The global health crisis has impacted agencies worldwide as their clients -businesses across industries- redistribute their attentions to fighting the consequences of the economic downturn.

However, some agencies have continued to grow through the crisis.

One of them is Digital Silk, a global digital agency helping brands grow online. 

On Thursday, April 23, DesignRush invited Digital Silk's Director of Sales, Branko Stojanovic, to share his insights that could help other agencies weather and even grow through the crisis.

Agency Survival Guide Webinar Participants

  • Vanja Novakovic, customer relationship managers @DesignRush and
  • Andrija Savic, customer relationship managers @DesignRush
  • Branko Stojanovic, director of sales @Digital Silk

Agency Survival Guide Webinar:

"How-to" Survival Guide for Agencies During Crisis - Marketing Tips, Digital Strategies & New Trends from Design Rush on Vimeo.

 

Agency Survival Guide During Global Health Crisis - Webinar Transcript

Vanja:

[...]

Thank you for joining us this morning this afternoon. And I guess for some of you this evening because I know we have a few joiners from Hong Kong and the Pacific so welcome to you guys. Thank you for for joining us. 

My name is Vanya. I'm the relationship manager at DesignRush.

Specialized B2B marketplaces connecting brands with agencies. 

DesignRush was founded in 2017. And we're now leading source for those looking to find the best professional agencies categorized by the areas of expertise.

We have over 7,000 agencies listed from all around the globe and we are consulted by thousands of decision makers looking to start a project.

So with me, I have Andrea who's also a relationship manager. Welcome, Andrea.

Andrija:

Hi everyone. Good afternoon. I hope you're doing well, pleasure to have you on the call with us.

Vanja:

Sorry, go ahead and get you up too early.

Andrija:

Yeah, sorry about that. I just want to say that I'm relationship manager at DesignRush and its partner websites. Just like Vanya here for a long while with DesignRush now, and hopefully we can get some topics useful for this crisis so that everybody can take advantage of it. Thanks.

Vanja:

Thanks, Andy and we have Bronco today from Digital Silk. Welcome Branko. You want to give us a little bit about yourself?

Branko:

Yeah. Hello from my side as well, pleasure to meet you all as Vanja mentioned, I work as a Director of Business Development for the company called Digital Silk. We are a digital agency focusing on growing brands online.

Vanja:

Excellent. Thank you. So we'll just move right into the agenda next and then we'll kick it off because I know there's a lot we have to cover and then we'll just get going because I'm sure there'll be a ton of questions as well. So, as I said the agenda for today will be the intro which you just heard, the current crisis overview sort of like we see it today, Digital Silk strategies in dealing with the current crisis situation and at the end we'll have a QA for everybody.

Okay, so let's just kick it right off. For those who are too young to remember the global recession of 2007 - there's a few of you out there - most agencies absorbed significant cuts in their clients’ spending budgets. For some this is ancient history, but the heck then it was the bank's play on mortgage bonds that plunged the world into a global financial crisis and a major recession.

Today we're dealing with a different type of a potential recession. It's a microscopic virus that has shut down manufacturing in China, the global business travel, tourism and a lot more. So, what's the impact on marketing media and advertising especially on small to medium agencies and their freelancers?

Well, as we spend more time indoors and we all are doing it right now, I mean, we're mostly all of us are mostly in lockdowns of some sort currently or practicing social distancing.

We expect to see more people spending more time online and actively engaging in finding a partner for their next project starting and starting the research from Google. As of now many digital agencies need enormous SEO and advertising efforts to secure those top placements in Google search and building awareness and reputation and digital reputation.

So let's look into these new trends, what to do to continue to generate a steady flow of leads, optimizing the budget that's invested to keep your agency afloat.

As we all know the biggest hit business sectors such as automotive, hospitality and travel as well as the brick-and-mortar shops such as you know, your Walmarts of the world and everything else will close and everything else who didn't adapt to the increasing web based presence will take a while to recover.

Meanwhile, others like eCommerce and gaming and Zoom, for example, as a communication platform, streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, even the new Disney platform and also recruiting platforms are currently booming.

Having said that, I want to follow up with a question, Branko. Can you tell me if you're also experiencing these trends?

Are you seeing certain segments of your business platform do better than others during the crisis?

Branko:

Yeah, actually interestingly enough for a lot of businesses, their number of inquiries they're getting has slowed down and actually for us it has been the other way around because in a way, because we are focused on delivering results and growing brands online.

We did see quite a number of inquiries coming from the eCommerce sector, especially.

