Drew McLellan

Build a Better Agency Podcast

Brought to you by Drew McLellan
Build a Better Agency Podcast

Description

Scale and grow your agency with better clients, invested employees, and a stronger bottom line, with Drew McLellan.

Categories

Business
Education

Episodes

EP 224: Agency culture redefined with John Waid

Jan 20, 2020 48:57

Description:

Culture matters. As agency owners and leaders, we get that. And we love creating a “great culture.” But, developing a great culture is about more than beer o’clock and having a ping pong table. Yes, fun is important. But if you want to attract and retain the top talent in your industry, that alone is not going to cut it.

John Waid of Corporate Culture Consulting joins us on this episode of Build A Better Agency to teach us a fresh approach to developing agency culture. He explains how to identify and define your organization’s culture, so you can align it with your strategic goals.

By focusing on organizational culture instead of a more superficial definition culture, we create an environment where the best employees want to stay and thrive. It enables us to map out our core values so we can weave them into the DNA of the agency and establish clear rules of engagement for clients, peers, and leadership alike.

John has a very unique perspective on how culture comes to life and how you can foster a culture that is outcome-focused. This conversation will reshape your perspective even if you think you have this one nailed.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Superficial culture vs. organizational culture The factors that contribute to a great agency culture How your culture plays a major role in talent acquisition and retention How to set behavioral expectations that bring your agency’s core values to life Why a great culture has the potential to course-correct a poor work ethic How to introduce new values to your agency and maintain them for years to come Ways to Contact John Waid: Website: c3culture.com Email: jwaid@corporatecultureconsulting.com Phone: (404) 915-3051 Twitter: @C3PeopleSkills LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnwaid/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/c3culture/

EP 223: Find your agency’s next leader with Craig Barnes

Jan 13, 2020 57:34

Description:

Biz dev, mentorship, and relationship management are critical responsibilities of every agency owner. But the hours in a workday are limited, and if we fail to delegate with confidence, the work that is uniquely ours will not get done. It’s just too easy to get sucked into client work or internal issues that we shouldn’t be focused on. Every agency owner needs a #1 who walks, talks, and leads like an owner because they enable us to actually do our job.

In this episode, AMI’s own Craig Barnes chats with Drew about his observations as to what it takes to recognize, find and keep a great lieutenant from his lens as the facilitator of AMI’s Key Executive networks. Craig also walks us through how to groom an existing employee who you believe has the potential to fill that role.

Throughout his experience running his own agency for 25+ years and his role at AMI, Craig has gleaned some invaluable insights about leadership team level team members in the agency world. If you are interested in learning how to identify that critical player for your team and prepare them for success, this episode is for you.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: The common traits of agency key executives All of the different functions that key executives can serve How to identify key executives on your team and groom them for success How you can grow as an agency owner so that your key executive can flourish Why this is the ideal time to find and nurture a new leader Ways to Contact Craig Barnes: Website: http://marketgrowthaccelerators.com/ Twitter: @CraigSBarnes LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigaga/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/market-growth-accelerators/about/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Market-Growth-Accelerators-221876281273730/

EP 222 : Productize your agency’s offerings with Jared Gold

Jan 6, 2020 55:55

Description:

One of the challenges of agency life is that typically everything we sell is a custom job. It’s tough to build in efficiencies or systemize our production when we never make the same deliverable twice. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Back in Episode 100, we discussed the idea of structuring your agency as a wonder bread factory vs. an artisanal bakery and there are different pros and cons for each.

Website By Tonight’s Jared Gold successfully transformed his agency from an artisanal bakery into a wonder bread factory for web development. And in this episode of Build A Better Agency, Jared joins us to share the lessons he learned throughout the process so you can apply them in your own agency.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in This Episode: Jared’s journey from artisanal bakery to wonder bread factory with Website By Tonight The benefits and drawbacks of productizing your agency’s service line The lessons and insights Jared learned while switching from custom to standardized deliverables How to determine what parts of your agency can actually be productized Creating firm boundaries around your productized offerings so that you can always meet expectations How Jared’s target audience changed when he introduced the productized service line with Website By Tonight Ways to Contact Jared Gold: Website: https://websitebytonight.com/ Free Productized Agencies Directory: turnkeyagencies.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaredgold1/ Additional Resources: Agency Planning Tools: agencymanagementinstitute.com/herecomes2020 Access Jared’s agency-to-agency project/partner referral Slack group:
https://websitebytonight.com/partner Jared’s agency partner program: https://websitebytonight.com/faq-partners

EP 221: Increase your agency’s value and build a smart exit strategy with Gina Cocking

Dec 30, 2019 50:05

Description:

Most agency owners hope to sell their agency someday down the road. If that’s you, understanding how agencies are valuated today will help you maximize that opportunity whenever it comes. Even if you aren’t interested in selling, you can and should still be beefing up your agency’s value.

Gina Cocking joins us for this episode to provide an investment banker’s perspective on the valuation and sales process. She’ll walk us through the key items investment firms look for in your agency’s valuation and explain the technical numbers-side. She’ll also help us identify ways you can add value in advance.

Gina is managing director and partner at Colonnade Advisors, a boutique investment banking firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions in the business services industry. Colonnade has helped many agencies buy and sell, so Gina understands what it takes to help agency owners get the most out of their purchase deals.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: A glimpse inside the process of selling your agency How Colonnade Advisors represents business owners selling their companies The importance of enterprise value, recurring revenue, and client relationships when you sell your agency How your key employees factor into a purchase deal The various elements that increase or diminish an agency’s value in the marketplace How to approach the numbers-side of selling your agency Ways to Contact Gina Cocking: Website: www.coladv.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ginacocking/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/colonnade-advisors-llc_2/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Colonnade-Advisors-LLC/308550405834700

EP 220: Strengthen your core and the core of your agency with Drew McLellan

Dec 23, 2019 44:30

Description:

Maybe it’s my age, but there’s a lot more talk about the importance of strengthening my core, to improve balance and stability. The same is true for our agencies. Our reality is always a bit unstable and we often expend a lot of energy anticipating the next storm. But if your agency’s core is strong, you can rest a little easier, knowing you can weather whatever comes. Just like you have for years. We forget how much we’ve already accomplished and survived when we’re heads down all of the time.

Recently, there has been a bit of an undercurrent of worry and tension in some of my conversations with agency owners, so I want to tackle that. In ep. 210 we talked about how even on our worst days, life as an agency owner is pretty darn good. In ep. 215, I gave you some action steps to take to recession-proof your agency.

And in this episode, I walk you through some ways to strengthen your agency’s core so you can approach 2020 with confidence and courage. You and your agency are survivors. Let’s set you up to take full advantage of whatever rocks the boat – good news or bad. Because if there’s one given in agency life it’s that there will be a bit of both!

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How to deal with your worries so you can approach 2020 with confidence and courage How to strengthen your agency’s core How to take full advantage of the gratitude you have for being an agency owner The importance of mentorship and one-on-one time with your employees How to love your clients in bigger, bolder ways Why your agency should serve your life, not the other way around

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year, Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

EP 219: A year of reflection and growth for agency leaders with John Jantsch

Dec 16, 2019 46:42

Description:

There was a time when you spent most of your time learning your craft. Whether it was account service or art direction or biz dev – you had to develop the skills to do your job well. There’s no doubt that our world demands on-going education so we can continue to serve our clients. But at this point in your career, you have the luxury of focusing on something a bit deeper — developing yourself as a leader, professional, and human being. That’s why I love John Jantsch’s new book The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur so much. It invites us to do just that.

John has always been about teaching small businesses how to do marketing. His previous five books were all how to guides for everything from selling, using referrals to grow your business, and SEO. But this latest book offers no step by step instructions. In fact, it’s sort of the opposite. It’s a book about you discovering answers to bigger questions that can’t come with an instruction manual.

Each of the 366 chapters is comprised of a quote from a literary great, a reflection by John on the day’s topic (anything from limited beliefs to seizing risk) and then a thought-provoking question. You can consume the book in one big gulp or you can sip it throughout the year.

In this episode of Build A Better Agency, John and I chat about why he made the dramatic shift in writing purpose and style, how he got the book done and how he recommends readers squeeze the full value from the book.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: About John’s new book and why he chose to write a “why to” rather than another how to How to invest in yourself and how that growth can serve your agency The book writing process for “The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur” How to use John’s book to become a stronger, more centered agency leader Subscribe to Build A Better Agency! Book: https://www.amazon.com/Self-Reliant-Entrepreneur-John-Jantsch/dp/1119579775 Website: www.ducttapemarketing.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ducttapemarketing LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ducttapemarketing/ Twitter: @ducttape  

EP 218: How agency owners can leverage a virtual assistant with Jess Tyson

Dec 9, 2019 59:23

Description:

Have you ever wished that you had a team member dedicated to helping manage your day, your email, your commitments, and your goals? When we have someone in the office, they often get usurped by other teams or the crisis of the day. That’s one of the many advantages of working with a virtual assistant. Many agency owners are enjoying added productivity and peace of mind that comes with someone always having their back thanks to their VA!
My guest Jess Tyson takes a people-first approach to virtual assistant matchmaking. She facilitates the connection and establishes a professional relationship so you can start delegating and focusing on your highest priorities.. Jess is also the author of Panic Proof: How the Right Virtual Assistant Can Save Your Sanity and Grow Your Business, a speaker, and the Director of Calm at Don’t Panic Management. In this episode of Build a Better Agency, we talk about how virtual assistants can help you get your calm on.

VAs are a flexible commitment that ebbs and flows with your agency. Most agency owners I know use VAs to increase their efficiency and effectiveness, and VAs can become trusted members of your team if you approach the relationship the right way. It’s an option worth considering and my goal with this episode is to broaden your sense of what’s possible with a VA by your figurative side!

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How Jess’s new operations audit can help people figure out where to best spend their time and relegate, automate, or delegate the rest How VAs work and how the relationships are structured What Jess looks for as she searches for a client’s VA The advantages of hiring a virtual assistant over a traditional admin Why agency owners need to delegate How a VA can manage your biggest time-suck; emails Ways to Contact Jess Tyson: Website: https://www.dontpanicmgmt.com/ Twitter: @jessostroff LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/don’t-panic-management-llc/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dontpanicmgmt

EP 217: The buying journey of your agency’s prospects with Robin Boehler

Dec 2, 2019 53:48

Description:

Like every other consumer, your prospects go on a wild and winding journey as they consider whether or not they want to hire an agency and then go about finding that perfect partner. It’s amazing to me that many agencies teach their clients about buying journeys and yet don’t really understand what their prospects go through as they go to market.

Robin and Steve Boehler are the principals at Mercer Island Group and every day, they help brands find that perfect agency partner. They have a unique lens into the emotional roller coaster that prospects ride on their way to hiring an agency. They’ve spent the last few years documenting this journey and now they’re ready to share it with all of us so we can win at each of those milestones.

That’s why I’ve asked Robin back to the podcast, as my first three-peat guest! The Boehlers are just that smart! Take a listen and get a taste of what Robin and Steve have learned through their work with many clients, all on unique but similar journeys that will give us clues on how to win our next sweet spot prospect.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: The importance of understanding and anticipating your prospects’ buying journeys The emotional elements in the prospect’s buying journey How to help a prospect mitigate the risk they face when switching to a new agency How to get visibility with your prospects before they’re ready for a change How to make a lasting impression that helps your agency stand out Ways to Contact Robin Boehler: Website: Website: www.migroup.com Phone: 206.236.0447 Twitter: @mig_robin  

EP 216: Using AI to support your agency’s content strategy with Jeff Coyle

Nov 25, 2019 58:45

Description:

There are very few agencies today who aren’t trying to solve the content challenge. The content creation process is complicated and it’s often difficult to demonstrate the ROI to clients so they will pay you what it takes to actually create something worthwhile. Clients want high performing content but aren’t excited about paying for it. And it can be tough for us to document and demonstrate what’s working and what isn’t.

At this summer’s MAICON (Marketing AI conference) conference, I met Jeff Coyle, the co-Founder and Chief Product Officer for MarketMuse. Jeff and his team are doing incredible work with AI to help agencies and brands better understand how content is performing, what content is missing and how to fill those gaps in a way that is SEO and visitor friendly.

Technology and traditional content production methods are merging, and that’s creating a whole new level of measurability, predictability and performance metrics that can justify the spend. What would take us hours to number crunch and calculate can take tools like MarketMuse mere seconds.

Join me as I explore the possibilities with subject matter expert Jeff Coyle.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: The evolution of content marketing How Jeff Coyle is bringing AI and traditional content production methods together New tools and insights that agency owners can leverage to create more impactful content Creating content that has direct conversions Why you should be updating your content Ways to Contact Jeff Coyle: Website: https://www.marketmuse.com/ Twitter: @jeffrey_coyle

EP 215: Recession-proof your agency with Drew McLellan

Nov 18, 2019 47:10

Description:

For the last decade, I have been living in the perfect home. I love everything about it— from the size and layout to its waterfront location. I thought I would never move again. But everything changed when I adopted my charcoal lab puppy, Heather.

Heather is about four months old right now and she already exceeds the 30lb weight limit for pets, according to our homeowner’s association. It’s safe to say she’s not getting any lighter, so we don’t have any choice but to pack up and move.

Change is a part of life and yet even though it keeps happening, it’s uncomfortable. We don’t seem to get used to it. We get settled into a direction or path. And suddenly, an unanticipated event triggers change that we weren’t prepared for or can’t control.

In my case – this is change I triggered and I can control. But it’s still unsettling and disruptive. I know most of you are feeling unsettled right now too – because of the economy, which is out of all of our control!

Many agency owners are feeling stuck in a state of flux right now, when it comes to the economy. Every day an agency owner brings up the potential economic downturn and admits that they’re anxious because we don’t know if it’s coming, when it’s coming, or how bad it will be.

Let’s take control of this uncontrollable situation by adopting the best offense is a strong defense stance. In this solocast episode of Build A Better Agency, I am going to walk you through some things you can do to protect yourself IF a downturn or recession is coming. And even if it’s not – this will make you stronger as you enter the new year.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How to prepare yourself and your agency for change How to balance your client roster during an economic downturn How to manage your agency finances during a recession How to strengthen your biz dev program for an economic downturn

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year, Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan Website: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/ Tools & Resources: Manual Time Tracker: https://timeular.com/ Mini Audit: https://www.dontpanicmgmt.com/mini-audit/ Billing Utilization Calculator: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/onthetable/ Workshop Calendar: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/advertising-agency-training/workshop-calendar/ AGI Forms: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/agiforms/

EP 214: Why public speaking skills matter to agency owners with Michael Port

Nov 11, 2019 01:04:32

Description:

You are agency owners, not career keynote speakers. But that does not mean you don’t earn your living as a presenter. You present every day of your professional lives. You hold one-on-one meetings in your office and lead all-agency meetings. Some of you are speaking at conferences and tradeshows as well.

By sharing your expertise, teaching, and demonstrating that you know your stuff, you will create biz dev opportunities that start deeper in the funnel. It doesn’t matter if public speaking is a strength or a source of anxiety, it is a learnable skill where craft outranks natural talent.

My guest Michael Port has written six best-selling books including Book Yourself Solid and Steal the Show. He has spent the last several years developing and honing the company he co-owns with his wife Amy, Heroic Public Speaking (HPS). HPS conducts training programs for speakers of all walks of life. When I think about great public speakers that are commanding top fees for keynoting, almost all of them have gone through some level of training with Michael and Amy. But they also train people who will never step on a formal stage, but just want to present their ideas in a more compelling way.

The people who go through the HPS program develop confidence and the ability to command an audience. Michael joins us on this episode of Build a Better Agency to talk about the art and science of presentation. He explains how we can use it to serve our agencies, our teams, and our clients in bigger, better ways.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: You are presenting and public speaking every day Why speeches are an unrivaled biz dev opportunity Michael Port’s story, and the work he and his wife Amy are doing with Heroic Public Speaking Why presenting is a combination of art and science How mastery of public speaking will enable you to become a more effective agency owner Ways to Contact Michael Port: Website: https://heroicpublicspeaking.com/ Twitter: @michaelport

EP 213: Set your agency apart with Tamsen Webster

Nov 4, 2019 57:02

Description:

With so many people that have yet to join us on the show, I very rarely ask someone to come back on. But Tamsen Webster is an exception. You may remember episode 61, where Tamsen joined us to talk about speaking at conferences and tradeshows as a biz dev strategy. This time, we are going to take a different tack because Tamsen has been pretty busy since we last spoke.

Every day, I talk to agency owners who struggle to see what differentiates them from their competitors. They fail to recognize their unique reflection in the mirror. Tamsen has developed a methodology for identifying what sets you apart, which is one of many things that we cover in this episode of Build a Better Agency.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why it is difficult for agency owners to recognize what makes them unique Tamsen’s methodology for identifying what sets your agency apart How to use Tamsen’s process internally and with clients How Tamsen designed her system and why it works Ways to Contact Tamsen Webster: Website: www.tamsenwebster.com Twitter: @tamadear

EP 212: Giving employees a voice through brand advocacy with Glenn Gaudet

Oct 28, 2019 56:55

Description:

Every business is struggling to be seen and heard. They spend a lion’s share of their budget fighting to find an audience. Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be that hard. They are often overlooking an incredible resource. Their own employees.

Employees can be some of the best advocates for any business; especially with the right system in place. They know the company inside and out, they talk to current and prospective clients about it and, if they love their work and their employer, they probably share that love when they get the opportunity.

What if you could amplify that critical voice for your clients and help them create a program that encouraged their employees to shout it from the rooftops?

Glenn Gaudet, the CEO of GaggleAMP, founded his company with this idea in mind. GaggleAMP helps companies get the most out of their social media efforts with solutions that help amplify their efforts through employee engagement and interaction.

In episode #209 of Build a Better Agency, Glenn and I discussed employee and brand advocacy at length. We talked about incentivizing employees to engage with their company’s social media, recognizing employees as influencers, using advocacy from raving customers and channel partners, and so much more.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: What employee advocacy is and what it looks like in practice How to market employee advocacy strategy to employees and clients Implementing and evolving employee advocacy programs The myriad benefits of the different kinds of brand advocacy Specific strategies to incentivize employee advocacy Common pitfalls when approaching advocacy programs The mission of Glenn’s company, GaggleAMP Ways to Contact Glenn Gaudet: Website: https://www.gaggleamp.com/ Podcast: www.gaggleamp.com/build

EP 211: Agency Edge Research Results 2019 with Susan Baier

Oct 21, 2019 58:37

Description:

Every year we partner with Audience Audit to conduct research that we know will benefit agency leaders. This year, we decided to re-visit some of the questions we initially asked in 2014 to see if there had been significant shifts. In some ways, the results showed a consistent trend and in some other areas, there’d been some pretty significant changes.

In the 2019 study we included clients from the US, Canada, Australia and the UK and there were over 1,000 respondents who participated.

In this episode we’ll walk you through some of the most significant ah ha moments in the study in terms of what clients value, how they view us, and the kinds of work they think we do best. We will also talk about some of the new questions around agency specialization and agency owner involvement in key accounts.

Listen in as Susan Baier, president of Audience Audit and I explore the insights and talk about the implications of this new research. We’d also like to invite you to join us on November 12th (if you’re listening to this in real time) as we walk folks through every single question and data point in a live webinar just for you!

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: What remained steady and what shifts we saw from the 2014 study The three distinct audience segments we uncovered and how each of them view agencies Why over 50% of all respondents work with an agency who is 200+ miles away from them How you can get the complete download during the webinar on November 12th Ways to Contact Susan Baier: Website: www.audienceaudit.com Email: susan@audienceaudit.com Twitter: @susanbaier

EP 210: Don’t wait for your perfect day as an agency owner with Drew McLellan

Oct 14, 2019 36:14

Description:

In the agency world, there are days where it seems like tomorrow will never come. It’s easy to get fixated on what is broken or what else needs to be done. There’s always one more tweak and THEN things will be good.

Actually, no matter where you’re at in the ebbs and flows of agency life, it’s all pretty good.

Even on your worst day, you have it better than most. The problem is, we often fail to realize that. We get tunnel vision digging ourselves out of holes and preparing for the next fallout when things are going well.

In this solocast of the Build a Better Agency podcast, I share the story of a conversation I recently had with a friend who just sold his agency. His perspective was so telling and for me, so inspiring.

My hope is that it will give you a fresh look at how to approach agency ownership, no matter what the day brings.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why some agency owners fail to enjoy the ride How to show gratitude and the impact it will have on your agency How to recognize the privileges of being an agency owner or leader Why it matters that you slow down and appreciate your role Different ways that you can improve as an agency leader How to articulate what your clients and employees mean to you

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year, Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan Website: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/

EP209: How your agency should keep up with AI with Chris Penn

Oct 7, 2019 56:52

Description:

Our agencies and the work we do will inevitably be impacted by artificial intelligence in the next 3-5 years. That’s just a fact. Odds are, it’s probably already changing the way you do business every day. There’s a lot of hype and buzz about jobs going away and most agencies are struggling to figure out how to keep up.

Questions of what data to use, how to analyze it, what tasks can be automated, and what AI can do for clients pop up all of the time. And it all shifts on what seems like a daily basis.

Fortunately, the agency space has a beacon to light the way into the uncharted territory of AI. His name is Chris Penn, and he is an authority on analytics, digital marketing, and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, best-selling author, and keynote speaker, he has shaped four key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, modern email marketing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning in marketing.

Chris is a generous guy who frequently shares his knowledge over his own podcast, Marketing Over Coffee, as well as through books like “AI for Marketers: A Primer and Introduction.” I was thrilled to welcome Chris as my guest for episode #208 of the Build a Better Agency podcast.

I barely scratched the surface of questions I had but we got a good start, talking about data analysis, keeping up with the flux of AI, and the tasks that agencies can automate to save time and money. The conversation was fascinating and I’m excited to share it with you.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: What data actually looks like in the agency environment The importance of hiring people with analytics and software skills to an agency How to keep up with the ever-changing field of AI in an agency setting Common mistakes agencies make around data and analytics The most onerous tasks that can be automated using AI The capabilities of machine learning and where humans come in during the process What Chris does to keep current with technology in the agency space Ways to Contact Chris Penn: Chris’s Blog: https://www.christopherspenn.com/ Website: https://www.trustinsights.ai/ Chris’s Podcast: https://www.marketingovercoffee.com/

EP 208: Love is damn good business with Steve Farber

Sep 30, 2019 01:08:01

Description:

I’m a big believer in love. Sure — romantic love or the love you have for your family is awesome but that’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about loving the people on your team and your clients. It’s amazing the level of connectivity you can create when you lead with love. It may seem odd, but I think love is especially important in the workplace. Agencies lead with love towards their employees and clients will likely keep those employees and clients and enjoy the fruits of those relationships for many years.

That’s why I knew I’d love Steve Farber’s new book Love is Just Damn Good Business. Steve has decades of experience as a leadership trainer and expert, he’s an internationally sought out speaker and best-selling author. (He was my guest on episode #46 and we mentioned love a few times there too!)

In episode #208 of Build a Better Agency, Steve and I talk about the impact of love on a business’ ROI, employee retention and employer satisfaction. This is one of my favorite conversations I’ve had, and if you only listen to one episode of the podcast, I hope it’s this one.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why Steve’s message is so important in today’s world The benefits of building a work environment based on love Building love and relationships with clients How to demonstrate love to employees The powerful message of being fully present with people What empathy really looks like in action Showing love and kindness in the most difficult times Serving your employees by being a “strong frame” Ways to Contact Steve Farber: Email: steve@stevefarber.com Website: https://www.stevefarber.com/ Steve’s Book: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Just-Damn-Good-Business/dp/1260441229

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EP 207: A privacy primer for agencies with Ruth Carter

Sep 23, 2019 52:01

Description:

Many agency owners are struggling to not only understand laws like the CCPA and GDPR, but more important — determine what your agency has to do to be compliant and avoid liability. What laws apply to your shop and your clients? What does compliant even mean in terms of practical do’s and don’ts? What is the chain of responsibility if clients make bad choices? What are mistakes we should avoid?

My guest Ruth Carter is an Arizona-based business, intellectual property, and internet attorney; a best-selling author who literally wrote the book on the legalities of blogging; has been living and breathing the new CA privacy law and works with agencies every day to help them manage the hype and interpret the laws accurately.

Ruth and I had a lively conversation about privacy laws and what they mean for agencies. Ruth is a wealth of legal and privacy information for agencies and a brilliant navigator for this tricky subject.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: What determines which privacy laws an agency and our clients need to follow How agencies can protect themselves if clients don’t follow privacy recommendations and get into legal trouble Privacy disclaimers, policies, and declarations needed for an agency’s website Whether your agency has to abide by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and/or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Privacy mistakes that get agencies into hot water The importance of transparency when adding clients to your email list Why most agencies can take a deep breath – they’re probably already complying with the law Ways to Contact Ruth Carter: Email: ruth@carterlawaz.com Website: https://carterlawaz.com/ YouTube: youtube.com/user/CarterLawFirm Personal Blog: UndeniableRuth.com

EP 206: How to become an authentic leader within your agency with David Wood

Sep 16, 2019 48:22

Description:

There are people who are considered leaders because their title says they are and then there are people who lead, no matter where in the org chart they may be. Agency owners can’t afford to be leaders in title only. We have to step into true leadership if we want our agency to thrive and grow.

David Wood, founder of Play For Real, is my guest on this episode of Build a Better Agency. David is a pro at spotting what it takes to be a strong leader in the workplace.

David was a former consulting actuary to Fortune 100 companies like Sony Music and Procter & Gamble. When he left his Park Avenue job, he began to explore the world in a different way in terms of helping high-performing entrepreneurs, executives and leaders play the game of personal development as well as it can be played.

In this episode of the Build a Better Agency podcast, David and I talk about what it means to show up as a leader who is not afraid to be daring, authentic, and vulnerable. We talk shop on how to encourage employees to be better leaders, how to build an environment of trust, and how true leadership can make all the difference.
A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Ideal traits and practices for leading people The differences between relational and posturing leadership How to recognize leadership flaws and train employees to keep you accountable The importance of incentivizing employee contributions and collaboration What being an authentic and daring leader looks like How your leadership skills translate directly to running a more profitable agency The power of listening to people’s problems rather than giving advice or trying to fix them Action steps for becoming a more vulnerable leader Ways to Contact David Wood: Website: http://playforreal.life/ Email: private6@solutionbox.com

EP 205: The ideal salesperson for your agency already works in your shop with Drew McLellan

Sep 9, 2019 35:17

Description:

As agency owners, we all want to hire the mystical, magical salesperson that will allow us to hand that task to someone other than us. Can it be done? Yes, but probably not the way you think or wish it would happen.

Sales is a challenging activity no matter what you’re selling. Selling for agencies, even more so.

In this solocast, I will walk you through the make-up of that unicorn of a salesperson so you can spot one out in the wild. I’ll help you identify some prime places to search what traits are non-negotiable, and how to build a compensation package, if you happen to find one.

Even if you find this unicorn of a salesperson, you won’t be able to walk away completely. I’ll also discuss the agency owner’s role in the biz dev process. With the right people, the right assets, and the right communication, you’ll be well on your way to a successful sales operation for your agency.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: What makes agency owners uniquely qualified to be the best agency salespeople What an outside salesperson has to understand about your niche to sell for your agency The traits of a good salesperson The different kinds of agencies and how that impacts salespeople’s success rates A compensation model for outside salespeople and how long it will take them to start making sales What assets salespeople need to set them up for success Why salespeople need access to the agency owner

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year, Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan Website: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/ Tools & Resources: Get 10 hours for FREE for a Project with More than 50 Hours with White Label Here.

EP 204: A good lawyer saves an agency money, not the other way around with Jamie Lieberman

Sep 2, 2019 51:48

Description:

Lawyers, financial planners and insurance salespeople. You joke about avoiding them at cocktail parties, but they are definitely not who you should avoid as agency owners. Many owners think of attorneys as an expense. I can tell you – the preventative investment you make with a lawyer to get a good contract and other tools is a pittance compared to what I have seen agencies lose when they don’t have those good tools.

If you are a high-risk gambler – grab a contract off the internet and use that.

That’s why I invited Jamie Lieberman, founder of Hashtag Legal LLC, to be my guest on this episode of Build a Better Agency. She has over 15 years of legal experience and specializes in helping agency owners protect themselves before they get into hot water.

Jamie brings extensive experience in contract creation and negotiation IP issues agencies face, web and mobile app terms and conditions, and influencer marketing legalities.
Settle in – she’s ready to give you a free hour of legal counsel!

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why you need to find the right attorney for your agency The absolute necessity of drawing up the right contracts for your agency and some characteristics of the ideal contract How agencies can (and should) protect themselves from potentially hazardous legal situations caused by clients The ins and outs of independent contractors and how to avoid legal headaches and fines Navigating non-compete and non-solicitation agreements for employees and contractors The importance of confidentiality agreements and defining what constitutes confidential information Claiming domain names while avoiding copyright or trademark infringement Why agencies owners should stay abreast of popular trends in the industry, especially in areas such as influencer marketing Ways to Contact Jamie Lieberman: Jamie’s Email: jamie@hashtag-legal.com Jamie’s Website: https://www.hashtag-legal.com/ Course: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/ Get 10 hours for FREE for a Project with More than 50 Hours with White Label Here.

EP 203: Building wealth outside your agency with Chris Prefontaine

Aug 26, 2019 55:09

Description:

One of the most expensive mistakes many agency owners make is leaving too much money in the business. It’s too easy to forget that the retained earnings in the agency’s checking account is actually your money. You’ve earned it. You’ve paid taxes on it. It should be in YOUR bank account.

But, when you leave it inside the agency you often spent it on bad financial decisions, like staying overstaffed rather than making the tough call to downsize if business shifts.
You need to build your wealth outside of your agency. I dove into that topic in detail in episode 115 if you want to go back and review it.

For many agency owners – when they think about building that wealth outside their agency, they think about real estate I’m a big fan of this strategy and it’s been my go-to for years. But it’s easy to make big mistakes if you aren’t well educated (I wasn’t) or don’t have a good advisor. In the early days, I made some costly mistakes that I’d like to help you avoid.

That’s why I wanted to talk with a true expert in real estate investing so we could all learn from one of the masters.

My guest, Chris Prefontaine, has been creating wealth through real estate and teaching others how to do the same for years. This conversation is going way beyond flipping houses. There are so many ways to make a profit in real estate, and the barriers of entry are much lower than you might think.

Chris has always been a big advocate of constant education which is why he’s written Real Estate on Your Terms: Create Continuous Cash Flow Now, Without Using Your Cash or Credit. He’s also the founder of SmartRealEstateCoach.com and the Smart Real Estate Coach Podcast.

He’s been in real estate for over 25 years. His experience includes the construction of over 100 single-family and duplex homes (mostly 1990’s and selectively to date) as well as ownership of a Realty Executives franchise (Massachusetts 1994-2000) as a broker, where he maintained high per-agent standards and eventually sold to Coldwell Banker in 2000.

Chris runs his own buying and selling businesses with his family team, which buys 2-5 properties monthly, so they’re in the trenches every single week. They’ve done over $80 million in real estate transactions and help clients do the same thing around the country.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why you need to start building wealth outside your agency today How real estate can become a source of income beyond your agency How to use tax liens as an instrument to earn income via real estate The wide variety of ways you can earn through real estate Why you don’t need a massive cash reserve to get started in real estate How to minimize the outlay and risk in real estate When to consider remote real estate transactions, and when to work on transactions closer to home How to ride out market fluctuations to make the most of your real estate investments Ways to Contact Chris Prefontaine: Website: https://www.smartrealestatecoach.com/ Free hard copy (including shipping) of New Rules of Real Estate Investinghttp://newrulesforfree.com (this link mentioned in the show seems glitchy. The hyperlinked title should get people right to the site.)

EP 202: Effective video marketing for agencies and their clients, with Gideon Shalwick

Aug 19, 2019 59:53

Description:

You’ve seen all the stats and you’ve personally experienced the explosive growth of video in the last 5+ years. It is not a channel we can or should ignore for ourselves or for our clients.

But unless you or your client have a skateboarding cat – producing a compelling video that will attract and connect with viewers is no small task. (If you do have a skateboarding cat – can I borrow him?)

In this episode, we’re going to deconstruct what it takes to create a compelling, engaging video that connects you with your ideal audience. My guest is an expert who has spent over a decade exploring and perfecting the art of the marketing video.

Beyond learning how to best our own hang-ups about being on camera, there are even broader questions. What are some best practices? What elements need to be in place to have an effective video? What does effective video even mean these days?

My guest Gideon Shalwick is a serial entrepreneur who has been creating businesses in the online video space since 2006. He’s been experimenting, studying trends and making plenty of money off video for over a decade.

Today, his focus is on his business Splasheo which is a video captioning service where humans manually transcribe your videos and then burn those captions right into your videos using a variety of engaging layouts. They’re perfect for social and if we’re connected on LinkedIn, you’ve seen my weekly video’s new look, thanks to Splasheo!

Gideon also occasionally offers private coaching and training to help people grow their businesses using video marketing.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why video content is not primarily about transferring knowledge How to connect with your video audience so they want to engage with you How to structure your video content for maximum engagement Tips on how to look natural on camera Why audio is just as important as imagery in creating a video How to use social proofs both as a novice and after you gain traction in video Creating video out of your audio content Why captions make such a big difference in video engagement How to slice and dice your existing content into valuable video nuggets

EP 201: How agency owners can bridge the millennial employee divide with Chris Tuff

Aug 12, 2019 57:30

Description:

Millennials (people born from 1981-1996) comprise the largest and most diverse generation in American history. Most agency owners are either older millennials or Gen X or Boomers. When it comes to leading the team — sometimes those two worlds collide. They’re coming at the world with completely different expectations, wants, needs and goals. Whenever I talk with agency owners, they almost always talk about the frustrations that come from that disparity. Who are these people and how do we manage and motivate them?

In this episode, I ask these questions of agency owner and millennial whisperer Chris Tuff. After living it, researching it, and then literally writing the go-to book on the subject, Chris has some wisdom to share.

The perception is that millennials don’t have the same work ethic that we had at their age. However, the reality is we aren’t from different planets, despite the fact that the world and the work environment today is vastly different from what many of us experienced when we were breaking into the business.
Chris and I dig into perceptions and misperceptions of hiring and leading millennials with the goal of understanding what motivates them, the role of culture, and the fact that we are all people in different stages of life. Hopefully, this will give you some tangible takeaways to help you engage with, inspire, get inspired by, and work with millennials – to everyone’s benefit.

