Guest Post

Social Media Teaches Ad Agencies How They Should Have Been Conducting New Business All Along

by Michael Gass

I started my consultancy at the beginning of the recession. Awareness for my services was mostly non-existent. With three kids in college I had to generate an income quickly. Social media was becoming mainstream but most ad agencies were way behind the curve of understanding it and reluctant to participate. Social media was an affordable way for me to promote my business. I jumped in with both feet and spent my days, nights and even weekends trying to understand it, particularly from an agency new business perspective.

Most agencies never use the tools they recommend their clients use. I was determined to practice what I'd been preaching to agencies: to identify my best target audience and my point of differentiation. My focus was on CEOs of small-to mid-size ad agencies, helping them to generate new business through the use of social media.

It took me just over a month to write my 50th blog post. Blog traffic that first month totaled only 123 page views. But I was convinced of the power of social media as a central hub for ad agency new business. Almost two years, 380 posts, and 227,000 page views later, I have 43 new clients from Costa Mesa, California to Manhattan, NY. My clients have all initiated the call for my services. People have a desire to work with other people that they know, like and trust. Social media is like networking on steroids.

Social media does so many things simultaneously that the ROI for the time invested is tremendous. It is the greatest professional enrichment tool I have ever used and at the same time the best brand/positioning and new business tool for agencies.

I am thankful that I maintained my nerve and persevered when most thought I had lost my marketing mind. I have a great life. I feel like a pioneer in this communications revolution that has permanently transformed our advertising industry. This is an incredible time and I'm grateful to be part of it.

Michael Gass is a new business consultant to marketing communications firms, helping them create a more clearly defined focus and differentiating business strategy that will give them a competitive advantage for new business, a higher-profile reputation, and an improved ability to attract and win the clients they really want through the use of social media.

  1. I am always amazed by agencies that do not practice what they preach. It’s refreshing to read your post!

    Comment by Deb Evans — 11/10/2009 @ 7:36 AM

  2. Michael has been there to show a lot of people the ropes! He’s generous with his time and thoughtful with his insight. It’s nice to see nice guys doing well!

    Kudos, Michael!

    Comment by David Wiggs — 11/10/2009 @ 11:28 AM

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by EconomyHeroes: Social Media Teaches AdAgencies How They Should Have Been Conducting New Business All Along | @whengrowthstall

    Trackback by uberVU - social comments — 11/10/2009 @ 11:43 AM

  4. Thanks Deb and David for the kind words. Very much appreciated.

    Comment by Michael Gass — 11/10/2009 @ 6:23 PM

  5. Good grief. I would have a typo in my first sentence. Make that “perspective on your post”.

    Comment by Billy Mitchell — 11/10/2009 @ 9:48 PM

  6. I will try to start over.

    My comment on your article will reveal I am somewhat conflicted.

    As I was first discovering twitter about a year ago, it didn’t take long to discover @MichaelGass. I am impressed by you on at least three levels.

    1) You practice what you preach as Deb Evans pointed out, and you openly share your advice to anyone smart enough to listen and learn.

    2) You are an excellent B2B Marketer. Your new business prospects are other businesses looking for new business.

    3) You are a living lab of best practices of Inbound Marketing, innovative strategy and education-based marketing.

    Congratulations on your success. What a great story. You are truly a pioneer.

    So where is the conflict? The better you are at improving the new business programs of other agencies (especially those on a paying basis) the more I have to try and keep up. So my new motto is “never quit learning”. Keep up the great work teach.

    Comment by Billy Mitchell — 11/10/2009 @ 10:22 PM

  7. As an owner of a small marketing communications agency, I just have to say how perfect and inspiring your post is, on many levels. Very nice.

    Comment by Jen Rahn DeMuth — 11/10/2009 @ 11:21 PM

  8. Fabulous post. You really hit the nail on the head with this:

    “People have a desire to work with other people that they know, like and trust.”

    You really seem to understand that Social Media can’t exist in a vacuum. You have to convert the people you meet using the tools into people you have real relationships with.

    Esther Steinfeld

    Comment by Esther Steinfeld — 11/11/2009 @ 3:11 PM

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