If you work at a marketing agency, you know that competition for business can be fierce. So how do you stand out in a saturated market and maintain client loyalty?

1. Get things done quickly

In general, larger organizations may have a slower pace to project completion, commonly due to the higher number of checks and balances required at each stage for approval. If you can be the knight in shining armor to step in and offer quick turnarounds, you become the driving force behind moving projects forward.

Here are a few quick tips to make your team more efficient.

2. Send real-time performance insights

We send insights as they happen, not just once a month.

Sure, having monthly or even weekly reporting is great, but it can be a pleasant surprise for clients to receive a quick email right when a noteworthy result happens, like earning a great ranking for a target keyword or getting mentioned in a high-authority roundup post. These spontaneous insights keep your clients engaged, appreciative and motivated, and they increase your credibility.

3. Do your homework

How can you market a product or service you know absolutely nothing about? Get to know the industry through client interviews and intensive research, so you can provide the best marketing strategy to attract the right audience to your client.

4. Treat clients as individuals

A cookie cutter approach to marketing is not going to cut it. All your clients, even if they’re in the same industry, have unique viewpoints, audiences and pain points. Don’t cut corners and rely on what worked for others – create a tailored plan designed to help your specific client.

For example, when conducting an SEO audit for a client, we don’t use a tool to generate a standardized audit. We systematically go through each aspect of the site—on-page, technical and off-page—to understand each client’s specific opportunities. Every reporting dashboard is different based on our clients’ individual goals. And the way we communicate varies from client to client as well: certain teams prefer weekly phone calls; others prefer bi-weekly meetings in person.

In short: one-size-fits-all is simply never going to produce results. Considering your clients’ needs in the planning process will make for happier team members and help projects run smoothly.

5. Be transparent when things go wrong

It doesn’t matter how tempting it is to shine a light on the best metrics and brush over the bad ones – it is essential to keep your clients in the know. For example, when the August 2018 algorithm update hit, one of our clients saw moderate drops in organic traffic. Instead of avoiding that tough conversation, we immediately contacted our client and scheduled a meeting to discuss what happened and proposed a strategy to turn things around.

It’s all too easy to turn a blind eye to the negative, but your clients will appreciate the candor and trust you even more.

6. Have frequent meetings

One of the most common complaints from our clients is that their past agency engagements never kept them in the know. They’d receive a monthly report with no explanation for the data points, and no communication beyond that. The last thing you want is clients scratching their heads when it comes to your efforts. Instead, establish a cadence for meetings that works best for each client.

It’s not just about frequency, either. Calls and emails can start to feel cold and impersonal after a while. Mix in video chats and in-person meetings (when possible) to facilitate a human connection that goes beyond just getting the work done.

7. Communicate “why”

It can be easy to tell clients what you’re doing without explaining your reasoning behind the actions. Sure, you might know how beneficial a conversion rate audit will be, but until you articulate why it’s so crucial to your client, they won’t be fully onboard. The more you can explain your reasoning behind your efforts, the more you establish yourself as the expert and earn leadership buy-in.

8. Stay informed

Staying on top of industry trends should be one of your highest priorities as a marketing agency. If you aren’t keeping up with the ever-changing industry, you do your clients a disservice. For example, algorithm updates and other search engine changes happen frequently, so keeping up-to-date is essential for success in search marketing.

You can stay informed by signing up for industry newsletters, following marketing thought leaders on social and attending conferences (like MnSearch and Digital Summit). Stay curious, so your clients can focus on their businesses.

9. Hold trainings

One of Uproer’s most unique identifiers is that we strive to enable our clients with SEO skills. When your clients are knowledgeable about marketing, this empowers them to continue improving their presence in the market.

We all want to see our clients’ businesses flourish, and bringing in that education internally is an essential part of their growth. This is a win-win, as it allows internal teams to get the smaller tasks done quickly and maximize their investment with your team.

10. Prioritize customer service

This may sound counterintuitive, but results aren’t the only thing that matter to clients. Results may keep clients satisfied in the short-term, but strong customer service is what maintains loyalty.

Schedule quarterly happy hours or lunch meetings with your clients. Take note of their team members’ interests. Ask to see pictures of their cats or new baby. Christmas gifts can also go a long way. In short: be an agency made up of real people who clients can actually talk to, as well as a solid business partner.

As a search marketing agency in Minneapolis, Uproer competes against talented rivals. These 10 tips have helped us improve and maintain amazing relationships with our clients so we can continue to stand out among the competition.