Chris Tuff is a partner at the advertising agency 22squared in Atlanta, GA, where he successfully attracts, motivates, and whispers to Millennials every day. When Chris isn’t working, he kiteboards, mountain bikes, runs and spends quality time with his wife and two daughters.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why managing Millennials doesn’t have to be so challenging for older agency owners Why transparency is so important for Millennial employees The kinds of leadership that Millennials are seeking How to make promoting culture and company goals the job of everyone in the agency What to look for in Millennial candidates How to make a contract-to-hire “test drive” worth the risk for both the candidate and you The benefits that Millennials are seeking What the Millennial-owned company of the (very near) future will look like Why diversity and inclusion are not optional with Millennials Ways to Contact Chris Tuff: Website: http://www.22squared.com/ Millennial Leadership Assessment tool: https://www.theMillennialwhisperer.com/Millennial-leadership-assessment/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christophertuff/

EP 200: Agency Trends Report Part 2 with Drew McLellan

Aug 5, 2019 43:05

Description:

During the spring gatherings of AGI owner peer network members, I walk them through a presentation on trends that I’m seeing in the industry. Then I devote two solocast episodes to these findings later in the summer.

In episode 195, I covered what’s happening with agency money and finance, along with some trends in ownership, decision-making, and how you and your peers are managing the pace of change in this industry.

In this episode, I talk about employees, clients, and some tactics with which agencies are having great success in terms of winning clients and serving them well.
If the topic of employees gives you a queasy feeling, you are not alone. It’s a big source of concern for many agency owners. I discuss trends I’m seeing in why retention is such a challenge and what you can do to make your agency the best option for employees you don’t want to lose.

What’s happening on the client-side? There are some really interesting findings. I discuss creative ways in which agencies are gaining more clients and more billables from existing clients.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why freelance work is becoming more common and more of a draw to your current employees How to increase diversity in your agency What employees are looking for in agency culture How to set up an attractive incentive program What agencies are doing to counteract clients doing more work in-house The most in-demand work with which agencies are engaging clients and for which they are being well-compensated The four traits that will get you on a client’s radar How agencies can help clients take a stand on the issues that are important to them and their customers

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Agency Edge 2018: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/agency-tools/agency-edge-research-series/research-2018/ Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

EP 199: How agencies should approach influencer marketing with Shane Barker

Jul 29, 2019 01:06:24

Description:

Influencer marketing isn’t new. Remember Joe Namath in pantyhose? (If you don’t Google it)

But what is new is that anyone can harness the power of the internet and attract and monetize an audience. The value to our clients in that new twist is that there is an influencer for any subject, budget, or audience.

This is an area where many agencies are crushing their financial goals. But if done wrong – you can lose your shirt. That’s why I knew we needed to talk to Shane Barker.
Getting to the tactical heart of effective and profitable influencer marketing is what episode #199 is all about. My guest is Shane Barker, who has been doing influencer marketing since before the term was even coined. We talk about finding the right person, the proverbial needle in the influencer haystack, and how to determine the real reach of that individual who calls him/herself an influencer.

Maybe you or your clients are still questioning the ROI of influencer marketing. Shane and I discuss how to do it right from start to finish, so you and your clients get the most bang for your influencer buck.

From working with agencies and brands on influencer strategy and with celebrities on digital reputation management, to obtaining a #1 national ranking with PROskore as a social media consultant, Shane has built an impressive list of accomplishments. As a regular contributor to publications like Salesforce, Yahoo Small Business, Marketing Profs and others, he continues to grow and share his knowledge.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How to vet influencers so you and clients get what you pay for Why you should interview influencers to find the right fit beyond the metrics How to A/B test in influencer marketing What goes into developing a solid influencer marketing strategy How to be the best choice for the influencers you want to work with Developing Scope of Work terms with an influencer The best tools to use to start your influencer search How to fine-tune your influencer search with the “eyeball test” Ways to Contact Shane Barker: Website: https://shanebarker.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shanebarker/

EP 198: The B2B sales blueprint for agency owners with Dan Englander

Jul 22, 2019 50:38

Description:

In all the years that I’ve been an agency owner (almost 25) and worked alongside agency owners (15+) there is a common pain point — biz dev. We love getting to the table and talking with a potential client about how we can help them. However, getting to the table feels like a slog.

That’s why, if we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t invest as much time and attention as we should to prospecting. The situation becomes a real Catch-22. Sooner or later, that bites every agency owner in the caboose and the bank account.

In episode #198, I talk with Dan Englander, who was on the show a while back (episode #76) and what I appreciate about Dan is that he’s been a student of this challenge. Not only has he analyzed the reasons why we avoid going after new business, but he has developed a process with tangible steps you can take to break the pattern. He’s the proverbial “man with a plan.”

We dig into what makes a good sales team, the right roles for the right people, and how to get and stay on the right biz dev tasks as owners and principals.

Dan founded Sales Schema in 2014 to help marketing service companies reach new heights by aggressively focusing on new business. Previously, he was the first employee business development lead at IdeaRocket. Before that, he was Account Coordinator at DXagency. He’s the author of Mastering Account Management and The B2B Sales Blueprint. In his spare time, Dan enjoys developing new and exciting aches and pains via Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How to set up a biz dev team for success How to create a 3-person sales pod The role of a B2B biz dev strategist in your shop Specific tasks that owners and sales leaders should be completing How to create a transparent process that leads good-fit clients to a buying decision How to find enough confidence in your pipeline to be choosy about clients Ways to back up an abundance mindset with solid strategies and tactics How to build momentum through your biz dev efforts How to avoid perfection paralysis in biz dev Ways to Contact Dan Englander: Website: https://www.salesschema.com/ Book The B2B Sales Blueprint: https://amzn.to/2Y2oOtS Checklist: https://www.salesschema.com/drew

EP 197: What agencies don’t know about customer experience with Heidi Trost

Jul 15, 2019 44:59

Description:

The customer journey, UX, customer experience: buzzwords or actually points of value we can offer clients? I think in the hands of the under-informed and without good data, a process for gathering that data, and a genuine understanding of what the customer journey can tell us, it becomes a matter of hearsay and guesswork.

That isn’t good enough for this week’s guest, so we’re taking the guesswork out of it. I talk with Heidi Trost, owner and CEO of Voice + Code, about how to gather the right data and what to do with it to make that crucial connection between the goals of the customer and the goals of the company.

Heidi Trost has built an agency around those kinds of fixes. Heidi started Voice+Code in 2010 after working at other agencies and being an adjunct professor. She has a passion for helping clients build technology that actually serves their customers and delivers on the experience the customer is seeking. We’re going to dig into all of those topics.

Heidi’s obsession with usability and the user experience began with her award-winning graduate research at Rochester Institute of Technology. Today, her passion is to help businesses measure and optimize the user experience while making the digital realm safe, usable, and accessible.

As a user experience researcher and designer, speaker, and usability expert, Heidi has helped startups and Fortune 500 companies develop digital product strategies that align customer needs with business goals.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: The data and metrics to use in understanding the customer journey The best methodologies for getting input from your clients How to test your assumptions about a customer persona How to set up usability studies How to map out the customer journey Getting realistic about the customer journey What prevents a product or service from achieving a great user experience How to convince clients to invest in research Ways to Contact Heidi Trost: Website: https://www.voiceandcode.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidi-trost-65325433/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/voiceandcode/

EP 196: Is your agency sellable? with Terry Lammers

Jul 8, 2019 48:34

Description:

I know a lot of agency owners think about selling their shop. But do they think about it strategically? Or soon enough? Do they execute on a plan that will set them up for success 5-10 years before they’re ready to sell?

Usually, the answer to those questions is no. And on the flip side, how many agency owners think about growth through acquisition? Selling is a big part of the conversation but buying should be on the table as well.

In episode #196, I talk with Terry Lammers, who has been buying and selling businesses since he sold his family fuel company. We talk about the monetary and non-monetary aspects of getting the most from your agency or being a smart buyer if you’re on that end of the transaction. Most importantly, we dig into how, why, and when to start planning your exit strategy as an agency owner.

Terry Lammers grew up in a little town of 600 people. His family owned a wholesale fuels and lubricants company and when Terry took over as president of the company, he had some big ideas for growth. Out of that experience developed a fascination with the process of buying and selling businesses.

Since then, Terry has formed a business brokerage that helps people who want to buy and sell businesses. He also has his designation as a certified valuation analyst, accreditation through the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. He is the author of You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Sell a Business.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why it’s never too early to plan your exit strategy How to value a business (like an agency) with little regular recurring revenue Who to have around the table to plan your exit strategy Nonfinancial elements of your agency that add or subtract the value Why culture is so important and why blending two company cultures is so difficult How agency owners can start thinking about the acquisition as a growth strategy

EP 195: Agency Trends Report Part 1 with Drew McLellan

Jul 1, 2019 26:05

Description:

How’s your year going so far? I might have a pretty good idea already. We work with and see how 250+ small to mid-sized agencies are doing every year and there are always patterns that emerge.

Every spring, I give a trends presentation to all of the agency owners in AMI peer groups. Together we explore how those trends are showing up in our world and how they’re impacting the industry.

Then, in the summer – I share those same rends with my podcast audience. If you’ve been listening for a while, you know this is an annual feature of the show.

In this episode, I share the financial picture that is emerging from the data. How are clients spending their marketing dollars? Is this a good time to be an agency owner? I’ll share what the numbers are saying. We’ll also talk about the mood among agency owners and whether or not they’re bullish on 2019 and 2020.

There are too many trends to cover in one episode, so this is part one. Check it out so you’re ready for part two next month.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Top agency trends in 2019 Understanding the rise of project work How to manage after a gorilla client suddenly breaks up with you Why transparency in markups and commissions is so important Why agencies are earning more dollars, but those dollars are harder to acquire How to regain that spark when agency work makes you weary New trends in agency succession planning

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Agency Health Assessment: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/assessment/ Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

EP 194: How do you tell your agency’s story with Park Howell

Jun 24, 2019 54:00

Description:

My entreé into agency life was as a copywriter. I loved digging around and finding the story underneath the story. That love was the foundation for my belief in the power of a strong and smart brand. For decades my agency has helped clients define, develop, and deploy their brand both internally and externally. It’s still some of my favorite work to do.

Understanding your unique story is a powerful competitive advantage for our clients and our own agencies. Without understanding what makes us unique – we have to swim in the sea of sameness and that’s definitely swimming upstream!

In this episode, we’re digging into storytelling by understanding it at the root level. There is an architecture to stories and I have gone to the expert to learn more about that structure and how, as agencies, we can better use it to build our clients’ brands – and our own as well.

My guest is Park Howell. For 25 years, Park ran an agency in Arizona called Park & Co. At a certain point in his career, he pivoted his agency to become a storytelling consultant, helping clients learn how to tell their own story. Park founded his consultancy, The Business of Story, on January 1, 2016, so he could partner with leaders of purpose-driven organizations and help them clarify their stories, amplify their impact, and simplify their lives.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How the hero’s journey has been with us since the beginning of storytelling Why story is one of the most powerful tools in your brand building arsenal How to help clients live into their most powerful stories Who should be the hero of the story (the answer might surprise you) Why it is so hard for agencies to discover and tell their own stories How storytelling connects with something so primal in all of us How to use storytelling to help customers fulfill what they wish, will, and want Ways to Contact Park Howell: Website: https://businessofstory.com/ What’s Your Story worksheet: https://businessofstory.com/storytelling-tools/# Storytelling Workbook: https://businessofstory.com/brand-storytelling-workbook/

EP 193: The digital trends agency owners need to be tracking with Tom Webster

Jun 17, 2019 50:54

Description:

The challenge with digital trends is that they are moving so swiftly, it’s hard to keep up. There are so many shiny objects flying around our heads, it’s dizzying. How do you know which ones are worth tracking and learning?

That’s where this week’s guest comes in. Tom Webster is the senior vice president at Edison Research. Edison is probably best known outside our world for being the sole provider of exit poll data during United States elections. But from our agency vantage point, most of us know Edison for their annual study, the Infinite Dial. The Infinite Dial remains the longest-running study of consumer behaviors around media and technology in America, and serves as the digital media trends bible for many since its inception in 1998.

The work that Tom and his team at Edison, along with partner Triton Research, have done for decades is highly anticipated every year and provides mission-critical information to agencies throughout the world. We’re going to dig into the data and find some surprises for you.

Tom Webster has nearly 20 years of experience researching consumer usage of technology, new media, and social networking. In addition to The Infinite Dial, he is the principal author of a number of widely-cited studies, including The Social Habit and Twitter Users in America. He is also the co-author of The Mobile Commerce Revolution, and a popular keynote speaker on data and consumer insights.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How the social media landscape is shifting Why podcasting is becoming more popular What works – and what doesn’t – in podcast advertising The ins and outs of brand lift Why being a ‘capital S’ show is important in terms of podcast popularity A deep dive into the data from The Infinite Dial 2019 Why starting with the audience is critical for all good content The work ahead of us in entering the voice assistant space

EP 192: Speaking engagements for agency biz dev with Steve Markman

Jun 10, 2019 52:33

Description:

Speaking engagements can be a great way for agency owners to connect with their sweet spot prospects and be immediately perceived as a subject matter expert. Wanting to book speaking gigs and being successful at making that happen are two very different things. Even if you have some speaking engagements under your belt, getting chosen by a conference planner is another challenge to navigate.

Even seasoned pros must keep their eyes on the prize. I have always used speaking as one of my primary biz dev strategies (for both my agency and AMI) but I learned early on that it’s easy to get discouraged, distracted, or dismissed if you don’t have a smart strategy in place.

How do you build a speaking strategy that serves your agency business development objectives?
In episode #192, I talk with Steve Markman, who offers some hard-earned, straightforward advice on preparing a speaker proposal and getting it noticed by decision-makers. We also talk about how to determine whether a particular speaking opportunity is the right strategic move. We even tackle the age-old question of “should I speak for free?”

We’ll dig into all the nitty-gritty details of how to take full advantage of the right speaking platforms and when to stay home.

Steve Markman started Markman Speaker Management, LLC in 1994. It’s a speaker’s bureau with access to an international network of speakers in all fields and industries. He also coaches business owners and professionals on how to best speak for the right reasons to the right audiences.

Steve has over 30 years of experience in the conference, event, and speaker business, working with groups like the Conference Board and Society of Professional Consultants. Having been a conference producer working with some of the world’s largest events, Steve understands the importance of quality speaking engagements from both the speaker and conference planner perspectives.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: The key components of a speaker proposal How to respond to a call for speakers How to ensure the audience is your target market How to establish a connection with the conference organizer The difference between formal and informal speaker submissions Best practices for organizing your conference presentation How to measure the value of presenting, even if need to pay your own expenses How many speaking engagements is too many Ways to Contact Steve Markman: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevemarkman/ Email: smarkman@markmanspeaker.com Get More Speaking Engagements: https://www.markmanspeaker.com/staff-training.html Website: https://www.markmanspeaker.com/

EP 191: From boss to advocate: becoming a dream leader within your agency with Dan Ralphs

Jun 3, 2019 52:08

Description:

Whether we articulate them or not – we all have dreams. One of mine for me (and for all of you!) is to visit every Disney theme park in the world. Not that I want to mandate your dreams but who doesn’t love Disney?

The truth is, a serious business case can be made for agency owners to help their team members achieve their dreams. I know this from first-hand experience. More than a decade ago, I read the book Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly and began to implement it in my own agency. I believe it’s one of the reasons I have the employee tenure (17+ years on average) that I do. So when I met Dan Ralphs and learned about his company/mission, I knew I had to get him on the podcast.

Dan is the founder of Dream Leadership Consulting and is one of the world’s foremost experts in unlocking the power of dreaming inside a workplace. We often think that someone’s personal goals and dreams should be separate from their work life but that’s so short-sighted when you think about it. Your goal is to create an environment where your rock stars can flourish, be happy, and stick around for a long time. Why not help them achieve their dreams?

Before founding Dream Coach, Dan was the facilitator of the Dreaming Program at Infusionsoft, where he helped its employees identify, articulate, and accomplish their dreams – all based on the work by Matthew Kelly’s book.
Dan has the amazing ability to help people discover their dreams and learn how to go after them. His realistic approach toward dreaming recognizes that dreaming is not a ‘magic pill’ but, rather, a new way of thinking about our ability to create.

He is also the creator of the Dream Leader Certification course, through which he has helped more than 100 leaders from across the world become Dream Leaders to those whom they lead.
Together, they have helped their people accomplish dreams like buying a first home, riding elephants in Thailand, and starting a foundation to help mothers facing infant loss. Due to the efforts of Dan and the Dream Leaders he has certified, thousands have been awakened to their dreams and their ability to achieve them.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: The power of helping employees achieve their dreams Why investing in employees leads them to invest in the agency How to advocate for people’s dreams without simply writing a check Why helping employees achieve dreams must be more than a means to an agency end How to establish systems around dream fulfillment How to help people understand the price tag attached to their dreams Why agency owners experience greater fulfillment in their work when they encourage others to fulfill their dreams Ways to Contact Dan Ralphs: Website: https://www.dreamleadershipconsulting.com/ Book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/766881.The_Dream_Manager  

EP190: Positioning your agency with Drew McLellan

May 27, 2019 34:59

Description:

Figuring out which prospects align with your sweet spot and then doing the work necessary to earn their business are the difficult tasks of agency ownership. It starts with understanding what your sweet spot is. Who do you serve best? Where do you have a specialized knowledge that gives you a competitive edge?

As you have heard me say time and time again, for most agencies, being a general practitioner is neither desirable nor practical. It’s tough to compete on anything but the price when you look, sound and act the same as all of the other agencies out there. The brain surgeon is always more sought after and gets paid more than a general practitioner does.

That’s why I talk so often about positioning your agency. It’s how you find the right clients and focus on the right activities to attract and best serve those clients.

In this solocast, I spell out some of the options you could consider as you think about how to niche your agency. I walk you through the steps to take and areas on which to focus so that you can position your agency as a standout leader in whatever niches you are best suited to serve.
How do you discover your sweet spot clients? How do you hone in on your point of view? How do you demonstrate subject matter expertise that will win the business? In this episode, you’ll get some answers and perhaps come away with a few questions to ask yourself and your team as you move towards that goal.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: The importance of defining who you serve and whom you don’t serve The 4 ways to think about niches Ways to narrow your niches How to position your agency by solving a particular problem Why POV is so important in positioning your agency How POV helps you stand out and focus on activities with the highest payoff Why you must not only claim but also demonstrate subject matter expertise Why walking away from a big bag of money is sometimes the right call

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Sweet Spot Client Filter: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/client-filter-var1/ Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

EP 189: As an agency owner – how should you be thinking about AI with Paul Roetzer

May 20, 2019 55:10

Description:

Artificial intelligence generates lots of interest and more than a little bit of fear among agency owners. How will machine learning, AI, and all that super-technical stuff change agency life? Will it make agency work irrelevant?

Not according to my guest, Paul Roetzer from PR 2020 and The Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute. In this episode, Paul shared how his agency is leaning into AI because of the power and possibilities he sees in terms of agency efficiency and profitability. He makes a strong case that AI has the potential to make agency work more intelligent and even more human.

AI is one more way agencies can leverage new technology and new tools to serve our clients better, to help them grow their businesses, and to more profitably, efficiently, and effectively grow our own agencies.

I’m sure that some of you find this a little scary to even contemplate. But just like we’ve embraced all of the technologies before AI (the internet, mobile, programmatic media buying, etc.) we’re going to have to wrap our heads around this one too.

One of the best aspects of owning an agency is that we constantly get to evolve and re-invent ourselves to better serve our clients. AI gives us all the opportunity to scale and grow in ways we couldn’t imagine. AI isn’t about robots stealing jobs. It’s about the potential to eliminate the boring, repetitive tasks so we can spend more time thinking creatively.

Paul always sets his eyes toward the horizon. He’s continually wondering what will happen next in our industry and how he and his agency can be at the forefront of that. So, I wasn’t at all surprised when Paul and I were talking a few years ago and AI started to creep into the conversation.

In the last year or so, Paul has doubled down on that, not only in terms of what he’s doing with his own agency but also through his new organization, the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute. Later this summer, the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute is presenting MAICON, an AI convention for marketing leaders (use discount code McLellan19 to save $100 off the registration fee). Its mission is to make AI approachable and actionable for modern marketers so they can use this technology to build a powerful competitive advantage.

Paul has also written two books that I highly recommend: The Marketing Agency Blueprint and The Marketing Performance Blueprint.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:   How intelligent automation will continue to make repetitive agency work easier Why AI isn’t after your agency job How machine learning can help you share data with clients in a cost-effective way How agencies can understand AI and be a learning resource for clients How to develop use cases for testing AI in your agency Why small and mid-sized agencies are well-positioned to pivot into AI Ways to Contact Paul Roetzer: MAICON: https://www.marketingaiinstitute.com/events/marketing-artificial-intelligence-conference-2019
discount code: MCLELLAN19 Website: https://www.pr2020.com/ Website: https://www.marketingaiinstitute.com/ Resources Page: https://www.marketingaiinstitute.com/resources New Intelligent Automation Solutions Post How Do We Prepare College Students for the Age of AI? Post Book: AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer: Second Edition

EP 188: A look at the modern-day agency with Nancy Hill

May 13, 2019 57:52

Description:

For 95% of all agencies, referrals and word of mouth are the #1 method of gaining new clients. On the one hand, that’s great. It means your clients, friends, and peers love and trust you enough to introduce you to their friends and colleagues.

From staffing challenges to constant client demands, agency life can be bumpy. Our industry is in a state of constant change and that’s not going to let up anytime soon. For some owners, that’s exhilarating and challenging. For others, it just makes them bone tired.

Right now, most agencies are enjoying healthy profits, lots of new business opportunities, and a very difficult hiring season. Our employee base is changing and many owners struggle to find and retain talent that will help them grow and strengthen the agency. Clients are demanding more on tighter timelines and budgets.

How do we thrive in this ever-shifting environment?

In this episode, I talk with someone who has seen it all – Nancy Hill. She is a veteran of big box agencies, former president and CEO of the 4As, and, more recently, has started her own consultancy, Media Sherpas. This broad range of experiences has given her important insights into the current climate – the challenges and opportunities we face every day, especially when it comes to staffing and client relationships.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How to think differently about your agency’s staffing challenges How to get more creative with your benefits package so that you retain younger employees How to establish mutually beneficial expectations with agency employees Negotiating with clients about scope instead of lowering prices Managing just-in-time staffing Why independently owned agencies need to be nimble in their decision-making How to boost your agency’s ability to say no How to thrive in an environment of constant change Ways to Contact Nancy Hill: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancy-hill-advertising/

EP 187: How to Streamline the Content Collection Process for your Agency with James Rose

May 6, 2019 48:40

Description:

This has happened at my agency and I’m sure it’s happened at yours.

You start a huge client project and are excited to keep things rolling – both to protect your agency’s production schedule and to exceed the client’s expectations in terms of delivering on time and on budget. But then, you hit the roadblock. The cold silence you hear when you ask your client for the assets you need.

Whether it’s images, video, or copy points – you’re stalled until they cough it up. So much for on time or on a budget!

On this episode, I talk with James Rose about how to streamline the content collection process. Back when he was running a web dev shop, this was a major frustration for him and his team. So much so that his company developed what is now its core business: a content collection platform called Content Snare.

As content increasingly becomes central to much of agency work, solving the content collection conundrum is often the difference between profitability and charity work. Take a listen as James offers many no tech, low tech, and SaaS solutions to help us stay in the black.

James and his business partner, Mark Beljaars, started a single-product SEO software company in 2010. As they networked with other business owners, they heard countless stories about website projects that have gone wrong. They thought maybe they could help things go right.

With a passion rooted in software, they identified a few bottlenecks in the web design process. The worst one, which resonated most with other designers, was chasing down clients for their web content. That’s when Content Snare was born.

Clients don’t think about projects the same way we do – they don’t mean to be a bottleneck, even though they often are just that. Finding ways to keep content flowing ultimately helps us deliver an end result worthy of our efforts and our fee.

What You Will Learn in This Episode: Why gathering content from clients is such a universal pain point for agencies How agencies can set content expectations as a part of the terms and conditions in a service contract How to give clients a firm content deadline and make the stakes very clear Why content collection is more than just setting up reminders How to stop wasting time chasing after clients How agency owners can help clients avoid overwhelming deadlines Why you must manage agency expectations about how much data to expect from clients at one time

Episode 186: Culture is everything with Tristan White

Apr 29, 2019 53:33

Description:

Every agency has a culture. The question is – is it intentional? And when I say culture, I’m not talking the beer thirty or holiday party aspects of culture. I’m really focusing in on the shared beliefs and agreed upon “rules” of engagement in terms of how we work together, deliver for the client and push towards our goals.

In too many agencies, this is not as intentional as it needs to be. The agency’s vision, mission, and values may exist somewhere, in a file folder, or at best in an employee manual, and then agency owners check off the box, hoping that their team picks up on it. It’s culture by default, not by design.

I’ve become increasingly convinced that culture isn’t just a nice idea. It’s not simply a day out serving the community or a potluck lunch held the first Tuesday of every month. Those things can be good and a part of the culture but the concept goes much deeper than that and it has implications for the bottom line.

In this episode, I talk with Tristan White, who early on in his business realized that intention and methodology were necessary to build a strong and healthy work culture. He soon realized that culture isn’t a distraction. It isn’t peripheral to business. Culture is everything.

Tristan White is the CEO of a company called The Physio Co. in Australia. Its core purpose is to increase the physical wellness and activity levels of seniors to keep them healthier, happier, and more mobile.

In the process of building The Physio Co., Tristan did a lot of learning and a lot of experimenting with respect to culture and its influence on company performance. He ended up writing a book called Culture is Everything. Inside that book, Tristan lays out a system for building a foundational culture inside your organization. We explore that system and dig into why culture is so critical to running a long-term successful business.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: Why it’s never too late to grow and foster a healthy work culture How to live the corporate values you espouse A methodology by which to operate from your core values Why culture can equal cash How to design a culture that withstands challenging times How to develop a culture of substance Why a healthy work culture must go beyond a day of service and Taco Tuesdays How to bake things like empathetic connection into your culture How to interview for alignment with your culture Where to start in shaping or reshaping your agency’s vision and values Ways to Contact Tristan White: Content for Listeners of the Podcast: https://www.tristanwhite.com.au/bba Culture is Everything Book: https://www.tristanwhite.com.au/product/culture-is-everything-book/

Episode 185: What we learned from the 2019 agency salary & benefits survey with Drew McLellan

Apr 22, 2019 33:23

Description:

The results are in, and 2018 was clearly a good year in agency life.

On this episode, I unpack and dig deep into the findings of our most recent Salary and Benefits survey. Employees are reaping the benefits of the continued tight labor market. Agencies that want to attract and keep the best and brightest are paying better and providing some robust benefits.
We all know it’s hard to compete against the lure of a corporate paycheck, but agency life has so much more to offer than corporate life. Many of you are finding ways to express that to your employees, and my advice is simple: keep going!

There are many more trends to unpack and some considerations for what the road ahead may look like. The salary and benefits survey always gives us a lot to talk about, and this year is no exception!

What You Will Learn in this Episode: What similarly sized agencies in your market are doing with salary and benefits How the focus on content is favoring writer creatives over art creatives The state of entry-level starting salaries What agencies are doing to keep their staff from seeking greener pastures Why agencies tend to be so generous with benefits How to attract and retain top employees when you can’t compete on price The intangibles that make agency life so rewarding, and how to emphasize them

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Helpful Resources from this Episode: 2019 Salary Survey: https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/agency-tools/salary-survey-2019/ Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

Episode 184: Embracing the Word “NO” with Andrea Waltz

Apr 15, 2019 49:07

Description:

Let’s admit it. Agency owners are reluctant salespeople. However, biz dev should be a significant part of how we spend our days.

When I hear agency owners say that they don’t have to prospect because they get so much business via word of mouth, I always ask, “Are those the clients you would choose to work with or are you simply working with them by default?” When we’re honest with ourselves, the truth can sting a little.

I get it – no one likes to be told no. That doesn’t make selling any easier. But how do we change our mindset? Hearing no (or deafening silence) feels like a failure, so we avoid it at all costs. But what are the costs of fearing the “no” and settling for whatever comes our way?

In episode #184, I talk with Andrea Waltz, co-author of the best-selling book, Go for No. We have to re-think the word no. A “no” is one step closer to a “yes”.

Andrea and I talk about the no, not just in sales, but also in the creative process. Sometimes we phone it in because big, bold ideas have been rejected in the past. So we play it safe, even though we know that’s not in our clients’ best interests.

Andrea Waltz is a keynote speaker, author, and sought-after sales strategist. At the age of 8, she called George Lucas to see if she could work with him on future movies. She was the youngest general manager in eyeglass retailer Lenscrafters’ history. At the age of 24, she launched her own training company.

Hubspot named Andrea one of the “25 Sales Experts You Should Follow on Twitter” while Salesforce.com named her one of the “25 Sales Influencers to Follow on Twitter.” She was also named among the “Top 100 Sales Influencers” and “Top 65 Women Business Influencers” by Tenfold and one of the “47 Top Sales Speakers and Influencers to Follow on Twitter” by SummitSYNC.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

How to retrain your brain to accept more “no’s” Why setting “no” targets is as important as setting sales targets How going for “no” translates beyond sales The power of actually wanting to fail Getting ready to fail bigger and fail faster to get to “yes” Why celebrating failure is so important How to encourage the effort and not just the result 

Ways to Contact Andrea Waltz:

Website: http://www.goforno.com/ Go for No Book: https://amzn.to/2JC7FES LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/goforno/

Episode 183: Leveraging and Scaling Word of Mouth with Steve Gordon

Apr 8, 2019 53:17

Description:

For 95% of all agencies, referrals and word of mouth are the #1 method of gaining new clients. On the one hand, that’s great. It means your clients, friends, and peers love and trust you enough to introduce you to their friends and colleagues.

Unfortunately, they’re not always the right clients for our agency.  What if they aren’t a good fit? What if they are the furthest thing from a sweet-spot client for who you are and what your agency does? We have to be more intentional about referral and word of mouth.

That’s why my conversation with Steve Gordon arrived right on time. Steve has developed processes and systems that you can use to leverage word of mouth, qualify referrals, and scale your efforts so you don’t have to spend more time in one-on-one meetings than you have hours in your already stretched-to-the-limit day.

Steve Gordan started the Unstoppable CEO in 2010. He has invested nearly two decades into studying, implementing, testing, and proving the strategies that work to sell professional services.

Through Unstoppable CEO, Steve shares this knowledge with growth-minded professionals who are ready for world-class help with their marketing. He has become an expert at leveraging and scaling referral systems and word-of-mouth marketing techniques.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

How to leverage your word of mouth and referrals Why you must vet referrals to ensure they are a good fit for your agency How to use presentations as referral machines The many ways to leverage technology in gaining referrals Why human nature creates points of interaction that don’t change over time How to become a successful journalist How to turn podcasts into referral engines What it means to gain total business freedom

Ways to Contact Steve Gordon:

Website: https://unstoppableceo.net/ Just for listeners: https://unstoppableceo.net/build/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gordonsteve/

Episode 182: Building Credibility Through Partnerships with Josh Steimle

Apr 1, 2019 46:15

Description:

When you think about or define a global agency, do you think of those giant conglomerates that started on Madison Avenue and have mushroomed into marketing behemoths? Well, that’s one model – but certainly not the only one. What if your global agency was set up more like a series of regional micro-agencies still under one banner?

On episode #182 of Build a Better Agency, I talk with Josh Steimle, who has developed a unique business model that is really working for him and the growing team at MWI.

We dig into it all: how to develop a cohesive culture across multiple locations, how to hire well, and how to niche down. What they are doing is still very unique in the agency world but seems to have the potential for replication – as many successful ventures do.

Josh founded MWI in 1999 while a college student at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. In 2013, he moved from Salt Lake City to Hong Kong to open MWI’s first international office.

Josh is the author of Chief Marketing Officers at Work: How Top Marketers Build Customer Loyalty, a TEDx speaker, and regularly presents at marketing and business events. He has written over 200 articles on marketing and entrepreneurship for publications like Mashable, TechCrunch, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Time.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

 

Why there is more than one way to scale a business How to rethink the global agency Why hiring the right person is such a critical decision How a niche service can land you big clients Why even small events can pay off with good business opportunities How to build credibility in the marketplace through strategic partnerships Using credibility to sell your services The ROI of giving away advice Challenge and opportunity in building a global group of micro-agencies Building an agency that is both virtual and face-to-face Ways to Contact Josh Steimle:

 

Website: joshsteimle.com Website: mwi.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuasteimle Book: https://amzn.to/2Es5rmI

 

 

Episode 181: The Business of Expertise with David C. Baker

Mar 25, 2019 56:10

Description:

We talk to clients about positioning every single day. We walk them through differentiation strategies. When they don’t take our advice, we walk away shaking our heads. However, guess who is lousy at taking our own medicine!

I say this all the time, but it bears repeating: Being a generalist is not going to cut it in today’s marketplace. Getting clear on your subject-matter expertise – the heart of your differentiation – has never been more important. I don’t think there is a way to overstate that point.

On episode #181 of Build a Better Agency, I talk with David C. Baker, who has seen it all as a consultant, often working with design firms and agencies. It’s why he wrote the book “The Business of Expertise.”

He speaks regularly on more than 70 topics relevant to entrepreneurial expertise and also appears as a guest on many entrepreneurial focused podcasts.

What You Will Learn in This Episode: The most egregious mistake agency owners make Why “seats on the agency bus” does not always equal success Why establishing subject-matter expertise is more important than ever The ideal numbers of prospects and competitors that define strong differentiation How to measure and demonstrate your subject-matter expertise Why your geographic reach is an important metric Why employees are not as interchangeable as they once were How to elevate training in agency culture Why 85% of agencies are niched vertically Ways to Contact David C. Baker: Website: davidcbaker.com

Episode 180: Agency Owners Need to Stop Breaking Their Word with Drew McLellan

Mar 18, 2019 32:43

Description:

Agencies have an accountability problem and it starts at the top.

Every day, as owners and team members we make promises to our team. I’ll get the copy to you by 5.” Or, “I’ll have my part of the RFP done by Tuesday.” You’ve heard yourself making those commitments and then you hear that voice in the back of your head say, “I hope.”

If we as owners can’t honor our promises, how on earth can we expect our team to honor theirs? As owners and principals, we overfill our schedules. We overpromise – and guess what? The natural outcome of that is we under deliver, let down our team and set up a pattern where pretty soon, they take everything we say with a big grain of salt.

Everything we do, internally and externally, is deadline driven. If you’re wondering why your employees don’t seem to worry about deadlines or other commitments, like budgets, look no further than your mirror. Odds are, without knowing it, you’ve taught them that the promises we make are “fluid.”

We must be accountable – and hold our teams accountable – for time commitments.

This episode of Build a Better Agency is a solocast. It’s all about providing more leadership in our promises to deliver projects (or answers, or whatever the deliverable may be) on time. We’re all incredibly busy, and too often we use that – and accept that – as an excuse.

You don’t want your agency to be a place whose staff members don’t respect each other enough to keep their promises. And you don’t want your agency to let down or embarrass clients because you didn’t deliver something on time. These are the games we play when we don’t take our time commitments seriously, and they have to stop. Accountability is the key to honoring our word and earning our team and clients’ confidence.

