I recently spoke at Lee Jackson’s Agency Transformation Live 2019 event giving a talk on “How Giving back saved my agency.” It got me reflecting on how giving back to the community has helped to grow our authority and profile beyond anything we could have imagined.
As an agency we are really invested in two things;
- Getting involved in the community (The Digital Agency Community & the WordPress Community) – we like to give back as much as we can whether that be through sharing knowledge on Podcasts, speaking at events, donating money or supporting community causes/charities… we want to get involved wherever possible.
- Mental health in the industry – this industry is suffering right now; a lot of people are overwhelmed, lacking direction and burnt out, their mental bandwidth is saturated. A lot of people feel alone but they really aren’t. We want to reach out to as many of those people as we can. We’re doing our bit to share our own stories and experiences of this, and in doing so we hope to make others realise that it really is okay not to be okay.
And we’re not in this agency life world for the money, if we were then we’d get far better odds of financial success in a different industry! We have a purpose of making a difference to the community, our families, and of course our clients. That’s one of the things that makes us unique.
How have we given back, and what did it do for us?
Giving back is actually now our primary inbound marketing strategy, and it’s the best investment of time and money we make for our business.
Here are some ways that we have given back as part of this strategy;
Rather than holding onto what we have learned we share our knowledge in WordPress communities. By sharing our knowledge we’ve helped end users, designers and developers solve their challenges and problems.
The benefits for our agency; as a direct result of sharing knowledge we have become authorities in the industry and been hired by large WordPress brands such as Beaver Builder & GeneratePress.
We wear our hearts on our sleeves! Whether its agency growing pains, mental health insights, or the highs & lows of running a business, we share this in peer communities.
Through sharing alone all sorts of doors have opened for us such as speaking gigs, podcast interviews, private masterminds, Facebook live and webinar guests. The more you share, the more doors that will open for you and the more opportunities that will come your way.
Donations & Sponsorship
We sponsor our local under 8’s soccer team (Santiago Colts!), Agency events, WordCamps, WP&UP (WordPress mental health charity), The Pods Foundation, and other charitable causes.
The benefits for our agency; good Karma for starters, but we’ve learned that through donations and sponsorship you also gain great advocates and recommendations for your business.
So how can you give back and benefit your own business?
- Sharing knowledge consistently in the communities of your niche positions you as an authority in your industry – whether this is online, or through public speaking, sharing your knowledge will help you become the ‘go to’ person in your industry and start attracting new clients/leads.
- Sharing experiences puts a human face and personality to your brand – this will help build your critical “know-like-trust” relationship with your audience and clients. There’s no better way to personalise your brand. People like to know who they are dealing with, and that they are dealing with people who care, not just another faceless agency.
- Do what you can to use your businesses successes to help others. Be seen as generous, professional and successful and see the doors open.
- Find a cause that resonates with your customers, or audience, and become a champion for that cause.
Most importantly though, you must believe that what you are doing will have value. Giving back means you will enjoy your business a lot more, be more fulfilled personally and professionally, and your business will be healthier. A healthy business gives you the freedom and fulfilment to reach your potential.
I said earlier that the two areas we are most invested in as an agency are community involvement and mental health and the two go hand in hand; the more you give back the better you feel, the better you feel the better your business will perform. So not only does giving back have rewards for your business but for your mental health too.