If you want to sign on more clients and increase sales (doesn’t everyone?!), you need to create awesome agency pitch decks that excite, intrigue, and convert potential clients.
However, creating high-converting pitch decks is no small feat.
It requires a lot of time and effort. Cookie-cutter pitch decks (bye-bye templates!) do not reap the same results as an extensively researched, highly personalized, and bursting with a value pitch deck.
If you want to sign on new clients for your agency, you need to put in work.
So how do you create a pitch deck that convinces potential clients your agency is the best agency for their needs?
Let’s find out.
Table of contents
- What is a pitch deck and why is it important?
- How to create an awesome agency pitch deck?
- 8 tips on creating an agency pitch deck that wows potential clients
- Wrapping up
What is a pitch deck and why is it important?
First things first, what is a pitch deck?
A pitch deck is basically a presentation that helps to introduce your agency to prospective clients – a sales pitch in presentation form.
And why is it important?
As Rafe Gomez, co-owner of VC Inc. Marketing, aptly says, “The goal of an agency pitch deck is to move readers briskly and easily through the sales funnel and put them into buy mode.”
And while offering comprehensive details, “your pitch deck shouldn’t seek to over-educate or over-sell: less is definitely more, and your end goal is for your readers to be so impressed by your pitch deck that they say the three magic words that indicate their interest: tell me more!”, adds Gomez.
How to create an awesome agency pitch deck?
The difference between a generic agency pitch deck and one that’s personalized and polished to within an inch of its life is the conversion rate.
Mediocre pitch decks (especially templates created once and used everywhere) no longer cut it anymore.
If you want to win more and more clients, you need to work on your agency pitch deck. And that is exactly what we’re going to learn here.
Step 1 – Outline your business goals and USP
What are your business goals? Be specific.
You want to increase your clients and your sales revenue, but in how many months? What’s your monthly, quarterly and yearly goal? How many clients would it take to reach those goals?
Outline your business goals and make a comprehensive game plan.
This will help you figure out what kind of clients would work best for your business and how many clients do you need to sign.
Next, your USP – unique selling point.
What is your unique selling point? What sets you different from others?
- Is it your industry?
- Your unique set of skills?
- Your team?
- A service you’re an expert in?
Chances are you’ll be competing against other agencies to score the client, so be very clear why the client should hire your agency.
Jason McMahon, Digital Strategist at Bambrick says, “One of the most important things you can tell a potential client is to demonstrate your USP. It explains why they should choose you instead of your competition.
You should already be aware of your USP, but it’s worth taking the time to write it down and consider how you can not just tell people about it, but also demonstrate how you use it.
This could include letting your prospective customer meet your team and learn about the benefits of working with them, as well as discussing your agency’s values.”
Step 2 – Research your (dream) clients
Once you’ve outlined your business goals and figured out your unique selling point, it’s time to research who you’d absolutely love to work with.
Benjamin Aronson, founder at FinancePond, shares, “You need to know who you’re creating your pitch deck for before you start putting it together. Start by envisioning who your ideal client is and learning more about them.”
Aronson explains, “You’ll be able to adapt your pitch to them better if you have additional information. It will assist you in defining your goals and determining what your ideal client expects from an agency.”
So who is your ideal client?
- Is it a small business or a larger one?
- Do they have a small team and are looking to outsource digital marketing to an agency, or will you work with an inhouse team on social media campaigns?
- What is their marketing budget?
And so on.
Once you’ve figured out who your dream client is, it’s time to find out everything you can about them.
- What products or services do they sell?
- Who runs their marketing department? Do they even have one or have they always outsourced it?
- What are their current marketing channels?
- How is their social media presence?
- What are they focusing their marketing budget on?
- How can you improve their marketing?
Jonathan Zacharias, Founder of GR0, says, “You must know your client before you pitch to them so you can curate an effective pitch deck.”
And a great way of finding more about them is by, “holding a discovery session with potential clients to piece together your deck and make it more marketable to the specific client,” shares Zacharias. That is, prior to presenting your pitch.
Step 3 – Personalize your pitch
You know what your business goals are and you’ve Googled the heck out of your dream prospective clients. You even know the name of their office dog.
Time to personalize your pitch accordingly.
It’s very easy to create a generic pitch deck template to use every single time you pitch potential clients. After all, it saves time.
But does it convince potential clients that your agency is the best agency for them? Does it sway them? Does it convert?
Studies have shown that customized pitch decks that relate to the client on an individual level lead to 10% higher conversion rates.
And according to SEMrush, 29% of agencies think the top challenge for them is differentiating themselves from other marketing firms.
So tailor your pitch according to their budget and needs. Offer solutions to their specific problems.
As Tommy Gallagher, founder at Top Mobile Banks, points out, “If you don’t take the time to personalize your pitch deck, parts of it may not be relevant to your potential client.”