Dig into this issue with me and let’s examine a culture that is reluctant to say no. Let’s look at how we track (or don’t track) our time and our employees’ time. Our goal is not to micromanage or pad billable hours but to get a clear handle on whom and what it really takes to deliver on a project so that we are putting enough time in the calendar to get it done on time and within budget.

What You Will Learn on This Episode:

 

The difference between expectation and agreement Why accountability for deadlines starts with you How to put more breathing room into your calendar so you can honor your agreements The life-changing magic of timesheets Why internal deadlines are at least as important as client deadlines How to build a traffic management function into an agency of any size How to make accountability a lived core value within your agency

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Helpful Resources from this Episode:

 

Weekly Podcast Giveaway: agencymanagementinstitute.com/podcastgiveaway

 

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

 

Episode 179: Permission to Win with Doug Austin

Mar 11, 2019 46:16

Description:

The number one barrier to growth for agencies in 2019 is staffing. Agencies are struggling to find and keep good talent. And that conversation always leads to the topic of culture. When we think about culture – we often think about the fun stuff – parties, bonuses, and recognizing people for going above and beyond for clients.

All of that is super important but it is also equally critical to instill a culture that seeks, celebrates, and rewards growth. What are the attributes of a growth culture – and how do you make sure your agency has it?

A longtime practitioner in this area of creating a growth culture inside your agency is my guest on this episode: Doug Austin. In this episode, we talk about why that is the key to, in Doug’s words, “having permission to win that business.”

Doug has been doing agency work for many years and now spends his time as a consultant, working with agency owners and leaders to create a culture of growth in their business. We’re going to dig deep into what a growth culture means and how to get it.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

 

The steps of a four-tiered plan for growth and innovation Why it is important to know your client’s business inside and out How to build training in the industries you serve into your overall training program How to write a brief that makes sense to your client Best practices for setting up training for agency employees Creating a culture of growth Building a culture based on the worth of all people and doing the best work you can The connection between continuous learning and a culture of growth How to perform a service audit of your agency Dealing effectively with culture culprits Ways to Contact Doug Austin: Website: austinamplifies.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/doug-austin-b978915/

 

Episode 178: Is There an Accountant in the House? Getting Real About Agency Financials with Jenn McCabe

Mar 4, 2019 01:02:46

Description:

Agency owners are notoriously ill-informed (and uncomfortable) when it comes to their agency’s finances. Which means they make important decisions in the dark. Not ideal and we’re trying to change that at AMI. That doesn’t mean you need to understand all the fine-grain details. But you do have to understand where you stand financially at any given time.

On episode #178, I talk with Jenn McCabe, who started out in accounting at Ogilvy and Mather but soon started her own accounting firm to help small to midsized agencies figure out their numbers.

The numbers you need to know (and if you do any AMI planning, this will sound familiar) should fit on one sheet of paper. We’re not talking about miles and miles of Excel spreadsheets. Just the key figures and concepts you need to understand your agency’s financial health.

We’ll also talk about best practices for preparing your agency for sale when the time comes.

Recently Jenn merged her company with Armanino. They provide, among many other services, outsourced accounting, finance, and HR, working primarily with agencies to create simple accounting dashboards and financial documents that allow the agency owner to make good decisions.

What You Will Learn in This Episode: The difference between cash accounting and accrual accounting (and why you NEED to know the difference) The need for accounting rather than bookkeeping Understanding run rate, aka your monthly “nut” Why you need to pay yourself as an owner Best practices around owner salary How much cash and cash equivalents to keep liquid and available How to be an attractive acquisition target Transitioning your employees to new owners Managing an internal agency purchase Why management buyouts are becoming less common

 

Ways to Contact Jenn McCabe: Website: armaninollp.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-mccabe-3766283/

Episode 177: Notes from the Social Media Lab with Scott Ayres

Feb 25, 2019 54:06

Description:

Staying on top of the social media landscape and what it means in terms of going from engagement with fans to ultimately generating new opportunities and sales is one of those ongoing tasks in agency life. Algorithms are always evolving, so what got you reach last year – or even last month – might not get you the same reach today.

We are creating social content for clients every day. Add to that the thought leadership we want to develop for our agency – and that’s a lot of social interaction to manage!

On this episode, we dig into the current data. What’s happening on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and, oh, yeah – Twitter.

How do we engage on these social platforms in smart and effective ways? My guest is Scott Ayres of Agorapulse. His Social Media Lab (a literal lab and also a podcast he hosts) digs into this question with gathered and analyzed data to back up any answers given.

Scott has the awesome title of Content Scientist at Agorapulse. He takes what we all believe to be best practices or questions we have around engagement or audience activity or behavior, and he looks for data points that will help us make better choices in terms of how we use these social channels for our agency and clients’ benefit.

What You Will Learn in This Episode: What social metrics to measure, and why Why local business pages are still thriving on Facebook How people are using hashtags as “Google” Whether or not emoji usage changes engagement Why you might want to post on social networks before or after peak How social media channels are beginning to segment in a good way Why LinkedIn text-only posts perform better than FB text-only posts Data around the resurgence of the Twitter chat           Ways to Contact Scott Ayres: Website: agorapulse.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottwayneayres/

Episode 176: Reining in Your Healthcare Line Item with Allison De Paoli

Feb 18, 2019 49:43

Description:

This is one of those episodes that proves that you don’t know what you don’t know. We’re tackling the subject of health insurance – how to manage costs as an employer since it is such a big-ticket cost for most agencies.

I’ve been an agency owner for the past 25 years or so, and health insurance is something I want to offer because I value my team and want to provide a generous benefit package. But when renewal time comes around, I’m always wondering what kind of increase is coming. Like most of you, it’s usually in the double digits and super painful. Someone (me or my employees) has to endure that increase or we have to increase the deductible or reduce features.

One thing I do know: For all of us, healthcare costs typically one of our biggest expenses and feels completely out of our control.

I wanted to tap into the wisdom of Allison De Paoli, who works with businesses to get more out of every healthcare insurance dollar. She offered some incredible insight on managing the costs, increase the benefits to your team and protect yourself when it comes to renewals.

A veteran of the insurance and benefits industry, Allison and her firm are members of Next Generation Benefits Network (NBN). NBN is a national alliance of elite independent benefits firms that are successfully challenging the healthcare status quo to improve benefits for employees, while reducing the costs for employers.

 

 

 

 

What You Will Learn in This Episode: Creative ways to manage your healthcare line item The difference between a level-funded plan and a standard premium plan Cost savings and other benefits of telehealth programs Finding a benefits advisor who will truly advocate for your best interests How to make sure employees of every age are getting the right kind of medical care Hidden drivers of healthcare costs The role and surprisingly affordable cost of a direct primary care doctor Why self-funded plans are not as scary as you might think How a health savings account can act as a retirement savings vehicle           Ways to Contact Allison De Paoli: Website: allisondepaoli.com/build/ Book: https://amzn.to/2SYJWyM LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allison-de-paoli-b48825/

Episode 175: Getting Employees to Think Like Agency Owners with Drew McLellan

Feb 11, 2019 42:33

Description:

When I talk with agency owners, there’s one topic that often comes up in conversation. They say, “I wish my employees would think and act more like owners!” And my question back is, “why would they – they aren’t owners.”

Think about it. As the agency owner, you run the business, and you understand clearly what’s at stake every month. You stand to win or lose something each month when you make or don’t make your adjusted gross income (AGI), and the agency’s performance has a direct impact on your success. If the agency doesn’t do well – you’re the one who does not get a paycheck. But they do.

On the flip side, when the agency does very well, you reap the benefits of that windfall. You might pay out bonuses to your team but rarely do agency owners explain where the bonus came from or what was done to earn it.

Without similar incentives to meet targets, why would the staff feel a sense of ownership that drives their thoughts and actions?

This episode of Build a Better Agency is a solocast – and on it, I walk you through the AMI bonus programs that is designed to teach your team agency math (how we make and lose money) and create incentives so that they do start thinking and acting like an owner.

Ideally, a bonus program educates your team to think like owners, helps with retaining your best people, and shares the spoils from a good year. It also eliminates the obligatory year-end bonus that is not tied to anything but the calendar. As you know, if you give away a bonus a couple years in a row – without tying it to performance metrics, it becomes an entitlement.

Walk through the actual program with me on this episode and be sure to download the PDF so it’s easier to follow along.

What You Will Learn on This Episode: How to incentivize employees to think like owners Why automatic raises might start to backfire Why you should divide quarterly bonus funds evenly How to tell your team the story of why you did or did not hit your AGI target How to be reasonably generous and not ridiculously generous with bonus programs How to adjust AGI goals based on what happened in the previous quarter Why a bonus program is a good retention tool How to build behavioral incentives (continuing ed, time sheets) into your bonus program Why a bonus program can replace conversations about raises

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”        

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan Resources: AMI bonus program document

Episode 174: How to embrace project management in your agency with Tim Johnson

Feb 4, 2019 56:46

Description:

Agencies are creative spaces. Especially as owners, we may bristle at the thought of being managed. But as your agency grows, there a definite need for systems and processes that ensure that things get done on time, on budget, and as promised.

I understand that even as the owner I get managed in order to keep tasks and projects on track. As agencies grow and need more structured management of tasks and processes and eventually, a full-time project manager. I did a solocast on the role of the traffic manager, if you’d find that useful.

But on this episode of Build A Better Agency, I have Timothy Johnson as my guest who is a seasoned project manager for hire and a professor of project management at Drake University. Tim also has been known to wear a pink bunny suit for reasons I may or may not be at liberty to discuss.

Bunny suit aside, Tim knows a thing or two about getting down to business. We talk about the needs of project managers, agency owners, and the agency staff. Often project managers feel like the odd person out, especially in the agency world. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Project management is necessary, but it is not an evil. Tim is the perfect guest to help us really understand the ins and outs of project management, and maybe even getting a little excited about upping your PM game.

Tim has successfully led many high-end projects and programs, serving as both a project management consultant as well as a business analyst consultant across the U.S. He is the author of Race Through the Forest and other project management books. Timothy believes in delivering value, completing the deliverable, seizing the accomplishment, and getting out.

What You Will Learn in This Episode: Working under the triple constraints: on time, on budget, and delivered as promised Components of a S.H.A.R.P. report How Agile is so useful in scaling the management to the size of the project The communication and other skills to look for in a good project manager How creating quick wins can create buy-in around new process frameworks Why you should avoid the phrases “we need” or “we have a lack of” How to ask for project management to share stories in the interview Why agency owners need to hire people who can manage them How to define the specific requirements of what done looks like How to give project managers time to find their way in a new agency setting           Ways to Contact Tim Johnson: Race Through the Forest Book: https://amzn.to/2QNj9Yx Website: https://carpefactum.typepad.com/

Episode 173: Process and automation are your friends with Michael Koral

Jan 28, 2019 50:53

Description:

Maybe things run smooth as silk at your agency. I know that’s what I hope for in mine. It’s more likely to happen on a Saturday or Sunday! One of the ways that we all try to evoke that sense of efficiency and calm is by creating processes that systemize and manage work flow.

Not that many agencies do this (if anything, we are system adverse, not system advocates) you can take it too far. There’s a fine line between creativity and process. But if things can run more smoothly and free you and your team up to do more interesting things like coming up with bigger, more valuable solutions for your clients, then the payoff is worth the challenge of getting it in place.

If you remember my solocast where we talked about being a wonder bread factory versus an artesian baker, that’s part of what I talked about. How much uniformity and what kinds of boundaries do you want to put around your business?

There’s no right or wrong answer – just a right or wrong answer for you.

That’s what I wanted to talk to Michael Koral about, because he’s lived it. Michael started out with a more traditional agency that was primarily a web dev shop with some ancillary services. Their work was very labor and people-intensive. He and his partners decided to make an interesting pivot. They decided to leverage the power of artificial intelligence, data and numbers around advertising on Facebook and Instagram – to get people the best results possible and now they run a very different kind of agency.

Michael is an operations guy, with some fantastic ideas on process and automation –he naturally knows how to get more done, more simply. His company, Needls, helps businesses advertise effectively on Facebook and Instagram, so I am going to pick his brain about what they’ve learned in that arena as well. 

What You Will Learn in This Episode: How the right processes and automation can help you scale your business There are lots of right ways to do things Why taking time to document and develop processes makes for a better agency What to know about Facebook advertising post-Cambridge Analytica Click vs. Reach – what you should optimize for Why you NEED to optimize for mobile Best ways to capture attention with video Between Facebook and Instagram, where people are watching longer video content Why you should put closed captioning on videos How and why to track your ads           Ways to Contact Michael Koral: Website: http://www.needls.com/ Instagram: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-koral-01bb159/

Episode 172: Ways to grow your agency with virtual assistants with Barb Turley

Jan 21, 2019 46:41

Description:

Before the ’08 recession, most agency owners couldn’t fathom the idea of remote employees, let alone working with a virtual assistant they’d likely never meet. But with sites like UpWork and elance teaching us that sometimes it makes good business sense to source work from with someone we’ve never met, the concept of working with virtual assistants has grown in popularity.

In my world, on both the agency and AMI side – we’ve found it to be a very effective way to get a volume of work handled effectively and efficiently.

This is definitely an ongoing topic of conversation with agency owners. How do we keep up with the needs and demands of clients in a cost-effective way, without putting quality or the client relationship at risk. For any agencies, virtual assistants are one of the answers to that question.

On episode #172 of Build a Better Agency, I talk with Barbara Turley of The Virtual Hub. She recognized the need for high-quality VAs and decided to create a business around that need.

We discuss the many upsides of hiring one or more VAs – like freeing up your most scarce resource: time. But we also discuss some of the pitfalls to avoid, especially around rigorous training and expectations on both the VA and the agency side. I found it to be a fascinating conversation and I hope it’s incredibly useful for you.

Barbara is the founder and CEO of The Virtual Hub – a business she started by accident that exploded in the space of 12 months to become one of the leading companies that recruits, trains, and manages virtual assistants in the digital marketing and social media space for businesses who need to free up time and energy so they can go to the next level.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How to set expectations for a virtual assistant – and your agency Understanding the difference between hiring within your national borders and offshoring The right questions to ask about prior training How to share processes around tasks and check in Why you should consider a virtual assistant a permanent and integral part of your team How to integrate a virtual assistant into your team How to choose the right virtual assistant for the right tasks Your role as an agency owner as it relates to virtual assistants Which unwanted tasks you can hand off to a virtual assistant How to Contact Barb Turley: Website: https://www.thevirtualhub.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-turley-b6a981a/

Episode 171: Beating Time and Disorganization with Jon Denn

Jan 14, 2019 53:19

Description:

For most people, especially the creative types that tend to inhabit the agency world, time management is a hodgepodge of post-it notes, paper to-do lists, and several online tools – all used haphazardly and resulting in missed deadlines, meetings and a sense of being overwhelmed.

I know for me time management has been a series of constant improvements. While I am 95% happy with the system I have today, I always wonder if I could get little more efficient. I remember when I was first starting out in agency life and had no sense of when to walk away from the to-do list. I felt this sense of obligation to stay until the work was done. My problem, everyone’s problem: the work is never done.

So, being productive when you need to be is an agency imperative. That’s why I was looking forward to talking to Jon Denn. Jon is a creative person and has also done a ton of neuroscience research to understand that—guess what—one size does not fit all when it comes to time management tools and strategies.

In this episode, I ask Jon to share insights from his research and provide some perspective. He is a huge proponent of testing or experimentation. So, you can take his basic framework—3 hours of your day broken into chunks that correspond basically with how much mental energy they require—and test it out. He suggests 90 minutes for deep thinking, but quickly acknowledges that 45 or 60 minutes might work best for you. What time of the day are you at your peak? Use that time for your deep thought projects.

Here’s some good news – there’s are reasons why we work at odd hours. I don’t adhere to a strict 9-5 schedule and neither do most agency owners I know. Jon’s time management framework is at once freeing and very focusing.

Jon is the Chief Thinking Officer of Drumbeat Productivity. His background includes serving as a Hotel Chain CEO. Jon ran an adaptive leadership program for 12 years, and is a publisher, entrepreneur, and has been a Vistage CEO Coach and Group Chair since 2014.

What You Will Learn in this Episode: How to do small tests to understand when and where your most productive time can be focused How to take control the parts of your schedule that matter most The difference between doing meetings and idea meetings, and how to manage both Why dividing tasks into groups based on the mental energy they require is much more efficient than the traditional “buckets” of work, home, etc. How dividing time into 90-minute (deep thought), 60-minute (complex communication), and 30-minute (quick to-do) blocks is so efficient Why you shouldn’t force a fit with time management tools How to find the time management tools and processes that work for you Setting up office-wide “don’t distract me” hours, and then other times to just be social together           Ways to contact Jon Denn: Website: drumbeatproductivity.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jon-denn-20a5805/

Episode 170: What’s your endgame? Planning your agency exit strategy with Drew McLellan

Jan 7, 2019 47:48

Description:

It’s something we all dream about – retirement. Selling our agency for big bucks so we can sip Mai Tai’s on the beach. The agency’s name and reputation carrying on with another generation. Or just locking the door and calling it done. All are worthy ends for your shop.

Whatever your dream is – I know that it’s very personal and important to you and I want you to achieve it. But no matter which end game appeals to you, it requires some serious planning (up to a decade before depending on your exit strategy) before you’re ready to walk out the door for the last time. And you’ll need to run your agency differently in terms of how you handle the money and make other key decisions.

Bottom line – the end game is not something you can leave until the end. You’ll need to give it serious thought and as Stephen Covey has long implored us, “begin with the end in mind.”

It starts with some soul searching in terms of how, ideally, you want it to play out and what is possible or at least plausible. Once you’ve figured that out – you need to put your plan into action, so everything is in place when you’re transitioning out and the agency can survive that transition.

Over and over I see agency owners who started too late or didn’t do the homework to build out the details and specificity they needed in their succession plan. That’s the perfect way to limit your options or force you to stick around longer than you want.

I don’t want that to happen to you. In this episode, we’ll take a close look at all of your options and the criteria for each. Hopefully, that will set you up to create a win for you, for your employees, and for potential buyers of your thriving agency.

What You Will Learn in This Episode: Building your wealth while you still own your agency Succession options for agency owners Factors that affect the valuation of your agency when you go to sell Why being a generalist decreases the value of your agency The value of setting up sources of residual income outside your agency work Different options if you want to sell your agency How to have candid conversations with potential buyers of your agency Why gifting shares of your agency to employees is a bad idea Baking succession planning into partnership agreements Why you need to go slow when considering merging with another agency

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

Episode 169: The best practices to set and achieve your goals with Jennifer Dawn

Dec 30, 2018 50:17

Description:

On this episode, we delve into the unconscious mind and the concept of “limiting beliefs.” It’s the idea If I say to you, “I’ll meet you there in five hours” what is the first question you’re going to ask me? Right, meet you where? Finding our way without knowing the destination is impossible. But too often, that’s how we run our agencies.

Both short and long-term planning often gets sidelined in the hubbub of running our agencies. We’re putting out fires. We’re solving client crises. We’re answering employees’ questions. All stuff that needs doing, but for a lot of agency owners, the urgent gets in the way of the important

On episode #169, we get right into it. What does it take to create plans that inspire compliance and action? What does it take to actually follow through? Is there such a thing as work-life balance? I’ll give that answer away for free: no, there is not. (But still listen in!)

That’s why I loved my conversation with Jennifer Dawn. She is a business coach for high-achieving entrepreneurs, and she’s developed some really strong tools for goal-setting and planning.

Jennifer spent years working in the corporate world before taking the plunge and pursuing her passion for mentoring entrepreneurs to grow profitable, healthy, and truly exceptional businesses.

Business plans don’t have to be the Mona Lisa. They don’t have to be epic works of prose. Jennifer and I agree – one page, two max, is a great length for a plan.

If you’re ready to really make time for the important; if you want a plan for work and life that really serves the life you want, this is a perfect episode to dive into. There are tons of practical tips and suggestions about how to get your plans out there on paper, review regularly, and actually, follow through so you get to the defined destination of your choosing. 

What You Will Learn in This Episode: How to get your business plan down to two pages or less The importance of getting an outside perspective on your business plan Why beginning with the end in mind has not gone out of style How to make your business plan a living document Breaking down your goals into tiny, manageable steps Definition of the “A” task Actionable ways to manage your work/life blend this week How to build personal and work components together into your planning How to plan your business priorities so they are in support of your life goals Three steps to achieve any goal you set           Ways to Contact Jennifer Dawn: Website: https://jenniferdawncoaching.com/ 3 Secrets to Achieve Any Goal You Set (scroll down on the homepage to access this tool): https://bestplannerever.com/

Episode 168: Unlimiting Your Beliefs with Karen Brown

Dec 23, 2018 01:01:20

Description:

On this episode, we delve into the unconscious mind and the concept of “limiting beliefs.” It’s the idea that our unconscious mind can hold us back without us even realizing it. So, how do we stop something we’re not even conscious of? The good news is that it is possible, and while it does take hard work, the steps themselves are pretty simple.

This limiting beliefs stuff may sound a little new-agey. I’m a big fan of data and looking at the facts at hand. For me, turning those limiting beliefs to unlimiting beliefs is fascinating because of the science behind it. This isn’t some magic act.

My guest on episode #168 is Karen Brown, author of Unlimiting Your Beliefs. Karen is a mentor and coach who works with people to uncover what might be impeding their progress in work and life. Often, our unconscious thoughts and actions are the source of this impediment.

One of the most interesting turns in the conversation for me was when Karen talked about her experience preparing to be an Ironman Triathlete. Her limiting belief had told her for 28 years that she shouldn’t even be thinking about this. She was not a good swimmer. That was a big hurdle. It was limiting. So, she unlimited her belief, telling herself out loud, “I am a good swimmer.” I asked if she suddenly became a good swimmer. As you might imagine, it took more than that. But giving herself that unlimiting belief propelled her to action. She got a swimming coach. She practiced. And soon enough, she was a good swimmer.

Our conversation is a fascinating look at the unconscious (or subconscious) mind and how it works. Listen to learn more about how to uncover the unconscious limits we put on ourselves and what to do to break that pattern.

Karen Brown is CEO of Velocity Leadership Consulting, a Denver-based business psychology executive and coaching company. With more than 20,000 business coaching hours under her belt, she founded Velocity Leadership Consulting in 2012, after finding her own divine potential while training for and finishing the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

What You Will Learn in This Episode: The science behind limiting beliefs and how to retrain your brain How to make unlimiting beliefs natural and habitual Asking the right questions to uncover the limiting beliefs of your unconscious mind Why writing out your limiting beliefs is so important, and why speaking the opposite out loud is just as important How the skills used in unlimiting your beliefs in one area will have a broad positive impact personally and professionally How to counteract the most common and pernicious limiting belief: I’m not good enough Why our unconscious beliefs and our conscious goals are sometimes at cross-purposes, and what to do about it How, like most things, you’ve got to use it to lose your ability and reshape limiting beliefs One way to get yourself into the unlimiting mindset: name and write down just one of your achievements           Ways to contact Karen Brown: Website: velocityleadershipconsulting.com/build/ Book: https://amzn.to/2ypriYS

Episode 167: Getting Uncomfortable with Scott Amyx

Dec 17, 2018 01:04:18

Description:

When you started your agency, it was probably pretty exciting and somehow any worries you had were squelched before they could get in the way. But as our agencies get a little more established and we get a little more comfortable, taking a risk seems scarier, doesn’t it?

My guest thinks that’s a problem and he recommends that we re-acquainted with being uncomfortable.

In some ways, I’d like to think my big risk-taking days are behind me. But when I go to manage my business, and in nearly every conversation I have with my AMI colleagues, I know being risk-averse is not a strategy any of us can afford. Staying relevant and successful—according to my guest—requires a level of comfort with being uncomfortable.

It is a bit of bromide that the rapid pace of change is the one constant we can count on these days. How do we manage that change and thrive in the midst of it? That’s what we’re getting at in this episode.

On episode #167, my guest Scott Amyx proves that he knows this topic. From a childhood of poverty in South Korea to a career at the tip of the spear in terms of understanding and embracing innovation, Scott has lived and thrived in this era of discomfort. The upshot of his research is clear: being prepared for change and meeting disruption with a strategy of embracing it and pivoting as needed is a critical skill to survival as a business owner today.

Scott Amyx is the Chair & Managing Partner at Amyx Ventures and Singularity University/Smart City Accelerator Mentor and Startup Board Member. He is a TEDx speaker on disruption and success. Scott is a thought leader, speaker, author, and winner of the Cloud & DevOps World Award for Most Innovative Vendor.

Scott’s book, Strive, is all about how doing the most uncomfortable things leads to success.

What You Will Learn About in This Episode: How to get comfortable with being uncomfortable What you need to know about decentralized, autonomous organizations The market imperative of lifelong learning Why selling expertise and strategy is where differentiation happens How individual discomfort gets collectivized and creates tipping points for innovation Why as individuals and organizations, we need to be disrupted in order to be our optimal selves How process automation is disrupting the work of agencies as much as any other business sector Why the way we tell stories in our business needs to evolve with the tech and platforms people use to engage with stories Why the move toward a more agile, freelance workforce in your agency is likely not a short-term trend           Ways to contact Scott Amyx: Order Strive: https://amzn.to/2yqtMGh TEDx Talk: https://youtu.be/FXoqlqpWpao Website: https://scottamyx.com/

Episode 166: How a traffic system will help your agency grow with Drew McLellan

Dec 10, 2018 35:27

Description:

Back in my early days of agency life, there was a production or traffic manager in every agency. Their job was to make sure all of the work was in the pipeline and delivered on time and on budget. Somewhere along the way, as agencies streamlined, that position went away.

But now it’s back. And it’s making a huge difference in agencies client retention and profitability.

Back then, the production manager was a combination of what we might think of today as a traffic manager and somebody who negotiated with all the outside vendors like printers or other suppliers providing a service to the agency to solve a client’s problem. The production manager kept track of all the jobs the agency had open, the due dates, who within the agency was working on them — and it was all done by hand without software.

Then in the middle of my career, that position sort of went away as people within agencies started tracking their own jobs using some sort of software. Computers and systems began to replace things that humans did previously.

Because of the complexity of our work today, and how fast it needs to be delivered, many agencies are discovering they need more than just software. They need a dedicated person responsible for driving how the work gets done and how it gets done on a budget.

This is a vital role inside an agency and I’m glad to see it’s back. Depending on the size of your agency, this position, combined with implementing the right software, might be something you want to think about as you prepare to step into 2019.

But before you do, I want to share several best practices, resources to evaluate, and a month-by-month roadmap so you and your team will know what to expect and when.

Quite honestly — on-boarding this new role, especially if you add in new software, will be bumpy. It will be hard on your team. You need to think about it carefully, and if you’re ready to grow, maybe it’s the next step for you. My goal for this solocast is to help smooth out the road for you as much as possible.

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why not having a traffic manager may be holding back your agency’s growth How to decide if and when your agency is ready to hire a traffic manager and onboard the software system The day-to-day role of a traffic manager and the impact the role can have on your agency’s profitability and client retention Why the traffic manager is a full-time position, not a hybrid, and definitely not entry-level Who the traffic manager should report to within the agency and why The personality and EQ a good traffic manager must have to handle the work and the team The advantages and disadvantages of all-in-one software solutions versus standalone What you and your team can expect to happen within the agency during each month of the implementation process and how it gets worse before it gets better The role of the agency owner throughout the process What are the success metrics you and your team need to consider before deciding to go down this path

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”       

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

Episode 165: How to future-proof your agency, with Robert Rose

Dec 3, 2018 01:03:21

Description:

Content marketing is growing up. It’s no longer about throwing out random social posts, random blog posts, or making an infographic once a quarter. Instead, we need to begin asking the questions (for our own agency and our clients):

What are we building? What can we become as a brand that is of value to this audience of people we care about? Who can we be for our prospects, our customers, and our business partners?

And I think an agency’s role in that can be both exciting and profitable.

Why? Because one of the biggest frustrations for most agency owners is that it’s getting harder to have a seat at the client’s strategy table. Agencies are being commoditized and relegated to the status of order takers all too often.

But when we have strategic conversations with a client around how they can truly leverage content in a way that is much bigger than a set of assets — you help them become a destination. You help them become a media company. That’s when the game changes and you’re back driving the client’s strategy and having significant impact on their goals. You become a must have partner.

My guest today is Robert Rose. He was instrumental in the creation and growth of the Content Marketing Institute working alongside CMI founder Joe Pulizzi. Robert has written several books, including two with Joe. Their latest, “Killing Marketing” is about how innovative companies are using content as a strategy to turn marketing cost into a revenue stream rather than a cost.

I promise you — Robert and I will get you thinking in completely different ways about content, the way your agency delivers content, charges for content, and talks to clients about content.

Here’s the thing — most agencies will not have the courage to implement the future proofing strategies Robert and I discussed in this episode. Be one of the few that does.

I encourage you to take action — do something with what you learn from this episode. If you do that — you will be sought after — and I want that for you.

And if you found this episode helpful — you might also be interested in the 2-day “Content Marketing For Agencies” workshop Robert and I are teaching this January. Learn more here.

What You Will Learn About in This Episode: How using content as a strategy can help solve a client’s business issues — and in the process — future proof your agency Why your audience — or your client’s audience — should be considered your “pre-client database Why agencies need to understand how to create content with a purpose and that it is no longer about creating more stuff How all the content marketing assets created for a client need to connect together to tell a single story How treating audience members like customers builds trust, then their walls come down, and they become much more open to sales messaging How to create an owned content experience for your clients and help them transform into media companies Why agencies need to have some sort of vertical specialization combined with a unique point-of-view of how they approach the world in order to be differentiated How an agency can go about uncovering its unique point-of-view Why midsized agencies looking to grow and become trusted business advisors to clients should focus on the strategic side because that is where the value is Why if you can’t control the media — then becoming the media is a viable content strategy for agencies and clients alike Ways to Contact Robert Rose: www.contentadvisory.net www.robertrose.net

Episode 164: How to ask for the client’s business, with Steve Boehler and Lindsay O’Neil

Nov 26, 2018 53:12

Description:

In last week’s encore interview with Robin Boehler — we talked about the biz dev practices that she and the team at Mercer Island Group see when they’re sitting on the client’s side of the room. If you listened to that episode — you heard me say that if you implement the best practices Robin shared, you’re going to see the difference in your win rate.

And because I want you to be as prepared as possible as you step into 2019 — I invited Steve Boehler and Lindsay O’Neil, also from Mercer Island Group, to join me for this week’s episode. Think of this as a new biz one-two punch!

There is nobody more in the fray of seeing why agencies win, lose, or how the pitch process plays out than Steve, Lindsay, and their team. And nobody is more generous in sharing what they observe.

This episode will give you the inside look at how agencies present themselves (accidentally and on purpose) and the influence each nuance has on our prospects as they weigh one agency against the others.

We talked about the prep work agencies need to be doing so they’re ready to make a successful pitch. My guests dove into the details like researching a prospect, building out a business profile, preparing your PowerPoint so it stands out, some best practices around rehearsing, and even how your agency should ask for a client’s business at the end. Because making the “ask” really matters.

Steve and Lindsay also shared examples of case studies from agencies that won a pitch because their teams showcased the client as the hero in the work, as opposed to putting the spotlight on themselves.

Whether you’re pitching a new prospect — or you’re strategically merchandising the work you did for an existing client during the last year — the case study process we discuss is worth the listen alone!

I’m excited for you to listen to these two (this one and episode #163 with Robin) interviews because I know Robin, Steve, and Lindsay will help you put your best foot forward in 2019.

And if you found the episodes helpful – you can get even more by spending 2-4 days learning from Robin and Steve Boehler at AMI’s Win More Business workshops this January. Learn more here.

  What You Will Learn About in This Episode: How to build a detailed dossier for your prospective client in about two hours Why learning how a prospective client talks about themselves is a valuable piece of information to uncover in your research process How to ask the right questions that uncover a prospect’s business issues while instilling confidence that you understand them and their industry Why preparing brilliant case studies like those of FIG Agency makes your client the hero — not your work How to make your client a celebrity as McCANN WORLDGROUP did for its client, State Street Advisors with “Fearless Girl” Why less is more when it comes to the written proposal and what are the key elements that must be included — and most agencies miss How to front-load your proposal and presentation so that you focus on the client and not your agency How and why you should invite your prospective client to your agency for a visit How to build and document your business issue success experience so it is at the ready for your next presentation How to let a client know at the end of the presentation that your agency wants their business without sounding schmaltzy Ways to Contact Steve Boehler and Lindsay O’Neil: Website: www.migroup.com Phone: 206.236.0447

Episode 163: Biz dev best practices from the client’s side of the room, with Robin Boehler

Nov 19, 2018 55:33

Description:

Business development is a topic that is always front-and-center for agency owners. So I’m welcoming back one of our most popular guests, Robin Boehler from Mercer Island Group, to talk to us about the observations she and her team have made as they work with both agencies and clients who are asking to be matched with agencies. From those observations, Robin will outline some of the best practices that we need to be mindful of as we work to grow our agencies.

One of my favorite songs from the play Hamilton is “In the Room Where it Happens” where Aaron Burr laments that he’s not an insider, seeing how decisions are made. Mercer Island Group is always front and center in that room, as brands decide which agency has earned their business. You and I, as agency owners, are like Burr. We’re never going to be invited in, but fortunately, we have access to someone who is always there. In this podcast, Robin will help us understand how clients respond to the work we do, our level of preparation before and during a pitch, and how we communicate our understanding of the client’s business issues.

Sadly, sometimes the best fit agency doesn’t win. The agency lined up perfectly with the client and maybe should have been the agency that was selected. But something the agency did or didn’t do take them out of the running. All without them even knowing what they did.

We’ve all made mistakes during a pitch and didn’t come out ahead. Those mistakes are painful and expensive. But they’re fixable if you heed the insights Robin shared in this episode.

I promise you — if you implement the best practices Robin and I talk about in this episode, you’re going to see the difference in your win rate. This is the perfect time of year to put this advice into action so you step into 2019 ready to serve your prospects and build your agency.

If you love this episode – you can get even more by spending 2-4 days learning from Robin and Steve Boehler at AMI’s Win More Business workshops this January. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode: Common mistakes Robin sees agencies make when preparing, or while making, their pitch to a client How agencies need to stop underutilizing the cover letter to their presentation How to read, analyze, and uncover what a client is requesting in their RFP / RFI Why it’s important to focus the majority of your presentation around the client’s business issues — and not your agency How to evoke curiosity and make your prospects want to lean in when you describe your agency How to write a cold email to a prospect and stand out from the crowd How to ensure everyone on your team is telling the same story about the agency and how you serve clients Why “frame of reference” is important when communicating with a prospect about what your agency does Why you should put the entire pitch process, assets, and everything you will need to be successful onto an agency calendar — and allow enough time at the end for adjustments How problems around attention to detail make clients begin to question an agency’s bandwidth and capacity

 

Ways to contact Robin Boehler: Website: www.migroup.com Phone: 206.236.0447

Episode 162: The Ins and Outs of Geofencing with Justin Croxton

Nov 12, 2018 54:49

Description:

Often on this podcast, I share a wide-ranging conversation with my guest and we bounce around a little bit, even though we are focused on an overall theme. This episode is a little bit different. We going to deep-dive into just one subject: geofencing.

