In the creative agency and web hosting spaces, partnerships are vital to business growth. The right strategic alliances can take your business from zero to sixty in no time by helping you acquire new clients, extend your reach, drive revenue, and build a network where referrals can flow between your agency and your web hosting partner.
Here are five critical things to share with a web hosting company while exploring the option to become a valued agency partner:
1. Information About Your Agency
Help the hosting company learn about your agency, understand your unique selling point proposition and point of differentiation, gain clarity about your capabilities, and discover how you wish to be positioned to potential clients in need of your services.
Also, share how long you have been in business and the size of your agency. This provides the hosting company information about the level of service and support you may need as an agency partner and whether or not you are the right fit for their partner program.
For example, if you have multiple teams working on different client projects at the same time, your hosting support needs will be different than a freelancer or small agency working on only a couple projects at a time. This will also alert the hosting company as to how many of your team members may reach out on behalf of your agency and clients for hosting-related questions and needs.
Ask the hosting company how they can help your agency gain new clients, improve processes, and increase profits.
2. The Types Of Clients Do You Do Business With
Help the hosting company get to know your clients. Let them know if you’re a generalist or if you have a specific niche that you cater to and share your specific hosting needs. The more the host learns about your clients and the type of website you build, the easier it will be to discover how their products and services align with your clients.
Ask the hosting company what products/services they have that would best fit your clients.
3. The Types Of Projects You Focus On
The type of websites your agency builds is also important to share with a potential hosting parter. This information will highlight your hosting requirements and invite education about how they can help your agency effectively use infrastructure to accomplish tasks.
For example, if you build eCommerce sites built on WordPress, it may be beneficial to use a hosting platform designed for eCommerce and WordPress. Rather than bogging down a shared server with an online store that has more traffic than it can handle, using something like Liquid Web’s Managed WooCommerce Hosting can allow the server to be used for smaller clients while giving the store the freedom to spread its wings.
Some wing-spreading features that you get with Managed WooCommerce hosting include:
- Access to thousands of themes
- Comprehensive plugins included courtesy of IconicWP
- Beaver Builder included for a custom look and feel
- Responsive web design with image and mobile optimization
- Product catalogs and store management tools
Ask the hosting company what special packages or unique offers they have that no other host has — or how they are different from other hosting companies.
4. The Products And Services You Offer
When exploring the opportunity to participate in a hosting company’s Agency Partner Program, make sure you share all of the products and services you offer through your agency. A successful partnership is a two-way street, which means that the referrals work both ways: you refer clients who are a great fit to the hosting company, and the hosting company refers new clients that are a great fit to your agency.
The key is creating a partnership that is mutually beneficial.
For example, agencies building sites for bloggers, freelancers, and businesses may not want to manage a server and would benefit from Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress plans. This way you can focus on the sites instead of the day-to-day server management, and because it is optimized for WordPress, you can be confident in the platform’s performance.
Managed WordPress hosting provides:
- Automatic daily backups stored offsite
- Automatic SSL for every site
- Staging sites for testing prior to pushing changes live
- Speed optimizations with the help of PHP7 and Nginx
- Popular developer tools such as SSH, Git, and WP-CLI
Ask the hosting company about their clients and customers, the needs they have, and how referrals to agency partners work.
5. Where Completed Sites Are Hosted
When talking with a potential hosting partner, be sure to communicate how you handle hosting within your agency. For example:
- Do you resell web hosting and host your client’s websites in your agency’s account?
- Do you refer clients directly to the hosting company and have them purchase their own hosting account?
- Do you have agency partnerships with other hosting companies?
Ask the hosting company about agency partner perks, how support works, and what happens when a client has a problem.
These five areas of focus will help guide your initial conversations with a hosting company about whether or not their agency partner program is a fit for your company.
During the conversation, you’ll discover the benefits an agency partnership can deliver and learn new ways to better serve your clients and increase profitability. At the same time, the hosting company will learn your specific needs and how they can serve you best. This information will be the foundation of a strategic alliance that will provide growth opportunities for your agency and the host.