Are you looking to grow your agency, show off your excellent work, and close deals when dream clients enquire about working with you?
Part of that process includes pitching.
But if the thought of selling your agency to a dream client sounds nerve-wracking, don’t panic. It’s likely that you already have the evidence to prove you’re an incredible partner for them - it’s just a matter of packaging it correctly to win them over.
A fantastic way to do that (and prepare for your pitch) is through an agency pitch deck.
Here’s what you need to include in one to win over the clients you’re dreaming of working with, and prepare for the pitch of a lifetime.
What is a pitch deck?
Let’s get to grips with what a pitch deck is before we dive into creating one.
Simply put: A pitch deck is a presentation you can use to introduce your agency to new clients, while also pitching your services and proving you’re the best agency to fit their needs. It’s usually in PowerPoint form (or similar).
But you’ve probably guessed that a successful agency pitch deck doesn’t just roll off a list of reasons why a prospective client should hire you.
A deck that’s professionally designed, and contains key information, can also make you look more credible and professional - two major things a client is likely to look for in any agency they consider hiring!
How to create a pitch deck for your marketing agency
Whether you're a social media marketing agency, an adverting agency, or a PR agency, you should have a pitch deck template on-hand, ready to customise for every enquiry that comes through.
Here’s how to create yours:
1. Know your client before they become a client
When you’re planning a new business pitch, it’s important to know who you’re talking to - even more so than understanding which services you’re offering to them, or the price you’re offering it at.
Why? Because a solid understanding of your prospective client allows you to personalise your agency pitch deck.
You should find out:
The products or services they sell
When their company started
Who runs the company or heads up the department you’d work with/support
How many people make-up their in-house team (if any)
Whether they have any existing knowledge of the services you’re pitching
What budgets you’re expecting them to have
Don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed at collecting so much information. I won’t make you rummage the internet to find the answers.
Instead, hold a discovery session before you piece together your agency’s pitch deck.
Collect as much information from them as possible. We’ll be using your findings to fill-out the rest of our deck.
2. ...and personalise your pitch deck using that information
You likely already know that personalisation is a pretty big deal.
That’s why you’ll need to gather information on your prospective client before your meeting, and use it in your pitch deck.
Let’s put that into practice.
If I were pitching social media marketing services to Company A, I might’ve found out they’re already using Twitter to promote their brand. So instead of recommending “get started using Twitter” as part of my deck, I could recommend three ways my agency can improve on what they’re already doing (if they brought us on-board).
This works for budgets, too. If you know your prospective client doesn’t run any adverts, their budget might not be the biggest. Therefore I’d steer clear of expensive TikTok ads as part of my agency’s pitch deck, and recommend low-cost activities instead.
Get the gist?
Here’s how Vulpine Interactive, a social media agency, do this in their pitch deck:
Notice how they break down the cost of each activity they’re recommending?
Not only does that give their prospective client a rough idea of what they’ll need to invest, but tailoring your pitch deck to include price ranges you expect them to have helps to set expectations early on, and could help to seal the deal.
3. Introduce your agency team
Even if you’re pitching your agency to a very corporate business, remember they’re still human. Authenticity is absolutely key these days. We all crave personal relationships - and that’s what most sales are built on.
Use that to your advantage in your pitch deck!
Give your potential client an opportunity to get to know the team they’ll be working with. Chances are, you’ll be offering your support on a daily schedule, and it helps to put faces to the names behind emails.
So, how do you introduce your agency team if not everyone is able to make the pitch?
Here are some ideas to build those personal connections:
Tell a story about how your agency started
Share your own personal experience as the founder or MD
Take photos of your team members and insert them into your pitch deck with names, job titles and fun facts
Remember: If your agency has account managers, introducing them is crucial (since communication will primarily go through them). If they can’t make the pitch itself, make a song and dance about them in your deck!
I really love this example from IMPRiNT, a digital agency in the U.S.:
You’re able to see photos of everyone who works there (making them look more credible and less like a one-man band), and the photo of the dog… Well, does it really need an explanation?
(Everyone loves dogs!)
This agency’s pitch deck does things slightly differently by sharing their mission statement:
That’s another great way to prove your credibility and build trust with your potential client - something they’ll need to have before putting pen to paper on your dream contract!
4. Clearly explain your marketing strategy
Pitching your services to a new client shouldn’t be #InformationOverload for them, however, you do need to make sure you have the important stuff nailed down.