For people just seeing their online presence as a way to generate more leads and traction online. They decided to improve on that and use this downtime in their own business to repurpose some of that effort and money and focus on their online presence.

So, if I would need to select a certain industry that we saw this particularly being present and that would be eCommerce.

Andrija:

Okay, perfect. You guys at Digital Silk, do you have a plan for crisis advertising and I mean if you do what does that plan include?

What are you focusing on to ensure you're getting the most from your advertising dollars.

Branko:

So as every serious company in the world, you need to be focused in your crisis management. The way you communicate the values that your company represents - that needs to be reflected in the services that you offer, how you offer them and who you offer them to.

So, we of course, because our founder is somebody who worked very closely with a number of very successful startups at the time and now they're successful enterprise businesses, back in 2008 during the huge financial crisis and recession worldwide.

We understand the logic that many took at the time when you know, you're not getting your sales. It's difficult to convert the leads because people are just very cautious with their money.

But that does not that shouldn't stop you from spending money on advertising because your customers or potential buyers or you know, potential clients that you will be working with their spending more time in front of their screens whether this is mobile phones or you know TVs or whatever, you know types of modern technology, they're using these days.

They're spending lots of time there and recently we spoke to a company looking into developing a social network. And gaming advertising was one of the channels that we opted for because a lot of people are now spending time playing games.

So, you know using that as an opportunity to promote certain services where the target market is, the one playing games is fantastic.

We are focusing our money on the channels that are delivering good results to our accomplishments.

Vanja:

Perfect.

I also have a question centered around the current situation.

So, you know, we don't expect the situation to go on forever. I'm sure that you know will be back to normal in no time.

You know, I'd say in the next, you know, three to six months max will be back to where we were before the pandemic.

Can you tell me what do you think will change, what do you think will do differently, what you think you will do differently as an agency as far as advertising going forward.

Is there a segment you will spend more or less and some that you possibly could even get rid of?

Branko:

We're definitely going to continue advertising in most of the channels that we've seen giving us traction and types of clients we would like to be working with in future.

But also you have to be cautious you know in the way you present yourself and the way you're offering your services because you don't want to shove something down someone's throat because you know, you're desperate to find a job now when everybody's losing their job, so you have to be aware of that.

So, after the crisis, you know, we are encouraging anyone we are speaking to whether they are coming to us to discuss a certain marketing strategy or a website or a new potential app to really think about their digital presence and how they want to continue communicating with their clients and to onboard new ones and just keep keep things going on and focus their funds on reaching out to those people in the way that is most effective for that.

In the same way, we are advising our clients to do that, we are doing that ourselves. So we're measuring the ROI that is coming from each and every channel that we are using and seeing where we need to push more and where we need to completely stop spending money because it's not giving us any return on investment.

Honestly, as somebody who is a firm believer in good marketing, we are not going to be stuck.

You know, we're not going to stop spending money during the crisis now and in the future because we want to make sure that we are on the radar of our potential users in the right time and in the right way communicating the value of the importance of your online presence because more and more people will be looking for services online because we never know whether this type of crisis will hit us again.

Vanja:

Okay, that's fair enough.

So I'm getting a lot of questions from people saying that you know marketing will take a huge spending hit just as a whole, you know, spending a hundred K on Google ads and 10K on sites such as Clutch and Manifest and everybody else will have to take a backseat to some priorities and this is what we're getting this constantly rom from a number of agencies.

How important is price over quality when you're choosing where to advertise especially today. And also how do you choose where to allocate your advertising dollars today compared to before the crisis.

Branko:

I think when you're planning out your marketing strategy whether for yourself or your client, you really have to have good KPI's how you can measure the amount of money spent versus the amount of money you are getting from potential leads and future clients.

So this is exactly what we have been doing when we started advertising on different agency listing websites or doing social media campaigns or focusing on growing our organic ranking on Google, you know, or doing native advertising so when we take all of that into consideration, also in depending on who you're targeting and how you're targeting and what types of services you're offering, it really there is no like one solution fits everybody.

So we did not so we started heavily advertising on the agency listing websites. Just some time when we launched our new website because we wanted to pitch ourselves in a certain way.

And we created certain landing pages focusing on certain services that we are providing and what we decided to do:

  • To choose exactly those directories
  • To choose the content in terms of blogs and press releases
  • To choose certain forums where to advertise where we saw a good potential of not winning them over within a short period of time but creating traction that people can see who you are what you're doing, how you're compared against your competitors building up your reputation on different platforms, where you're able to compare yourself to your competitors

And in that way we saw certain ones giving us more return on investment versus the other ones.