For some in our business who aren’t digital natives, reaching an audience through new technologies like geofencing may seem complicated. When I started the business while still in college, it was all about print, radio, and TV. Now, I turn around without bumping into a new delivery channel or technology, like geofencing.

On episode #162 of the Build a Better Agency podcast, my guest is Justin Croxton. He is the director of sales at Propellant Media, where they serve clients with location-specific methods like geofencing. Their clients are mostly SMBs in both B2B and B2C categories. IN our conversation, Justin compares getting fluent with geofencing as similar to becoming proficient in AdWords.

Justin didn’t start his career in the agency business, but about three or four years ago, partnered with some colleagues to form Propellant, where the main product is inbound and technology-driven solutions for clients. 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode: The difference between beacon notification and geofencing notifications How to build conversion zones using geofencing Getting over the “minimum spend” hurdle in geofence ad buying Why you should consider coupling geofencing with search retargeting How to create the right digital marketing mix with geofencing as a key ingredient How to target the right people within a geofence with your marketing message Ways you can keep up the messaging (or not) once someone leaves a geofenced zone The digital mechanics of how geofencing interacts with apps and sites on your phone How geofencing works in the B2B space Why it’s not complicated for agencies to enter the geofencing space Ways to contact Justin Croxton: Website: www.propellant.media LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/justincroxton

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 161: Solving a Market Problem and Serving a Larger Purpose with Jonathan Grzybowski

Nov 5, 2018 53:46

Description:

For entrepreneurs, business decisions always are a blend of the head and heart. You need data and research in hand to make smart, informed decisions. But it also needs to feel right.

Episode #161 is about those head-and-heart decisions. It’s about making mistakes and starting over. It’s about not settling for only one side of the equation.

Some learn these lessons sooner than others. We all know college kids who started their own thing and made it work brilliantly. Back when I was in college, that didn’t even cross my mind. But today, it’s becoming more of the norm.

Today’s young adults have a different script and a different sense of what’s possible. And they are far from crazy. Exciting things are happening, big problems are getting solved, and a larger purpose is being fulfilled. And people like Jonathan Grzybowski are just jumping in and doing it.

For 29-year-old Jonathan, part of the problem was his own dissatisfaction. Running a full-service agency was not fulfilling. Money as the sole motivator was not working for him. That led him to set out to solve a business problem along with his own dissatisfaction. His agency excelled at design. Why not take that design excellence and use the platform they were developing to manage their internal projects to provide design as a on demand service? Jonathan Grzybowski is now co-founder of Penji, a subscription-based design service for agencies and other businesses.

Beyond the business problem, Grzybowski also wanted a business that made a difference in the community where he lived and worked – Camden, New Jersey. One of the things I love most about the agency owners I work with is their generosity. They have a pay it forward mentality. Jonathan is finding the ethos of Penji to be extremely fulfilling. And he’s finding that when you love Camden, Camden loves you back!

This is a great conversation about finding the right fit, starting over, serving clients and the community, and following your head and your heart – really, everything you could hope for in an episode of Build a Better Agency!

 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode: The potential downside of being a full-service agency How people just starting out in the world of work are viewing entrepreneurship as a viable path Why the hard work of entrepreneurship should not be glossed over Why offering a suite of services sometimes is not enough differentiation The freedom that comes from specialization How to build a business model and platform that serves both agencies, individual companies, and your community How vision and purpose beats trying to be the next Tai Lopez or Gary Vaynerchuk Why an agency might hire out a core function like design The power of connecting with your local community The importance of research in finding your niche           Ways to contact Jonathan Grzybowski: Website: https://penji.co/

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 160: A skill all agency owners need to own and hone – the difficult conversation with Drew McLellan

Oct 29, 2018 30:07

Description:

One of the challenges for all of us as agency owners and leaders is finding the balance of creating a relationship with our employees, but also being the leader and helping them recognize their blind spots, areas of growth and when they’ve messed up.

This requires the courage to have candid conversations with your team members. It’s never easy or all together comfortable, but to truly be a leader in our agency – this is not an optional skill.

I see the avoidance of these conversations when I’m on site with an agency, when I’m on a coaching or and when I’m with a group of owners, talking about their employees. We don’t address behaviors that we know are unacceptable or not up to par. We may joke about it, or hint at it, or even deal with it passive aggressively – but we don’t tackle it head on.

We hide behind silence, email exchanges, and even through text messages – all to avoid that face-to-face conversation.

I get it — you’re afraid of what your employees’ reaction will be, or what it would do to the agency if they quit. You feel as if you’re between a rock and a hard place. So you tolerate the behavior. You make your staff and clients suffer from the behavior. You risk losing employees and clients rather than addressing it.

And worst of all — you greatly diminishing your reputation as a leader because everyone around you is wondering why you’re letting it continue. And quite honestly — they’re wondering why they should follow the rules if others don’t.

The skill of having difficult conversations and course correcting your team is vital. And we as agency owners need to get good at it.

There may be a few of you who are really great at this. You give really honest, candid, specific feedback, and you’d do it early on when you first see the behavior, attitude or bad decision, not after it’s been happening for months and months.

But for the vast majority of you, this is not your gift, but if you think avoiding difficult conversations isn’t affecting your agency…you’re wrong. You’re absolutely wrong. This is a skill that you must own if you want to grow your agency in terms of profits, respect, and your people.

And that’s why talking through how to get better at having difficult conversations with your employees will be our focus during this solocast.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why employees become more engaged and committed when they receive honest feedback from you. Why leaders who are rated the highest are the ones who most actively give and seek feedback from their team. Why caring about your agency’s culture is about more than just “Beer Fridays”, the parties, or the fun. It’s about the level of candor you have inside your shop. How not addressing bad behavior and course correcting an employee early on causes you to lose the respect of your team. How to take and apply a sample script for starting off a difficult conversation with one of your employees the right way. How to prepare yourself to have a difficult conversation with one of your employees. How to apply the elements of having a difficult conversation — the pieces of doing this well. How to focus on specific issues during the difficult conversation. Why creating an action plan for correcting the behavior is not your responsibility – it’s your employee’s. Why if you’re not having difficult conversations on a regular basis, or not celebrating your people by praising them, or coaching them so they get even better — that you’re not doing your job.

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 159: 6 Keys to a Great Client/Agency Relationship with Dr. Mario Vafeas

Oct 22, 2018 57:48

Description:

Client relationships is a frequent topic on this podcast. In this episode, we focus on what it takes to cultivate strong and mutually beneficial relationships with clients.

Dr. Mario Vafeas is on the faculty at The University of the West of England in Bristol. His work in agency-client relationships is the result of research, study and real-world experience.

He brings a pragmatic approach, backed by the data, into the conversation.

Buckle up because it’s a deep conversation, packed with takeaways to use in your own agency. Through deepening your relationship with clients, and providing the right kinds of ideas, training and other added value, you can really set agency apart, increasing your client and employee retention. You will truly be a trusted ally and co-creator with your clients and prospects.

Prior to joining the faculty at UWE, Mario spent 20 years in branding and design consultancy and several years in brand management at HJ Heinz and Harveys of Bristol.

As well as undergraduate and masters teaching, Mario is involved in knowledge exchange projects with SMEs, and research in the field of buyer-seller relationships and value co-creation.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. He is also a DMA (West) Regional Council Member, and a Certified Digital Marketing Professional (Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute). 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode: How to both share ideas with and learn from the client Drawing from other industries to bring depth to your work in the clients’ industry Why external agencies need to focus less on producing “stuff” and more on producing insights and big ideas Communication with clients does not come with a template – each client relationship is unique Why you get more business opportunities when you take time to meet and check in with clients How to build relationships through coaching clients in best practices Adding value through offering training opportunities to clients Being proactive in making clients’ lives easier How to behave less transactionally so clients believe you really want a relationship How coaching hits all the big C themes Why great work with clients is co-creative Ways to contact Mario Vafeas: Website: people.uwe.ac.uk/Person/MarioVafeas LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mario-vafeas-4581298b

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 158: The Location Agnostic Agency with Brendon Craigie

Oct 15, 2018 54:54

Description:

Remember when it sounded crazy to remote employees scattered all over the country?  Or even crazier, in multiple countries? The truth is today, it’s becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Many agencies are choosing a hybrid approach, with a central office and staff in a brick and mortar location, but also with remote full-time and part-time workers. Some agencies are going all-in on remote work, ditching the central office and becoming, in the words of my podcast guest for this episode, “location-agnostic.”

I am intrigued by this, to say the least. I worked for and built businesses in an era when you went where the work was, whether you loved that particular center of commerce or not. But our business is changing, and the agency owners I work with are shifting into this new normal as well.

I had some big questions about becoming totally location-agnostic. How do you develop a strong culture when you all work in different places? How do the clients feel about it? How do you do the collaborative work that agencies are known for when you are scattered all over?

My guest on this episode is Brendon Craigie, co-founder and managing partner at Tyto PR. Tyto is a pan-European company with a fully location-agnostic staff.

Is building a healthy and happy work culture possible with an all-remote team? Brendon is finding the answer to that is a resounding “yes!” But there is more to his company than a remote workforce. They are intentionally flat, hiring well-seasoned creative “black belts” rather than having junior-level staff as worker bees. They are finding this to be a business model that’s rewarding to clients as well as the firm itself.

In his role, Brendon leads the agency and is heavily involved in counseling clients on strategic and creative matters. As an experienced global CEO, he also enjoys working closely with other CEOs on broader business and communications strategies.

Prior to launching Tyto, Brendon was the global CEO of Hotwire. As part of Hotwire’s founding team, he rose through the ranks to become CEO, and during his six-year tenure in the position he doubled the company’s size and repositioned it into a top 50 global challenger brand. Brendon’s achievements were recognized through multiple awards.

Brendon has worked across Europe, Asia, and the U.S. with a host of global names including Cisco, Microsoft, and Google. During his career, Brendon has helped to devise strategies and support campaigns for high-growth companies entering Europe to grow their brands and business. These campaigns often extended several years and included several early-stage companies, such as GoPro and BlackBerry, that have become multibillion-dollar successes, while others achieved the exits they desired. 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode: The virtues of being a location-agnostic company The logistics and financial implications of an all-remote workforce Creating a culture in a virtual agency Building a flat organization with seasoned, high-level, customer-facing staff When you meet with colleagues, how to meet with a purpose How to bring the best ideas forward through a “creative sprint” process When and how a virtual workforce can get together in the real world – preferably for a mix of work and play A cost/benefit analysis of having a staff of seasoned professionals How to angle for that non-contested pitch to your ideal clients Baking insight and research into the way you do business and how you get new business. Ways to contact Brendon Craigie: Website: tytopr.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/brendoncraigie

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 157: A Tax Coach’s Guide to the New Tax Law with Craig Cody

Oct 8, 2018 51:28

Description:

We are hip-deep into 2018, and the new tax law is fully in effect. It’s past time to get a handle on the implications of the new law for your business because we only have a few months left to do any sort of planning before year end.

Many agency owners are not exactly “numbers” people. The default, too often, is to let other people handle the money, then go off and focus on the creative or strategic side where we can play to our strengths.

On episode #157 of Build a Better Agency, I talk with CPA and tax advisor, Craig Cody. Cody definitely wants you to partner up with a professional when it comes to number-crunching. But in our conversation, he makes no bones about it: you’ve got roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. You can’t check out of your business’ finances, no matter how much you trust your internal or external advisors.

So, this is a great and very timely conversation. Did you know you can hire your kids and enjoy some significant tax advantages? Craig serves up a ton of tax tips, deduction hacks and best practices on everything from dispelling the myths about deducting a home office to paying for medical expenses, along with the basics of keeping up with the books.

A tax advisor – not just a tax preparer – can be a huge benefit for your bottom line. I had a great time talking with Craig. I learned a lot, and I know you will too.

Craig Cody is a Certified Tax Coach. His practice is rooted in tax planning. His philosophy is to find ways to legally reduce tax liabilities and keep more of what clients earn in their own pockets. 

As a Certified Tax Coach™, Craig belongs to a select group of practitioners throughout the country who undergo extensive training and continued education on various tax planning techniques and strategies in order to become, and remain, certified. With this organization, Craig co-authored an Amazon best-seller, Secrets of a Tax-Free Life. In addition to tax planning, Craig’s practice offers traditional tax services as well as remote CFO services. 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode: The big differences between a tax preparer and a tax advisor Why tax planning for entrepreneurs can make a huge difference in how you manage your finances Passthrough income potential in Section 199 of the new tax code How long it should take to gather P and L information for the previous month Aspects of the new tax laws that you might not have considered How frequently to be in contact with your tax advisor How to find a good match for you in a tax advisor The wrong kinds of tax deductions to take Tax benefits of hiring your school-age children Steps to take in order to avoid fraud and theft within your business Ways to contact Craig Cody: Website: craigcodyandcompany.com Free resource: craigcodyandcompany.com/buildabetteragency

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 156: Add Value First – Building Relationships Also Builds Your Agency with James Carbary

Oct 1, 2018 53:20

Description:

Building genuine relationships in our industry is one of the best parts of being in the business. The point is not to build transactional relationships that will end in a big “payoff” for you. When you focus on real relationships, you wind up bringing people into your life who you actually want to work with, and when you’re really fortunate, end up being good friends.

I firmly believe in this philosophy and the value of those relationships, both professionally and personally. These days, relationship-building often starts online.

James Carbary has raised LinkedIn updates and interactions to an art form. I wanted to explore his strategy and the benefits he’d seen in this episode. James generously shared some great tips on how to create good content that gets noticed and builds both engagement and relationships online. His LinkedIn prowess grows out of his larger interest in fostering genuine relationships.

One of the more fascinating projects James has going on are the B2B Growth Dinners he has launched.  It may be coming to a city near you and if so – be sure to participate. James’ idea was to create an opportunity for six strangers who all worked in tangential fields to have dinner and get to know one another. No agenda, no 30-second elevator pitch. He owns/runs an agency, but James’ passion and gift is as a relationship builder. So, we had a lot to talk about!

James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast agency for B2B brands. He’s a contributor to the Huffington Post and Business Insider, and he also co-hosts the B2B Growth Show, a daily podcast dedicated to helping B2B marketers achieve explosive growth.

What You Will Learn About in This Episode: The power genuine relationships have to enrich your life and build your agency Repurposing content to fit the platform you are presenting it on How to create a community of people Working with engagement groups on LinkedIn How to post on LinkedIn for maximum organic views and engagement Why to have conversations over a meal Using LinkedIn to define your brand and attract clients you want to work with How podcasts help you build a relationship first, add value, and find ideal clients Ways to contact James Carbary: Website: sweetfishmedia.com Website: b2bgrowthdinners.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 155: Why Finding Your Niches is No Longer Optional with Drew McLellan

Sep 24, 2018 55:27

Description:

It’s a bit of a milestone episode here, episode 155. It seems like an odd number to celebrate, but it means this podcast has been going strong for three years now! (52 weeks = 156 episodes) So thanks for listening, whether you’ve been around since the beginning, or this is your first time here!

As I speak with agency owners and decision-makers every day about their agencies and their business development efforts (or lack thereof!), we talk about the value of niching their agency. It’s the old brain surgeon versus general practitioner and the relative value proposition of each.

Your niches (note the plural) can be industry-specific, a certain methodology or in some limited cases – a specialty (PPC, etc.). But what do you do when you’ve narrowed down the niches you want to serve?

That’s what this solocast is all about. How do you actually walk out your talk and live/sell and profit from your niches?

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why establishing niches for your agency is so important How many niches should an agency have and why? How do you promote your agency’s special sauce/niches and expertise How sweet spot clients intersect with your niches The business development process to sell to your niches Why helping your clients be better at their job is the heart of your biz dev plan What to do with those clients outside your niches that you don’t want to fire

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner and key executive peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Helpful Resources from this Episode: Sweet Spot Client Filter: http://bit.ly/2O1m3Y0 Content Marketing For Agencies Workshop: http://bit.ly/2O29OdO Agency New Business Blueprint: http://bit.ly/2MNkGaN Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 154: Talk Triggers and Chatter Matters: Word-of-Mouth Marketing with Daniel Lemin

Sep 17, 2018 53:05

Description:

Word of mouth is nothing new. For generations, it’s been talking with your neighbor over the fence, at the local watering hole, or telling your co-worker about the latest movie in the breakroom. As a business, word of mouth is sparked by those things that you do that separate you from the pack. These talk triggers are so memorable and unique that your customers can’t help but talk about them.

My guest Daniel Lemin gives plenty of examples that show us that talk triggers are rarely very expensive, and they tend to be operational differentiators rather than gimmicks or flash in the pan activities. Think Doubletree’s complimentary cookie when you check in or the Cheesecake Factory’s epic novel of a menu.

Daniel has co-written a book with Jay Baer about this powerful marketing technique appropriately called Talk Triggers. In this episode, Daniel and I chat about what he and Jay learned in their research and the insights they gleaned for all marketers. These B2B and B2C brands (large and small) are following a specific pattern as they create and execute their talk triggers and Daniel will walk us through that as well.

We look at this topic from many angles – from how agencies can leverage this phenomenon and, of course, how we can put it into practice for our clients.

Daniel Lemin is a startup co-founder, trusted advisor and bestselling author on reputation management, digital marketing, and social media customer service. As an early member of Google’s global communications team, Daniel led the launch of products in North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, and edited the Google Zeitgeist weekly research report featured in over 40 markets worldwide.

His new book with co-author Jay Baer, Talk Triggers, explores word-of-mouth marketing and lays out an indispensable framework for building them in your own organization.

Daniel regularly provides expert commentary on TV and in high-profile publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, CBS Radio, and Fox News, and speaks and leads workshops across the nation. In 2015, he released his first book, Manipurated.

A native of Ohio, Daniel earned his MA in communications and leadership from Gonzaga University. He lives in Los Angeles with his cocker spaniel Truman and enjoys the simple joys of gin martinis, jazz, and eating his way around the world—he’ll try nearly anything as long as it doesn’t bite back.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How to put structures in place to create WOM talk triggers Why it’s got to be remarkable to be a talk trigger How something as simple as a cookie or a deck of cards can get people talking Why talk triggers are so often about operational differentiation Why talk triggers need to be available to everyone—it’s not about exclusivity The best examples of word of mouth are never complicated or expensive Why metrics for word of mouth are more complicated than other marketing metrics What metrics you CAN use to measure the impact of word of mouth An unexpected benefit of well-done talk-trigger campaigns—they make the workplace more enjoyable for employees How to Contact Daniel Lemin: Website: daniellemin.com Book: talktriggers.com Email: daniel@talktriggers.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 153: Company Culture – Living What You Say You Do with Gina Trimarco

Sep 10, 2018 58:09

Description:

As agencies struggle to attract and retain top talent, it’s natural that we’re having a lot of conversation about culture.

We’re in a creative industry, and I find that most owners are pretty self-aware. We want to love the business we’ve built, and we want to do right by our employees. Everyone wants their agency to have a culture that employees value and enjoy, but some owners don’t really know how to be intentional about it.

Gina Trimarco is the chief results officer and founder of a company called Pivot 10 Results. In this episode, I wanted to get her take on some of the challenges owners are facing in the current business climate – mainly getting and retaining the right employees. Work culture is a big part of that equation.

We get into a lively discussion about core values and how they can either sit unremembered in an employee handbook or be pivotal in shaping culture. What does it take to keep core values front-of-mind for both owners and employees? How does that help attract and retain the best people? These are questions I am asked every day, so I was glad for Gina’s perspective on all this. I think you will be too.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How to define a healthy work culture Creative ways to thank employees for a job well done Putting your best foot forward when an applicant is interviewing you as a potential workplace Empathy-based training and emotional intelligence to create a positive work environment The critical role of stated, repeated, and lived-out core values in establishing a healthy work culture Using your story to sell services, and attract and retain great people How a team of happy employees that has bought in to the core values can be your best recruiting tool How to listen to employees’ hopes and dreams and develop strategies to retain them longer Creating a positive culture that stays positive when the owner is away Ways to contact Gina: Website: pivot10results.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ginatrimarco

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 152: Entrepreneurial You: Building Multiple Income Streams with Dorie Clark

Sep 3, 2018 44:29

Description:

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” That’s the standard advice of any investment advisor. But that investment can only happen once we’ve actually made the money. But maybe the concept of diversification is equally applicable to the first stage – making the income in the first place.

Having multiple sources of income builds wealth more quickly and mitigates risks inherent in having just a single source. The logic of that seems simple enough.  But the execution – that’s a whole different animal.

My podcast guest Dorie Clark has a very interesting perspective on this topic and I was excited to pick her brain for all of us. Her most recent book, Entrepreneurial You, is a blueprint for developing multiple income streams without losing your sanity.

Building these income streams involves tough decision-making but it doesn’t have to mean you take huge risks along the way. Dorie suggests a more measured approach and walks us through some of the methods we can explore as we expand our ability to accumulate wealth.

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review. She is also the author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine and one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year by Forbes. 

The New York Times described Clark as an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives.” Clark consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, including Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Yale University.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Creating diverse income streams without jumping into big, new, risky ventures Guiding people through the sales funnel by offering incrementally advanced services The importance of living beneath your means as an agency and as a person Minimizing risk over time through developing diverse income streams How to be the person that makes the hard choices The meaning of the word “perspicacity” The biggest obstacle to being entrepreneurial How making introductions with no expectation of anything in return can be a superpower The difference between a mindshare activity and a market share activity Ways to contact Dorie: Website: dorieclark.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 151: Mastering the Value Conversation with Blair Enns

Aug 27, 2018 57:58

Description:

In any trade, mastering the work is just the first of many hurdles. But one of the most daunting for most agency owners is pricing. What is the work worth? Who is my competition, and what if they offer services for less? What is the true value of the work we’re doing and what’s the ROI for our client?

There will always be someone (agency or freelancer) who is willing to do the same work for less. But how does that influence our pricing strategy and should it? This episode is all about the value conversation that leads to identifying a price based on the value you are offering. We’re going to dive into both the theories and principles and how to get over the discomfort of putting these pricing principles into practice.

Blair is an expert in sales, particularly in the creative services industry. He started his career working for a number of Canadian ad agencies and design firms. In 2000, he struck out on his own with a consulting practice named Win Without Pitching. In our conversation, Blair will walk us through a framework developed over decades of learning, trying, failing and perfecting value-based selling for creatives.

Blair is the author of Win Without Pitching Manifesto. He has just written a brand-new book called Pricing Creativity. I have spent some time with it, and the cool thing is, it's not really a book – or more precisely, it’s not only a book. It's more of a training manual – a three-ring binder full of all kinds of tips, tricks, and the psychology of pricing strategy.

This is a meaty episode and I promise – it’s going to give you plenty to think about.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How to effectively price your creative work Why a one-page proposal beats a 75-page presentation every time The value of silence in the sales process Moving from vendor to valued expert early in the sales process Making the closing on the sale a “non-event” The four-step framework for mastering the value conversation How to discipline yourself to not offer solutions too early in the process The mindset shift needed to improve selling skills to become a pricing expert Having value conversations with the right decision-makers How to move from agreeing with sales principles to making them standard practice Ways to contact Blair: Website: winwithoutpitching.com Ebook/Training: winwithoutpitching.com/pricingcreativity

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 150: How to attract and retain quality talent with Drew McLellan

Aug 20, 2018 43:33

Description:

Before we dive into today’s topic — I first want to say thank you for your listenership and loyalty! We are downloaded in over 85 countries and I’m grateful for every listener. This solocast is Episode 150 of Build a Better Agency and I’m grateful for your time and the conversations we’ve had over the last three years.

Way back in Episode 35 (in early 2016), we talked about the employee shortage and the challenge the shortage was creating for agencies and agency owners. If anything – things have gotten tougher.

As you know, I see the financials for about 120 AMI agencies a year. I review their P&Ls, balance sheets, ratios, and some other information. And I will tell you that even though agencies may have had a good year financially in 2017 — they didn’t actually get to keep a lot of the money they earned. And the reason why they didn’t is because their employees are taking more and more of that money. This is happening because of scarcity. The truth of it is...scarcity wins. And right now, your employees are in control.

There are fewer good agency employees than there are agency needs and jobs. And I don’t think this is going to change any time soon. I thought it might be helpful if I shared how some agencies are addressing this challenge. I will walk you through some creative benefits employees consider to be brag-worthy, as well as the benefits that scored at the top of our research with over 1,000 agency employees. The truth is, 401k programs and insurance coverage no longer differentiate you from your competitors — they are table stakes.

Here’s the reality — we have to understand what today’s workforce wants and you have to make sure that your culture and your benefits package match those expectations if you want to attract and retain the talent you need to grow your agency.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How to attract and retain quality talent using today’s tools and why you need to build a pipeline for talent in the same way you build a pipeline for new business How long you should reasonably expect your employees to stay with your agency What are some brag-worthy benefits that will get your employees talking about your agency with their fellow professionals How you can provide your employees the opportunity to have flexible work hours or work from home days without losing the valuable in-office collaboration Why your employees will actually take less time off if you provide them with unlimited PTO Why we cannot dismiss the changes in the needs of today’s workforce as just a millennial thing What your employees consider to be the most important thing keeping them in a job – or – how they decide to accept a job they are offered How treating all of your employees fairly does not mean you have to treat them all equally Why just because someone is good at their job does not mean they’re going to be good at supervising other people doing that job What are “boomerang employees” and why you should consider circling back to them

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Resources: Unlimited PTO examples Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 149: Embracing the Storytelling Edge with Joe Lazauskas

Aug 13, 2018 55:45

Description:

In our industry, storytelling is one of those words that is so overused, it can lose its meaning pretty quickly.

Great stories stick with us. My guest, the co-author of The Storytelling Edge, Joe Lazauskas, understands that good storytelling gives you an edge. In a world where content can be all-but-meaningless pablum, it can also tell a story that moves a customer and makes a connection with them.

As a writer and storyteller myself, I always soak up any time I can spend with someone who’s as passionate about this subject as I am. Joe gets into the brain science of why stories are so powerful – they are a way to understand each other and ourselves better. He takes that knowledge and helps brands tell better stories.

For agencies and our clients, stories are how we build trusted connections with customers. In an era where there is pressure to churn out content, Joe helps us take a step back and understand why story is so important, and the key ingredients and tactics for telling good stories.

Joe Lazauskas is an owner and the director of content strategy at Contently. If you're not familiar with Contently, it is a content strategy practice. It offers a dashboard, but they also help big-brand clients create stories and content for those brands.

Joe was also one of the founding editors of the New York Egotist. After that, he became a tech and marketing journalist for FastCompany, Digit Day, and Forbes, among others. He joined Contently in the early days of their formation and in the beginning, he served as editor in chief.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How the brain engages with story, and how you and your clients can benefit The four elements of good storytelling Why content without a story is missing something Key tactics for good storytelling, and how to apply them in your agency How to help clients have less fear about sharing the gap between what is and what could be in their business Discovering what the customer is interested in, and telling compelling stories around that Educating clients about the power of content that tells a story. It’s not checking off the “wrote a blog post” or “sent out some tweets” box The companies doing storytelling content well, and how you can scale it Implementing editorial boards and newsrooms to get strategic about using content to tell stories Ways to contact Steve: Website: Storytellingedge.com On Twitter/Instagram: @JoeLazauskas

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 148: Purpose-Filled Recruitment and Retention with Steve Lowisz

Aug 6, 2018 57:33

Description:

If there is a common pain point for agency owners today -- it’s recruiting and retaining talent. It’s a conversation I am having every day and it’s more difficult than it’s been in quite a while. Unfortunately, I don’t see that trend reversing any time soon. Which means we’d all better improve our ability to keep the good ones that we either have or can attract. It’s starts with hiring the right person for the right reasons.

What are the most effective questions to ask during the interview process? What do you need to know about the candidate? What do they need to know about you, your agency and the culture there?

For my podcast guest Steve Lowisz, it all comes down to purpose. Are you clear on the purpose of the position your hiring for? Are deliverables clearly spelled out in the job description you are posting? It’s critical to discover if the candidate’s purpose actually aligns with your agency’s purpose, and if they do – you’d better have a plan for nurturing that shared passion.

Steve Lowisz is an expert on talent acquisition, talent assessment, personal development, diversity & inclusion, and business performance. He has more than two decades of research and practical business experience allowing him to serve hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals.

As CEO of the Qualigence Group of Companies that he founded in 1999, Steve regularly contributes to Industry events and publications and has been featured in Fortune Magazine, CNN Money, The Detroit Free Press and on Bloomberg Radio.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why job descriptions often don’t provide the right information to get the right candidate for the job How to look at capacity, character, competencies, and culture when interviewing candidates How to discover what is motivating someone’s job search Identifying what a candidate is looking for that they don’t have now The different competencies needed for working on site compared with working remotely How facts, feelings, focus, and fruit can help get you through difficult, honest feedback conversations Numerous strategies for hiring and retaining great talent How to engage on LinkedIn, rather than using it as an “as needed” resume database Why having one-on-one meetings still matter and how to fill them with purpose Ways to contact Steve: Website: stevelowisz.com Website: qualigence.com/recruiter-fuel-directory

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 147: Serve Your Clients: Selling Without Selling with Michelle Weinstein

Jul 30, 2018 53:26

Description:

Business development does not just happen. For most of us as agency owners, sales is one of those things we wish we didn’t have to do.

In this episode of Build A Better Agency, we’re going to really dive into sales. I think the reluctance comes down to a fear of rejection. Because of those fears and insecurities, we don’t prioritize biz dev. We don’t put it on the calendar. We don’t make it a must do.

I think the biggest change we can make, and this is my challenge to you, is to just carve out time to connect with your ideal clients. Maybe it’s one morning a week. But as my guest says, if it’s not on the calendar, you’re not going to do it.

My guest for episode #147 is Michelle Weinstein. Michelle has done it all. She's been on Shark Tank. She has raised over a million dollars for her last company, and she now teaches entrepreneurs how to sell.

At the end of the day, Michelle is a sales strategist. She teaches mission-driven entrepreneurs how to sell without being sleazy.

I think we make sales harder than it needs to be. That’s why I wanted to bring Michelle on to have this conversation. She generously shared some incredible ideas and strategies that you can implement right now.

What if you could make a list of your ideal top-tier clients and actually have the confidence and the plan to demonstrate to them that they’re be losing out by not working with you.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of our discussion. This is a must hear episode if you are looking to enjoy biz dev and ultimately the fruits of that labor in increased profits.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why saving those email and text “thank you’s” and testimonials from clients is so important Why service-based businesses like ours are easier to sell than products How to block out time for business development The most useful tasks to tackle during your biz dev time Why “bumping into” your ideal clients at a trade show can be a truly winning strategy-and how to prep for it How to research and strategize for your pitch Creating and managing a list of your top 20 ideal new clients How to offer a gift that is something of value, without giving away the store or your trade secrets Ways to contact Michelle Weinstein: Website: www.thepitchqueen.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 146: Developing a digital-first DNA with Chris Aarons

Jul 23, 2018 54:08

Description:

Why do some agencies seem to “get” digital transformation and others struggle to cross that hurdle? Even more puzzling – among the ones who do get it – why are so many of them struggling to make money at it?

These are some of the daunting questions I’m exploring in this episode with my guest Chris Aarons. We all understand that digital transformation is happening. Few understand this as well as he does.

What does it mean for an agency to have digital-first DNA? Chris Aarons’ book Digital Helix explores this idea and I asked him about it when we spoke. Part of this concept is understanding that everything is connected, and a digital asset is never “done” or complete. When we approach our work with that understanding, what we do for and with clients becomes less about putting out emergency fires or checking off the boxes on the latest trend. It becomes about a consistent and constant state of evolution.

Chris believes the larger value we can all offer clients is helping them recognize and embrace that reality and then together, looking out over the horizon and planning for tomorrow’s opportunities rather than focusing on today’s fires.

That’s how we add incredible value and earn our seat at the client’s table. In this episode we talk about how to make that vision a reality for your agency.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The importance of an exploration mindset in moving you and your clients forward What it means to operate with a digital-first DNA as an agency How to encourage digital-first DNA thinking in your clients How to develop ongoing conversations with clients rather than operating from a one-off proposal framework Why talking with a client’s customers is at least as important as talking with the clients themselves How sales are connective moments – not a journey Why identifying the current problem is not the agency’s primary job How to be relentless about getting better over time When and how organic influencer models can beat the pants off of paid reach

Episode 145: Top Agency Trends of 2018 (Part 2) with Drew McLellan

Jul 16, 2018 44:34

Description:

When you’re busy running an agency, it can be hard to take a step back to see broader trends. What is currently happening and what is on the horizon regarding client relationships? What tactics and deliverables are hot and making agencies money? This is the second part of a discussion I started last month about the we’re tracking at AMI.

One of the best aspects of our work with agency owners from all over the world is that it affords me perspective. In episode 140, Top 2018 Agency Trends Part 1, I talked about trends that were related to money and the changing structures of our teams. And in this episode, I’m going to talk about the trends that I did not have a chance to get to in that episode.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How retail-facing companies are transitioning those skill sets into B2B space Why big consumer brands are decreasing their marketing spend and what it might mean down the road for small to mid-sized agencies The continuing rise of video and how to avoid the urge to over-produce video content Why clients are coming back to integrated agencies after splitting their marketing dollars among smaller agencies focused on narrow tasks What tactics and deliverables are earning agencies solid revenue in 2018 The rise of influencer marketing The fascinating ways in which voice is changing search and how to stay on top of the trend The love/hate relationship we all have with chatbots and what that might mean for their future

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today. AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 144: Learning to speak creativity with Larry Robertson

Jul 9, 2018 01:00:13

Description:

I’ve always described our work as being called upon to be creative on demand. Whether an agency employee sits in the creative department, codes apps, builds strategy or works on new business – we are all tasked with being fresh thinkers.

Our clients hire us to ask the right questions. We feel the pressure to provide answers or at the very least, to know the next right question.  It’s incredibly satisfying when a prospect or client says, “I’ve never been asked that before.”

My podcast guest Larry Robertson, encourages his clients – and us – to sit with questions – to not look for quick and easy answers. But to recognize that the real insight rarely comes from the first layer of questions. The paradox is that in times of frenetic change, having the right answers are more important than having the quick answers. Organizationally speaking, it’s a matter of life and death.

Larry Robertson is an innovation and strategy advisor. He is the author of two award-winning books: A Deliberate Pause: Entrepreneurship and its Moment in Human Progress, and The Language of Man: Learning to Speak Creativity, honored with a combined 16 awards.