This is especially true in times of economic uncertainty or global crisis when budgets are tighter and businesses may be less keen to part with their cash.
You don’t need to go into detail with your 6-month plan, but give your potential client a rough understanding of what you’d like to do if they hired your agency.
In short: Let them know how they’ll be spending their money and why it's cost-effective!
Include the basics, such as:
Which services you’ll deliver
What you’ll be measuring
How often you’ll report on those results
But try to think outside of the box, too.
How can you set yourself apart from other agencies who might be pitching for the same contract?
This is the perfect time to let your creative juices flow, and test the waters with how adventurous your client is willing to be with their cash. Blow them away with your ideas, and prove you know your stuff!
Take this agency’s pitch deck, for example:
The first bit of text on this slide mentions how they’re “committed to delivering an ROI”.
...I’ll bet a prospective clients’ eyes would light up at that.
After all, if they’re investing cash into your agency (especially if it’s for marketing), they want to know it’s worth it.
Show them you understand how important it is!
5. Include case studies of your previous work
Let’s do a mini-experiment.
How many times have you committed to something - whether that’s a phone contract, mortgage or other type of monthly subscription without researching the company first?
I’ll bet your answer is “rarely”, if not “never”.
The clients you’re pitching to are the same. They want to know you can be trusted with their money and sensitive information (like access to their social media accounts) before signing a monthly contract.
Prove you’re trustworthy by including case studies in your pitch deck.
Ask one of your current clients for permission to share the strategy and/or results you’ve got for them. Bonus points if the client’s case study you’re sharing is within the same industry as the company you’re pitching to.
Take this slide in Embrace’s pitch deck, for example:
Granted, there’s tons of text on there, but they’ve included their strategy for a previous client - and proof they know what they’re talking about, with solid numbers to back it up.
6. Summarise, and be open to questions
By this stage, your agency pitch deck has almost everything a potential client will need to make an informed decision on whether to hire you.
Fancy one more way to convince them?
Have the closing slide of your deck be an invitation to ask questions.
Even with the discovery calls and a brief from them beforehand, it’s impossible to know everything your potential client is thinking. But asking them outright whether they have any questions after you’ve delivered your new business pitch is a great way to check whether there’s anything you’ve missed.
(And also speed up the time between delivering your pitch and taking them on as a client.)
This agency have their logo, contact number and a “thank you” message:
But the possibilities are endless. For example, you could include links to your social media profiles - especially if you’re sending the pitch deck via email after meeting them.
Remember: The aim of this slide is to make it easy for them to say “yes” to your pitch.
Do anything in your power to make that possible!
4 quick tips for designing your agency pitch deck
Earlier, I briefly touched on how an agency pitch deck can make your agency look more credible.
But what happens if you don’t have the budget to hire a professional designer to add the finishing touches?
(Spoiler alert: The answer isn’t “panic”.)
Use these four quick tips for designing a visually stunning client-facing presentation:
1. Use your brand colours, fonts, and logos: Make sure they know it’s coming from your agency when looking at the deck alone.
2. Make text easy to read: Don’t leave your prospects squinting! Make text visible from a reasonable distance. (Test this yourself by taking a few steps away from your screen, if you’re not sure.)
3. ...But don’t make it too overwhelming: Your sales deck should be pointers for you to explain verbally. Don’t type up your entire pitch and squeeze it onto one slide. Instead, aim for 20 words per slide, or fewer.
4. Include visuals wherever possible: 80% of people remember what they see, compared to 10% what they hear and 20% of what they read. Use photos, illustrations, charts or even emojis (if they fit with your brand guidelines!).
How to deliver your agency pitch remotely
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to rethink how they deliver their services, particularly agencies who rely heavily on face-to-face client relationships to thrive.
Here are a few small things you can do to make sure that you make a great immediate impression on video, so that your pitch goes off without a hitch:
- Be prepared for technical issues
- Do at least one practise video run through
- Leave plenty of time for questions
- Ask for frequent feedback during the session
- Take the time to speak confidently and clearly
Final thoughts on building a successful pitch deck
Pitching to a new client is exciting. But if it’s your dream client, it’s not uncommon for that excitement to be intertwined with nerves.
Don’t worry, though - that feeling is normal!
If you follow these tips to creating a pitch deck, I’ll bet my bottom dollar that your agency is a strong contender when your client is deciding which agency to go with.
All that’s left for you to do is start building your own.