So for us it has never been about the number of leads that you're getting but the value of these that these providers and I myself as somebody who's leading sales department would always choose to work with a fewer number of you know clients who have bigger deals with us than managing a number of smaller clients paying just a few thousands of dollars for a certain project that you have with them because it's more difficult to measure the related stories to manage the relationship and also to spread yourself all across the board and be jack of all trades and master of none.

Vanja:

Okay, perfect. Actually you touched on a great point which I want to ask you about because I've had quite a few agencies ask me about this or actually make a note about this in our back and forth emails.

A lot of them, I mean this this whole crisis started out back in December, I guess but you know us in the west like the Western World didn't really comprehend this whole thing until January and February and I've had quite a few agencies that started rebranding themselves.

So, it was it could have been as simple as a logo change. It could have been as simple as as you know, just minor things and then I've had a couple that actually added a whole scope of things that they were doing the, you know, maybe they were just doing websites before and now they're just doing everything possible.

How, how do you advertise on platforms such as designers? Is that the right way to advertise if you're rebranding and becoming something new and great and big especially now would you say that that's true or not?

Branko:

Well something that is really important when you are representing yourself is to create a very thorough and comprehensive brand strategy and communication strategies.

So, what does your brand represent, what the values are, how, who you're talking to, what your brand is what your brand isn't, what people can expect from your brand, what they cannot expect from your brand.

And also you have to be aware where your money is and what type of services would you like to focus on because as I said, the worst thing is to be jack of all trades and master of none because there is not a single company in the world that does everything perfectly, they're always advantages and disadvantages and you know when people come to you and say, you know, I want to do a social media network.

And if you start thinking like how TikTok became so big, you know, you had the time you have Instagram, you have WhatsApp you have Facebook, you have Snapchat, you have Twitter, so TikTok really found its destination.

I think one of the winners of this crisis is definitely going to be TikTok because I can see more and more people spending their money advertising on TikTok.

Also, I read in a recent report that more people in the US last year visited TikTok, then they visited Facebook page. So, I think it's very very important to know who your customers are, what their needs are and how you're going to communicate to them.

Vanja:

Actually, you just answered my next question. I wanted to, I wanted to touch upon some of the bridges biggest brands of today that were born in during the 2007-2008 crisis or actually recession like WhatsApp group on Instagram, Uber, Pinterest, I mean the list goes on.

So you think that, you know some of the clear winners could be platforms such as TikTok this year where well after this crisis, do you think anybody else could just take it away and run with it right now, I mean besides Zoom and TikTok?

Branko:

Yeah. Well already I also read in a report recently that what Disney Plus managed to do is within a very short video period of time advertised it as a new streaming platform is something that Netflix or Amazon Prime it took them a couple of years before they had like I think around 50 or 70 million users.

So, Disney class had two major advantages of this point. So, one is one is content. Secondly. I think this is a perfect timing because a lot of people are spending time at home and they need new content.

And we all know that Disney has one of the best compliments in the world, you know, all the generations, new generations, Millennials, Baby Boomers, Generations Zen or X, you know, we all know about this and there are different flavors to Disney.

So, they took everything on board and they launched their own streaming platform and we can see a huge growth in number of subscribers.

Plus the price is very competitive. So, there you go.

Vanja:

Okay, perfect. Actually, I'm gonna, I'm going to give the mic over to my colleague Andrija now to talk more in detail about your strategies and dealing with the current situation and also some of the some of the detailed things regarding how you advertise and how do you go on about day-to-day operations? So Andy, are you there?

Andrija:

Hey here. I hope that everybody can hear me.

Vanja:

You can. I'm handing it over to you.

Andrija:

Okay. Thank you for handing over the mike. Thank you Vanya for the first part of the talk we had. Branko, thank you for taking the time to join us at this webinar so that we can discuss all of these matters.

Thank you for the Insight, especially about TikTok. I just installed it myself recently. So I'm hoping to get ahead and get ahead of it.

So, if it's okay with you Banko, you’ve mentioned that you have a certain strategy that you're going on right now, but could you please let us know did you have any changes in terms of your strategies since all of this started.

We know that you're using the directories that like you said, but is there any further information that you can provide us with and how it, did you did you see any difference, for example, in the in the in the type of context that you're getting, is it more online businesses I'm guessing since this is going on?

Branko:

Yeah, so the way we chose where to advertise is based on. Okay, so initially you have to redo a proper research about each and every directory that is out there, you know, whether there is a good fit for you or not.

