Navigating The Buyer’s Journey: Insights For Agencies

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In this episode Rob Da Costa, our host dives into the importance of understanding the buyer's journey for agencies. Rob breaks down the three stages of the buyer's journey - awareness, consideration, and decision - and explains the common mistake that agencies make when overlaying their marketing communication. 

In the first stage, awareness, Rob suggests creating short-form marketing content to get people to know the agency exists. 

In the second stage, consideration, education-based marketing is used to provide more detailed content to nurture leads. 

Finally, in the decision-making stage, the agency needs to gain the trust of the leads by proving that they can solve their pain points. 

Tune in for more insights on understanding the buyer's journey for agencies!

Time Stamp

00:00 Introduction
Rob introduces the topic of understanding the buyer's journey and the stages of the buyer's journey.

01:34 Importance of understanding the buyer's journey for agencies
Rob stresses the importance of understanding the buyer's journey and how it impacts the way agencies market themselves and communicate with potential clients.

03:18 The stages of the buyer's journey
Rob breaks down the three stages of the buyer's journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.

04:51 Overlaying marketing communication across the three stages
Rob discusses the mistake that agencies often make by not overlaying their marketing communication across the three stages of know, like, and trust.

06:58 First stage: Awareness
Rob explains the first stage of the buyer's journey, awareness, where short-form marketing content is created to get people to know the agency exists.

09:21 Second stage: Consideration
Rob dives into the second stage of the buyer's journey, consideration, where education-based marketing is used to provide more detailed content to nurture leads.

12:41 Third stage: Decision
Rob concludes the episode by discussing the third stage of the buyer's journey, decision-making, where the agency needs to gain the trust of the leads and prove that they can solve their pain points.


“If you're not considering the buyer's journey when creating your agency's marketing content, you're likely missing out on potential leads and sales.” - Rob Da Costa
“In the consideration stage, educate your leads with more detailed content that helps them recognise your agency as THE experts." Rob Da Costa
"When it comes to the decision-making stage, gaining trust is key - focus on demonstrating that your agency has a proven track record of solving pain points for clients." Rob Da Costa

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 Full Episode Transcription

Hey, everyone, it's Rob Da Costa here, agency owner and agency coach, and I'm excited to bring you another episode of The Agency Accelerator podcast. Today I'm talking all about the buyer's journey and the importance for agencies to understand their buyer. And I want to share some of the mistakes that I see agencies making time and time again in their marketing. Now the buyer's journey is the process a customer goes through to the point of purchasing a service from you, so the journey consists of several stages.

These stages typically are broken down into awareness, consideration and decision. So that's what we're talking about today and let's get on with the show. I'm Rob Da Costa, and this is The Agency Accelerator podcast. As someone who has stood in your shoes, having started growing and selling my own agency, I know just how it feels in the ups and downs of agency life. So this podcast aims to ease your journey just a little by sharing mine and my guest's experiences and advice as you navigate your way to growing a profitable, sustainable and enjoyable business.

So in today's episode of the podcast, I want to talk to you about the buyer's journey and some of the mistakes that agencies make when it comes to their marketing. Now the buyer's journey is the journey that your prospects take from when they first become aware of you to where they start getting to know I can trust you. So they're considering, should they buy from you and the final stages where they're making that decision to purchase now? As I said, I want to share with you some of the common mistakes I see marketing agencies make with their marketing.

Now, of course, that's quite surprising because you'd expect marketing agencies to be great at their marketing. But of course, it's the cobbler's shoes. We all know what we should be doing, but we don't always do it. I'm sure you'll be listening to this episode nodding your head but thinking am I doing all of these things? And then the key mistake they make is that they don't overlay their marketing and their outbound communications across these three stages of no like and trust or awareness, consideration and decision.

So what happens is they do a piece of marketing. They expect to get results immediately ie. New customers and lots of inquiries, but they don't get that result. And so they move on to the next new shiny new object, or they decide that strategy just doesn't work for them. Instead, what they need to do is attract new leads into their world, which is Stage one. Nurture these leads from initial awareness to consideration or from no to like, which is Stage two, and then ultimately move them to Stage three, which is the decision-making process where they trust you, and they're now trying to decide if they're going to buy.

As I said, this is similar to no like and trust which I've spoken about many times before. Now, just remember that at the end of the day, we won't buy anything, even a bottle of water unless we trust the brand and we like the brand. And the same is true for your marketing. So your goal needs to be to have leads and prospects at each of those three stages. So the top of the sales funnel, which is the awareness stage, or getting to know you the middle of the funnel, which is considered or getting to like you and then the bottom of the funnel, which is a decision and getting to trust you.