Gallagher further adds, “You can present some suggestions for what they can accomplish next after you have a better understanding of what they are already doing. You should think about the client’s budget and what they can afford in addition to what you will put in their advertising campaign. Deconstruct the many activities you’ll suggest to the client and how much each one might cost.”
So for example, if you’re pitching social media marketing services to a small home-based hair care business, you might not have the budget to produce high quality, super professional social media video campaigns.
So you’ll have to convince them to work with smaller, snackable videos (short and snappy product tutorials, time-lapse videos, GIFs, and the works) and interesting pictures (memes, product pictures, closeups, etc.).
Similarly, as Kristaps Brencans, CMO at On The Map, an award-winning digital marketing agency, explains, “If you’re a digital marketing agency, for example, your agency pitch deck will vary depending on whether you’re pitching towards small businesses with minuscule advertising budgets, or large companies looking to expand their sizable market outwards.
Conduct thorough research that not only conveys this information, but also gives you an idea of your potential client’s pain points, priorities, objectives, and the overall desired outcome they’d like from an agency like yours.
With this specific information, you can craft a pitch deck that addresses them in detail, which gives you a much better chance of converting than a general sales pitch.”
Learn from Brnd Media Group’s excellent pitch deck.
“One thing I’ve learned across dozens of pitches agency side, and through my own consultancy, is that personalization matters,” shares Matt Lally, founder of The Gift Yak.
“And if you haven’t been in a war room trying to uncover everything about the business, your pitch deck is not ready. The agency down the street is doing that. Personalization matters.”
Show that you’ve researched their industry, or have work examples and case studies specific to their industry
Paula Glynn, Business Coach, and Director of Search Marketing & Digital Strategy, Pixelstorm, agrees with Lally and adds, “Show some competitor information for SEO, PPC etc. Give ONE free value add tip that shows you know your stuff. It’s surprising how many generic pitches get done so when you customise it, it surely gets the potential clients attention!”
And don’t forget to start off strong like Arts + Science does in their deck.
Step 4 – Specify the exact value you’ll provide
Mix strategy with granular ideas.
This includes specifying,
- What services you’ll deliver
- What you’ll measure
- When will you report those results
- How long each task will take
- What input would you need from them
Use words that hint at action like ROI, conversions, and leads.
And always, always talk about the cost. What services do you offer at what costs? Break it down so it’s easy for prospective clients to understand what they’re getting.
Vulpine Interactive does a great job at succinctly breaking down costs in their pitch deck.
Like I said, be very very specific.
Keep your eye on their business goals and demonstrate how each strategy will bring them closer to that goal.
Diana Mae K adds a slide on different strategy stages clients can expect, which is an excellent idea.
And don’t forget to use compelling visuals.
As Brett Welker of Crush the GRE Test says, “Don’t bombard clients with slide after slide of text, incorporate visuals, including graphs, charts and infographics to make the presentation more dynamic and better illustrate ideas.
It is especially important to include visual representations of ROI projects, as ROI is what justifies your services.”
Coder’s Trust makes great use of a variety of different visuals to illustrate their point.
Step 5 – Add success stories to the mix
Have case studies? Numbers that worked in your favour? Testimonials by happy clients?
Add them to your pitch deck.
Mad Mind Studio’s case study in their pitch deck hits all the right notes.
If you have a lot of them, add the top 3 that show your diverse skill set and results.
BrandeMix adds a few examples of projects they’ve worked on related to each of their services.
Include proof of your expertise, like Startup Cafe Digital does here.
This not only demonstrates your expertise but also sets the tone for the pitch. Furthermore, through this, “you are establishing trust by providing them with information that will assist them in making a decision. I do this by including 1-2 slide/s of my previous accomplishments,” explains Ted Liu of Just SEO.
Appodo shows all the campaigns they’ve worked on to add more credibility to their marketing deck and sway potential clients.
But what if you don’t have any testimonials?
Ask clients you’re working for (or do pro-bono work in exchange for reviews).
Devin Schumacher, Founder of SERP, says, “If you run a startup and do not have a sizable client base yet, focus on case studies. You might execute the first campaigns for free. However, you can document the results, then incorporate them into your pitch deck afterward.”
You can also show media partners and publications your agency has worked with (or been published in) like Diana Mae. K does in their pitch deck.
Step 6 – Tell your agency’s story
Everyone loves a good story.
Tell your agency’s story, your journey, the brands you’ve worked with, the results you got for them, and introduce your team members in your pitch deck.
Like Coder’s Trust does in their pitch deck.
This not only humanizes your brand, but also makes it more memorable for clients.
Also add information about,
- How did you start?
- Why did you start?
- CEO’s story
NPR Design’s pitch deck contains a succinct description of how they started and it works great to give an overview to potential clients.
Step 7 – End with specific questions
“Make sure your pitch isn’t just one-way dialogue,” explains Sep Niakan, Managing Broker at Condoblackbook.