There are certain types of keywords that you would like to go after for us is a full-service agency, of course, it's anything to do with a digital agency or website design or digital marketing.

So, what we're looking at the directories that are able to provide high-level ranking in those terms.

Also, you have to be very cautious.

If you want to purchase certain part of the US or just work with companies globally in Europe and Middle East in Far East. So this is something that is very very important when you're deciding where to put your money.

Any also as I said, know your background, know your level of expertise, know where you can deliver great results, if that is, you know, maybe PPC, go up to that because the case studies, the reviews, the profile of your company, the buzz that you will start creating by being present in those lists and compare yourself against your competitors is something that will start making difference sooner than later, honestly.

So, when we started advertising, we explored different solutions and different platforms and we noticed certain differences in terms of the quality of traffic, the number of leads coming in, the size of the deal that we were getting from these platforms.

Also the type of projects that these people were looking for, the size of the companies that there were coming from. So, we weighed all of that before we decided to spend some more money with certain platforms.

And also something that I think is very very important is like why you're advertising because sometimes yes, we are all waiting for the lead to come in, a greatly to come in. But sometimes you have to be present there because people want to see you compare against your competitors.

And they see you rank high within certain industry, within certain service you're offering they will say hey, you know, I can see them in the top five or in top 10 because this lets you know, sometimes you know different types have different metrix behind the way they rang companies.

But a lot of people will you know stop on the first page of any listing that you're in and so far it has been really good for us.

Andrija:

Okay, Branco. Thank you so much for giving me that inside on that.

What I can also see from our website so far is the very same thing that you just mentioned and when you talked about Disney Plus and everything that throughout amazing content that we have on our website and the featured agents, featured pages that we have for such as training agencies software. So everything regarding online.

It's actually getting quite increased traffic these days and this is all aligned to what you have just said. In terms of that, can you just like we know that you're also on the other platforms as well. I guess that I'm correct on this one. I noticed your, well you're on DesignRush for sure. I can see that you're also on Clutch.

Could you just give us a little bit more insight on your spending habits when it comes to these directories?

You just touched on a very detailed manner of being at the top. Is that all that it matters or you want to provide a good feedback on that one, please?

Branko:

And I said it really depends on you know what your strategy is. Because sometimes you just want to be able to have good links to, backlinks, to your website. Sometimes you want to be listed first for the sake of reputation.

But then, of course, your profile needs to be complete because if you see me at a top and you know in some of those platforms, you don't know whether I'm in the first place because I paid for that or because there is a certain metric based on that of your profile and portfolio and reviews that you have or certain other metrics that platform has.

So, that is the other element.

And, the third one that I think is extremely important because that is something that we're doing ourselves, and I talked about that regarding Disney, that is content.

Because yes, maybe the number of leads that are coming in through certain blog posts or a press release will not be as numerous as the ones coming in through the agency listing side of the website, but the quality of them is far greater than the ones coming just solely from, from the listing.

Because in this way you're able to filter and put your potential through a funnel that is very good, focusing on a certain service or certain things point and then if people are able to see how you're thinking, what you're thinking, how in-depth analysis you were able to provide in a certain post. Then they will come to you and ask for help or a solution.

Andrija:

Thank you Branco for that one. Based on what you just said, it's all about being visible and then it will just be a matter of you positioning yourself for a certain project or a certain area that you want to be placed at the top, and you know be out there, be present, show what you can do and even that into consideration, we have did some independent research of our own about of the how much a qualified lead actually costs and is there actually a price so that you can tag to that kind of elite.

What we have established so far is that I don't know you did it goes around basically around the 10% of the project value that you are looking to generate. So, if you could shed a little bit more light on that will be also great. I think it's a good topic to discuss here with everybody.

Branko:

Sure. So yeah, as I said, we also measure the amount of money we spend on certain listing or certain advertising anything that we do as an outbound strategy to generate leads.

Because we do other, of course, stuff not just getting ourselves listed. And, but the thing is you have to be very very honest to yourself and to your business and say, you know if I'm expecting a hundred K deal am I actually going to spend only five hundred or thousand dollars in it?

It's very unlikely to happen, you know, it will happen but it could be an edge case and there are companies that are still going even big companies.

I mean, while ago when we started advertising actually DesignRush it was a very well-known car manufacturer that everybody knows here, but because of the NDA that we signed with them we are unable to disclose the name of it.

But it came through a Google Search and when, because we put the UTM tracking links to all of these agency listings where we are listed, we saw that it came through DesignRush.