During our conversation, Larry talked about the research he did as he was prepping to write “The Language of Man.” He interviewed recipients of the McArthur “Genius” award to gather their collective wisdom on creativity and staying power in business and life.

Along with being an author, he’s also a columnist for Inc. Magazine and The Creativity Post, and a regular contributor to Fast Company. He also has been featured guest on or in MSNBC, the Chicago Tribune, AdAge, SmartBrief, and in numerous podcasts.

He is a Graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a former Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How to help clients recognize their value proposition The five layers of “why” and how it can be a powerful tool for agency How to answer the “so what?” question about what you do and why it’s important The importance of staying curious and open-minded no matter how long your agency has been around Cultivating the Five Habits of the Mind in your agency and weaving it throughout your discovery process What prospects are looking for when picking an agency The two things you can’t do as you implement the Five Habits of the Mind Your role as an agency during the discovery session Larry’s perspective on change and how it affects your agency and clients The three key things you need to do to expand your agency’s brand lifespan to last longer than 15 years The benefits of implementing “play“ as a habit and how it can help you become a better on-demand creative How to encourage better micro-habits as a leader within your agency Ways to contact Larry Robertson: Website: larryrobertson.me

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 143: Customer Experience: the customer is just the beginning with Stan Phelps

Jul 2, 2018 41:05

Description:

We live in the ratings and review economy. While our clients (and I suspect we are guilt of this too inside our agencies) are busy chasing after the new customer, the truth is – if we don’t create an amazing experience for our existing clients – we’re sunk. It’s tough to attract new business when your current customers are giving you mediocre reviews or rushing to social media to share your customer service blunder with their connections.

Never forget that 70% of your net new revenue should come from existing clients. Odds are your clients are in the same boat. In today’s world of commoditization, the experience we create is often our point of difference. And let’s face it – you’re probably not on the front lines with your agency’s clients. Your team is.

That’s why I was eager to speak with my guest Stan Phelps – an expert in customer experience and employee engagement. Among the many things on his plate, Stan runs purplegoldfish.com where he digs deep into these topics in his best-selling book series and on stages across the globe.

I wanted to ask Stan about the links between customer experience, embracing weirdness, employee engagement, and above all – purpose in an organization – how they are all tied to one another; how they are often the difference between surviving (or not) and thriving as a company.

Stan Phelps is an IBM Futurist, TEDx Speaker, and Forbes Contributor. He has spoken at over 250 events on every inhabited continent, in over a dozen countries for Fortune 100 brands such as IBM, Target, ESPN, UPS, GlaxoSmithKline, and Citi.

Prior to focusing on writing and speaking, Stan held leadership positions at IMG, Adidas, and the PGA. He also spent seven years as Chief Solutions Officer at Synergy, an award-winning marketing agency. At Synergy, he helped create larger than life brand experiences for brands such as KFC, M&M’s, Walmart and Starbucks.

Stan received his BS in Marketing and Human Resources from Marist College, a JD/MBA from Villanova University and a certificate for Achieving Breakthrough Service from Harvard Business School. He is a faculty member on ANA’s School of Marketing and also serves as an adjunct instructor at Rutgers Business School.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How exceptional customer experience means current customers will be eager to bring you, new customers What the concept of lagniappe (pronounced, “LAN-yap”) – a tradition in New Orleans – is all about and how you can use it to go that extra mile for your clients The bottom line importance of warmth and competence Making your best clients aware of your full range of services How to embrace weirdness as a business development strategy The 5 things that impact the growth and health of a goldfish – and what that means for your business The correlation between the first 4 months of your business and its overall health to this day How to put purpose at the bullseye of everything you do The law of worthy intentions Ways to contact Stan Phelps: Website: stanphelpsspeaks.com All the “Goldfish” books: stanphelpsspeaks.com/author

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 142: Building a growth mindset is best done in community with Pam Slim

Jun 25, 2018 54:52

Description:

Obstacles are a given. We don’t get to waltz through life without facing some tough days, barriers and people who are pretty convinced we’re crazy. As a result – we all have “those days.” Those days of doubt, of worry and of asking ourselves, “what am I doing?” I don’t know about you, but there are days when I wonder how I got on this crazy roller coaster. But then I realize that I stood in line just for a shot at the ride and most days, I love it. Every day we make choices and those choices have consequences.

The choices we make lead define the life we live. I work hard to come at life from a growth mindset. I know there will be uphill days, but I am going to tackle that hill and figure out how to avoid having to climb it again. My only other option is a limiting mindset.

My guest for this podcast is a person I’ve followed and admired for years and I couldn’t wait to speak with her – in fact we planned a return visit to the podcast not even halfway through this one! Pam Slim digs deep to get to the bottom of those tough questions that keep business owners stuck in place or afraid to step out into the light. Her goal is to find answers that allow us to face and overcome those inevitable challenges, so we can enjoy the ride.

Pam had just embarked on some pretty incredible research on this very subject of overcoming or not overcoming challenges right before we got together. I wanted to get a sneak peek at the findings and Pam delivered! We talked about the power of building a community around you and the power that unleashes as you both get support and support others.

Pam Slim is an award-winning author, speaker, and small business coach. Most of you probably know her from her book, Escape From Cubicle Nation, but there is a lot more to tell.

Pam spent the first 10 years of her solo practice as a consultant to large corporations like HP and Cisco and to worked with thousands of employees, managers, and executives. Then came then Cubicle Nation, the blog which led to the book. Her latest book, Body of Work was released with Penguin Portfolio in 2015. In her hometown of Mesa, AZ, Pam has opened up what she calls a business learning library called K’é, which is a Navajo word meaning “a system of kinship connection.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: What kinship has to do with building a business The impact of your attitude toward obstacles Why people gather in ecosystems of shared values and experiences What it means to have a “growth” vs. a “fixed” mindset How to course-correct your business whether you’ve been in it for a year or 30 years Why a great business ecosystem is like the ultimate dinner party What the High Council of Jedi Knights can teach us about sharpening our business outcomes The toll that a lack of shared values will take on you in a business (or any) relationship The results of a major research study on overcoming obstacles The power of a group of people who both have your back and hold you accountable Ways to contact Pamela Slim: Website: pamelaslim.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 141: Finding the introvert’s edge with Matthew Pollard

Jun 18, 2018 53:12

Description:

I hang out with agency owners every day and 95% of them resist proactive business development for as long as they can. Until that big client starts to give “I want to break up” signs, they are happy to rely on referrals and anyone who crosses the threshold as a substitute for a true biz dev program.

Most owners will tell me that they either hate sales or they’re terrible at them. But the reality is – you are all brilliant sales people because you are not a sales person. You are uniquely skilled at having business conversations at a level that no average salesperson can have.

The other excuse some owners will offer is that they are introverts, which means they can’t be good at sales. Again, I disagree. The key to good sales is asking better questions and listening with more intentionality and no one is better at that then someone who is more introverted.

All of this is why I invited Matthew Pollard to be on the show. He’s here to share insights from his work and from his forthcoming book, The Introvert’s Edge. He’s got some really great things to share to get us out of our reluctance about selling and networking.

Can narrowing our niche help us sell better? Matthew thinks so. Should we get beyond describing our work as a functional skill – the same skill everyone in the marketplace has? Matthew knows getting beyond functional skill is a crucial step.

Matthew is the Rapid Growth Guy. He's dedicated to helping small business owners succeed by giving them methods that helped them transform their business from struggling into profitable success stories. He is the founder and executive director of the Small Business Festival, ranked among the top five conferences in the nation by Inc. magazine. He is in the international sales blogger awards hall of fame and has been featured in Entrepreneur, CEO magazine, Fortune, you name it. But what we care about is that he's going to help us be smarter about selling.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How to craft a unified message about why people should work with you The difference between your functional skills and the reason people actually work with you The three-step process to rapid growth Why you don’t have to be an extrovert to be excellent at sales Plenty of life hacks for your next networking event How to stand out when your services have been commoditized Why bending yourself to perceived market “needs” will leave you tired and frustrated How niching narrows your market in all the right ways The folly of sharing a bland message in a crowded market – and what to do instead Why a small niche you are excited about is better than a giant market you don’t care about Ways to contact Matthew/Resources: Website: matthewpollard.com Free Worksheet: matthewpollard.com/three-steps-rapid-growth Podcast: matthewpollard.com/better-business-coach/forget-about-goals-why-is-the-key-to-success Free chapter: matthewpollard.com/theintrovertsedge/book

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 140: Top Agency Trends of 2018 (Part 1) with Drew McLellan

Jun 11, 2018 31:55

Description:

I have the good fortune of hanging out with agency owners and their teams every day of the year. We work with over 250 agencies that range from a handful of employees to several hundred team members. While every agency is absolutely unique – there are some common themes and trends that bubble up as we work alongside our agency clients.

Every year I pull together the trends I see time and time so the agencies we serve aren’t surprised by any of them. I’ve categorized them into some big buckets: money, employees, agency structure, clients, tactics, and revenue opportunities.

There were too many trends to pack into one solocast, so I’ll cover half this time and the other half in July.

Here’s the good news – it’s a great time to be in the business. As always, both challenges and opportunity abound. My goal is to help you spot the opportunities so you can maximize them while sidestep the trouble spots.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How agencies fared financially in 2017 Why 2017 was a great year for agencies to make money – and where that profit got re-allocated The factors complicating employee hiring and retention Agency structure changes in terms of both department structure and employee life/work models

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today. AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 139: Don’t force the fit – talking culture and clients with Raman Sehgal

Jun 4, 2018 55:14

Description:

Every agency has an internal culture. The only question is – did you build it on purpose. Intentionality. That is the bottom line. If you want to consciously create your team’s functionality and effectiveness, what kind of clients you attract, and where your own focus should be – that takes intentionality. That level of thinking has helped Raman Sehgal build an agency that allows him to work with clients from all over the world and enjoy a staff retention rate of 80%.

Raman Sehgal is the owner of a UK-based marketing agency called Ramarketing, an award-winning, creative, digital and PR agency. They are in the business of helping fast-growing companies in the life science, pharma, and manufacturing sectors get noticed.

Nine years ago, he was working from a desk in his home. His agency has now grown the agency to a staff of over 20 and they working with clients across the UK, the US, and Europe, and still have the very first client that they landed almost a decade ago.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: What it looks like to go from freelancer to running an agency How the job of owner changes over the lifecycle of an agency Why it’s possible to run an agency from a kitchen counter or a big corporate office How most agency owners become accidental business owners How Raman’s agency model compares to how a traditional agency runs How to build a family first, work second culture in your business What it takes to serve clients in multiple markets around the globe The power of being “meaningfully specific” in an agency Raman’s agency billing structure and the difference between billing by the hour for the US compared to the UK Building a fee structure on deliverables The correlation between giving clients a good return and the margin you receive on your work The red flags you can use to vet prospects and make sure they are a good fit for your agency How trying to make a difficult client happy can actually cost you and your staff Best practices to keep your team productive Ways to contact Raman Sehgal: Website: www.ramarktingpr.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ramansehgaluk

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 138: Putting profit first with Michael Michalowicz

May 28, 2018 52:12

Description:

Making a profit is the goal of any agency owner. But too often, the way we think about profit actually hurts our agency. The standard equation (sales - expenses = profit) can lead to bad decision-making. We are willing to accept the leftovers (profit) rather than running our business to deliver profit as a key outcome. I’d much rather have you determine the amount of profit that is acceptable to you and then you manage your business to that goal.

This is a more effective way to look at the profit equation – one that helps agencies thrive and gives you the ROI you deserve for taking the risk of owning an agency.

Michael Michalowicz founded and sold two multi-million dollar companies. Then in his mid-30’s, he went broke. Starting over again, he was driven to find better ways to grow healthy, strong companies. Among other innovative strategies, Mike created the “Profit First Formula,” a way for small to mid-sized businesses like our agencies to ensure profitability from their very next deposit forward.

Michael is now running his third million dollar venture, is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal, the former MSNBC business make-over expert, a popular keynote speaker on innovative entrepreneurial topics, and is the author of Profit First, Surge, The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The two questions Michael asked himself that allowed him to find his calling to become an author Why leaving too much money in your agency leads to bad decisions What it means to run the Profit First system within your agency Basic principles to help your agency get ready to use the Profit First system Why you aren’t limited by a lack of resources The parallel between Pumpkin farmers and business regarding organic growth Key takeaways agency owners can apply to their biz dev strategy using the principle of “growing the strong sprout” Why it’s important to serve the verticals your agency knows well, and that will allow three or four of those legs to support your stool Consequences you may face when you put too much focus on your weakest clients Why entrepreneurs struggle with being profitable A better way to calculate profit for your agency so you can stop using the “Frankenstein Formula” Principles taken from health and fitness industry you can apply to manage your money better and simplify your agency

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 137: How to sell from the stage with Dustin Mathews

May 21, 2018 47:30

Description:

No matter what kind of agency you own, where it’s located, or how large it is – there is a truth about your business. You are literally and figuratively on stage every single day. Whether you're on the phone with a client, sitting across the table from a few people, or standing on the stage at a national conference, we are constantly presenting.

We can’t afford to be shy about presenting. I’m not suggesting you do a TED talk but I am suggesting that you can’t afford to shirk away from any stage, big or small. You’ve heard me talk about the value of speaking as a way of creating cornerstone content but today I want to focus on a different aspect of presenting – selling from the stage (whatever that stage may be).

This week’s podcast guest loves to talk to business owners about how to do that bigger and better, and bolder. Dustin Mathews is an author of many best-selling books, and he has shared the stage with athletes, business celebrities, and titans of business. His latest book, "The No BS Guide to Powerful Presentations: How to Sell Anything with Webinars and Online Media Speeches and Seminars" is going to be a book that you are going to not only read but underline and highlight and share with others. That I promise you.

Dustin is known for creating content that drives people to buy products en masse. His companies and private clients have been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Inc magazine. He's literally marketed and filled over 3,000 events and has led 10 online product options. He and his work had generated over $43 million in sales. So he knows how to package and sell value.

As a part of prepping for the work that he's doing today, he did some recent research and has identified a process for creating and selling products and services that he calls the Irresistible Offer Architecture that is so unique that he was able to get recognition by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why it takes practice to get comfortable with public speaking Testing and getting feedback on material before presenting it to a large audience Why it doesn’t matter how qualified you look if you’re able to speak to someone’s pain point Giving a speech that gets people to take the next steps you want them to take How to sell at conferences when you’re told “don’t sell from the stage” Creating excitement about your offer by teasing coming next in your presentation The five elements every presentation should have Giving people value in your speeches before giving them the ask Separating your agency from your competition by giving your processes a name Why you need to showcase case studies in your presentations to show off your expertise The nine elements of the irresistible offer architecture Why you should give people a physical giveaway (book, flash drive, etc.) whenever you can How to overcome your prospects’ objections Reverse engineering your presentations based on what you want to offer at the end Why you have to get good at speaking now Ways to contact Dustin Mathews: Book: nobspresentations.com Website: www.speakingempire.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/thedustinmathews

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 136: Using brand to tell great stories with Nick Westergaard

May 14, 2018 48:20

Description:

Branding has always been a cornerstone of my own agency. We've spent a ton of time and effort building brands for clients. We have, like all of you, created what we think of as a proprietary process around brand, and it's a topic that I have a great passion around.

Many of you are either too polite to ask or have point-blank asked me, "Drew, what is the deal with you at Disney." Brand is part of why I love them so much. One of the aspects of Disney that I really admire and connect to the most is that I think they're just about as good as it gets in terms of understanding their brand, building their brand, and evolving their brand over time.

One of the guys in the agency space who I think is really brilliant at branding is an Iowa based agency owner named Nick Westergaard. His new book, Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World, just came out and it is a brilliant blueprint for how to create a memorable, meaningful brand in today's chaotic time and space.

Nick and I talked about are how building a brand has changed in this digital crazy, crowded, distracted time, and what are some of the elements that we as agencies can really spotlight and offer as a huge value to our clients. How do we use brand as an agency offering to stay sticky with our clients rather than a one and done project?

Nick is a strategist, speaker, author, and educator. As Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, he helps build better brands at organizations of all sizes — from small businesses and Fortune 500 companies to President Obama’s Jobs Council. In addition to his new book, Nick is also the author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small.

Nick is a sought-after keynote speaker at conferences and corporate events throughout the world. He teaches at the University of Iowa where he sits on the Advisory Council of the Marketing Institute at the Tippie College of Business and the Professional Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is also a mentor at the Iowa Startup Accelerator.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Working with brands in a distracted, digital age How the world changed our views about how we should be looking at branding Why simplicity in branding is more critical than ever How agencies can help their clients understand what storytelling really is and how to help them construct better brand stories Why “Story” is a buzzword and how we can rescue it Why the main character in the story shouldn’t be the brand and why it should be the client’s end user Why making sure employees understand the brand is so important for your agency culture and the work that they do for clients The role agencies play in building brands and moving the brand forward How to provide real value to clients in this era of distraction and rapid change The opportunities agency owners are missing out on during the brand discovery process Why a brand is everything a company does – and why that doesn’t have to be overwhelming Why it’s important for you to plant your flag for your brand How Nick’s book can help agencies work together on their own brand The value of getting outside perspective on your own agency Ways to contact Nick Westergaard: Website: www.nickwestergaard.com Website: www.branddrivendigital.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 135: Clients can be the best or worst part of your day. Your call. with Drew McLellan

May 7, 2018 37:48

Description:

If you’ve ever hung out with me for more than 10 minutes, you’ve probably heard me say something like “there are no bad clients. But there are bad clients for YOUR agency.” I do believe that there’s an agency out there for every client. But it very well may not be yours. One of the most critical skills an agency owner/leader must develop is the ability to discern if a prospect belongs on your client roster.

Many of you have been emailing me lately asking me questions about problematic clients. And in some cases — they’re clients you never should’ve taken in the first place. You either haven’t yet developed the processes or the spidey sense to sniff out a bad prospect or even worse, you ignored that spidey sense.

We’ve all seen the money on the table and thought to ourselves, “Okay, I'm going to ignore that nagging feeling in my stomach and I’m going to take that client.” I’ve owned my own agency for 23 years and believe me, I’ve made that expensive mistake more than once. Every time I’ve ignored that little nudge saying, “Don’t do it Drew...don’t do it” — the nudge was right and I was wrong. I regretted taking that client and I’m guessing you’ve had the same experience.

The wrong clients, even if they have buckets of money, can literally kill your agency. A client that is not the right fit for your agency is almost impossible to make happy. So what do we do? We run around scrambling trying to make them happy. We do extra rounds of revisions that we don’t charge them for, and in the end, they’re still not happy.

Now we’re underwater and have lost money. We’ve literally paid for the privilege of serving that client. Or worse — the client berates your employees. They micromanage your team. They call or text 24/7 with no respect for boundaries.

And when you don’t step in to negate the situation because the client is giving you a lot of money, you’re at risk of losing your employees. In today’s tight labor market, your employees don’t have to stick around to work for in that environment.

Everyone thinks about “How do I find clients that make me money?” — but quite honestly, the first thing we should be thinking about is “how do I get rid of the clients that cost me money and how do I avoid them down the road?”

That’s what this episode of Build A Better Agency is all about. How you can find and keep clients who don’t cost you money. You can absolutely do this for your agency. And I’m going to show you how.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How agency profitability begins with attracting the right fit clients How to identify the tangible and intangible things that make a client fit the “sweet spot” of your agency Why you should rank every prospect whether they are knocking on your door, or you’re putting together a prospect list, or you’re getting ready to respond to an RFP Why you should consider creating a “Biz Dev” committee within your agency to decide which prospects are the right fit prospects to pursue How to put the “Sophistication Level Factor” to work inside your biz dev process A specific process and tool you can use to kick-off your agency’s relationship with a new client in the right way — so it feels like a celebration and everyone is on the same page How to provide a new client with the proper orientation of what it is like to work with your agency and the team they will be working with on a daily basis The two key pieces to effective client communication and why staying in touch by email is not the answer How a weekly status update can help your AEs gently nag a client so they stay focused on what they need to be doing and providing to your team Why and how you as the agency owner should be spending time with the top 50 percent of your clients — demonstrating how much you love them and how committed you are to their success

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan Resources: Sweet Spot Client Filter NB criteria form Client Scorecard

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 134: Digging into the data with Hubspot’s Tim Dearlove

Apr 30, 2018 01:03:24

Description:

One of the most rewarding aspects of AMI is that we can give agency owners a sense of perspective. Owning and running an agency is lonely and isolated. You make decisions based on what you know and usually you only know your own reality. I love it when I can shine a light on how other agencies are doing something or a best practice or metric that gives owners confidence that you’re on track or even that you’re ahead of the curve.

Hubspot recently completed a survey of over 1,200 marketing agency decision makers and I was invited to comment on some of the findings. After reading the report, I knew the insights were something we needed to explore together on the podcast.

Tim Dearlove is the Growth Marketing Manager at Hubspot, which as you know is a market leading inbound marketing and sales suite of tools that is very agency centric and they invest a huge amount of time and effort to support agencies all over the globe. (Note: And the presenting sponsor of Build A Better Agency)

Some of the findings will touch on themes you live with every day – the fears and frustrations of any agency owner. There are some trends and practices we’ll call to your attention and some opportunities for you to take the lead over your competition.

We’ll also look at how you can stay ahead of your clients – and the importance of ongoing learning not just for you, but for the talent you hire as well.

It’s an episode full of big ideas and targeted actions you can take to make your agency better and your life a bit easier.  

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Retainers/long-term relationships: why they are great for your agency as well as your clients Retainers that allow your agency to provide services on an ongoing basis while keeping control Some of the mistakes agencies make by not clearly defining what the service is and tying the value directly to the offering Going through the process and making sure the decision to work on a retainer basis is thought out and not just tacked on at the end Why the paid discovery process is the ideal way to enter into a retainer agreement (and why it’s not always possible) The three categories a retainer should have to provide value to the client: optimization, insurance, and strategy How to talk to prospects so they understand the value of an ongoing relationship Three great ways to clearly define and price your services Why your clients will test the boundaries of your agreement if you don’t clearly define them The importance of saying “no” and the right and wrong ways to do it Why consistent, clear communication with ongoing clients is a great way to upsell services Building systems and processes for great internal and external communication Why you have to work on your processes in small increments or they will never get done Ways to contact Tim Dearlove: Twitter: @tdearlove Research Report

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 133: Providing long-term value with Barry O’Kane

Apr 23, 2018 49:38

Description:

A frustration for many agencies today is that it’s tough to get clients to commit to ongoing retainers. Post recession, clients are drawn to project work as opposed to the longer-term, on-going work that agencies prefer. There are many factors that play into this and some agencies have cracked the code of earning a client’s confidence and being positioned as an on-going partner.

Barry O'Kane has cracked the code. He has over 18 years of experience as a digital agency owner and a web developer. He and his team work in partnership with social impact organizations and creative agencies to solve their toughest challenges. Barry runs a virtual dev shop called endzone.io, and he also teaches web agencies how create recurring revenue for their shop and recurring value for their clients. He really believes that there are internal processes and systems and that agencies need to consider so they get compensated differently and create a whole new value proposition for themselves and their clients.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Retainers/long-term relationships: why they are great for your agency as well as your clients Retainers that allow your agency to provide services in an ongoing basis while keeping control Some of the mistakes agencies make by not clearly defining what the service is and tying the value directly to the offering Going through the process and making sure the decision to work on a retainer basis is thought out and not just tacked on at the end Why the paid discovery process is the ideal way to enter into a retainer agreement (and why it’s not always possible) The three categories a retainer should have to provide value to the client: optimization, insurance, and strategy How to talk to prospects so they understand the value of an ongoing relationship Three great ways to clearly define and price your services Why your clients will test the boundaries of your agreement if you don’t clearly define them The importance of saying “no” and the right and wrong ways to do it Why consistent, clear communication with ongoing clients is a great way to upsell services Building the systems and processes for great internal and external communication Why you have to work on your processes in small increments or they will never get done Ways to contact Barry O'Kane: Website: endzonesoftware.com Podcast: happyporchradio.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/barryokane

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 132: Go video or go home with George Thomas

Apr 16, 2018 52:02

Description:

It started with the cats. Who knew cats were trend setters but when it comes to video they were on board long before we were! One of the biggest trends I’ve seen over the last five years is the proliferation of video. You can’t go anywhere (Online, mass transit, Times Square or your home security system) without seeing a video these days. And these are not the videos of old. When I started in the business, we make gorgeous videos, shot on film and painstakingly edited for days. Today’s videos can certainly be that but more often than not – they’re run and gun videos that are often shot, edited and posted the same day, if not in real time.

To think any agency can avoid getting proficient at video is a fool’s folly these days and I don’t want ignorance, fear or the “I hate the way I look on video” worry to keep you from evolving your agency’s skills in this area. You simply can’t afford not to be good at video, not to understand how to leverage video and most important – how to create videos for yourself and your clients in a cost effective, profitable way.

That is why I invited George B. Thomas onto the Build A Better Agency podcast. This guy gets video and has a passion around it that is infectious.

George has an interesting past – he’s a recovering youth pastor, a former pub bouncer, but no matter what his title was, he's always been about helping people at different points in their journey. Now he is the Resident Nerd at the Sales Lion, an inbound and content marketing agency helping businesses become rock stars in their markets.

George believes that video is the next step of the inbound marketing evolution. He loves helping businesses wrap their heads around video. As he is quick to tell you – he’s a branding guru, a video marketing ninja, and an inbound Jedi. A little peek into George right there!

When he's not running video workshops or speaking around the world, he's hanging out with his family enjoying the beautiful world that is North Carolina. What I love about George is that he's got an energy and a passion for this, which you will feel in this episode, but he also brings the goods in terms of expertise and he's going to get down to the really needy gritty of telling us not only what to do, but how to do it.

I want you to listen to this conversation through parallel tracks. First, I want you to listen to it while thinking, “how can video help our clients grow their business and improve their customer’s experience?”

But the other lens I want you to be using is, “how do I use video better for the agency and our biz dev efforts?” Some of you are already swimming in these waters but many of you are not. Time to get to it!

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why George believes that getting great at video is the difference between having a successful agency and closing your doors The difference between creative, big budget video that dominated agencies of the past and the much cheaper, revenue-driving videos of today Making quick, easy videos that answer the questions your sales people get the most How to sell clients on making these quick videos The kind of equipment you need to own to make video for yourself and your clients that looks great Everything you need to know to pick the right editing software The skills needed to be great behind the camera and in the editing room The kinds of videos your agency should be producing Why every person in your agency needs a video of themselves in their email signature The danger of being too salesy in your videos How to become more comfortable on camera Why you don’t have to be afraid of live video Misassumptions agencies and other businesses make about video that consumers don’t make Matching the right video to the right platform/audience Ways to contact George Thomas: Free video assessment: thesaleslion.com/assessment Content video workshop: thesaleslion.com/video Facebook: www.facebook.com/Mr.GeorgeBThomas Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 131: How are having a distinct POV, a Trojan Horse and Voice related? With guest Stephen Woessner

Apr 9, 2018 48:17

Description:

When I think about this episode, it’s all about voice but not just in the way that you might first assume.

Stephen Woessner and I taught a workshop together in January called Creating Content that Creates Revenue. One of the big themes from that workshop was the idea that most agencies really haven’t defined their distinct point of view. I did a whole solocast on that that really does a deep dive on the topic. But it’s really all about finding your agency’s unique voice and weaving that through all of your content, your website, your new business decks, and your agency’s work.

The second way you can see the theme of voice in this podcast is in the idea of using content as the Trojan Horse of sales, as my guest Stephen coined the phrase. When you give your prospective client a voice through your cornerstone content (podcast, book, video series, blog, etc.) by putting the spotlight on them as a guest or subject matter expert, you can leverage that invitation to create a relationship with them that they’d never welcome if you were just trying to sell them something. Giving them exposure and a voice is the door opener that actually gets them to be interested in you and how you work.

I believe this is one of the most effective and least exploited sales techniques in our space and the agencies who master it will be several steps ahead of their competitors. It completely changes the landscape of the relationship you have with prospects.

Finally, we explore the idea of voice from a channel perspective. Voice controlled devices are becoming very mainstream and there are some huge opportunities for agencies in that space. We explore some of the possibilities as we wrap up the episode.

As you can see – this is an episode that is packed with content and thought ticklers. I can't wait to hear your reaction.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why success is not only about creating great content but it’s also about creating content that creates revenue for your agency either in the form of sponsorships, new clients, or other opportunities. How your agency can create your own Trojan Horse of Sales to open doors with your Nano 25 prospects, have a different kind of conversation than what most agencies are having with prospects, and all without your prospect ever feeling like they were a prospect. How to spotlight the wisdom and insights you collect from your Nano 25 and share that knowledge with your audience – and what happens when you do. A specific script you can use for a phone call with your Nano 25 to move the business development process forward. Why it’s important to plant your flag in firm ground using a channel agnostic content strategy. How monetizing your content extends much further than just attracting new clients sponsorships, speaking engagements, or books. How “Voice” has become a fast-tracking trend that will be a cultural norm within a year or two. How strategy and content creation for voice controlled devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home represent opportunities for agencies to jump in and help clients make sense of it all. How to restructure website content pages to make them more voice search friendly. Why the agencies that understand how to produce content around their point-of-view that then becomes the search result for voice activated search are going to have a huge advantage over competitors. Ways to contact Stephen Woessner: Website: www.predictiveroi.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/stephenwoessner

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 130: Juggling fireballs, feral cats and 10,000 deadlines. Getting it all done with Drew McLellan

Apr 2, 2018 38:35

Description:

A lot of agency owners say to me, “Drew, I know you’re running your own agency and I know you’re running AMI. I know you've got some other things on the side like real estate. How in the world do you get it all done and how do you keep yourself organized, on track, and on-time?” So for today’s solocast, I want to talk about how you can get more out of your day.

I know that I may give the impression of being able to get it all done – but I never do. Let me be very clear about that. I don’t. I don’t want to say to you that my “To Do” list is ever empty because it’s not. But it’s manageable and I keep everything moving forward like I need to.

Like many of you, I have spent years trying to crack the nut of my own productivity. I’ve tested tools, tried tricks and heaped hacks into my day. Over the years, I’ve developed a reliable system for managing my world and my day so the most important things get done every day.

And that’s what I’d like to share with you in this solocast. It is my own blend of habits, tools and disciplines that allow me to consistently get all of the important things within AMI, my own agency and the rest of my business dealings done while still being able to take time away to relax and be with family and friends.

It’s possible and it can happen for you, too. I am going to share all of the tools I use, my daily habits, and what I think is my secret weapon for how I move through my day to make it all work.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How I use a task list management tool or electronic “To Do” list to keep myself on track Why I break my to do list into “buckets” so they are easy to manage and less daunting How I use my “secret weapon” to prioritize all my buckets and identify my the three things that absolutely must get done the next day Why I think it is important for me to own and manage my own calendar How I take control by chunking my calendar into time blocks that give me the space I need to get all of the daily priorities done How a simple tool like an orange traffic cone could be a game changer for you and everyone on your team Why I am a huge fan of taking time out and being absent from the office My travel routine for how I set up my hotel room, how I unpack everything to stay organized, and the stuff I keep with me at all times My thought process for deciding if I should keep a task on my list or delegate it to someone on my team My biggest time saving tip How I knit all of this together into a system that keeps me on track and on time

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today. AMI works with agency owners by:

Producing the weekly Build A Better Agency podcast Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE Bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drewmclellan

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 129: Reshaping the sales mindset with Anthony Iannarino

Mar 26, 2018 50:07

Description:

Most agency owners hate sales. They absolutely hate it. They hire sales people so they don't have to do it. They don't support the sales people as well as they should, and then they fire them when they don't make their salary. I think at the end of the day it's scary for them. They're not sure how to do it and what to do.

That’s why today we’re going to be talking about selling. It’s tough for you to get any momentum in your business if you’re afraid of sales. I want this to be less scary for you so you can sleep better at night and actually get more clients inside your agency. Let me tell you a little bit about our guest and why he is the perfect person to have this conversation with us.

Many of you are probably already familiar with Anthony Iannarino. He is a highly respected international speaker, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and sales leader. He specializes in complex B2B sales, which is the world that we are living. He’s also a founder and managing partner of two closely-held, family-owned businesses in the staffing industry, and he leads both entities in strategic planning while growing sales.

He’s best known for his work on The Sales Blog, which has helped him gain recognition as a top thought leader in sales strategy. He’s also designed something called the Level 4 Value Creation and Building Consensus methodologies that help sales organizations achieve transformational, breakthrough results.

You probably are familiar with Anthony from his books. He recently released "The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales," and that book is brilliant. A few years ago he wrote "The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need." I highly recommend them both.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why most entrepreneurs go into sales with the wrong mindset that makes selling an unpleasant experience Shifting your sales mindset from getting a prospect to do something to having a conversation to figure out possible outcomes that are available to them Why the sales process isn’t linear and how to shift the conversation with a prospect based on where they are in the process The Ten Commitments: the things your prospects need to agree on along the way to the sale in order for a sale to happen How giving a prospect the price too early can blow the sale from happening Why it’s so important to slow down and build trust Talking to people with genuine interest in them and what they need Consistently providing a ton of value to your prospects so that you stay top-of-mind when something changes in their business and they have a need Why getting to the point where you get to have a conversation with a prospect is the most difficult part of sales (and how to actually reach that point) Why you should never let a prospect sit alone with a proposal and the specific language you should use so that it doesn’t happen The golden nuggets:

“If you let a prospect jump straight to pricing before exploring their problem and how you can solve it, you haven’t added any value for them yet. That makes sales really difficult.” - @iannarino

“The ninth commitment a prospect will make to you is the commitment to buy. If you do a really good job with the previous eight commitments, that is the easiest commitment you'll ever ask for.” - @iannarino

“If you're sincerely interested in other people and really try to learn from them, they'll give you the key to understanding what they want and what they need at some deeper level.” - @iannarino

“If you want to be less smarmy, be interested in other people, and don't worry about the outcomes that you want long term. Worry about how you can help them today” - @iannarino

“Sales is simple but it's not easy.  The getting in to have a conversation part is the most difficult sale we make. ” - @iannarino

“Selling is helping another person get a result that they can't get without you.” - @iannarino

Ways to contact Anthony Iannarino: Website: thesalesblog.com

Episode 128: The latest agency evolution with Robert Rose

Mar 19, 2018 52:50

Description:

The truth is that our world as agency owners is in constant flux. Think back to the Mad Men days when we didn’t charge clients anything for creative or strategy. We lived and died off media commissions. That wasn’t hundreds of years ago, that was just a few decades ago. So it’s no big shock that our industry is, yet again, undergoing a transformation.

We’ve seen it coming for a while and for many of you, this may be something you’ve already been thinking about or experimenting with inside your shop.

Most agencies have been playing footsie with content. Your shop may be the exception but for most agencies, they’re good at creating content in volume but we’ve been too focused on getting done and not the true strategy underneath. It’s time for us (for both ourselves and our clients) to get serious about what thought leadership means, owning a distinct point of view/position and leveraging that point of view to generate revenue.