So let's dig into these three stages where you need to move your leads from getting to know you to liking you to trusting you. So ultimately they'll consider buying from you and ultimately choose you over the competition. So the first stage is that awareness stage, and at this point, you are just trying to get people to know that you exist and start showing them that you know what you're talking about and that you can solve some of their pain points. So this is the top of the funnel where we're trying to get new people to sign up for our email list.

We're trying to get eyes on our blogs or our social media or listening to a podcast like this. So those are the kind of things that you would have at the top of your sales funnel. In the awareness stage blog posts, infographics podcasts, sign-ups to your email list and all of the other things like that. At this point, you are creating short-form marketing content. You're not digging deep into the problem now, none of this is going to work if you don't have a clear niche and you don't understand your customers.

What you'll end up doing is writing very generic marketing copy. That doesn't resonate with anybody. Your goal at this stage is for someone to read your content and think, “Oh my God, that's exactly what's going on for me”. This person is a mind reader. And of course, once you've done that, they're going to want to learn more about you, and that's when they move to that middle stage of consideration. So, if you're relying on your content on your website with blogs and so on, then make sure that you are optimising for SEO. And again, make sure that you also have a way of moving those readers of your website or those listeners to your podcast to move into your email list by offering some kind of sign-up in return for something more detailed.

So you might be writing a blog on a niche, for example. This is what I would do, and then in that blog, you would say, if you want to learn more about this and get a step-by-step guide, then download my free guide. And of course, for the reader to get that free guide, they're gonna have to buy it in inverted commas with their email address. And then you're moving them into that middle nurturing stage of the funnel of consideration. So that's stage one, which is the awareness stage or the stage where they're getting to know you and you're introducing them to your world.

Stage two is the consideration stage, and this stage is where we are providing more detailed content. I call this education-based marketing. This is where you are nurturing your leads and you're genuinely providing them with some value that is going to help them in their business because this is where they're starting to consider. Could I work with you now? One mistake I see people making here is that they are too afraid to give too much of the good stuff away in their marketing because they think they need to save that for their paying clients.

But just remember, you need to demonstrate you know what you're talking about and your credibility at this stage. So of course you need to give some of the good stuff away to help you allay that fear. I just want to remind you that people buy from you or buy from me not necessarily because of the content, but because we are gonna handhold them through the process. Or if we provide a consultancy done for your service, we're gonna solve the pain for them. So clients very rarely buy because of the content they buy because of that process, that hand holding or doing it for them or doing it with them to help them solve their pain.

So don't be afraid of giving away really good content at this stage. As I said, it's going to be more education based. It's gonna be more detailed eBooks and case studies and practical tips on things that they need to do to overcome the particular pain that you are solving Now. One thing you want to do is build your email list. You want to be able to segment your leads based on their needs or pains, and not just nurture everybody with the same kind of campaign because the danger there is that you are going to start missing the point because this isn't going to be the key issue for all of your audience.

So you want to be segmenting them as much as you can. And one of the ways you're going to do that is simply in the forms that they fit and ask them something about their business. So, for example, if you download something from my website, I'm going to ask you how big your agency is or if you a freelancer so I can segment my audience are based on if they're freelancers if they are small businesses or their mid-size businesses. And obviously, each of those different audiences is gonna have different challenges, which I can start to solve because I've segmented my audience.

The other thing that you want to do at this stage provides some kind of social proof or testimonials or short case studies to demonstrate not only that, you know what you're talking about, but that you've solved this particular pain that the reader might have with other clients in the past. So make sure you pepper your content with testimonials and case studies and video testimonials where you possibly can. So the third and final stage of this is the consideration stage. This is where they are starting to trust you, and you're gonna have more 1 to 1 conversation with them.

And this is the point where they have already identified that they have the pain that they need to solve it. And they're now trying to decide, are they going to buy from you, or are they going to buy from somebody else? So these are gonna look like phone calls, strategy meetings, face-to-face meetings, zoom meetings, proposals and so on. And obviously, you want to use case studies to help demonstrate that you know what you're talking about and that you've helped other people just like them, solve the problem that they have now.

One of the things that you want to make sure that you do, which a lot of people don't do is be good at following up on your leads. You need to be a rock viler and decide. Well, if someone's got to this stage of the sales process, I'm gonna follow them up. And there's one of three responses that they can give you. Yes, I want to buy from you. No, I don't want to buy from you or I want to buy from you but not yet. In this case, you're going to have a future follow-up.