And this is like a huge brand of course in these situations you are not going to become the agency of reference for that, so you're not going to be doing like a huge marketing, web redesign for the whole of the company. But you know, they're really good-sized projects that you can end up doing for even companies like Google and Microsoft and IBM and many others that you can see, for example, within our portfolio.

With some of them, we did like just certain marketing strategy and marketing outreach with others we have more substantial projects.

So, when you come to think what the value of the lead is, I would say, and especially, when you start advertising the first couple of leads or a few dozen leads, it's going to be much more expensive than the ones coming in in a year time or so because you have to build up a medicine.

You know, maybe a few initially it will cost you even you know, 5,000 or 10,000 dollars, but it weighs down to how much you're planning to earn at the end. Because you cannot use bread crumbs to hunt a whale. You know, you need much bigger bait to get to whale. So the same logic applies to advertising because if you want to win big you have to spend big. So, I would say that the value of the lead for us ranges from 500 to 2000 dollars.

Andrija:

Okay, thank you Branco for that one. Well, I would like to ask you about the leads itself. Can you just let the people who are hearing us know maybe if it's how could you, how are you actually using your landing page? For example, how you convert your traffic that you're getting whether if it's through directories organic traffic. That would be I think very useful for people who are listening to us right now.

Branko:

Yeah, so there is a number of strategies that we do. So, we do have dedicated landing pages for certain services that we are focusing on. So, we drive traffic from different listings to those pages. Secondly, you know, you have to be very diligent about analyzing the traffic that comes into your website.

So you have to have different plugins installed, so you can monitor the quality of the traffic you have to have certain plugins and integrations that will tell you how certain leads behave.

For example, Hot Spot, for us, proved to be very good in capturing people's behavior on certain landing page. So, you can see you know, what page is it certain visitor visited on your website.

How much time they spend on your website. What the user journey was before they decided to click on contact us or requested proposal or you know, whichever CTA you decide to include on the landing page. So, what you need to do is monitor that and optimize optimize, optimize.

Andrija:

Well, thank you. I think it's a great indication for everybody here. Also, what I would like to ask you Branco, isn't ever possibly a way that you could let us know.

How could you possibly maximize the value that you're getting through the advertisement that you're doing through directories and through the audit strategies that you are using right now, for example, in DesignRush is there something specific in terms of the portfolio's that you're placing on your profile or something like that.

Just, so that it doesn't have to be a DesignRush example. I'm giving that because we from DesignRush.

It could be also Clutch or anything else that will give us an indication how could you maximize your presence online. So if you could comment on that it will be great. Thanks.

Branko:

Yeah. So, something actually, I think it was yesterday or the day before when we had a call with a client. And so we were talking about their digital strategy, you know, what they're planning to do, how they want to reposition their brand and so on. So, the keyword in this context would be consistency. You have to be consistent in what you're doing.

So preach what she's you know. Sorry, the expression that it goes is like do what you preach. So, if we're preaching that we are delivering results on and growing brands online you have to reinforce that with case studies, with certain brands that are relatable to the people contacting you.

And he gave a wonderful example saying to people if you're looking to buy ladies shoes, and then I go to website and the first thing that I see is a refrigerator, you know, of course, I'm going to bounce off because they're probably dozen of other sites selling ladies shoes where you know, when I landed the first thing I was able to see is a particular type of ladies shoes.

So, in the same way you are advising your clients to do this is the same approach that we take and say okay if we are selling a website or a digital marketing strategy. Lead people looking for those services to the page talking about the surface.

Andrija:

Okay, thank you. Thank you so much for giving us this insight as well Branko. What I would also like to use this opportunity to have, I don't we all know that the best way for you to know, you know, basically get a good brand awareness and everything is basically to have the successful stories. You mentioned it yourself. You mentioned it yourself case studies.

Then you have also implemented it in all of your Digital Silk’s website, DesignRush and other directories and could you just comment on how could that impact let's say on the value of the project that you're generating through each of the directories or the channels that you're using. I think it's also a good indication.

Branko:

So, as I said, case studies are one thing if I understood your question correctly. The other thing is reviews. You have to be able to support your claims in your case studies with numbers, with results, before and after, you know relatable brands, relatable situations where you excelled in what you did the other day.

You know, we are currently negotiating quite a big deal with a certain company and what it wanted to see is like how well we know the eCommerce business.

And we were able to showcase, you know before and after you know, this is what this was the layout of the site before we started working with the company. Within, you know, maybe ten months, we haven't touched the website because the company still did not dedicate the budget to change the website but what they wanted to do is to improve their marketing initiative.

