Selling Strategy and Building Long-Term Client Relationships, with Molly Baker | Ep #697
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Are you striving to refine your selling strategy and cultivate enduring client relationships that stand the test of time? How can you elevate your approach to not just closing deals but fostering long-term partnerships that drive mutual growth and success? Today's guest started her business with the idea of embodying a strategic dance of trust, value creation, and genuine connection. Tune in to learn how leading with strategy can lead to success in the agency world. Molly Baker is the founder and CEO of Indie Consulting, a marketing agency that specializes in strategic planning and activation. Molly shares her journey from working with big brands to starting her agency. She explains her reasons for prioritizing strategy and highlights the need to deeply understand client goals and strengths before making recommendations.  In this episode, we’ll discuss: Why Molly chose to sell strategy to gain clients’ trust. The challenge of developing a repeatable process.  Offering a foot-in-the-door and client workshops to become a trusted advisor. A unique approach to account management.  Subscribe Apple | Spotify | iHeart Radio Sponsors and Resources E2M Solutions: Today's episode of the Smart Agency Masterclass is sponsored by E2M Solutions, a web design, and development agency that has provided white-label services for the past 10 years to agencies all over the world. Check out e2msolutions.com/smartagency and get 10% off for the first three months of service. Ditching the Agency Model and Forging Her Own Strategic Path After graduating from college, Molly kicked off her career working at a prominent agency, where she mostly worked in digital media buying for a few years. She learned a lot and enjoyed all the great things that come with working at bigger agencies. After that, she went to work on the brand side at Ben & Jerry’s, a great experience that allowed her to work with all types of agency partners. However, the brand side ultimately wasn’t for her. Wanting to find her own way in the industry led her to work freelance for some time as she gained more and more interest for the strategy-based offer. Eventually, it was time to give her vision a shot and see what happened. She always saw herself starting a company, although she refrained from categorizing it as an agency, aligning with her distinct vision. This leap of faith has proven successful, as her business continues to thrive five years later. Selling Strategy and Building Long-Term Client Relationships Most agency owners typically start by leveraging their expertise and working as freelancers, tailoring their services to meet their clients’ specific needs, all while trying to establish a successful business model. For her part, Molly took a distinct approach from the beginning. Initially, her value proposition centered around offering businesses the opportunity to hire her for a period of 3 to 6 months, instead of bringing in an in-house marketing director or digital strategist. This allowed business owners to thoroughly assess their needs and devise a plan before committing to a permanent in-house hire. It proved to be an appealing offer, especially at a time when business owners were overwhelmed by the options presented by digital but knew they had to embrace it to be relevant. As her business evolved, Molly expanded her services to include addressing traditional strategy inquiries, such as the most effective investment models or creative strategies tailored to each business. This evolution ultimately led to the development of a fractional resourcing offering, providing clients with a dedicated partner who could seamlessly integrate with their team on a full-time basis. It’s a very effective way to gain clients’ trust and get over the initial hesitancy that can come when they suspect the agency is just trying to sell something. Molly built a true consultancy where they sit down and help clients figure out the gaps in the
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