That’s why I was excited to have Robert Rose on the podcast. Robert’s most recent book that he published in September with colleague Joe Pulizzi from Content Marketing Institute is called "Killing Marketing” and it’s going to really stretch your mind in terms of what is possible and what’s coming next for us as agency folks.

Robert Rose is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of the Content Advisory which is a consulting and advisory group of the Content Marketing Institute. As a strategist, Robert has worked with over 500 companies including global brands like Capital One, Dell, Ernst & Young, HP, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He's the author of three books including "Experiences: The Seventh Era of Marketing," a book about how marketing is shifting. It was called "a treatise and a call-to-arms for marketers to lead business innovation in the 21st Century."  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The rapid changes in the agency business and why those changes are coming more fast and furious than ever before Why agencies need to make a big investment if they want to survive (and why so often they just splash around in the water until it’s too late) Using content marketing to build an audience for your clients based on their specific needs How to use your engaged audience to find more people like them with Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube’s lookalike audiences Why you can’t expect clients to want to work with you if you don’t invest in your own marketing Why Robert believes that your agency blog isn’t usually the best place to host your content (and where you should write instead) Getting back on track when you find yourself falling into the trap of creating generalist content Building client trust by helping them transform into something new Why agencies have always been good at creating stuff for clients but why strategy and measurement need to be our new norm How to start working with a C-Suite level person when your current client contact is not as high up Why a media centric agency is the best kind of agency to build today (and how to retrofit your agency to become a media centric agency) Ways to contact Robert Rose: Website: contentadvisory.net Website: robertrose.net

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 127: Keeping your superstar employees with Kevin Monaghan

Mar 12, 2018 01:00:14

Description:

Agencies are in an all-out talent war these days. New business is coming faster and easier. Your clients had a good year and so did you. But if you’re like many agency owners, you’re actually considering shutting down the biz dev spigot because you can’t find and keep the staff to service the new growth. When you see it in writing, it’s ridiculous, right? But if you’re struggling with staffing, you’re not alone. Agencies like yours are the training ground for other agencies, clients building an in-house department and corporations who are going to pay a premium for your best talent.

We have to find ways to attract and keep key hires or we’re going to be on a treadmill forever. We can talk culture, we can talk creative benefits like sabbaticals, and we can even talk about assessments that identify people who are born to work in an agency. As compelling as all of that is, it’s tough to compete with money.

That’s what intrigued me about Kevin Monaghan and his strategies to help protect, incentivize, and compensate minority owners and key employees. Kevin and his team at Intuitive Compensation Group work with businesses to create compensation packages that keep your people in place, feeling rewarded and valued.

Today, Kevin speaks all over the country and helps business owners, partnerships, business brokers (buyers & sellers), and key employees align their goals with workable compensation models that incentivize over time without running into some of the roadblocks of giving away equity or being stuck with a minority stake in a company where you can’t control dividend distribution.

Interestingly, while taking a break from the business sector early in his career, Kevin briefly worked as a writer’s assistant for two of NBC’s top comedies, “The Office” and “Parks & Recreation.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why giving equity to employees can be a dangerous situation Cash value life insurance is a way to fund a golden handcuff plan that ensures you get money back if the employee leaves (the employee can’t touch this money for a certain amount of time passes) Putting money behind compensation promises so that both the business owner and the employee knows what they’re walking away from if they decide to part ways Different ways to structure cash value life insurance policies so that the burden of tax falls to the agency, the employee, or a combination of the two (and examples of times where each of these would be appropriate) How to use these cash value life insurance policies to set up your agency to be sold when you’re ready to retire Figuring out what matters to the seller and the buyer when heading into an agency sale What happens when an agency owner sticks around after selling the agency The right and wrong ways to compensate young employees that you want to keep but you know aren’t even close to being ready for any agency ownership What benefits young employees really want Why it doesn’t hurt to start planning for your retirement / selling of your agency early Ways to contact Kevin Monaghan: Phone: 877-70LEARN Website: www.intuitivecompensation.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 126: How agency owners can reclaim their life with Scott Beebe

Mar 5, 2018 51:04

Description:

I don’t believe in life/work balance. When I was a kid, my “work dad” would come home from the bank in his three-piece suit and he’d go upstairs and my “home dad” would come downstairs in jeans, looking for his martini and the download of our day while my mom cooked dinner.

Sounds very Leave it to Beaver, doesn’t it? It really was. My dad didn’t have a computer or a cell phone. I can remember the only time the office called him at home – the bank building was on fire. But other than that – there was complete separation of work and home life.

We do not have that luxury. At best, we can strive for life/work blend. Our personal lives will seep into the work day and our work will seep into our personal time. But for many agency owners, what that translates to is that you are always on and always working.

That’s not only unhealthy for you but it’s unhealthy for your business. You simply can’t grow your agency if you have to do everything that’s mission critical.

That’s the conversation I wanted to have with Scott Beebe who is a strategist, teacher, and business coach for My Business On Purpose. He is also the host of the Business on Purpose podcast.

Scott is all about about liberating small business owners from the chaos of working in their business and helping them get their lives back by being really clear about what their business is about, what they want to get out of the business, where they have unique opportunities to contribute to the business, and where they need to get out of the way.

His background includes direct and B2B sales, designing and implementing organizational strategy, training and development, marketing and fundraising, along with teaching and speaking.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The two biggest non-negotiables for agencies today The value in building out a detailed company vision and reinforcing it regularly in team meetings Understanding what clients you should and should not work with based on your company vision Your mission statement: a portable, 15-word version of your vision story Why you need to have 3-5 core values that are unique to you (hint: not table stables like respect, responsibility, excellence, etc.) Scott’s spreadsheet for figuring out what tasks you can keep as the agency owner and which ones you should delegate How to document processes so everyone is on the same page and can wear multiple hats Using team meetings to stay on top of the week’s work and why you should end every team meeting with training How to delegate to people who may not be your direct reports without throwing your agency into chaos and confusion The four steps to achieving business freedom Reinvesting your time into things that matter once you’ve delegated tasks away and have significant free time Ways to contact Scott Beebe: Website: MyBusinessOnPurpose.com/vision Twitter: @scottbeebe LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/scottebeebe Facebook: www.facebook.com/mybusinessonpurpose

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 125: Plant your flag with Drew McLellan

Feb 26, 2018 36:28

Description:

Have you ever walked around Times Square? I was in New York City last week, and if you’ve ever been here before, you know it’s crazy. With all the lights, the billboards, the chaos, the signage, and the people dancing and handing out flyers – it’s just sensory overload.

The eight blocks or so radius that makes up Times Square is a study in advertising and in messaging, sort of both from an old school and new school perspective.

It made me think about one of the realities in both life in general but certainly in our life in the marketing and agency business, and that is that there is no such thing as a constant. Even the most constant of constants, like out-of-home advertising, keep changing and evolving over time. The truth of the matter is, for all of us, no matter what channel we display our message on, no matter where we are talking about the work we do and the kind of clients we serve, the channel is changing.

So if you’ve got a robust Facebook page for your agency, that’s awesome, but you know that in five years, it’s going to be something different. If you are writing incredible blog content, or you’re producing a podcast, whatever it may be, there may be remnants of what we’re doing today around in five years, but the odds are that it’s going to look different, just like these outdoor boards here on Broadway look very different than they did back in the ’40s and the ’50s.

The other thing I noticed was I was watching the messaging for the plays and the restaurants and the souvenir shops, all of them, they all look and sound the same. We all face that problem too. I think one of the biggest challenges for agencies is how do you not look like everybody else? How do you differentiate yourself? We’re great at doing this for clients, but when it comes to doing it for ourselves, we really, really struggle.

This was actually a big part of the conversation that we had in the Creating Content That Creates Revenue Workshop back in January. We started day one by talking about how the reality for all of us is that the channels keep changing and so our presence in a channel isn’t enough to differentiate us. We have to have something that makes us stand out.

We talked a lot about having a unique point of view and about really understanding what your agency was all about. Where do you plant that flag? How do you plant that flag in firm ground so that, no matter what changes, that belief is rock solid? It needs to be so firmly anchored in the ground that you know it’s not going to be blown away by whatever fad or change is coming down the pike.

And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. For agencies, we all have to be able to define that for our prospects and clients. Why us? Why us over somebody else?

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Staying on top of the ever-changing channels for distributing our messages The struggle agencies face in differentiating themselves Planting the flag of your unique POV so firmly that you don’t feel tempted to change away from what’s important to you when a new fad comes around Why you can’t afford to compete on price or proximity Your unique POV: what you know to be true that you talk to clients about all the time Figuring out what your best, most profitable clients have in common, even if it’s not an industry (and it often isn’t!) Why you should have three different niches How your unique POV combined with your niche industry knowledge makes you look and sound different from your competitors Building your website to show off your POV Infusing your POV into every piece of content you create A litmus test for figuring out if you’ve defined your POV How your POV attracts the right prospects and repels the wrong ones

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 124: Packing five pounds of work into a one pound day with Terry Ogburn

Feb 19, 2018 50:52

Description:

I don’t know about you, but I never feel quite caught up. Thanks to my high tech Post It Note strategy (Every night I list the 3 things, and no more, I must get done the next day and put it on my laptop) I get the most critical things done but there’s always more to do.

What saves my bacon every day is that I have a superb team around me and they have systems and processes that allow them to work miracles and keep me on the straight and narrow. Like most agency owners, I have a short attention span and it’s easy for me to get distracted. Our systems pull me back to center.

Every business is made up of processes and systems, whether you have them documented or not. If your systems are informal or tribal, then odds are you and your team aren’t being as efficient or effective as you could be. You are literally trying to shove more work into a system that is simply too small.

That’s where my podcast guest, Terry Ogburn comes in. He works with entrepreneurs and their teams to create repeatable success through a system he developed through his own experience and the teachings of some of his favorite business books.

Terry Ogburn is the owner and Lead Business Coach of Ogburn’s Business Solutions. His proprietary coaching system and personal devotion to the development of others has contributed to the success of hundreds of small to large business ventures.

Terry began his business career in 1979 when he invested his last $118.42 to start an air conditioning service business. At that time, he had no car or truck, but he did have the knowledge and ability to build relationships. By 1983, he was a top 5 nominee for Small Businessman of the Year. In 1985, successful in his business and recognized as a leader in the business community, he began to mentor other small business owners.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How the absence of good, repeatable systems keeps a business from growing Terry’s eight steps of business development that can be applied to every business Why you need job descriptions for every process inside your agency (and why each description doesn’t need to equal a full time employee) Removing your ego from your business What numbers agency owners need to look at, even if you don’t like numbers Protecting your bottom line by passing costs on to your customers How to carve out the time to work on your business when you are busy working in the business Creating a business development plan Ways to contact Terry Ogburn: Website: www.terryogburn.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 123: Differentiate your agency with your distinct POV with Derrick Daye

Feb 12, 2018 54:01

Description:

It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing my agency owner hat or my AMI hat, branding is one of the topics that I always love to talk about. It's one of the few things in our world that has stayed consistent. It's very difficult today to survive and thrive if you are indistinguishable from your competitors. I know many of you spend a lot of time and energy developing brands for your clients but struggle when it comes to articulating your own brand in a way that is easy to grasp and actually is distinct.

When I think about brand, Derrick Daye, one of the preeminent thought leaders in branding for the last ten years or more comes to mind. You may be familiar with Derrick; in 2006 he launched a website called Branding Strategy Insider. Back in the day it was a blog about branding, and today, it still functions that way, but for many people, it’s a branding bible of sorts. Derrick and his team use real examples and case studies to teach the art and science of brand.

It was also the launching pad for Derrick and his company, The Blake Project. It's where they launch research around branding, and dissect the best brands and what they're doing. It's a great resource for agencies and client side professionals to learn about cutting-edge thinking when it comes to branding.

My conversation with Derrick was all about what he’s learned about defining and building brands like the White House Press Corps, Coca-Cola, and the National Parks of New York Harbor, when they were trying to re-think the Statue of Liberty and how it could continue to be an icon for tourists and for all Americans in NYC and throughout the country.

We got into methodologies, branding clients, getting back into the C-Suite and much more. I think you’re going to find yourself taking notes.

Before Derrick launched The Blake Project, he spent about 20 years in advertising. He worked for Saatchi & Saatchi and several other agencies and then decided that he wanted to change his career a little bit and he wanted to go on the consulting side of the business.

Since then, Derrick has been working in many countries across the world, working with national brands. He has worked with everyone from He's done some really interesting work.

Today he spends a lot of time helping agencies to figure out how to articulate their own brand and how they can work with clients to put together the strategy behind a client's brand.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Derrick’s work helping brands figure out their unique value in their own marketplaces How brand consultancies (like The Blake Project) do strategic work that define the brand and then hand it off to brand agencies who take that strategic work and bring it to life Why you’ll never be able to differentiate your agency with creative, people, process, methodology, global network How to rely on your relationship skills to develop new business Why your agency’s brand is all about your distinct POV and why you need to focus on the customers that love that POV, not the customers that are the easiest sale The three things brands need to lead today Why consultancies have better access to CEOs than agencies do and how agencies can get into the C-Suite conversation Turning prospects into clients by showcasing creative that had a great ROI rather than touting awards Figuring out what a brand is fighting against and making sure that fight aligns with their goals Derrick’s Un-Conference which is built on the idea that people learn better in small groups and groups marketers up in teams for “competitive learning” Ways to contact Derrick Daye: Website: www.brandingstrategyinsider.com Website: www.theblakeproject.com Twitter: @DerrickDaye LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/theblakeproject

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 122: How agencies can best use freelancers and virtual employees with Nathan Hirsch

Feb 5, 2018 48:54

Description:

One of the most common challenges agencies of all sizes are facing right now is the finding the right people to add to the team. Client budgets and programs are growing, new business is getting a little easier and so everything should be rosey. But when you don’t have the right team to get the work done – it’s frustrating and frightening.

10-15 years ago the prevailing attitude was that agencies needed everyone under one roof. After all the work is so collaborative. But when the recession hit and people had to reduce fixed expenses to survive, many agencies who swore they would never use freelancers or hire someone virtual crossed over and did just that.

That’s why I was so interested in talking to Nathan Hirsch, the co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, the hands-on hiring marketplace connecting hundreds of online business owners with reliable, pre-vetted remote workers. Nathan can also be found on leading podcasts, such as Entrepreneur on Fire and Eventual Millionaire, speaking about online hiring tactics.

If you listen with an open mind and a willingness to consider something different – I think you might get some interesting ideas about your own talent pool.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Remote workers give business owners an opportunity to level up their talent at a cheaper cost than traditional employees The advantages freelancers bring to agencies The idea of creating your own marketplace with your freelance pool so they compete with each other and always deliver their best work How the freelance business is changing and freelancers have their own team working for them Why Nathan believes you should pay freelancers on an hourly model How Nathan’s company Freeeup helps its freelancers work with agencies so everyone wins Minimizing risk when working with freelancers and what Freeeup does to make its freelancers less risky than other freelancers Structuring interviews to weed out the wrong freelancers before you start working together Tools to work more effectively with freelancers and virtual employees The pros and cons of having your employees work remotely Creating a feeling of collaboration and teamwork when your team doesn’t see each other regularly Why allowing an in-office employee to go virtual rarely ever works The importance of diversifying when you’re hiring Ways to contact Nathan Hirsch: Website: freeeup.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/freeeupcom Twitter: @freeeup Instagram: @freeeup_ Email: nathan@freeeup.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 121: Keep Your Digital Offerings Simple and Repeatable, with Joe Kashurba

Jan 29, 2018 44:18

Description:

Joe Kashurba started a freelance web design business when he was in high school and grew it into a digital agency with a world-class team and clients around the world. He went from building $300 websites to building $30,000 websites and managing 6-figure digital advertising budgets for some of the largest manufacturing and construction companies.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Joe’s agency that started when he was in high school Why you’ll never get consistent clients without consistent marketing Selling results instead of technology and why prospects respond better to that approach How to know whether it’s better to have in-house employees or an outsourced team in any given area in digital Evaluating digital partners that offer services that you understand but don’t know how to do Using analog marketing tactics when you have time but not money to devote to your marketing Why it’s hard to scale when you try to be everything to everyone The cost of offering complex services How Joe manages his completely virtual team The differences between selling products and services Clearly defining what you offer in a package to prevent scope creep What to do to get caught up on digital trends if you feel you’re really far behind (and how to stay ahead if you’re on top of it) Ways to contact Joe Kashurba: Website: joekashurba.com Resources: www.thehoth.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 120: Find Your Posse, with Drew McLellan

Jan 22, 2018 26:39

Description:

It’s funny what a single question can do. I was all set to record this week’s solocast about the content from the workshop I taught earlier in the week and then someone asked me a question that took me in a completely different direction. The direction of how much agency owners need a posse.

I’ll get to the workshop content next time but for this solocast I followed the nudge of the question and talked about how agency owners can surround themselves with people who understand the grind and who can make the journey a little less lonely and frustrating.

We’ll talk about the different kinds of groups out there that serve as coaches, mentors, support teams and accountability buddies. We’ll explore why this matters and how it can serve you and your business. But most of all we’ll talk about how much easier life and work can be when you have a posse!

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today. AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The pros and cons of local business networking groups and what you can hope to get from one The importance of creating genuine connections inside your posse so they become your greatest supporters on both the best and worst days as a business owner How to build a mastermind group from scratch and fill it with the right peers The accountability that comes from having a strong peer group Being a good member of a peer group is about giving first. You will gain in proportion to what you give Why being an agency owner is one of the toughest jobs in the world and why AMI was started to give agency owners other owners in noncompetitive markets to confide in The virtual and in-person peer networks that AMI offers to pair agencies up with other agencies in non-competing markets Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 119: What Your Agency Needs to do to Compete Digitally, with Duane Melius

Jan 15, 2018 41:26

Description:

Duane Melius has worked eight years in journalism, social enterprise, and media production in London and over six years across Southeast Asia in a digital agency environment. He’s previously had clients in banking, automotive, food & hospitality, FMCG, entertainment, and more, and those clients have been both B2B and B2C. He has millions of dollars of Digital campaign experience. Duane specializes in growing teams that use digital channels to reach niche and mass audiences with ROI-enabled campaigns, activities, and retainers.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The challenges traditional agencies are facing in going digital Why you need to use digital in your personal life to be able to sell it (and why your team needs to do the same to create great digital content) The importance of mastering the area of digital your agency has as its core competency while keeping familiar with other areas Staying on top of what’s new in digital Qualities that make for great digital employees Using reporting to show your clients how your digital efforts are improving Ways to interview for new digital skillsets that you don’t have inside your agency yet Using a multi-step approval process to make sure mistakes don’t get made with digital content Making the content approval process easier on clients -- especially when there is compliance involved The good and the bad of digital tools (and why there’s often more bad than good, especially with social media) Why clients might start to take their social media in-house and what agencies can do to stay invaluable Unlocking the competitive advantage which exists within your people Ways to contact Duane Melius: Twitter: @dmelius

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 118: The New Tax Law and How It Impacts Agency Owners, with Eric Levenhagen

Jan 8, 2018 50:18

Description:

As soon as I heard the tax law had passed, I made one call – to Eric Levenhagen, my personal tax advisor who has helped me craft my own tax strategy for years and today works with many agency owners across the country.

I had two questions for him: 1) How do we need to alter the tactics we’ve been applying for my businesses and 2) Will you be on my podcast and help my listeners understand how the tax laws will impact them?

As you’ll hear, we got right to the heart of the matter and spent the entire episode talking specifics about how we can take advantage of the new law and what we’re going to have to shift because it’s no longer advantageous or possible.

I hope you’ll listen and walk away feeling like you have a better handle how the new tax law is going to impact your agency and your personal finances.

Eric Levenhagen founded ProWise Financial Coaching (formerly known as ProWise Tax & Accounting) in 2005 Eric’s mission is to perform a comprehensive service for his clients, unlike any other firm out there, and help clients lead a life of financial abundance.

Eric is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Tax Coach who integrates both disciplines into a holistic, client-centered approach towards maximizing his clients after-tax income and wealth.

Outside of the office, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife and kids. His hobbies include reading, following college and professional football, and music. Finally, Eric is an aspiring traveler and hopes to be able to take his family many places around the world someday.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: What isn’t changing with the new tax law The big deduction changes you need to know about (both for S Corps and C Corps) Income pass through: the specifics of the 20% deduction you will now get on income that rolls down to your personal taxes from your agency and any other businesses you may own (as long as you don’t make too much) Why we don’t know everything about the new tax law yet (and why it will take months or years to figure everything out) The loopholes that are going to appear in the next few years and why you need a tax strategist (and not just a tax preparer) to find you those loopholes How the new tax law will impact agencies that make stuff for clients and those that consult and sell their knowledge as a stand alone product How the way C Corps get taxed will help those making over $100,000 in net income but hurt those making under that threshold Are there any things that agency owners should shift from their personal taxes back to the business? Keeping versatility in your tax plan so you’re not stuck if and when things change again when the tax law changes again How to get your money out of your agency to invest elsewhere under the new tax law (and why it differs for S Corps and C Corps) Ways to contact Eric Levenhagen: Website: www.prowisefinancial.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 117: Why You Should Pair Inbound with Agile, with Jeremy Knight

Jan 1, 2018 56:25

Description:

Jeremy Knight spent 20 years as a B2B publisher creating publications for the private equity and fast growth business sectors. With digital technology, the Internet, and social web Jeremy believed making clients the publisher in a new media age was not just a good idea, it was the foundation for building a business. After all, building an audience was a better proposition than renting a list or leveraging third party routes to market, right? He launched Equinet Media in January 2009.

Discovering HubSpot in 2011 was a game changer. The blending of a content marketing play with an inbound methodology propelled the business forward as everything we did for clients had measurable outcomes. Today Equinet is an Inbound Agency, working specifically for the manufacturing and professional services sectors, operating on the EOS system and delivering services through an agile scrum process.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Jeremy’s transition from publisher to agency owner and the challenges he faced in that transition How Hubspot changed the game for Equinet -- even when it was far less powerful in 2011 than it is today Why CMOs are going to lead revenue and why sales and marketing are two halves of the same whole Hiring for attitude and training for aptitude instead of hiring based on skills alone Why you need to focus on developing different skills in all your team member when you keep all the work inside your agency and never outsource anything Why your team needs to have access to and understanding of the tools inside a tool like Hubspot, even if using them is not part of their day-to-day job What Agile is and how its point-based system works Learning how to implement Agile into your agency so that it matches up with inbound Why Agile doesn’t work the same for every agency and why you need to be ready to customize it Using Agile to figure out what works needs to be done to achieve the best results Why Jeremy uses two sets of points within Agile -- one for the value it provides a customer and another for the effort it takes his team Ways to contact Jeremy Knight: Website: www.equinetmedia.com Twitter: @TheJeremyKnight LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jeremyknight Email: jeremy@equinetmedia.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 116: Continually Hone Your Message, with Lindsay Grinstead

Dec 25, 2017 49:28

Description:

Lindsay Grinstead & Bill Boris-Schacter have lived and breathed the experiential marketing space collectively for over 50 years. They started Tonic Consulting Group to take that experience and help other live event agencies, and their partners, grow both their top and bottom line. Through their combined experience, they bring an operations and sales expertise to their clients.

Lindsay has worn a sales & marketing hat for her clients and her agency throughout her career. In her 15 years at Jack Morton Worldwide, she grew small accounts into huge ones and created a few award-winning programs along the way. Lindsay understands the challenges in finding and winning new business and how to organically grow business. She expertly navigated Fortune 500 companies, maximizing opportunities for revenue growth.

Every client calls Tonic looking to "grow". Lindsay & Bill help their clients identify what is hampering their growth, develop a roadmap to success and then roll up their sleeves & help implement the recommended changes.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Treating your employees as your first audience The importance of continually refining your agency’s message Why your agency must specialize Why agencies struggle seeing themselves (and their problems) clearly What happens to your agency if you take an opportunity that doesn’t fit your niche Using working documents to continually hone your agency’s message and why you need to have your team define your agency in their own words Why your clients need to have relationships with more than just one person inside your agency The dangers of keeping around employees that aren’t pulling their weight (even if they’ve been incredibly loyal to your agency for a long time) Why social media may not be the best place to get on your prospects’ radar screens Increasing the amount of work you do for clients who already love you Learning how to build your budgets and staff accordingly with the AOR relationships on the decline Ways to contact Lindsay Grinstead: Website: www.tonicconsultinggroup.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/10478278 Email: lindsay@tonicconsultinggroup.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 115: Use Your Agency Profits to Invest For Retirement, with Drew McLellan

Dec 18, 2017 18:32

Description:

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. For the past 23+ years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Agency ownership is challenging – be sure you maximize the benefits as well Get real about your compensation – chart out all of the ways the agency compensates you with pre-tax dollars for things you’d spend post tax dollars on otherwise All of our compensation isn’t monetary. You also have other amazing benefits and perks that come with owning the joint Putting your agency at the core of your retirement plan -- even if it doesn’t sell (most don’t) Building your wealth outside your agency while you still own it The danger of leaving too much of your own money inside the business Ways to invest your agency profits Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 114: The Five Stages of Sales, with Stephanie Chung

Dec 11, 2017 57:34

Description:

Based in Dallas, Stephanie Chung and Associates offer sales training, executive coaching, and small business mentorship services nationwide. Among her products is the High Ticket Selling Made Simple course, designed to help small business owners sell more and make more. As a former sales executive in the aviation and private jet industry, Stephanie has mastered the art of high ticket selling and has mentored, coached, and developed some of the highest paid, most elite, sales professionals in the country.

Serving business leaders, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals, Stephanie Chung uses her proven executive coaching and sales training expertise to drive your top line sales. Chung is an executive coach, trainer and advisor backed by more than 25 years of team management, business development, and sales leadership experience. Chung is also a public speaker, a contributor on ABC, CBS, NBC and author of “Profit Like a Girl: A Woman's Guide to Kicking Butt in Sales and Leadership” and “Embrace the Suck: How to Grow and Succeed in Business.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Doing sales right by caring about who you’re selling to and solving their problem How to identify your ideal prospects and actually get in front of them The importance of adding value beyond what you broadcast on your website How letting people talk about themselves increases the chance of a sale Why the agency owner is the best person to make the sale What to do to get comfortable with sales The five stages of sales Making the close extremely easy by setting it up from the beginning The importance of not being vague about when you’re going to follow up The preemptive strike: overcoming common objections from buyers by bringing them up yourself first Using silence as a tool when selling Why you can’t afford to spend time chasing people around How to get people to want to be your client Ways to contact Betsy McLarney: Website: www.stephaniechung.com Book (free download): "Profit Like A Girl: A Woman's Guide to Kicking Butt in Sales and Leadership"

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 113: How to Use Out of Home Media for B2B and B2C, with Betsy McLarney

Dec 4, 2017 44:21

Description:

With 19 years of Outdoor Advertising experience, Betsy McLarney has planned, managed, and executed many fully integrated Out of Home (OOH) advertising campaigns throughout North America and worldwide.

Today she leads a team of experienced, dedicated strategists who help clients maximize the potential of Outdoor advertising (OOH), by complementing a robust integrated media plan. EMC Outdoor works seamlessly with their agency clients or direct with a brand’s media department to deliver pitch-perfect programs and outstanding results each and every time. Complete client satisfaction is their ultimate goal.  

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Out of Home (OOH) media: what is it? How digital outdoor advertising really makes the experience come alive for consumers Using OOH to hit consumers with messages at multiple touch points throughout their day It’s not just for B2C: how B2B can utilize OOH to enhance their campaigns Using street teams effectively to get your message out to live people Why OOH isn’t just for national brands and can be used effectively for even local campaigns Matching the budget to where the OOH campaign can be the most effective Can OOH still be the main means of advertising? How OOH makes digital advertising more effective Creating buzz by finding creative ways to place ads outdoors Why outdoors isn’t the place to tell a big story Ways to contact Betsy McLarney: Website: www.emcoutdoor.com Email: bjm@emcoutdoor.com Resources: Outdoor Advertising Association of America: oaaa.org

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 112: How to do Automated Lead Gen, with Ryan O’Donnell

Nov 27, 2017 49:44

Description:

Ryan O'Donnell is a midwest kid who moved to NYC after college and landed a job on Wall Street making 500 calls a day. He hated it, followed a passion for tech, and ended up joining a company early that eventually sold to Yahoo for $850M. He grew a business unit from $0 - $20M and left Yahoo to startup.

Fast forward 3 meandering years trying to generate sales and Ryan decided to build a product to speed up the time to revenue for any business selling a product or service B2B called Sellhack. He’s successfully running this company today, helping his clients get in front of the right prospects faster and with a better close rate than they’d been doing on their own. He’s a father of 3, husband, and hobbyist prepper, and he’s in relentless pursuit of scratch golf.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why sales is all about automation and efficiency Using data to take the guesswork out of the prospect search Crafting compelling emails to prospects based on what you know about their competition (that you already work with) Figuring out how many prospects you need to capture every week at the top of your sales funnel in order to get the number of new leads you need at the bottom of the funnel SellHack’s algorithm for verifying the email address of a person who you might just know their name and company Replyify: a tool specifically devised for sending out cold email campaigns and building a sales process to contact prospects in other ways Strategies for crafting an email that works for cold selling B2B products and services How and when to ask to schedule time with a prospect Tiering your offerings and basing communication with prospects based on the tier Using the ideas from this podcast not only inside your agency, but also with your clients Ways to contact Ryan O'Donnell: Email: ryan@sellhack.com (email Ryan for the special offers)

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 111: Teach Clients What to Do -- Not How to Do It, with Sam Mallikarjunan

Nov 20, 2017 52:46

Description:

Sam Mallikarjunan is a Marketing Fellow at HubSpot and former Head of Growth at HubSpot Labs, the somewhat-secret experimental arm of the world’s #1 Sales & Marketing platform. Sam teaches Advanced Digital Marketing at the Harvard Division of Continuing Education, and he is also the co-author of the book How To Sell Better Than Amazon (which, thanks to the publisher, is ironically available for purchase on Amazon).  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The way the internet has changed selling so that there’s almost too much information How salespeople can help consumers sift through the breadth of information out there Structuring sales calls so they’re all about asking the buyers questions about their business The power of inbound: competition where no one else is competing Learning to say no to bad revenue Why you need to build buyer personas -- both for your ideal customers and customers that you don’t want to do business with because they’re going to cost you money Why clients need agencies to teach them what to do -- not how to do it Getting involved with your client’s complete business -- including the sales side of their business How to get your clients to treat your agency like a partner instead of a vendor Ways to contact Sam Mallikarjunan: Website: www.mallikarjunan.com Twitter: @Mallikarjunan Website: thinkgrowth.org

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 110: How Big Should You Build Your Agency? with Drew McLellan

Nov 13, 2017 40:23

Description:

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. For the past 23+ years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why all agencies weren’t made to grow to the same size (and why that’s okay) Why agency owners have to work extremely hard when they’re at 0-5 employees and why all the employees in an agency that size have to wear multiple hats The bench strength problem for agencies with 5-12 employees and why there might only be one employee with a certain skill and no one to back them up Why the systems in processes must change for an agency once it hits 12 employees The change around 15 employees that takes an agency from being a family to being a team The decision-making process: why decisions are made collectively before agencies reach 12 employees and why agency owners need to take more autonomy at times as the agency grows Why around 35 employees is a great size for agencies in terms of cash flow (and why a gorilla client can be very dangerous at this point) Bigger, better clients and bigger, better employees: why 35-65 employees is the point where agencies “level up” Why bigger doesn’t equal more profitable for agencies anymore Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 109: How to Build an Audience That Will Want to Buy Anything You Sell, with Joe Pulizzi

Nov 6, 2017 51:02

Description:

Joe Pulizzi is the founder of Content Marketing Institute which is now a UBM company. It is the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s fifth book “Killing Marketing” was just released. His third book, “Epic Content Marketing” was named one of “Five Must-Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The evolution of content marketing Focusing on your core verticals to help clients out with some part of the process that they’re terrible at How agencies can help clients build an audience of people that knows, likes, and trusts them and how that has a large impact over time Why elevating someone to the status of an expert with content marketing is a long-term process Focusing on clients that already value and have a budget for content marketing How delivering value to prospects on a long-term basis will all you to do business with them without going through an RFP How getting your audience to know, like, and trust you with content marketing will allow you to sell easily Some of the many different ways to monetize your customer list Changing the defined idea of marketing to match consumer behavior Why you can’t be everything to everybody and need to focus on a niche Why your sliver of opportunity to get started in on a niche is right now Ways to contact Joe Pulizzi: Twitter: @joepulizzi Website: www.joepulizzi.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 108: How to Win Your Next Client, with Steve Boehler

Oct 30, 2017 58:08

Description:

Steve Boehler is a founding partner at Mercer Island Group - a strategic management and marketing consultancy. The company has three key practice areas: strategic business consulting, organization effectiveness, and client-agency relationships. They help companies and executives succeed. One of the ways they do that is by helping them better position themselves and sell more effectively by better bonding with prospects around the prospects' needs. They work with agencies of all sizes and types as well as consult to major clients in the US and across the globe like Microsoft, Ulta Beauty, PetSmart, Starbucks and many other fine firms.

Steve started his career at Procter & Gamble - in his decade there he was the second youngest brand manager in that venerable company's history, turned around the Pringle's business, led Jif Peanut Butter to market leadership, and turned around the Tide business.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why clients likely don’t know about your agency and why you have to make yourself findable The importance of consistency with content creation Making your pitch unique so that it stands out from other agencies (and why agencies struggle with this so much) Selling and pitching: why it’s all about the prospect and their business and not about you The importance of doing your homework and actually bringing that homework into your presentation What to ask every client person in a pitch meeting to get them all involved Why you need to get prospects to agree to an agenda for a pitch meeting How getting prospects to define a problem helps to get them to buy into your solution Why you need to limit how you introduce your agency in a pitch to five slides (and what should be on those slides) What to leave with a prospect after the pitch Why you have to pitch to win Ways to contact Steve Boehler: Email: steveb@migroup.com Website: www.migroup.com Phone: (206) 236-0447 Resources: Layers of Sales episode

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 107: How to Make Money with Web Dev, with Luke Summerfield

Oct 23, 2017 55:39

Description:

Luke Summerfield wakes up each morning excited to discover, experience, and share moments of inspirations. He does this at HubSpot, advising startups, writing, and speaking.

He founded the Growth-Driven Design movement which is transforming the world of web design. In the first twelve months, they grew from 0 -> 940 agencies in 50 countries offering GDD services to clients. Previous to HubSpot, Luke helped grow a digital marketing agency until it was acquired in 2014.