Slowly by spending, you know, a few thousands of dollars initially and they're spending much much much more and they're spending likewise essential of money of substantial amounts of money with us these days they decided to do the website redesign.

So, from the moment, we relaunch their website to the moment we started talking to this other company asking us for case studies, we managed to grow their business by 85% and we are able to show that, not just like me saying and taking a number and throwing that number at the client.

They want to be able to see that and also they want to talk to that person maybe. Especially if you're negotiating the big deal because especially at the time where a lot of agencies have a remote members of the team and especially during the crisis where even whether you have a brick and mortar office like we do, you know, we have offices in Miami and New York but we're not able to see anyone now.

There is no hate handshake that can reinforce a certain statement that you are making that you're able to present a lot of stuff on the spot because you have more time when you're meeting somebody physically and meeting somebody online. You have to be much more succinct when you're presenting your case.

So doing all of that to reinforce your claims to showcase your expertise is something that should be reflecting on your profiles on different directories where you're listed.

Andrija:

Okay, thank you Branco for giving us that insight as well. If it's okay, I would like to ask you a couple of more questions regarding, basically the DesignRush and the directories.

So far, you have all those that are generating good value for yourself.

And also I would like to ask you if you could give us a little bit more insight on how does a certain directory, you said that you're keeping track of all of it and that's good, so if you can have a little bit more specific on how are you tracking all of that do you happen to have an idea of what range of projects are you getting through these are they these directories that you're using all and all the other channels exactly.

I think this could be a very interesting topic so that we can actually understand the behavior of people that are online right now and they're looking out for the new businesses because everybody wants to be it's a tough situation for everybody I guess. But we all want to move forward.

So I think it's a good indication that could help everybody here.

Branko:

Yeah. So for example, if we were to compare different directories and also different categories that were listed in and the amount of money we spend versus the amount of money we gain. I think you have to be very careful about.

Okay. So we all know that Clutch is inevitably the leader in your industry. And but with a great leader comes a lot of traffic and you have to filter through that traffic a lot as well. So, that's why I said just having a huge number of inquiries does not mean that there is a good, greater let's say the potential for you to win a certain business.

And I think actually especially we measured recently because another listing, sorry directly where we listed, I don't want to use names because I think it's not good to use like okay Clutch like that, Agency Spotter is like that, DesignRush is like that, just for the sake of objectivity for you guys as well, but I can tell you that even smaller players like yourself, you know if you're able to provide good context through your blogs or through a certain niche where you're really well-positioned. Like for example, you guys did a great job with branding and we want couple of really good branding deals through your website.

And you know, if you're a skillful company, you can then upsell on your branding deal and win over a website redesign, a digital marketing campaign or just an ongoing partnership with that company. So, it really depends on you and your team and the capabilities that you have.

And also what we noticed so as I said with Clutch being the biggest player that goes without saying that there is a lot of traffic coming in but also a lot of traffic that is not good fit for us. Sometimes we do get really good businesses. But a lot of time we get like just people that are or businesses that are not the right fit for us. And there are just shopping around.

On the other hand, through certain blogs we had with DesignRush or Agency Spotter or some other agency directories that we are doing, that gave us maybe just a few leads but those ladies were damn good.

So, I think providing context on the services that you do and keeping people longer on the page, even this is not something that you sponsored as an agency like it's not about you but it's about a certain topic that the companies, the directories are providing, but you are listed there as one of the go-to solution providers that still filters to traffic and it comes to you.

And it's easier to close than the ones where you have people shopping around for a new service.


Andrija:

Branco thank you again. You're giving us all the good information here. I hope that everybody who is listening can use this in their own businesses.

What you just said is actually very true. We have seen the branding site, we have the partner website, we have the TopBrabdingComapnies.com. Let's actually picking up and it's all due to the blogs that we have and the quality of the content and the specific stop that we're using there.

So I think we're a good match so far Digital Silk and DesignRush. If I would like also to you for you to just give us a bit more insight on for example, we have noticed one thing that has lead so far with a good value for us and we're getting from couple of agencies. It's a good feedback from top position holders on that specific page.

Google recognized that website as a quality one due to its content because you know, we're featured on Google snippet and that's something that doesn't come along that easy, you know, and it's generated the generative value is I mean, it's you're just on the Google in that case, you know you can you can you have an ability to track this or how does it perform for you?

Because I know that you're on some of the listings that we have. So, if you have an indication on that, you know, I know that you said that you have a way to track all of this, but can you just give us an indication? I'm just talking about the specificity of a person who is typing something very specific on Google.

