on LinkedIn, half of my connections on there speak English, and I didn’t even bother adding a visual to the post.

But nonetheless, following that post, three persons reached out to me. Two of them were interested for their own company. And the last one gave me a contact.

Two of them seemed to be a good fit, and so later that day, I called them and sent them a recap email.

The next day, one of them accepted the offer. The other one is now on our waitlist.

From the idea of finding a client quickly, to someone accepting, it took us a little less than 23 hours. And since it was the owner of the company that reached out to me directly, I didn’t have to spend €200 to pay for the lead, all I had to do was to offer a €200 discount on the invoice I sent.

Simple Wins the Race

I have read countless blog posts and watched hundreds of YouTube videos of people explaining how to generate clients for their agencies.

And almost every time, the process seems so complicated, with lots of steps, lots of complex interactions between the tools, and lots of room for errors. I mean, who wants to create a Facebook ad that will redirect to a landing page, that will redirect to a contact form, that will redirect to your freshly bought domain email?

If you have a business idea or if you want to validate an idea fast, the only thing you need is a few people that seem interested and that are ready to pay for it. A complicated system, or a fully automated system aren’t necessary at this stage.

The problem with complex solutions to simple problems, is that they will usually stop you or overwhelm you unnecessarily.

Who is to blame if your system can’t bring in clients? Your system? Your offer? Your copy? Your designs? Your landing page? Your targeting? Your wording? Your value? Your branding?

A complex system doesn’t help you figure out what the next step needs to be to get better results.

What I like about this simple LinkedIn post I did, is that I can explain why it didn’t perform well in terms of like and reach. But it still brought in results and it still accomplished what it was supposed to. If I didn’t get any contact back, I could have blamed the low reach of the post, and I would have tried to make a better post a few days later.

We often get tempted to build complex systems for everything because that’s what a lot of people are teaching online. Take note-taking for example. People are sharing their Notion templates and showing how they interconnect all their ideas in Roam Research. These tools and systems are fantastic I’m sure. But if you just read a cool article (like this one maybe) and you just feel like taking a few notes to remember it later, then a few bullet points on a piece of paper will do just fine.

So this is an article to encourage you to go simple. Especially in the early stages.

If you were trying to build a complex system for yourself or your business, simple it down, by a lot. Launch everything as fast as you can. And you might be surprised by the results you get.

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