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How to Get Your First Agency Customer

Lindsay Halsey

Lindsay Halsey is a co-founder of Pathfinder SEO. She has over 10 years of experience working in SEO with small to large businesses. Lindsay focuses on teaching site owners, freelancers, and agencies how to get found on Google via a guided approach to SEO. Stay in touch on Twitter - @linds_halsey.

Getting your first agency customer can be an intimidating process. Especially if your agency is new to the world of digital marketing. Further still, you may not have any previous experience closing clientele as a digital freelancer. This only makes the task of closing one seem that much more daunting.

Taking all your hard work and efforts thus far into account, trust us when we say, you can do this. Landing that first client for web design, SEO, or another digital service is completely feasible. All it takes is some courage and getting out of your own mental way.

In this blog post, Pathfinder SEO shares seven inspirational ideas for getting your first agency customer, whether or not you have existing experience.

Getting Your First Agency Customer Without Any Experience

Without previous experience closing a client, the best way to go about getting your first agency customer is by believing that you can. Impostor syndrome comes for us all at one time or another. But going to battle with that mentality is the only way to embed the belief that your website can and will be successful.

Know and embrace the fact that you will make mistakes, sure. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not ready to successfully close your first client. Remember that hard truth that ‘without failure, you cannot have success’.

That being said, make sure your website is live and catering to your ideal client in every way. This website should be thoroughly branded, aesthetically pleasing, and rooted in user experience. This will be your agency’s bread and butter for lead generation in the long term, so make it count.

Let’s jump into the list of inspirational ideas, shall we?

7 Ideas For Getting Your First Agency Customer

1. Have a Website that You are Proud Of

This website is the center of your marketing collateral so it should be one that makes you uber proud. It doesn’t need to be award-winning, per se, but it should look and feel that way to you. Your website should clearly display the brand logo and allow multiple means of navigating to action items.

Action items are buttons that inspire action from the user. Examples of action items include imputing contact information for a newsletter or phone call back. Signing up for a discovery call with you or a team member, or signing up for a free giveaway or utility. And, of course, an opportunity to sign up for your product or service offerings.

How amazing would it be to know that getting your first agency customer is as easy as providing a ‘buy now’ option on your website? It’s exciting to think about.

2. Create a Google Maps Listing + Get 5 Reviews

When Google knows how to find you, the bots that crawl your website for SEO are more intrigued. That means there’s an increase in the possibility of a higher Google ranking for your website based on the keywords. And that spells more exposure, and by default, more leads. It’s a beautiful cycle that begins to unfold all because you created a Google Maps listing for your agency.

Now that the leads are being generated from the website, your agency can surely close some clientele. And once you have, make sure to capture some organic reviews. Concerned that you have no reviews for your Google Maps listing or that your rankings would increase if you had some vs none? You’re not wrong, but we’ll tell you a fun secret…

Genuine reviews that come from colleagues or friends who can speak to your professionalism, timeliness, etc., completely count. Yes, even if they aren’t official customers. Set a goal to get five reviews published to your Google Maps listing to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

3. Get Out in the World

Have some fun marketing your business using the power of word-of-mouth. Social media makes this easier than ever these days. Use it to your full advantage to shamelessly plug your business, the website, and all the juicy details about how everyone can find your service(s).

Set goals for this and make time in your schedule to help grow your business's awareness. Pathfinder SEO suggests:

  • Participating in one real-world marketing or networking event each week.
  • Joining social media groups and communities.
  • Target your audience with inclusive local events using resources like Meetup.com.

Never skip an opportunity to network. You never know who is looking for services just like yours or knows someone who is.

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4. Good Old Fashion Business Cards

Print marketing isn’t dead, you just have to get creative. Think outside of the box and most importantly, about what your targeted audience may be drawn to. Print media no longer has to stipulate a customary style business card.

Create stickers using your business/agency logo or tagline to hand out. These are gaining popularity amongst younger crowds and within the digital industries. These fun pieces of material work great at networking events, too.

Whatever you decide to create, be sure to distribute them everywhere you can. At local coffee shops, and community boards. Maybe stick a sticker on your own laptop or water tumbler. Anywhere it can be seen and absorbed by your ideal client.

5. Tell Your Friends & Family

Don’t be too shy to talk about your new business with family and friends. They are your warm market and your number one sales team! It doesn’t matter if they are your ideal client or not because they should want to support your business efforts regardless.

Think about it as another layer of networking and realize that your loved ones likely know tons of other people. Some you’ll know, and some you won’t. Let your friends and family help you extend your business’ reach. Offer them some stickers to keep for themselves, it’s more free marketing for you.

6. Reach out to Past Business Relationships

Push your networking efforts even further by reaching out to former colleagues and business affiliations. It may sound unconventional, and in some cases may be not allowed, but it’s worth a try if it won't get anyone into trouble.

Fun fact: When we started our agency many years ago, one of our best sources of initial leads was from our previous employers that operate in different industries.

Pretty eye-opening to think about, right?

7. Use Your Own SEO Skills to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Don’t overlook optimizing your own website in this string of inspirational ideas for getting your first agency customer. As we mentioned before, your website will serve as the bread and butter of your sales leads. Be sure it is SEO-friendly from page to page to make sure that your ideal clients can find your website in a basic Google search for your product/service(s).

Need a little more guidance with your own SEO? Sign up for a subscription to Pathfinder SEO and follow our SEO Checklist on your own website. It’s a great way to learn SEO on the job and improve your website’s visibility on Google.

What's Next?

Congratulations! You’re well on your way to getting your first agency customer on the books. Give yourself a strong pat on the back for getting to this point. And remember that it only takes one client to change everything.

Next, put these ideas into action. It’s as simple as taking a single step.

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Even better, Pathfinder SEO subscribers are supported by one-on-one coaching.

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Lindsay Halsey

Lindsay Halsey is a co-founder of Pathfinder SEO. She has over 10 years of experience working in SEO with small to large businesses. Lindsay focuses on teaching site owners, freelancers, and agencies how to get found on Google via a guided approach to SEO. Stay in touch on Twitter - @linds_halsey.
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