And you're on a snippet, one that certain person types it in it. Is it possible to give an indication on that?

Branko:

Yeah. Well, actually when we recently we spoke to a company they who are working with now and there is a dating app that we're doing with them.

And they have a very very specific needs to they're going after so first time when I said I was like, oh my God, this is really a niche but then when you start thinking that niche is very healthy, very well researched, very well-informed and inclined to purchase the service that these people would be providing.

So we said this is an amazing business case. So in the same way, as I said you have to do what you preach that is like communication consistency that brand consistency the service provision consistency is something that is of pivotal importance in the way you operate. So what we tell all these guys is exactly what we did.

So yes, it's great to be listed at the top of like that digital agencies, but this is really for your own reputation. Because when you are looking for a digital agency, and we do get inquiries like we're interested in your services like fantastic.

You need a new website. Do you need any help with your software development?

You need a new app. You need a new digital marketing strategy.

We don't know what you need and then in all that noise you are risking losing a potential client.

But when somebody comes to you and say hey, we need to redesign our logo and to have a brand strategy. It's a very focused inquiry and you have more potential to win that over. So this is why I said, you know, we measure very carefully where we are advertising how we are advertising the pitch that we created for each and every service that we do and how that converts into a good lead.

So, so far, actually because you guys I know we are exercising on a couple of different services that you have listed on your website. But also what proved to be very good are actually your sister sites like Top Software Company, Top Branding Company, because a brand is something that people do not change very often.

So if you are fully dependent on that, you know, it's really difficult to keep your cash flow high.

But if you have other services that you provide but brand is one of that and it's one of your forefront services, then you're able to win these people over and keep them longer with you because as long as you're showing them results, they will stay with you.

Andrija:

Thank you, Branko. I think it's a really good indication for all of us. And I think it's all about the volume of a keyword that you're, you know targeting basically.

You don't go you don't have like just anybody typing in fashion branding agencies from California or something like that. It's a very specific keyword and that's what people should Target at least.

That's our claim.

And we're glad that you're having good results from that.

Branko:

Yeah, definitely.

Vanja:

Okay, guys, I got to cut you off there. We're cutting it really close here to time. I know there's a ton more questions we could talk about and ton more topics, but just a quick reminder for anybody that's watching us, if you want to post a question, please use the chat box in your control panel. Make sure that you put your question in there and we'll be glad to answer it.

I have a question actually for both of you right now. This is coming from an agency. So for both of you, Andy and Branco if you could.

So, if someone was to advertise on DesignRush, what are the key things they need to do in their profile to make sure that they stand out from the rest of the rest of the profiles out there.

What are the some of the key things they need to focus on in order to stand out? So I'll let you guys go.

Branko:

I would say it's your portfolio and your reviews because you can have flashing images. But if they do not show any value, any numbers, any evidence that you did what you did.

You know, a wonderful website is a fantastic thing. But also there should be some people saying that working with you was amazing. What's your, they lost the website they had great results. You provided them amazing support and understanding so all of that plays to your advantage.

Andrija:

I agree with what Branko's said and, actually, I was just have I'll just build up on that is it's just having the diversity.

If you're providing the diverse services display it all on the profile. I would also like to add apart from the portfolio and reviews on DesignRush you want to use also the team bios that actually puts a face on the company that that's on there, you know and I think it generates a good value out that answers the question.

Vanja:

That's perfect. I have another question for Branko. So between I have an agency here who's who's thinking about listing with DesignRush much like Digital Silk. So, but their budget is very limited.

So they're thinking between you know us and DesignRush I should say and spending that money on social media. They're asking how should they split that, where would they get the most value if they had to pick one? And then if they you know, if they had money for both, how would you split those two? And what are some of the differences?

Branko:

Well, it really depends who you, who you are targeting because you know, if you're relying on somebody, you know going to their Instagram or Twitter and then they see a certain ad that you might be placing about a certain pain time that you are solving for them.

Then by all means go and spend your money there. But if you're relying on people to look for a certain solution, for a certain problem or a business challenge that you are solving for them organically, you know because I have this pressuring needs and then I'm looking for a solution provider.

Then you need to be close to their eyes and their attention and you can only do that because being an agency and having just your website, it's extremely difficult and I think as far as I know there is no single agency in the world that is on the first page of Google in the US for their own website yet. There are the ones doing PPC but most of the time at the agency listing websites, so think about that.

