7 Reasons to Expand Your Services with Strategic Partners

Posted on August 27, 2020
  • Working with strategic partners can help you expand your services, amplify the work you do, and delight your client

If you run a marketing agency that specializes in one area of marketing, joining forces with a strategic partner can help you expand your services, amplify your team’s initiatives, and delight your client.

We found this out first-hand when a client hired us to increase their search presence. They were already working with a marketing agency, but needed an extra layer of firepower. While the marketing agency was creating in-depth, engaging content, the client wasn’t ranking for key search terms.

What the client needed was the benefit of each of our deep knowledge in complementary marketing disciplines. The agency was really good at writing content, and we’re really good at getting websites found.

Both of us had our respective strengths, and together we were unstoppable. Great content needs SEO to be found, and even the best SEO strategies will fall flat without great content.

The client got new visibility into their funnel so all teams could do stronger measurement and reporting. They also got a larger search presence, which turned into more leads. We got the benefit of engaging, well-written content that readers (and search engines) love. The marketing agency got the benefit of SEO guidance as they shaped their content.

It was a perfect example of a win-win-win situation. Joining forces with the agency gave both of us an opportunity to expand our services to the benefit of the client. The icing on the cake: All 3 teams just worked really well together.

If you’re looking for a low-risk way to expand your agency’s services, creating a dream team with other trusted companies could be the perfect way to do it. Here are 7 benefits of assembling a dream team with other boutique consultancies.

Image of a team

1. Extend the Life of Your Contracts

When you work with a strategic partner, you unlock a world of new skills to expand your services, and the flexibility to keep your dynamic duo together for the long-haul. Pairing up with a partner gives your client access to A-players in two disciplines. Who doesn’t want to work with TWO badass teams?

Offering a greater variety of services and deeper expertise make it all the more likely you’ll crush all your client’s goals — keeping them in the honeymoon phase that much longer.

The longer your client is thrilled with their work, the longer they want to work with you (and your partner).

2. Boost Performance of Your Work and Make Your Clients Happier

As we found when we teamed up with the marketing agency, both of our teams saw tangible benefits. Content and SEO go together like the two nouns that make up hip, millennial restaurant names like avocado + toast.

They brought the news judgment and storytelling skills to spin a ripping good yarn. We brought the SEO superpowers and technical tenacity to help the client stand out in a sea of search engine results.

When we joined forces to create Megazord of marketing, we brought the client more traffic that converted to more leads and became more customers.

And they were much happier with our combined superpowers than they would’ve been with either of us individually.

3. Reduce the Risk of Losing Clients to Competitors

Smaller, boutique consultancies often get unfairly compared with the big agencies. The two are apples and oranges, but most business owners just see a bowl of fruit. Sure, they’re different flavors, but they’ll provide the same natural sugar high, right?

The reality is that if a client wants a service (or thinks they need all the services) and the boutique provider can’t provide it, the client might start to look elsewhere. And that wandering eye could land on your big agency competitors.

A strategic partner rounds out the services you both offer, leading to stronger work and improved results for the client — making it less likely that they’ll browse Bumble while you’re out of town visiting your sister.

Tax and accounting

4. Be Efficient With Your Costs

If you’re a full-service agency, you’ll need expertise in every service you sell. Whether it’s SEO, PPC, PR, or any other type of alphabet soup, hiring top talent doesn’t come cheap. Not only that, but retainers differ from project to project, and not all clients will need a full service solution.

As an agency owner, you know that more senior-level employees means you’ll have to bring in that much more revenue to keep your departments staffed. Which means a higher hourly rate. If you’re a small- to medium-sized business, you might have an extreme case of sticker shock.

Hiring a boutique consultancy means flexibility in your bottom line. You can bring in the partner on the projects where it makes sense, and command a higher rate for your combined knowledge. If a client doesn’t need the extra services, you don’t have to bring on the partner.

5. Reduce Risk of Poor Communication or Rapport With Outside Vendors

Remember projects in school when your teachers chose your group and forced you to do a science report on an animal you hate? Being paired with outside vendors can be kind of like that.

But the stakes are much higher. Instead of getting a bad grade on one assignment, your inability to work together effectively could cost you clients.

Lack of communication can also make it difficult to collaborate creatively and take full advantage of the firepower you both bring as a team.

Working with a strategic partner is like working with your best friend on that science project. Not only do you get the benefit of their expertise, but you also get a team you know you’ll enjoy working with.

6. Reduce Overhead and Focus on What You Do Best

Launching a new service leaves you with two obvious paths. To the left is the option to hire a junior employee who doesn’t have all the expertise. And to your right is hiring a senior subject matter expert. The junior employee is cheaper, but has less knowledge. The senior employee has knowledge and experience, but they don’t come cheap.

If you don’t have the business already lined up to take a risk and hire that senior employee, you put yourself into a difficult situation.

The other issue we see is marketing agencies who back themselves into a corner believing they have to be everything to everyone. The poor, overworked employee is spending way more time and energy trying to strategize in disciplines out of their expertise — instead of focusing on what they’re really good at. Ultimately, this means poor execution.

A strategic partner allows for flexibility in your budget and your scopes. If you think a potential client could really benefit from SEO and content, but you only do content, you might be tempted to say you offer SEO to win the project.

If your employees don’t have SEO knowledge, you’re setting yourself up for failure. But if you have a strategic partner who does, you’re going to amplify your success.

better together

7. Reduce Time to Revenue

Many hands make light work — and that old cliche is just as true in marketing. The road to revenue can be long and winding. But clients only have so much patience for another monthly meeting where you tell them the metrics are trending in the right direction, but ROI is still some point in the distance.

When you pull in a strategic partner, you have two teams tackling the same goal, which means you’ll move faster.

The Takeaway

Working with a strategic partner is a great way to expand your services and serve your clients better — without the risk of hiring a new team.

You’ll have the flexibility to pull them in for the projects where it makes sense, the benefit of another deep well of knowledge, and more firepower to crush your client’s goals.

And if you’re really lucky, you’ll also have fun while you’re working together. If you’re thinking about adding SEO, web development, or technical firepower to your team, let’s talk.

We’re always looking for new partners to help us solve the biggest web challenges for clients.

You’ll genuinely enjoy working with us. So much that you might even want to play video games with us (hey, clients are doing it)…