8 Strategies The Top 1% of Agencies are Doing to Outpace Their Competition

After working directly with thousands of agencies over the past four years through the DigitalMarketer Certified Agency Partner Program, several trends have emerged among the top performing agencies that have led them to massive growth and expansion.

I’ll save you from the fluff and get right into the meat and potatoes.

These are the 8 strategies the top 1% of agencies are doing to outpace their competition.


Strategy #1: Top Agencies Are Niching Down

First, find your passion: what are you willing to get excited about?
The answer to this question can help you to identify who you should be

working with (and who you shouldn’t).

Once you do that, the next step is to identify the problems you can solve within this niche. Then figure out the profitability of that solution in that niche.


Strategy #2: Top Agencies Are Doing Cross-Channel Marketing

Don’t rely on just one platform to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and create conversions. Instead, leverage a variety of channels and platforms.

The country’s top agencies are hyper-aware that in 10 years, Facebook may not be the mogul that it is now.


Strategy #3: Top Agencies Are Strategically On-Boarding

Your clients are human beings and they stay with a business because they enjoy working with them. This is why it pays to nurture a positive relationship with your clients.

What’s the best way to create this relationship between your company and your clients? Email. Email is the workforce of your business—it’s the primary communication method in most agencies.

So create an email series that takes your clients through a sophisticated set of “Ah-ha!” moments to show them why you are different.


Strategy #4: Top Agencies Train Their Teams AND Their Customers

The best agencies train both their teams and their customers.
It sounds weird to train your customers. As an agency owner you may wonder,

“Doesn’t this mean that I’m giving them all of the knowledge they need to NOT need my services?”

It’s actually the opposite. When you train your customers you help them to become more successful while you become the linchpin, the secret sauce of their success.

The key to training within your team is to find your champion team members and give them access to certifications and marketing training. They’ll be the people who articulate why your customer needs a new landing page or a better tripwire (for example).


Strategy #5: Top Agencies Are Using Conversational Marketing

Many agencies are missing out on this. Make sure you’re marketing in a conversational tone.

For example, using a “Can I help you?”-style email campaign builds a relationship between you and your customers.

Be aware that there is a 68% average churn rate for agencies—which means you have to keep restarting the conversation with your clients.


Strategy #6: Top Agencies Are Using Their Community

There are 100,000+ agencies in the U.S. alone and 500,000+ in the world. This may seem like a lot of competition, but keep in mind there are 22 million small businesses in the U.S. and 125 million small businesses worldwide.

This isn’t your competition, it’s your community.

The best agencies understand this. They realize that agencies can help each other by becoming partners and referring business to one another.

Small businesses are the backbone of the world and agencies are the backbone of the backbone. When agencies work together, they inflate the community, they help each other, and they help their customers.


Strategy #7: Top Agencies Use Tools to Learn More About their Customers

The Customer Value Journey outlines our customers’ pain points and how
we solve them. For every pain point that we have a service for, we create a “Checklist of Pain” that shows our customer how to resolve that pain point on their own and with our service.

Here’s how to build your own checklist:

  1. List all of your products/services and revenue streams
  2. List the pain that each product resolves
  3. Create a “Checklist of Pain”
  4. Come up with a name for your Checklist of Pain that speaks to the overarching benefit of your products/services (i.e. Rapid Growth Checklist, Business Doubling Checklist, etc.)


Strategy #8: Top Agencies Have a Vision

The vision formula looks like this:

A (S+K -> PBC = V)


  • V = Vision
  • PBC = Positive Behavioral Change
  • K = Knowledge
  • S = Skills
  • A = Attitude


Simply put, the top 1% of agencies have these 8 plays in their playbook and are using them to outpace their competition.

Marcus Murphy

Marcus Murphy

Marcus Murphy is an entrepreneur and sales expert who cares deeply about the flourishing and success of entrepreneurs. Marcus previously worked for Yelp in San Francisco, going from start-up to multi-billion dollar giant. He has also worked at Infusionsoft as the Global Partner Development Manager where he developed and broadened new international markets through strategic partnerships, and sits on the advisory board for Linkedin. Currently, the Director of Monetization and a professional speaker at DigitalMarketer, Marcus has pioneered new and effective sales techniques that enhance the results of the traditional inside sales model. He believes a combination of inside sales, social selling, and strategic partnerships are the next generation of business growth. Marcus prides himself on his ability to connect with diverse and international audiences while captivating their attention with storytelling.