Vanja:

Perfect. Excellent. So we have another question from one of our viewers. How does an agency market itself in today's digital transformation era and the Corona situation?

Branko:

First of all, never be aggressive because when we did our crisis communication strategy, and actually we did the blog recently that we shared with our clients.

And I can, it's, I think like a company creed that we had, you have to give something before you can take, So that also means even advertising because you're giving away your money before you can win over certain client.

So in this way, you have to know your target audience.

You have to know what they are struggling with.

You have to know the budget cuts laying off people uncertainty of their business that they have and be very very cautious about you know, how you're pitching yourself in front of them because there are those that will blossom in this crisis, but there are those that will suffer a lot as we know so you have to be very careful what your messaging is because top-quality messaging is the king.

Vanja:

Perfect. Thanks. And then the next question is I guess for both of you again. I want to get both of your opinions on this question because it is really good question.

So we're talking about smaller agencies. So, the question is just smaller agencies really see the benefit on advertising on platforms such as DesignRush compared to some of the bigger or is it just a plate field for bigger agencies?

Do the smaller guys have a chance when they when they list with us?

That's one of the questions and that's a great question. So I'll let Branko go first and then Andy after.

Branko:

I think, it really depends what a small is, you know, even if you have hundred people. Are you still a small agency? For some people yes, for some people no, for some clients that you will be working with, yes, for some clients that you will be working with your way to bit. So it's really about you know, who your target audience is.

Because we always say, you know, if we're talking to start up because we do get quite a lot of inquiries coming from different directories from startups with just maybe have an idea or an issue funding, we always like to help them. We want to advise them on how to spend their money, even though we are not the right fit for them.

So if you're looking after those then you still have to be close to their heart. So, for you, it's again, how much money do you think you will win over for a potential deal this how much money you should be spending on advertising or at least what we said 10%.

Small and big if, my boss always likes to say if somebody can promise me that I will get 10 million dollars if I invest a million, then a million dollars is peanuts really. Anything goes from $400 dollars, 1,000 dollars, 10,000 dollars and so on.

Vanja:

Andy?

Andrija:

Yep, I'm here. Well, I can only reflect on this by saying again. It's about what are you targeting here. And it's small agencies definitely have a chance. It's quite obvious.

They still exist and they're moving forward and it's an ongoing process and what I could suggest is definitely to consider using this way of advertising yourself rather just going on, I don't know social or depending on let's say organic traffic.

This is a good way for you to get noticed because you're, you're standing there with all the big players and it's game on at that point.

Branko:

Can I just give you one example, when you go to Digital Silk website, you can see that we work with P&G, with IBM, with Microsoft, with Google and that can scare off as well as you know, but even if you're a mid-sized business doing hundred million dollars a year.

That can still frighten people off because hey, you know, these people work with Fortune 500 companies that or the brand that everybody knows about. But also that's why you have to tailor your pitch to target exactly those you would like to work with.

So, there is no big or small really and also getting listed on the website you're competing against large agencies, but maybe a large agency does not have an expertise that you have, does not have case studies that you have.

Maybe you specifically build a very successful app in a certain niche and this is exactly what the client is looking for. And I know especially with DesignRush because with this couple of those, you know getting listed yourself in a certain block or paying, you know, the certain amount of money for a blog is really nothing.

And that is something that stays permanently on the web. You get high-quality links you get a context about your company. So the lead will may not be coming in the first month, in the second month, but along the line people would be able to see your brand connected with a certain relief relatable topic.

Andrija:

Yep, exactly. It's about giving the white pan and it could take some time to get onto the momentum. But when you have the momentum, then it's game on I will say that.

Vanja:

Okay, perfect guys. All right, I gotta I gotta cut us off here. We're past our time.

Thank you everybody for joining us today. I know there's a few questions that we still haven't gotten to and we're going to answer those by email. As you can see on your screen, we have all of our names, our emails are at the bottom. So if you need to reach out, please take a note of those emails now and reach out to us directly.

I want to thank Branko from Digital Silk for joining us today. It was an amazing experience. Thank you. Again.

Branko:

Thank you for the invitation.

Vanja:

And also Andy from DesignRush again, great to hear from you as well and your insights.

Andrija:

Thank you. Thank you everyone.

Branko:

Give me safe guys and stay healthy.

Vanja:

Thank you guys. Thanks again everybody. Make sure you're staying safe out there and, and staying healthy like Branko said and Andy and again, this is only our first webinar.

We will have will have more coming up for you, and we'll notify you of such.

Thanks again for joining and have a great day.

[END OF WEBINAR]