And the only response you can't have is nothing. So you have to be a rock viler here and follow them up promptly. And make sure, obviously, on those calls that you are listening to them, you are overcoming their objections and concerns. And obviously, you want to find a way of creating some kind of urgency and scarcity, so they make a decision. So those are the three stages of your sales funnel or your buyer's journey that you need to move people through and you need marketing to support you at each of those three stages.

I now want to share with you the sort of 10 mistakes that I see agencies making when it comes to generating leads and nurturing them through the sales process. So I'm gonna share with you 10 things. Let's see how many of them you can relate to. Or hopefully, it will be zero and you'll say, “Yeah, I'm not making any of these mistakes”. So some of these I've already said, but worth repeating. Number one is not researching your target audience, not niche clearly and not having clear buyer personas so that you are not segmenting because this is going to waste time.

And it's gonna be reaching out to people with messages that aren't really resonating, and therefore they're not interested in your product or service. That's number one. Number two is just more broadly not having a clear lead generation strategy. So that's where people lurch from one shiny object to the next. Rather than having a robust strategy for attracting and capturing leads and nurturing those leads to such a point, they become customers. So that is number two, not having a clear lead generation strategy, and number three is well, if you do have that in place, are you tracking and measuring your lead results so that you know what works and what doesn't work?

And you can do more of what does work and stop doing less of what doesn't work and, of course, optimise your campaigns to maximise the results that you get. That's number three. Number four is well, I might be good at generating leads and these email sign-ups. What I'm not good at is engaging and nurturing your leads. So obviously, if you don't engage with your leads regularly, then they are going to lose interest and become colder and holders. And then when you do message them, they're gonna feel like it's spam that you're sending.

So remember, we're trying to build no like and trust, and one of the ways we're going to do that is by nurturing your leads through communicating with them regularly. Number five is not segmenting or personalising your communication with your leads. And if you don't do this, then you're gonna send very generic messages or even irrelevant messages to your audience that don't hit that nerve and don't resonate with them. And therefore they're going to leave your world mistake. Number six is not providing value to your leads. I've already mentioned this, but some people feel like they don't want to give away too much in their marketing.

But this ends up meaning that you're giving very generic responses or information that everybody would give or you're being too salty and too pushy. You want to make sure that you are getting this 80-20 balance 80% of the time, providing value 20% of the time selling. So don't be afraid of providing value and the good stuff to your list, because that was how you demonstrate you know what you're talking about and you build that credibility. Number seven is not following up on your leads promptly. So when someone moves further down the sales funnel and they identify themselves as a potential customer, you need to be quick on following them up.

And of course, the longer it takes, the colder that lead will become. And then you've put a lot of money and effort to get them to that stage and you've lost it. So make sure you are responsive in following up leads, and number eight kind of goes hand in hand with that which is not qualifying and prioritising your prospects. So you might get a lot of leads, but you might not convert them very well. So you want to make sure that you are identifying your five-star leads, which means they are a good fit.

They have a need right now. The need that they have is something that you can solve and solve for other people. And they also have the budget to spend on your services. So that's what our five-star prospect looks like. And you need to make sure you're qualifying your leads to identify those. So you can spend time on those rather than the prospects that are just time waster info gatherers. And they aren't the people that you want to spend lots of time on.

They're the people who can digest your education-based marketing, but not your time. So make sure you're qualifying and prioritising properly, which is number eight and then the state number nine is not creating a sense of urgency or scarcity and sort of leaving it with the prospect. Once you've sent them a proposal, you need to make sure that you don't get ghosted and that you are creating a sense of urgency with them to make a decision, because otherwise people are generally pontificators and they'll put off today what they can do tomorrow.

Or they'll go and start looking for other options. So you want to make sure you mitigate that as much as possible. So figure out how you can create some urgency and scarcity with your prospects. And finally, Number 10 is not closing the deal with the customers, so you might be good at generating these appointments. You might be really good on those calls, but you're really bad at closing the deal. So you need to make sure that you get dates in the diary to follow up once you've sent a proposal and that you do put your salesman hat on at that point and try and close the deal.

So those are 10 mistakes that you aren't going to make because you followed everything else that I said at the beginning of this podcast. So hopefully that has been useful for you. You'll be able to read the show notes with this, which will outline those 10 mistakes in more detail. But I hope this has been a very practical episode. I hope it gets you thinking a bit. I'm sure we can all relate to this and think there are some areas in which we can do better. And as ever, if you enjoyed today's episode, please make sure you subscribe.

Please do consider leaving a review on the Apple podcast and, of course, please feel free to share this podcast with your agency. Friends and colleagues but other than that, have a great rest of your week and I will see you next Thursday for the next episode of The Agency Accelerator podcast.

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