Outside of work, he trains Mixed Martial Arts / Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and rough houses with his pug puppy, Mac.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Growth-driven design: what this “smarter way to do web design” is all about Why the platform you use for your website doesn’t matter with growth-driven design How growth-driven design was born out of the pain both agencies and clients felt around web development and why this system is so much better than previous ways of doing web dev Step 1: getting an empathetic understanding of your client’s audience’s world Step 2: building a “launch pad” website -- something that looks and performs better than what the client already has but is not the final product Step 3: continually improving websites How to sell and price growth-driven design to clients Why you should always sell at least 15 hours a month of growth-driven design and why you need at least a six month engagement from a client The stats that prove that growth-driven design gets more leads than traditional design Why growth-driven design still works great when you outsource the coding piece of web design All the assets Luke has on his website Ways to contact Luke Summerfield: Website: www.growthdrivendesign.com Report: www.growthdrivendesign.com/report Directory: www.growthdrivendesign.com/directory LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/lukesummerfield

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 106: What You Need to Know Before Taking Your Agency Virtual, with Gerald Sexton

Oct 16, 2017 44:46

Description:

Gerald Sexton is Director of Employee Enablement at Goodway Group.

Gerald joined Goodway in early 2016 and brings significant experience in leveraging human resources to improve business performance and employee experience. Throughout his career, he has worked in the consulting, medical, aerospace and defense, and satellite-entertainment industries. His most recent position as Senior Human Resources (HR) Manager for DIRECTV’s premier customer-retention center in Boise, Idaho, allowed him to demonstrate just how much impact a strong HR partnership can have. Using an integrated approach with site leadership, Gerald helped the site reduce attrition by 7 percent, creating three million in cost savings.

He holds a BS in psychology and an MA in organizational psychology. His fascination with solving complex problems in organizations led him to a career in HR with a strong emphasis on talent and organizational development.

Gerald has a passion for cooking and enjoys traveling (and eating food from) all over the world. He lives in Boise with his wife, Robyn, and daughter, Rowan.  

“Leaders of virtual teams need to be great at giving feedback and being transparent.” - Gerald Sexton What you’ll learn about in this episode: The history of Goodway Group How Goodway succeeds with a virtual company with employees in 41 states The best tools for managing a virtual company What Gerald looks for in the hiring process to figure out if someone is suited for the hiring process or not Why Goodway looks at their team members results -- not their hours working How to build and maintain a strong company culture when running a virtual team Goodway’s twice-yearly all company meet-up The costs involved in a virtual team The benefits of working from home -- both on personal and business life Giving your team the freedom to plan out their day in a way that works best for them Why leaders of virtual teams need to be great at giving feedback and being transparent Why -- if you’re not comfortable going all virtual -- you should start small -- but not too small -- and build from there Benefits Goodway offers their employees that they couldn’t offer if they had a physical location How to get started trying going virtual

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 105: Are Creative Directors Going to be Extinct? with Drew McLellan

Oct 9, 2017 18:03

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 23 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why the days where creative led agencies have passed and why creative has been replaced by strategy, content, and lead gen The shortage of writers compared to the abundance of art directors and why that’s a pretty big issue for agencies Why creative directors aren’t in that high of demand anymore, and what traditional creative directors look like in the agencies that have them Administrative, account service, and creative services: the three departments that make up most agencies today The triad of leadership - a writer, art director, and digital producer lead the creative services department in lieu of a creative director Why you don’t usually even need to produce spec creative for a pitch anymore Figuring out which roles inside your agency you still need Allocating funds from cut positions elsewhere to serve your clients better Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 104: How to Scale Your Agency and Prevent Scope Creep, with Ryan Meo

Oct 2, 2017 53:06

Description:

Ryan Meo has worked with hundreds of agencies and built thousands of websites over the years. About 10 years ago he started a company called Sitetology which turned into TheWebsiteProject.org and has been recently re-branded to ScaleSquad.com. They are a private label website services outsource solution for freelancers, small agencies, and even big agencies. They have helped more agencies than they can count go from trying to do everything on their own, to having a dependable, scalable, and affordable solution.
 

“The only way to scale a service-based business is by learning how to say ‘no’ appropriately.” - Ryan Meo

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Ryan started selling websites — even though he didn’t know how to build them Taking a custom service like web design and making it scalable Why you have to prevent scope creep by being firm with clients on what their deliverables are (or by moving them up to a higher package) How Ryan is able to charge a low, flat rate for his websites and why he puts a lot of focus on what isn’t included in those packages Why you shouldn’t turn away customers who can’t afford your bespoke services Why agencies make a big mistake by talking too much in the initial call with a prospect Building a strong relationship with an outsourced web-dev shop like Ryan’s Why your project manager makes or breaks your agency The importance of over-communication How to mitigate unrealistic expectations What the ideal agency looks like for Ryan The Golden Nugget:

“The only way to scale a service-based business is by learning how to say ‘no’ appropriately.” – Ryan MeoCLICK TO TWEET

 

Ways to contact Ryan: Website: scalesquad.com Email: ryan@scalesquad.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 103: Thought Leadership Isn’t Optional, with John Hall

Sep 25, 2017 49:46

Description:

John Hall is co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co., a content marketing agency that helps companies and individuals extract and leverage their expertise to create, publish, and distribute content to their key audiences.

In five years, John has grown Influence & Co. into one of the largest providers of high-quality expert content to more than 1,000 of the world’s top publications. Under John’s leadership, Influence & Co. was ranked No. 72 on Forbes’ “Most Promising Companies in America” list in 2014 and was named Empact’s “Best Marketing and Advertising Company of 2014” at the United Nations. Influence & Co. was also recently mentioned in Inc. as the No. 1 company dominating content marketing.

John has weekly columns for Forbes and Inc. and has contributed to more than 50 publications, including  Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, The Washington Post, and Mashable. John was recently recognized as a “must-see” and one of the most authentic speakers in Forbes. His talks have inspired thousands of leaders, marketers, salespeople, entrepreneurs, and others to improve their performance.

 

“If you don’t work hard on thought leadership, you will be passed by a competitor who does.” - John Hall

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Thought leadership: why it’s something you have to do Creating a thought leadership content marketing blueprint Why your blogs should have the author’s name for a byline -- not the agency’s name Strategies for creating content that isn’t generic How to build thought leadership into your schedule so that you actually spend time on it -- and what to do if you can’t Finding the ideal mix for publishing content on your own site vs. externally Big mistakes agencies make with their content Why thought leadership content marketing is here for the long haul Ways to contact John: Email: john@influenceandco.com Twitter: @johnhall Website: www.influenceandco.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/johnhall4 Book: “Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You”

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 102: Why Your Agency Needs a Visionary and an Integrator, with Mark Winters.

Sep 18, 2017 57:47

Description:

Mark Winters’ passion is helping entrepreneurs get unstuck so they can pursue their freedom. Depending on the unique situation, Mark’s talent for introducing just the right combination of perspective and process sparks teams to start moving, move faster, or begin moving in the proper direction - with clarity. As a teacher, coach, and facilitator, Mark spends most of his time directly engaged with entrepreneurial leadership teams as a Certified EOS Implementer—helping them implement EOS in their own companies. He's delivered over 400 full-day EOS workshops with companies from around the U.S.

Mark has been an entrepreneur since the age of 28, after catching the “bug” during B-school at the University of Chicago. At last count, he's started/bought/sold/shut down 11 different companies. One recent venture, as a Founder and CEO, had a very successful exit – yielding a 100x cash return in less than 3 yrs. All this activity has led to some recognition, including being named a Tech Titan finalist as an emerging company CEO, and listed as “40 Under Forty” by the Business Journal in both Milwaukee and Dallas. Mark is a "Freedom Forum" member as an EOS Implementer. He was also awarded Rookie of the Year and Chair Excellence distinctions by Vistage International.  

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The “visionary” and the “integrator” from “Rocket Fuel” by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters How visionaries and integrators can build trust so that integrators can take control of what visionaries create What business owners need to do when they are an integrator and they need a visionary (most owners are visionaries) If you are a visionary, how to determine if you have an integrator on your team and what to do if you don’t The seven-step visionary integrator connection process for finding the right integrator How to know if you’re going to be able to sell your agency to your integrator or not (and what your exit plan can look like in both scenarios) Things that make visionary-integrator relationships fall apart The five rules and five tools for visionaries and integrators Assessing whether you need an integrator Why you need to read “Rocket Fuel” The Rocket Fuel Maximizer for getting more out of this topic Ways to contact Mark Winters: Website: www.rocketfuelnow.com Twitter: @MarkCWinters LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/markcwinters YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/PelotonVentures

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 101: Lead Your Business with Clearly Defined Principles, with John Rossman.

Sep 11, 2017 47:11

Description:

John Rossman is Managing Director at Alvarez and Marsal, a keynote speaker, and an author. John is an expert at crafting and assisting clients to implement innovative and digital business models and capabilities including Internet of Things, marketplaces, and API driven platform business models. He is a sought after speaker on creating a culture of operational excellence and innovation. John has worked with clients across various industries, including retail, insurance, education, forest products, industrial products, and transportation.

John’s notable assignments include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Nordstrom. and several of the world’s leading retail and insurance organizations. Prior to A&M, John was an executive at Amazon.com where he launched the third party selling platform and ran the merchant services business.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why you need to get really clear on what your future looks like John’s favorite Amazon leadership principles Why you need to be proactive and take action The importance of prioritizing getting to the right answer over getting along Structuring interviews so you find the employees that are actually willing to grow and improve Amazon’s “think big” and why it’s all about experimentation John’s best hiring practices like getting independent opinions before making a hire Strategies for breaking something down to its simplest form How to get your employees to take ownership in your business How to communicate principles in a way that everyone understands they’re the standard How John helps companies figure out their principles The impact having clear principles has on a business Ways to contact John Rossman: Website: the-amazon-way.com/build

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Episode 100: Different Ways to Structure Your Agency and Still Make Money, with Drew McLellan.

Sep 4, 2017 35:57

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Two types of agencies: “Artisan bakery agencies” (every project they produce is custom made for a client) and “Wonder Bread factory agencies” (where they follow systems and processes to produce the same limited set of things for every client) Why clients often work with both of these kinds of agencies, sometimes even at the same time Misconceptions owners of both kinds of agencies have about each other Assessing what type of agency you own (and why it may fall in the middle of these two types) Some of the pros of running an “Artisan bakery agency”: you can hire millennials, you can be a partner for your clients, and the prestige that comes with the work Some of the pros of running a “Wonder Bread factory agency”: you have a lot of clients and losing one won’t kill you, cheaper employees, the agency is easier to sell, and clients are easier to obtain Why “Artisan bakery agencies” still need to specialize and focus on their niche Aligning your goals with the kind of agency that helps you fill those goals Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 99: How to Nurture Relationships to Build Your Network, with David Fisher.

Aug 28, 2017 53:55

Description:

David J.P. Fisher (D. Fish) is a speaker, coach, and best-selling author of 7 books including the best-selling “Hyper-Connected Selling: Winning More Business by Leveraging Digital Influence and Creating Human Connection” and “Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Network Sucks and What to Do About It.” Building on 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and sales professional, he combines nuanced strategy and real-world tactics to help professionals become more effective, efficient, and happy. He helps them understand the new landscape of Hyper-Connected Selling, where social media, networking, and old-school sales and communication skills are the key to providing value and staying relevant. He lives in Evanston, IL – next to a huge cemetery which helps him appreciate the value of every day.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why you can’t rely on referrals for new business Networking: why it’s relational -- not transactional How to build your network so it's stronger and serves your business better Why size matters in your network -- and why not every connection has to be a strong one Leveraging the social capital you create and making the ask at a time where you don’t come off as desperate How to build and nurture relationships Why young professionals really need to work on building their network The power of the one-on-one and taking the opportunity to build deep relationships with people Making sure social media is actually in service of your network building Why the way we sell has to change in response to the change in the way people buy How to sell by being the expert and guiding people through the information they already have Using thought leadership to position yourself to be the one people turn to for help Why you should aim to be a micro-influencer for a specific niche instead of trying to influence a broad topic (like marketing, PR, digital, etc.) Ways to contact David Fisher: Website: davidjpfisher.com Twitter: @dfishrockstar LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/iamdfish Books: www.amazon.com/David-J.P.-Fisher/e/B00SF5CXQQ/

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 98: How to Talk to Prospects to Win Their Business, with Robin Boehler.

Aug 21, 2017 53:15

Description:

Robin Boehler is a co-founder of Mercer Island Group, a boutique Marketing and Management Consultancy, a pre-eminent agency search consultant to clients and growth advisors to agencies of all sizes in the world. She loves making matches between agencies and clients. She thinks of the review process as a form of dating and loves helping agencies put their best feet forward.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Getting the agency-client relationship right from the very beginning Why truly differentiating your agency is so crucial The importance of doing your research on a prospect before ever speaking to them and how to do it well Why you should never start out a pitch talking about your agency (and when is the right time to do so) Why networking is the best way to get the opportunity to have quality conversations with prospects How to spark curiosity in communication to prospects Robin’s strategy for reaching out to connections that you haven’t spoken to in a while Why you shouldn’t hold back a really smart question just because you don’t want a competing agency to hear it Why each conversation you have with a prospect is the only one that matters Why you must show true interest in a prospect’s business and then learn from what the prospect tells you Ways to contact Robin Boehler: Website: www.migroup.com Phone: (206)236-0447

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 97: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Podcasting, with Rob Walch.

Aug 14, 2017 49:54

Description:

Rob Walch was inducted into the Podcasting Hall of Fame in 2016. Rob is the Vice President of Podcaster Relations for Libsyn (LSYN) having joined Libsyn in 2007. Prior to joining Libsyn, he founded podCast411, Inc in 2004. Rob is Co-Author of the book “Tricks of the Podcasting Masters” in 2006, an editors pick as a Top 10 Reference book for 2006 by Amazon.com. Rob was listed as the 5th most influential person in podcasting according to the book “Podcasting for Dummies” Wiley Press 2005. He has consulted on podcasting for Jack Welch, Senator Edwards, Governor Bill Richardson, Noah Shanok (Stitcher), Tim Ferriss, Dr. Mark Hyman, and the Sacramento Kings/Monarchs to name just a few. He is also a monthly columnist for Podertainment: The Podcast Magazine. Rob is a member of the IAB Podcasting Working groups.

Rob started podcasting in 2004, and is the host of the award-winning podCast411 podcast, where he has interviewed such prominent podcasters as Quincy Jones, Walt Mossberg, Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Ronald Moore (Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica), Phil Gordon (World Series of Poker), Larry Kudlow (CNBCs Kudlow and Company), and Leo Laporte (TechTV, G4 TV). Additionally, Rob is host of Today in iOS (iPhone) Podcast, the first and largest podcast about the iPhone and also the KC Startup 411 podcast which covers the Kansas City Startup scene.

Since 2004 Rob has presented at well over 100 events about podcasting.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Rob moved podcasting from his hobby to his career The biggest and most important trends in podcasting Why you should record a couple podcasts before you release your first one -- but not so many that you never release one The importance of having a way for your podcast listeners to contact you Editing: an absolute must when it comes to podcasting How many downloads the average podcast gets and how many downloads you need to make money Different ways to monetize your podcast How often to release an episode Why you should never release an episode if it’s not ready How to find great guests Why you should edit out when a guest goes into full sales mode The things you must do for your guests as a host Why you shouldn’t ask the same questions to every guest The mistake podcasters make when they feel indebted to their guests instead of their audience How to start being a guest on podcasts you like Why your podcast has to be about what you’re interested in regardless of whether that is popular or not Why podcasts are much better than blogs Ways to contact Rob Walch: Email: rob@libsyn.com Website: www.podcast411.com Website: www.libsyn.com Book: "Tricks of the Podcasting Masters"

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 96: Driving Leads and Sales Through Conversion Optimization, with Justin Christianson.

Aug 7, 2017 50:41

Description:

Justin Christianson is a 15-year digital marketing veteran and #1 bestselling author of “Conversion Fanatic: How to double your customers, sales and profits with A/B testing.” He is also the co-founder and President of Conversion Fanatics, a full-service conversion optimization company, and the host of the weekly podcast CMO Roundtable.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Conversion Fanatics was born Why you have to track and learn why people do what they do The basics of conversions Big mistakes people make when attempting to get people to convert How to start testing for conversions How to get your clients to actually do case studies Some of the most surprising things Justin has learned from conversion testing What makes an employee good for conversion work Why split (A/B) testing and conversion optimization are two very different things Why you must approach working with other agencies for a client with no ego VR and video: why these two technologies are only going to grow in the future How Justin stays on the cutting edge How to pick the clients that are right for your agency Ways to contact Justin Christianson: Website: conversionfanatics.com Book: "Conversion Fanatic" Podcast: blog.conversionfanatics.com/podcast Resources: Meclabs Institute Conversion XL

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 95: How to Build a Leadership Team That Makes Your Agency Better, with Drew McLellan.

Jul 31, 2017 28:04

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.” 

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Reasons to build a leadership team Why you should never start a leadership team out of frustration or overwhelm Why your leadership team is a great place to mentor employees ready for the next level How building a leadership team fits into your succession plan What kinds of employees should be on your leadership team (and why you shouldn’t just look at employees with certain titles) The huge decisions that you as the agency owner have to make before having your first leadership team meeting What leadership team meetings should accomplish Why every leadership team member needs to leave the meeting with a goal to accomplish before the next meeting How to decide when to include your leadership team in the decision-making (and the three levels of decision-making you can use) Why you need to have SMART goals for your leadership team Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 94: How to Find and Get the Right Speaking Engagements, with Gene Hammett.

Jul 24, 2017 53:46

Description:

Gene Hammett turns everyday entrepreneurs into FORCES of nature in their market. He sorts through the complexities of business strategies to help you “be THE choice, not just a choice.”

Gene has been a business leader for 20+ years. He started and ran multiple million dollar companies. He succeeded, failed, reinvented himself, and succeeded again. He can pass along to you the key lessons he’s learned in the process so you can have a business that is both successful and fulfilling.

On his podcast, Leaders in the Trenches, Gene has interviewed hundreds of world thought leaders and best-selling New York Times authors. Gene has been featured in Forbes, Success Magazine, Business Insider, and INC Magazine. Gene is also a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine.

In all of his keynotes, Gene uses personal stories and humor to clarify key points. This message is a unique approach to how stepping out of your comfort zone, thinking differently, and innovating can lead to increased market share and trusted authority status. Gene always gives powerful strategies to be implemented right away to create immediate results.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Gene became a coach after losing 3 million dollars The real reasons you should be speaking (it’s not a speaker’s fee) Why you shouldn’t shy away from the “breakout” sessions at conferences as a speaker The opportunity for diverse speakers Why being a generalist is dangerous for speakers Why great content rules over speaking skills Giving attendees permission to come and find you instead of trying to sell from the stage Why you need to build relationships before filling out the speaker submission form How to figure out what to speak about Getting on the radar of the conferences by you want to speak at through writing Gene’s 5-day “authority gap” challenge Ways to Contact Gene Hammett: The “Authority Gap” challenge: leadersinthetrenches.com/challenge Free researched list of conferences and guide typically only available for Gene’s clients: leadersinthetrenches.com/ami

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 93: The Do’s and Don’ts of New Business, with Lisa Colantuono.

Jul 17, 2017 55:17

Description:

Not only does Lisa believe in enduring partnerships that matter, but she actively participates in creating them. Having consulted on and managed agency reviews including Lee Jeans, Panera Bread, and Subaru - just to name three of the reviews AAR has conducted for clients in virtually every major industry - Lisa tackles and solves the most vexing agency search challenges and has enabled hundreds of marketers to meet and/or exceed their business goals. Described as an agency search consultant whose unique perspective is highly valued, Lisa counsels both marketers and communications agencies on their business and branding efforts.

In addition to her role as a consultant, she has created a new business service center for agencies by co-founding Access Confidential in 2005. The comprehensive new business research tool has become the go-to resource helping communications agencies to prospect smart and avoid the pitch!

Lisa also works with the academic world including Wharton's Future of Advertising Program, as well as teaching as an adjunct advertising professor at NYIT. Many of her articles on the subject of client/agency relations have been printed in industry trades such as Forbes, Huffington Post, Advertising Age, Adweek, and HubSpot Blogs Agency Post. Lisa is also part of the industry speaking circuit presenting at national conferences including AAF, HOW Design Live, Mirren, and Ad Age Small Agency Conference.

Lisa recently wrote the book "@AARLlisa: New Biz in 140 Characters (or less)."  

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The simple mistakes agencies make in the new business search process Why complacency is a big problem for agencies The importance of continuing to court your current clients Why chemistry is so vital in an agency-client relationship Prospecting smarter with Lisa’s Four T’s Building relationships by teaching Why you need to know what your agency is -- and isn’t -- good at What to do when executives change (both on client and agency sides) Finding project work for your agency (and growing that into a larger relationship) The danger of coming off as desperate to leads Why you need at least one person whose job is new business The importance of an integrated new business plan Ways to Contact Lisa Colantuono: Email: lisa@aarpartners.com or l2@aarpartners.com Book: "@AARLlisa: New Biz in 140 Characters (or less)"

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 92: Driving New Business Through a Great First Impression, with John Heenan.

Jul 10, 2017 50:54

Description:

John Heenan is a former Chief Marketing Officer / New Business Leader at a variety of small and mid-size agencies responsible for business development and agency marketing. Before that, he worked on the client side managing advertising and agencies for big global brands like Sony, Phillips, and Uniden.

He has created and managed successful business development programs for small, medium, and large agencies generating millions of dollars in agency revenue. He has managed multi-million dollar ad budgets as a client, hired talent, built competitive advantage, and inspired great outcomes in support of business objectives.

John has also worked with some of the top innovative brands and aggressive advertising agencies in the world in both traditional and digital channels. Having been on both sides of the client-agency relationship, he has a unique understanding of what clients want and what agencies deliver. Today he is putting that experience to work for a small group of agencies who struggle to grow.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The experiences John had on the client side that led him to working on matching up agencies and clients Why cohesive culture throughout the agency matters for clients Why you must treat your agency as your #1 client Crafting the first impression that leads will have of your agency The importance of getting crystal clear on what your agency is selling Director of Delivery: an important role inside modern agencies to make sure agencies deliver to clients Why agency owners need to get out of the day-to-day and focus on new business What John does differently to help agencies with new business Why your agency needs to be rapidly changing Ways to Contact John Heenan: Website: www.jheenan.com Email: john@jheenan.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 91: Creating Content that Attracts the Right Clients, with C.C. Chapman.

Jul 3, 2017 52:16

Description:

C.C. Chapman describes himself as a New England raised storyteller, explorer, and humanitarian. Others have described him as a thought leader in the online marketing space, a grounded futurist and one the nicest guy on the Internet. Over the years of his career, he has worked with a variety of clients including Nike, HBO, American Eagle Outfitters, ONE, Verizon FiOS, and The Coca-Cola Company.

He is the co-author of the International bestseller “Content Rules” and is also the author of “Amazing Things Will Happen.” He travels the world speaking in front of audiences to do more in the world and how to understand content marketing better. C.C. has taught classes for Lynda.com, CreativeLive and now as an adjunct professor at Bentley University (where he also graduated from).

C.C. is an advocate who speaks about building passionate communities and the strategic values of content-based marketing. He is a Samsung Imagelogger, the original ONE Dad and a UN Foundation Social Good Fellow. As a storyteller for hire, his work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

C.C. serves as the Chairman of the Board at Wediko and serves on the board of The Hockey Foundation. He happily lives in the woods outside of Boston with his loving family.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Social Good: giving your employees an opportunity to make a difference How to pick the right cause for your agency to support Don’t be too humble: why you need to talk about the non-profit work that you do The International bestseller “Content Rules” C.C. co-authored Speak Human: the most violated rule from “Content Rules” Differentiation: what makes your agency different? Creating content that plays to your strengths Why you can’t afford not to have content for yourself (and how to get it produced if you honestly don’t have the time to do it personally) Building trust by giving away at least pieces of what you do How to make your content stand out from all the other content out there Connecting your offline life with your digital presence Doing a regular social media audit to make sure your content is presenting your agency the way you want to be presented Ways to Contact C.C. Chapman: Website: www.cc-chapman.com Twitter: @cc_chapman Book: "Content Rules"

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 90: The Top Agency Trends of 2017 (Part 2), with Drew McLellan.

Jun 26, 2017 32:00

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Augmented reality and virtual reality: what you need to know about this technology that is coming fast Influencer marketing: connecting your client’s brand with their audience through social influencers who have built an audience around a specific topic Ratings & Reviews: How agencies can turn a profit by solving this problem for existing clients (and how to use it as a door-opener for prospects) Why agencies are developing relationships with more people inside companies than just CMOs Why you need to play nice with the other agencies that you share a client with If you’re not being offered exclusivity, do you need to offer it in return? Selling what you know and what you think instead of “stuff” ROI: why it’s not an optional conversation Why you need to be transparent on your fees Bragworthy benefits like a student loan repayment program Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 89: How to Use Content to Position Your Agency, with Simon Thompson.

Jun 19, 2017 45:28

Description:

Simon Thompson is the founder of Content Kite, a content marketing company that helps digital agencies increase their quality and number of leads through content marketing.

Simon has held content marketing roles for some of the largest digital publishers in Australia such as Mi9 (Microsoft + Ch9), Daily Mail, and MTV. He’s worked on content projects for major global brands such as L'Oreal, Nissan, BMW, Adidas, Disney, and Mondelez, to name a few.

Whilst he was in a good place in his publisher roles in Australia, the entrepreneurial bug eventually took hold, and he decided to go out on his own and start Content Kite. He now runs Content Kite full-time and hasn't looked back.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Keeping your content interesting and on topic for the problems your customers need solving Focusing all your content so it moves toward the same goal Optimizing your content to collect email addresses and then regularly engaging with those people How to effectively repurpose content across multiple mediums The frequency which you must create content Why you need to spend as much time promoting a piece of content as you do creating it Influencer outreach: how to actually get people to share your content by positioning them as authorities Tools for mapping out your editorial calendar Why you must share a piece of content more than once How Content Kite works with agencies to create amazing content Ways to Contact Simon Thompson: Free 7 Day Email Course: contentkite.com/baba

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 88: The Best Channels for Capturing Leads, with Alex Berman.

Jun 12, 2017 47:29

Description:

Alex Berman is the founder and SVP of Operations of a marketing and lead generation firm Experiment27. Alex is responsible for generating over $2.5 million in B2B sales and over $50 million in leads for his clients. He also creates weekly videos to help agency owners grow their businesses and bring in more revenue teaching them how to optimize B2B sales cycles and put inbound marketing strategies in place.

Alex was also Chief Marketing Sumo at InspireBeats, a company valued at over $100 million, former Director of Marketing at three time INC 5000 company Dom & Tom. He is also a network video partner for Entrepreneur Magazine.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The massive opportunity outbound marketing provides for agencies How to know if your marketing strategy is the right marketing strategy What to measure with your tracking software to make sure your leads are working The best channels for capturing leads Tailoring cold calls to the target Why cold emails need to be short and to the point Partnering with other agencies to take on overflow work/give away your overflow work How to capture leads at meetups/in-person events Making yourself memorable by connecting people How to do the follow-up right (it differs if you’ve actually met them or not) Why you need to set a KPI Ways to Contact Alex Berman: Email: alex@experiment27.com Website: experiment27.com YouTube: b2bsalestraining.org

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 87: What Your Key Executive Needs From You, with Craig Barnes.

Jun 5, 2017 53:06

Description:

Craig Barnes consults with owners of small to midsize advertising agencies to improve their people, processes and profitably. It’s the sum of a lot of experiences across 30+ years of owning and operating an advertising agency.

He learned early on that operating an agency was both rewarding and challenging and benefitted from seeking the counsel of others to help guide a path to growing his three-location agency.

As a 15+ year member of an AMI owner network group, Craig has fully lived AMI’s mission “to help agency owners increase their AGI, attract better clients and employees, mitigate the risks of being self employed in a such volatile business and best of all — let the agency owner actually enjoy the perks of owning the joint.”

While still involved with his agency, Craig now spends the majority of his time working with owners who seek AMI’s assistance to achieve their goals.

He has a passion for a hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves approach to analyzing issues and developing actionable solutions.

An amateur chef, Craig enjoys cooking for family and friends and has a not so secret desire to spend part of the year in Italy. He’ll also gladly share recipes with you.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The key executives (#1s) group Craig facilitates for AMI What makes key executives so valuable Integrators: the employees that don’t want to be owners and just want to pull the levers How we as agency owners make life hard for integrators by not letting go of control Having an empowerment agreement with your #1s for setting expectations for who gets to control what Setting regular meetings with your key executive that you do not break How agency owners can know whether or not they’re ready for a #1 to take things over Traits that make for a great key executive How to compensate your #1s The impact key executives are having on agencies by committing to goals

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 86: New Business Requires Consistency, with Dave Currie.

May 29, 2017 45:38

Description:

Dave Currie is the CEO of List Partners Inc., the home of: Winmo, Localead, and Catapult. He is a leading entrepreneur in sales intelligence and lead generation for the advertising, media and tech industry. Having joined List Partners Inc., in 2005 when he was 26, he has led the company and its brands on a rapid growth path, one recognized by their customers and the industry at large as one of the leading and fastest growing private companies in America.

Best known as the agency new business implementation go-to-guy, Dave has lead proactive and organic business development programs for regional, national and global agencies for the past 16 years. When you commit to growing your agency, Dave and his team are one of the very first ports of call.

Dave collaborates with agencies, their owners, leadership teams and new business directors, helping them calibrate their agency to market, and most importantly implementing effective new business programs that produce the desired sales results.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How the List has evolved over the years and what they do today to help agencies grow through their three brands Winmo, Localead, and Catapult The biggest mistake agencies make in their business development efforts: not having a plan List’s CMO tenure study How successful CMOs keep agency relationships longer than their less successful counterparts Why agency-client relationships moving away from AOR engagements is a great opportunity for agencies Separating marketing and sales and giving them their own plans Building sales plans for both growing business with existing customers and bringing in new customers How small agencies can win huge projects Why being the one to implement shouldn’t be the goal of your first conversation with a marketer Why you must keep your nano list -- your list for sales -- to 25-30 Ways to Contact Dave Currie: Email: davec@thelistinc.com Twitter: @NewBizDingo LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/davecurrielpi The List: www.thelistinc.com Winmo: www.winmo.com Localead: www.localead.com Catapult: www.catapultnewbusiness.com Resources: CMO Tenure Study Report

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 85: The Top Agency Trends of 2017 (Part 1), with Drew McLellan.

May 22, 2017 22:36

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today. AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why agency owners are confident again and why new business is easier to come by right now The trend where talent inside agencies has become a scarce resource What to do about having to hire underskilled employees The challenge of providing clients with the right data Having an answer when clients ask agencies about diversity Opportunities for agencies with old school media Why you have to be great at marketing automation Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

Episode 84: How to Solve Tough Problems, with Tim Sanders.

May 15, 2017 53:16

Description:

Tim Sanders is a veteran sales, marketing, and HR leader with expertise in sales collaboration, relationship management, leadership, and customer experience design. For almost 20 years, Tim Sanders has closed deals and led B2B sales teams to victory using his Dealstorming methodology. He was an early member of Mark Cuban's broadcast.com and then later, CSO at Yahoo during their best days. Today he consults with leading companies on how to drain their pipeline, secure major accounts, and beat the competition with teamwork. Financial Times calls his latest book, “Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges” a 'force multiplier.' He gives some unconventional insights that just may get you to the finish line on your next big selling opportunity.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Tim’s start in sales working for a radio station Dealstorming: how Tim took dealmaking and brainstorming and put them together The difference between collaboration and cooperation How to strategically build your dealstorm team Turning your peer group into “competimates” that you can collaborate with to make each other stronger Why you absolutely need diverse perspectives in the room (and why you should have an external voice on your dealstorm team) The secrets to making your dealstorm meeting a magic meeting with results New business through rapid problem solving The hacker, the chef, and the artist: the three personas for solving different problems How leaders lead culture Ways to Contact Tim Sanders: Website: timsanders.com Free chapter of “Dealstorming”: dealstorming.net/free

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 83: How to Start Working on New Business, with Jake Jorgovan.

May 8, 2017 49:36

Description:

For several years Jake owned a video production agency. His business partner was the brilliant technician and he was the guy who got the agency the work. Jake landed multiple Fortune 500 clients and A-List touring artists by running a dream client campaign.

After leaving the video agency, Jake went out and worked as a digital marketing and web consultant for several years and eventually realized that he was much better at getting the work than he was doing it. At that point, Jake started pairing with other agencies to help them win more clients.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why you need to look at new business as an art form How to get started getting better at new business How to make the most of your time at conferences as it relates to new business How to effectively follow up with contacts you make at conferences How to stay top of mind with people who aren’t ready to buy now Why your prospect list can’t be too big and why you need to stay very personal with them Why strategic partnerships have gotten even more important as agencies become specialists Why you need to carve out at least an hour a day for working on new business (and why it’s a good idea to do it away from the office) Why you need to figure out what your actionable objectives are and then break them down How to get referrals that are exact fits for the kinds of clients you want Ways to Contact Jake Jorgovan: Website: Jake-Jorgovan.com Upcoming book: WinYourDreamClients.com Resources: Blog: How to 10x the results from the next conference you attend by Jake Jorgovan

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 82: How to Stay Top of Mind, with John Hall.

May 1, 2017 49:36

Description:

John Hall is co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co., a content marketing agency that helps companies and individuals extract and leverage their expertise to create, publish, and distribute content to their key audiences.

In five years, John has grown Influence & Co. into one of the largest providers of high-quality expert content to more than 1,000 of the world’s top publications. Under John’s leadership, Influence & Co. was ranked No. 72 on Forbes’ “Most Promising Companies in America” list in 2014 and was named Empact’s “Best Marketing and Advertising Company of 2014” at the United Nations. Influence & Co. was also recently mentioned in Inc. as the No. 1 company dominating content marketing.

John has weekly columns for Forbes and Inc. and has contributed to more than 50 publications, including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, The Washington Post, and Mashable. John was recently recognized as a “must-see” and one of the most authentic speakers in Forbes. His talks have inspired thousands of leaders, marketers, salespeople, entrepreneurs, and others to improve their performance.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: John’s new book "Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You" How John’s book fits into his thought leadership strategy Why staying top of mind is a great strategy for developing trust Short-term to long-term memory: consistently engaging people so that they remember forever Why you need to make yourself approachable Why showing your failings and foibles does not diminish your thought leadership Why you must understand what is truly helpful for individuals Why you must help people without expecting anything in return How to tell people how you helped them without it sounding self-serving Why you shouldn’t be too aggressive and should build a relationship over time Why you need to start small with changing how you relate to others Ways to Contact John Hall: Email: john@influenceandco.com Twitter: @johnhall Website: www.influenceandco.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/johnhall4 Book: "Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You"

Episode 81: How to Become the King of Your Category, with Christopher Lochhead.

Apr 24, 2017 59:55

Description:

Christopher Lochhead is co-author of Harper Collins' instant classic “Play Bigger” and host of the Legends and Losers podcast.