“You can allow potential clients to be more involved by letting them know you are open to queries. You can ask them if they have any questions, which will allow them to express any concerns or issues that they believe you haven’t addressed.
Thank them for their time and provide them with your contact information so they can reach you via various channels.”
And don’t forget to add your contact details, social media handles, and website so clients can read up more about you with ease and contact you when they want.
8 tips on creating an agency pitch deck that wows potential clients
To further help you ace your pitch deck, we asked 8 experts their tried and tested tips. Here’s what they said.
Stop talking about yourself so much
“From my experience, the more you talk about the prospective client, the better,” says Kent Lewis, President & Founder of Anvil.
“While we always provide baseline credentials and success stories, which are table stakes these days, we try to differentiate with our in-depth auditing and sharing of key insights about the brand that the prospect often does not know. It’s difficult not to hire a vendor that provides value before officially engaging.
Engage face-to-face when possible (now that COVID is largely behind us). Focus on the brand’s challenges (as stated or otherwise observed) and demonstrate why you are most qualified to solve the problem. Price should not be a factor, if even discussed, in a winning pitch, when you do your job right. At most, it may be a discussion about value or ROI.”
Don’t over-rehearse the presentation
“I’ve participated in hundreds of pitches over the years, and the best pitches were well-planned but not over-rehearsed.
While some pitches won with a Big Idea, most of the winning pitches were solid from all perspectives: demonstrating relevant knowledge, skills and service offerings, past successes and a qualified team.
The most successful long-term relationships also evaluate team chemistry, and rely less on references and testimonials (which often don’t apply evenly from client-to-client),” adds Kent Lewis.
Use layman’s terms
“One of the general and timeless rules of communication is to avoid jargon whenever possible unless you are communicating with an audience of fellow experts,” shares Bryce Welker, CEO of CPA Exam Guy.
“As a digital marketer, I also make sure I explain things to clients in a way that someone with little to no digital marketing expertise could easily grasp. It is particularly important to avoid acronyms.
Don’t talk about ‘SERPs’ or ‘CTRs’ if you are pitching a small business with a website that clearly indicates little digital marketing or SEO experience. ‘Search Engine Results Page’ and ‘Click-Through Rates’ are self-explanatory and therefore more effective.”
Memorize your presentation
“One of the most off-putting things for me when I’m being pitched is having someone read off a piece of paper the entire time. It’s ok to have an outline of what you want to say and your timing, but if you are glued to a script the whole time, it looks to me like you’re phoning it in and aren’t passionate enough about your agency or services to spend time better memorizing it,” explains Sebastian Schaeffer CEO of blogrolling.
Get your team involved in the presentation
“Make certain that anyone you bring has something to do,” advises Ryan Dalal, CEO & Founder of JPG to PDF.
“My golden rule is that if someone from your team is in the room, they must speak. Otherwise, they’ll appear ineffective or insignificant, which is especially problematic if you’re trying to raise money. Split up the presentation so that everyone on your team has a chance to shine—and to show your VCs that you’ve put together the best team around.”
Get your clients excited
According to Cody Iverson, CEO of Viscap Media, “The best pitch decks are the ones that get clients excited about their brand in a new light and get them excited to work with your agency.
You have to bring the “secret sauce” to your clients and show them that your agency has just what they need to bring their brand to the next level. Every awesome pitch deck is centered around the SMCI (single most compelling idea) which is the basis of what the pitch will be centered around for both the brand and the campaign being pitched.
It’s a good takeaway for clients to remember the key points of the pitch and what is most important when making the final decision.”
Focus on your branding
“When creating an agency pitch deck, ensure that your branding is clear on all slides and supplementing documents,” shares David Marshall, CEO and Founder of Performio.
“The idea here is to give your customer a truly unique experience, and this extends to the perceived value of the documents that you use. Low effort slides reflect poorly on your company and on their experience as a customer, so it’s crucial to keep everything congruent.
After all, if you’ve invested time in your website, social media, and marketing materials, there’s no reason to fall short right when you’ve got the customer’s attention.
This is all part of a larger conversation on leaving a great, lasting impression, so be sure to treat your pitch deck as a representation of your agency and the high quality of work that you produce.”
Focus on conversion rates
Devin Schumacher, Founder at SERP says, “Website traffic, click-through rates, and domain ratings contribute to the success of any ad campaign, but clients ultimately focus on conversion rates. Remember that all your past, present, and future clients want to turn a profit.
That being said, highlight conversion rates in your pitch deck. Every SMMA on the internet guarantees leads and web traffic, but only a few professionals can help with conversion.”
Everyone wants to sign on more and more lucrative clients, increase their sales revenue, and be successful. But few are willing to put in the work to make that happen.
For agencies, that starts with creating epic pitch decks each time they pitch a new client. So if you haven’t created a pitch deck before, or you have but didn’t get the results you wanted, now the time to rectify that and start creating high-converting pitch decks!