Christopher is a retired three-time, Silicon Valley, public company CMO, entrepreneur and category designer. Fast Company Magazine calls him a "Human Exclamation Point and The Economist calls him "off-putting to some. He can recite much of The Big Lebowski but can't remember his wife's phone number. He's a proud advisor to nonprofit 1 Life Fully Lived, an ass-kicking public speaker, and surf / ski bum living happily ever after in Santa Cruz California with a wonderful tribe and 7 beautiful hens.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Chris’ career journey that took him from Silicon Valley CMO to coach to podcast host Chris’ book: “Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets” What category design is and why every agency needs to get great at it Why “category” is as important as “product” and “company” How to position your agency in a category that you can dominate The two kinds of problems that need solving The three questions to ask to start creating your category to dominate The three ways service-based businesses make money Why your client base may change after you define your category (and why that’s perfectly okay) Why your agency can still do work that doesn’t fit exactly in your category if needed (the kids gotta eat!) as long as the perception of your agency stays within your category Why legendary category designers always expand what they do Why becoming a category king is going to take a leap of faith And tons of examples of category kings that have done what it takes to stand out amongst the competition Ways to Contact Christopher Lochhead: Podcast: www.legendsandlosers.com Book: "Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets"

Episode 80: Minority Partnerships – the Good, Bad and the Ugly, with Drew McLellan.

Apr 17, 2017 22:22

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why you need think long and hard before making employees partners Why partnerships will look different if you’re a C Corp than any other structure (S Corp, LLC, etc.) Why you need to make sure someone actually wants to be a partner before you offer them a partnership Why you need to sell shares and not gift shares Why you should only bring on one partner at a time Why -- if your employee doesn’t have the skills they need to be a partner -- and they probably don’t -- you need to teach them Why it usually takes about 10 years to groom someone to take over for you Why you really need to decide if you’re ready for all of your autonomy to go away How to finance partnerships (odds are they can’t afford it on their salary) How to start having the conversation about funding your buyout Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

Episode 79: How to Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader, with Aaron Agius.

Apr 10, 2017 41:40

Description:

Aaron Agius is one of the world’s leading digital marketers according to Forbes. He is CEO of Louder Online, one of the world’s leading digital agencies with a global reach.

Louder Online is an inbound marketing agency, working globally with clients such as Salesforce, IBM, Coca-Cola, Intel and scores of leading brands, showing them how to technically optimize their sites, perform influencer outreach and link acquisition and produce and distribute content that drives significant lead generation and ROI.

Aaron is a highly sought speaker at Search, Content Marketing and Growth Hacking and many other conferences around the globe including the U.S, U.K, Brazil, London and Australia. His passion to help businesses is driven from his own experience. Aaron was at the cutting edge of the emerging digital marketing field over 10 years ago. He uses that lived experience and now translates it into revenue for clients.

He is also a regular contributor to some of the world’s largest editorial publications, including Entrepreneur.com, Hubspot.com and many more, with thought leadership on marketing and business growth.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why you absolutely must work on and invest in the business (no excuses!) How Aaron established himself as a thought leader through guest blogging and what he would recommend doing today Why you need high-quality proposal documents Why you need to be cooperative rather than competitive with agencies that you share a client with Why Aaron has created smaller sister agencies in other countries instead of using freelancers Aaron’s genius strategy for leveraging LinkedIn How to prove the ROI of your work to a client Why it’s the CEO’s job to stay on top of what’s coming next Resources that Aaron himself uses to stay current How continually writing blogs, being on podcasts, hosting webinars, etc. helps you keep the clients you have Why you have to write for readers, not search engines Ways to Contact Aaron Agius: Website: louder.online Welcome page: louder.online/build Twitter: @IAmAaronAgius LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/aaronagius Blog: How the Pros Track Conversions and ROI With These Content Marketing Metrics

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 78: How to Get Your Team to Work Well Together, with Marcus Blankenship.

Apr 3, 2017 42:15

Description:

Marcus Blankenship is a management consultant, trainer and executive coach for software managers and leaders. He helps companies hire the right people, create the right culture, and set up the right process which achieves their goals. Managing a team isn’t something learned in college. In fact, his clients often tell him “I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work.” If you’re ready to improve your leadership, process and team then you need to know Marcus.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why you must identify your high and low performers Why you shouldn’t be a passive-aggressive leader Why you can’t hire anyone you can’t fire Structured management: why you can’t set people free without management and why you need to set up strong management systems when your agency is small Why consistent one-on-one meetings are so crucial What happens in your employee’s head when you cancel a one-on-one meeting How to create a safe environment where the people below you are willing to give you the feedback you need Why you shouldn’t let feedback sit more than a week Marcus’ one-on-one framework guide Ways to Contact Marcus Blankenship: Website: marcusblankenship.com Email: marcus@marcusblankenship.com Book: "7 Habits that Ruin your Technical Team" Marcus’ One-on-One Meeting Framework Email list with articles on running your team, daily management tips and guides for running your team: marcusblankenship.com/list

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 77: How to Blend Content and SEO, with John Jantsch.

Mar 27, 2017 50:28

Description:

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker, and author of “Duct Tape Marketing,” “Duct Tape Selling,” “The Commitment Engine,” and “The Referral Engine.” He is also the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. His latest book, “SEO for Growth - The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers, and Entrepreneurs,” is changing the way the world thinks about SEO.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The big changes SEO has undergone recently Why you need to re-engineer a client’s editorial approach when you're assisting them with an existing website Some of John’s favorite web/SEO tools Why content and SEO can’t be thought of as two different things Big mistakes people make with SEO How to charge for SEO and demonstrate ROI How John uses an editorial calendar to plan and write all of his content Why you need content built for every stage of the customer journey Why SEO is all about consistency Why backlinks are still important in 2017 and how to do them right without getting penalized Resources that John recommends to grow your digital know-how Ways to Contact John Jantsch: Book: "SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs" Website: www.ducttapemarketing.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 76: How to Fill Your Sales Pipeline with Quality Leads, with Dan Englander.

Mar 20, 2017 49:51

Description:

Dan Englander is the founder of Sales Schema, where he helps marketing agencies grow by way of done-for-you lead generation and consulting. He's the author of Mastering Account Management. Previously, as the first hire at the animation studio IdeaRocket, he brought the company from zero to seven figures, encompassing dozens of Fortune 500 clients.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Dan helps agencies fill their sales pipelines Why you can’t rely on referrals from your network for sales Why creating content is not a sales strategy Why you need to systematize pipeline work and why you need to allot daily time for working on your pipeline Honing in on a particular niche when generating leads Why driving prospects to your website is not what you want to be doing Why you need to have a follow-up plan in place for your cold emails Why you need to get on the phone with a lead as soon as possible How to word cold emails so they actually resonate with cold leads How Dan’s company helps agencies hone in on their niche Why cold emails have to come from a real person (and which person inside an agency they should come from) Why you need to get the right clients for your agency Why you shouldn’t overinvest in tools Some good tools that Dan likes Dan’s book: “Mastering Account Management” Ways to Contact Dan Englander: Free copy of Dan’s book: www.salesschema.com/buildabetteragency Website: www.salesschema.com Twitter: @DansPalace LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/danenglander

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 75: Get Clear on What Your Dream Life Looks Like, with Drew McLellan.

Mar 13, 2017 17:58

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: A CPA I recently met in San Diego who built his life around being able to go surfing every day An exercise a coach I had about 10 years ago would put me through so that I would envision my future as if it had already happened Why my life would not look like it does today if 10 years ago I had not visualized what I wanted it to look like today Why it’s okay if everything doesn’t play out exactly the way you visualize How to do the Reporter Exercise my coach gave me (linked below) Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com Resources: The Reporter Exercise

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 74: How to Infuse Creativity Into Your Agency, with Jason Keath.

Mar 6, 2017 47:32

Description:

Jason Keath is a refreshing voice on creative culture and digital trends. He is a keynote speaker, writer, and entrepreneur.

Jason is the founder and CEO of Social Fresh Conference, the leading social media and digital marketing conference for major brands and agencies. More than 150 of the Fortune 500 have attended Jason’s training sessions, workshops, and presentations.

Rooted firmly in the creative arts, Jason brings an innovative approach to marketing and internal culture. With a BFA in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, he focuses on how creative thinking can drive businesses forward and improve employee satisfaction and productivity.

He is routinely quoted by media in the NY Times, USA Today, MSNBC, the LA Times, AdAge, the Washington Post and other outlets. Jason is also the author of the forthcoming book, The Case for More Bad Ideas (revealing the counterintuitive secrets of creative leaders).  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Jason’s background Why Jason started Social Fresh How to get your whole team to be creative Why you need to hear bad ideas and how to manage your team so they aren’t afraid to voice them Why you should brainstorm at least 50-100 ideas for every one that you actually put into place How having your team prepare ideas anonymously in advance will save you time and result in a discussion that’s more free Why creativity comes from having at least one core competency (and how to figure out what your core competency is) The filter phase of the process post brainstorming where you take ideas and combine and eliminate ideas until you’ve broken them down to where you’re happy with them Why you should try to come up with three great ideas and keep the two that you ultimately don’t go with for later Why you need to make the space where your team has creative meetings a different space than where they would sit through boring meetings What you can do in your free time to boost your creativity Why your brainstorming teams should be a mix of people who have brainstormed together in the past and those who haven’t Jason’s upcoming event this summer all about the future of the industry Ways to Contact Jason Keath: Twitter: @jasonkeath Social Fresh Newsletter: www.socialfresh.com/subscribe Website: www.jasonkeath.com Social Media Newsletter: www.SMcurrent.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 73: How to Be a Master Connector, with Judy Robinett.

Feb 27, 2017 50:33

Description:

Judy Robinett has led both public and private companies as CEO and served in management positions at Fortune 500 companies. She is on the advisory boards of Illuminate VC, Pereg VC, and Springboard Enterprises. Judy previously served as a managing director of Golden Seeds Angel Network and as a member of the faculty of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Program. Judy’s book, “How to Be a Power Connector: the 5+50+150 Rule,” was named the #1 business book of 2014 by Inc. She has been profiled in Entrepreneur, Vogue, Fast Company, Forbes, CBS, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg Businessweek.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Judy’s background Why networking is crucial for biz-dev (and why referrals alone is not a biz-dev strategy) The 5+50+150 Rule: why you need to target 50 people Why there is no lack of money keeping you from getting funded Positioning yourself to be invited to the right events (and which events you should target) Judy’s strategies for being a good networker and how she interacts with strangers How to deepen the relationships you already have Why you need to kick fear to the curb and just talk to people How to provide consistent value to your network so that you keep relationships fresh Why you should reach out to people you feel like are above you Judy’s Top Ten Power Connecting Tips Ways to Contact Judy Robinett: Website: www.judyrobinett.com Email: judy@judyrobinett.com Twitter: @judyrobinett LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/judyrobinett Book: "How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits" eBook: "Crack the Funding Code" Judy’s Top Ten Power Connecting Tips

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 72: What We Learned in Our 2016 Research, with Susan Baier.

Feb 20, 2017 47:36

Description:

Susan Baier began her career as a brand manager for companies like Dial and Conoco-Philips. She also worked agency side and within client companies in their research departments, honing her skills as a research professional.

Recognizing that primary research was often too expensive for small to mid-sized agencies, she launched Audience Audit, where she conducts quantitative attitudinal audience segmented research. She helps her agency clients develop marketing strategy for their clients based on customer insights. They find it much easier to develop messaging, strategic plans, and business development plans with real data that helps them understand how customers who look (demographically) the same behave in very different ways and what motives those choices and behaviors.

Over the past few years, AMI and Audience Audit have partnered together for studies on how business owners find agencies, their attitudes towards working with agencies, and more.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Our 2016 Agency Workforce Report What made our 2016 research different from other research projects we’ve done in the past How we crunched our data The three types of agency employees that we found in our research: agency advocates, prosperity partners, and “millennial mindset” (and why the majority of millennials don’t fall in the “millennial mindset” group) What your agency can do to have less “millennial mindset” employees than average Why the opportunity to learn and grow is the most important thing to all employees (especially millennials) How to give your employees ways to learn and grow that don’t break the bank Why your employees have to be willing to come back from training and events ready to teach the rest of your agency Why treating your employees fairly does not mean treating them equally Why making agency advocates happy is easy (and how to cultivate them into the agency leaders of tomorrow) Why you have to help prosperity partners develop their own brand Why you should avoid using the word millennials Ways to Contact Susan Baier: Website: www.audienceaudit.com Email: susan@audienceaudit.com Twitter: @susanbaier Resources: 2016 Agency Workforce Report AMI Audience Audit Webinar One on One Meeting Form

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 71: How to Get Out of the Day-to-Day, with Ryan Ayres

Feb 13, 2017 52:42

Description:

Ryan Ayres shows his clients what they can't see, says what no-one else will say, and helps them accomplish what they don't experience on their own. Through deep, bold, and customized coaching and consulting, he finds what they really want and helps them use their God given talents! His mission is to serve his clients so powerfully that they have life changing insights that change the trajectory of their life.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Ryan got himself out of the day-to-day and got his team to take things off his plate that he did not need to be doing Why great employees will help you when you reach the point when you’re forced to sell what your business does instead of selling what you do Why -- if you can’t get rid of 100% of what you’re doing -- that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get rid of any of it Why you need to make sure everyone understands and buys into your vision and why it benefits them Ryan’s employee rating matrix Why people very rarely stay or leave based on money (and why this means you don’t need to give as many raises as you think) How to deal with employees who get jealous of what perks you give to other employees How to have tough conversations with “C Players” Why you should journal your time to make sure you’re spending your time where you need to be spending it Ways to Contact Ryan Ayres: Website: www.focus53.com Podcast: www.focus53.com/podcast-home Resources: Ryan’s employee rating matrix Cameron Herold’s Vivid Vision

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 70: How to Actually Have an Impact When Working With Nonprofits, with Drew McLellan.

Feb 6, 2017 22:40

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why short term nonprofit projects don’t do much good for your agency or a nonprofit Creating a contest for nonprofits where the winner will become your client for a year How this contest and resulting year-long relationship will bring in a ton of PR How this lengthy commitment with a single nonprofit allows you gracefully turn down other nonprofits that you don’t have time to work with What to ask for in applications to find the right nonprofit to work with How your relationship with a nonprofit can be a great business development opportunity Why you need to get in front of the nonprofit’s board of directors How this relationship will dramatically change the impact that the nonprofits you adopt can make What your process for setting up this yearly project should look like Why your team will love doing work with a nonprofit Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com Resources: Charity Application (Word Version) Charity Application (PDF Version) Charity Press Release (Word Version) Charity Press Release (PDF Version) Charity Scorecard (Word Version) Charity Scorecard (PDF Version)

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 69: Why You Need a New Business Process Program, with Mark Duval.

Jan 30, 2017 01:05:03

Description:

Mark Duval is the founder of The Duval Partnership, helping agencies win new business through a variety of strategic services including prospecting and lead generation, sales training, and agency auditing and diagnostics. Mark formerly headed business development efforts for Univision & CBS. He brings over 25 years of client direct sales experience to his work.

The Duval Partnership’s average client tenure easily doubles their competitors. They are the only firm in their space that offers sales training & coaching, and they are also the only firm in their space that employs strategists.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Mark’s background and how he got into the business of helping agencies Why you need a written new business plan Why you need to work on your differentiation Finding the right number of clients (and finding the right amount to bill them) The danger of sounding desperate to clients The importance of attitude and behavior Questions any agency should ask their prospects Why you need to serve up who you are and what you do on your website Understanding what your prospects consume and figuring out how to position yourself as a thought leader in those spaces Making introductions between prospects and the people you know that they need to know Why you should set up Google alerts on prospects you really want to work with Figuring out how to start your new business process program Why you need salespeople to manage sales people Ways to Contact Mark Duval: Website: duvalpartnership.com Email: mark@duvalpartnership.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 68: How to Work with Freelancers, with Bram Warshafsky.

Jan 23, 2017 42:59

Description:

Recently named one of the Top 30 Under 30 by Marketing magazine, Bram Warshafsky is a Founder and Partner at 5Crowd: a Toronto start-up that provides on-demand marketing production to a growing list of clients like Labatt, J&J, Hershey, Twitter, Telus, and more. We operate a curated network of freelance professionals in over 150 cities through our own digital platform to help enterprise marketing teams bring their strategy to life, faster and for less.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Bram started his agency, and why he went with the freelancer model What Bram’s internal team is like and how they use freelancers to offset those positions Why 5Crowd focuses on production rather than strategy What a strong freelancer vetting process looks like Why 5Crowd needed to build their own software How being a production based agency has led to high client retention for 5Crowd What good marketing looks like Why you need to tell the story of how you save clients money The three questions 5Crowd asks to figure out if they will take on a project Why 5Crowd has freelancers set the price How 5Crowd picks what freelancer to use for the right project Why you need to fully embrace technology to succeed How to get started with freelancers Ways to Contact Bram Warshafsky: Website: www.5crowd.com eBooks: www.5crowd.com/ebooks Twitter: @BramWarshafsky Twitter: @5CrowdTO

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 67: Understanding Agency Financials From a CPAs Perspective, with Jason Blumer.

Jan 16, 2017 52:52

Description:

Jason Blumer is the Chief Innovative Officer of his firm, Blumer & Associates, CPAs. The firm was one of the first to move from a traditional office to a virtual environment, where they serve digital, marketing, and design agencies. He focuses heavily on business coaching and consulting, while his team meets the technical and compliance needs of the customer.

Jason also founded the Thriveal CPA Network in 2010 as a way to help CPA firm owners connect. Since that time, Thriveal has helped many firms grow by providing an online community, coaching services, webinars, and live events.

Jason is the host of two podcasts, the Thrivecast for the CPA community and The Businessology Show for the creative community. He speaks and writes frequently for CPAs and design agencies, his firm's chosen niche. He has been honored as one of the 40 under 40 in the profession (CPA Practice Advisor) as well as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting (Accounting Today). Jason loves to watch documentaries on just about anything and is working on his personal bests in Crossfit several times a week. He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife and their three daughters.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Jason and his team got into the agency niche Mistakes agencies and agency owners make regularly Why going virtual doesn’t automatically save your agency money How to legally save your agency money in taxes in ways that make sense for your agency Employment benefit plans which benefit agency owners P&L and AGI numbers to know Why you shouldn’t be struggling to make payroll if you have a strong value proposition Why being a successful creative director doesn’t mean you should open your own agency Why you need to be willing to sacrifice services, clients, and your team How to know whether the metrics that you’re tracking are worth tracking Things most if not all agencies should track Why you should outsource your accounting Jason’s recommended resources Ways to Contact Jason Blumer: Podcast: www.businessology.biz Website: www.jasonblumer.com Website: www.blumercpas.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jasonblumer Twitter: @jasonmblumer

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 66: How to Do Website Development and Still Make a Profit, with Brent Weaver.

Jan 9, 2017 54:27

Description:

Brent Weaver became obsessed with creating websites when he was 15 years old. He realized he could create and share information with anyone in the world with the click of a button. His first business was a web design agency turned marketing firm. That business was named in the top-five fastest growing businesses in Denver, Colorado two years running leading to a successful exit/sale to another Denver-based agency. In 2012, he formed uGurus, a business dedicated to helping other web professionals succeed at building profitable businesses without needing to go through twelve years of roller-coaster pains. uGurus has now graduated over 600 web professionals from their Bootcamp. Graduates consistently use words like "transformative" and "life changing" to describe the results they achieve from the program. When not focused on the business, Brent loves hanging out with his wife and two year old son. Other favorite activities: writing, swimming, and snowboarding.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why agencies have a hard time making money creating websites for clients Why bad discovery leads to scope creep Why you should spread discovery over multiple meetings rather than one long meeting Why you need to niche down to find the quality and quantity of clients that you need Why you need to treat your website (and your clients’ websites) like a kid Working with your clients to develop a web strategy that fits their budget Establishing a communication pattern with your clients Not letting clients delay because a website isn’t perfect How to focus on the right platforms How to know whether to bring web-dev in-house or use a partnership What agencies need to know about the web to capitalize on the opportunities out there Ways to Contact Brent Weaver: Website: uGurus.com Email: brent@ugurus.com (this is where to reach Brent for the terrific offer given at the end of the podcast)

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 65: 5 Ways to Measure What Matters, with Drew McLellan.

Jan 2, 2017 24:52

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why you have to measure inside your agency The AGI/FTE ratio: why you should be aiming for this to be 150,000 (and why many agencies struggle to reach this goal) Measuring over/under on projects: how often are you over, how often are you under, and by how much? Why you need to look at profitability on a client by client basis (and how to know when to fire a client due to profitability) Why you need a minimum standard AGI for all your clients Why you absolutely need to use timesheets inside your agency (and why this doesn’t mean you should bill by the hour) Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 64: How to Create Content That Converts Leads, with Andy Crestodina.

Dec 26, 2016 44:53

Description:

Andy Crestodina is a co-founder and the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, an award-winning 38-person web design company in Chicago.

Over the past 15 years, Andy has provided web strategy and advice to more than a thousand businesses. As a top-rated speaker at national conferences and as a writer for many of the biggest blogs, Andy has dedicated himself to the teaching of marketing.

Andy has written hundreds of articles, many of which have been published on the top marketing blogs and media websites. Favorite topics include content strategy, search engine optimization, social media and Analytics.

Andy was named to Forbes Top 10 Online Marketing Experts to Watch in 2015 and Entrepreneur Magazine Top 50 Marketing Influencer in 2016, and is a mentor at 1871, the #1 incubator in the US.

He is also the author of “Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Andy started his web design company and how it’s evolved since then Doing important tasks before urgent tasks Why you need to write your content marketing mission statement Why delegating is so crucial (and why Andy hired a boss for himself) Why you don’t need to publish every week Why you should publish answers to questions you get frequently instead of constantly writing emails with similar content Measuring the performance of content How to construct your content so that it will perform “Content Chemistry”: Andy’s book about how to repurpose content Building your website with what people are searching for in mind Winning the SEO battle and turning visitors into leads Steps agencies can take right now to improve their content to convert more leads Ways to Contact Andy Crestodina: Blog: www.orbitmedia.com/blog Book: "Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing" LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/andycrestodina

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 63: Get Involved In Every Aspect of a Client’s Business, with John Fricks.

Dec 19, 2016 48:56

Description:

A leader of such national accounts as Home Shopping Network, The Disney Channel, CitiFinancial, and Papa John’s Pizza as the founder and sole principal of $110 million Atlanta-based Fricks/Firestone agency, John Fricks is focused on the same kind of growth at AntonWest. In the seven year transition from Fricks/Firestone in Atlanta to AntonWest in Jacksonville, he consulted with CEOs of major corporations and agency owners all over the country.

John Fricks believes the key to problem solving is listening to clients describe their challenges so the agency can creatively advance a solution through its full arsenal of resources digital, broadcast, print, and public relations. He will tell you that the proximity to navigable water was not part of the lure to Jacksonville, but you are sure to find him relaxing by a dock when not behind his desk.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How John managed to get huge accounts at his small agency (Fricks/Firestone) How to appeal to a CEO’s insecurities What John does at his new agency AntonWest Why agencies need to get involved in all areas of their client’s business, not just the advertising Staying up to date on new technology and ideas Having great relationships with vendors that make them feel part of the business How to recruit and retain top talent What a culture must have to be truly collaborative How to position your agency in the marketplace How account people can gain the trust of their creatives Why it’s important to allow your employees to fail (when trying) What agency CEOs need to be focusing on today Ways to Contact John Fricks: Website: antonwest.com Email: jafricks@antonwest.com Phone: (904)701-4140

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 62: Keep It Simple, with Joe Calloway.

Dec 12, 2016 55:12

Description:

Joe Calloway has been speaking to business audiences for about 30 years. He’s written seven books, including the just released “Keep It Simple.” He has served as the first Executive In Residence for Belmont University's Center For Entrepreneurship, and he invests in and advises start-up companies, including Gilson Boards, a snowboard manufacturing company. Joe is an active investor in a real estate development group with current projects in Louisville, Nashville, and Chattanooga. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Annette, and our daughters, Jessica, and Cate.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Joe wrote “Keep It Simple” and how it’s different from his other books What all effective leaders have in common What your vision/mission statement should sound like Why you need to follow Warren Buffett's advice and say no to almost everything The Gold Standard: doing what you say you will do, the way you said you will do it, when you said you would do it Why you have to set the example inside your business Why you can’t get stuck doing what used to work Being better tomorrow than you are today Why you need to be so good at the basics that you are cutting edge Why you need to work on the relationships with everyone you work with Being your authentic self and believing in yourself Why -- whatever happens -- that’s normal Improving upon your strengths Why your success is dictated by your culture Why you need to get clear on the three things you need to get right Ways to Contact Joe Calloway: Website: joecalloway.com New book: "Keep It Simple: Unclutter Your Mind to Uncomplicate Your Life" All books: joecalloway.com/books

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 61: Improving Your Public Speaking, with Tamsen Webster.

Dec 5, 2016 53:52

Description:

Part "idea whisperer," part message strategist, and part presentation coach, Tamsen Webster helps people and organizations like Verizon, State Street Bank, Ericsson, Johnson & Johnson, and Disney find and communicate the power of their ideas. She is the Executive Producer of TEDxCambridge, one of the oldest and largest locally organized TED talk events in the world. She is also Executive Communications Coach with Oratium, a messaging consultancy. In former lives, she worked in both agencies and at nonprofits heading up brand, marketing, and fundraising communication strategy, along with a brief but enduring turn as a change management consultant. She’s also a retired Weight Watchers leader and an accidental marathoner.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why speaking is the best tool for convincing someone that your agency is the best agency for them Why you need to make your speeches about your audience and not about you Mistakes that agencies make in pitches all the time How to structure your new business presentations so that you win the business Why you want people to remember the one big idea of your presentation -- not specific tactics How to develop a thought leadership presentation Why niched presentations are a lot more effective than broad ones “Why,” “what now,” and “how” talks: what’s different about these kind of presentations How to structure a talk when you are given a general topic that you have to speak on Why you should stop before the sell when you’re presenting to gain awareness for your business Why creating an event is a great way to get good at speaking How to find other speaking engagements Why you need to grab testimonials from speaking engagements and video of your speeches How to unravel a failed speech to make sure it works in the future Ways to Contact Tamsen Webster: Website: tamsenwebster.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 60: Fill Your Life with the Five People Who Help You Create the Best Version of You, with Drew McLellan.

Nov 28, 2016 16:25

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why I absolutely believe Jim Rohn’s famous adage that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with Why you should go back and take a look at the one page life plan I outlined in episode 10 Spending time with the people who inspire you to commit to excellence in every aspect of your life Spending time with the people you learn from that challenge you to think in different ways Spending time with people that you can teach Hanging out with people who see you more clearly than you see yourself Spending time with people who will call you out when you need to be called out Having people in your life that make you push harder than you would on your own Spending time with the people that fill you with joy Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 59: Social Selling Strategies to Grow Your Agency, with Phil Gerbyshak.

Nov 21, 2016 59:16

Description:

Phil Gerbyshak is a speaker and a trainer, who delivers programs on the power of technology, social selling and connection. With a unique speaking style—part technology and sales expert, part entertainer—Phil keeps his audiences awake and engaged while providing micro-tactics to help you get more leads, earn referrals, and improve your business. When he’s not traveling, speaking, or making new connections, Phil writes. He’s published 5 books, including "10 Ways to Make It Great" and "#TwitterWorks," more than 2,500 articles, and has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, and more.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Social selling: getting people to convert for you Making a connection with someone online (this isn’t a follow or a like) Why keyword targeting isn’t necessarily the best path to success Why Phil actively connects people he thinks should know about each other How Phil uses LinkedIn as a powerful sales and research tool Why you have to share content that isn’t your own Why you should congratulate your competition -- and why you need to be genuine about it Phil’s strategy for creating content people need and starting conversations Cultivating and leveraging testimonials How to use your pinned post wisely Things you can do right now to start putting into practice the ideas from this episode Phil’s podcast “Conversations with Phil” Ways to Contact Phil Gerbyshak: Website: www.philgerbyshak.com Podcast: conversationswithphil.com Twitter: @PhilGerb Email: phil@philgerbyshak.com Text: (414) 640-7445

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 58: Innovating Your Agency with Initiatives, with Kris Hoet.

Nov 14, 2016 55:24

Description:

Kris Hoet has a broad experience on both the client and agency side and brings a unique perspective to his work at the crossover of creativity and technology. His passion for technology and how to translate that into change and impact first came through when he was working as a client enabling better connections with consumers by building some of the first online cinema experiences in the late 90s and kickstarting some of Microsoft's first influencer marketing activities in the early 2000s.

Currently Kris is heading up the innovation initiatives at Happiness, an agency he co-founded, a role he also fulfills for the global FCB network to which Happiness belongs. Before joining Happiness, Kris was part of the management team at Duval Guillaume responsible for some advertising classics such as TNT's Push to add drama & Carlsbergs Bikers. During his time there the agency became Digital Agency of the Year twice and following that was elected Agency of the Year for three consecutive years.

Kris is also a renowned speaker at international marketing conferences. He was one of the Advocates of the TED Ads Worth Spreading program and is still a curator of All Gunns Blazing, a selection of some of the most innovative worldwide creative work of the famed Gunn Report.

He is an avid mountain biker and a self-proclaimed petrolhead with a special love for vintage cars.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Kris made the jump to the agency side -- and why he started his own agency Innovation initiatives and driving change in every aspect of a company Why small changes across a company are better than one big change Getting ideas for change from other industries Some feeds that Kris follows to get inspiration Finding the time to focus on innovation and learning for learning's sake while also running a client-driven profitable business Why everybody needs to be involved in an initiative Working in a messy way with these innovation initiatives and why that demands more trust between agency and client Why you can do this with your employees you have (if they’re actual good employees) How to inspire your team to want to innovate How to get innovation started Ways to Contact Kris Hoet: Twitter: @krishoet Newsletter: crossthebreeze.com/warped Company Twitter: @hppnssanywhere

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 57: Improving Workflow Process, with Chris Wilson.

Nov 7, 2016 44:40

Description:

Chris Wilson is the Founder and Chief Client Advocate of Function Point Productivity Software Inc.

As the company’s leader, Chris wants to create the world's leading digital tools for managing the day to day hassle of running a professional service firm. Chris’ focus is on creating a place, a team and a culture where the best creators, communicators and collaborators can grow.

Chris has an extensive understanding of the operation, management and workflow processes of Design studios, Advertising agencies and Architectural firms, with experience assisting thousands of firms in standardizing their business of design.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Service Industries.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The typical reasons that agencies decide they need to get better systems in place What Chris’ company Function Point does Mistakes that agencies make when it comes to starting to think about workflow and using a tool like Function Point How to figure out if your workflow process needs improving Why workflow allows people to put their brain flow in the right place Why systems have to be easy to use Why timesheets are absolutely necessary and why agency owners can’t be exempt from them Warning signs that your workflow needs improvement Making sure you have strong creative briefs Steps that you can take right now Ways to Contact Chris Wilson: Website: www.functionpoint.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/groups/3802657 Facebook: www.facebook.com/functionpoint Twitter: @functionpoint Email: chris@functionpoint.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 56: Helping Clients Manage Their Online Reputations, with Daniel Lemin.

Oct 31, 2016 42:38

Description:

Daniel Lemin, the founder of One Good Brand, is a digital reputation and online marketing veteran with deep agency and digital brand strategy experience. He was employee no. 400 at Google where he served on the global corporate marketing and communications team. He is the author of “Manipurated,” an Amazon bestseller, that exposes the inner workings of online review sites. Daniel also serves as the head of consulting for Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert consulting group, where he provides digital marketing and customer experience counsel to global brands and organizations including the United Nations (Food & Agriculture Organization), Best Buy, Petco, BMC Software, Telogis and Pella Windows and Doors. He’s been seen in the New York Times, USA Today and on Fox News, CBS Radio and many other news outlets.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why online reputation work is such a great opportunity for agencies How Daniel got into online reputation work and how came to write “Manipurated” What makes this kind of work more profitable for agencies than SEO work Tools that are great for this kind of work Why every person inside an agency needs to be good at this -- and why Daniel advises against having a dedicated team that does only this kind of work How agencies can price this kind of work out What agencies can do to get B2B clients that aren’t as concerned about reviews as B2C businesses like restaurants to understand the importance of this kind of work Why agencies need to be aware of their own reviews (typically from employees) What agencies that have bad reviews can do to improve that Why negative reviews on social media are more urgent and need to be acted on quickly How agencies can structure this out in terms of packages to offer clients The Snapchat-like video reviews that are coming soon What agencies can do right now to start doing this kind of work Some resources to help with this Ways to Contact Daniel Lemin: Website: www.manipurated.com Twitter: @daniellemin Email: daniel@manipurated.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 55: What Your Agency Needs To Do To Charge a Premium in 2016, with Drew McLellan.

Oct 24, 2016 20:39

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why the speed of change is the new normal and why you have to embrace that How what agencies sell has changed from the Mad Men days to today Why you need to tie marketing, sales, and customer service together to be a great agency in 2016 Why data analysis is more important than it ever has been Leads, sales, and retention: why you need to focus on these at a much higher level if you want to keep charging a premium price The importance of making real time decisions and adapting based on data Why we need to work with clients who may be resistant to experimentation How to assess if your agency is up to par on these ideas, and what to do about it if the answer is no Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 54: Implementing Process Around Your Agency’s Deliverables, with Andrew Dymski.

Oct 17, 2016 43:47

Description:

Andrew Dymski is a co-founder of DoInbound, a process and project management platform for inbound marketing agencies and GuavaBox, an inbound marketing agency. He is a lacrosse coach on the side and loves doing almost anything outside. He is also the co-host of Inbound Agency Journey, a weekly podcast for agency pros.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Andrew and his business partner Gray MacKenzie started their agency while they were still in college and the transformation that GuavaBox has overwent since then How Michael Gerber’s “The E Myth” transformed how Andrew’s agency was ran Using blogging as a method for separating yourself Why clients will leave if communication is poor -- even when you’re doing great work DoInbound: a tool for creating templates that power the delivery of services just for inbound marketing agencies How creating DoInbound has helped the way Andrew works with his clients Why you need to figure out your vision and share that with your core team Listing and pruning your agency’s list of deliverables How to create processes with your employees and get them to actually follow the processes created How many processes are too many processes? Why you need multiple iterations of processes What meetings about processes with your employees should look like What you can do right now to put some of the ideas from this episode in place without freaking out your team Ways to Contact Andrew Dymski: Podcast: www.doinbound.com/podcast Twitter: @AndrewJDymski

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 53: Content is Much More than Content Marketing, with Greg Verdino.

Oct 10, 2016 58:23

Description:

Greg Verdino is a highly regarded authority on “the digital now.” He is known for his uncanny ability to get ahead of trends, spot the difference between fads and the future, and apply his understanding of the rapidly changing global landscape to solve pressing business challenges.

Greg’s perspectives have been shaped by more than 25 years spent working at the forefront of change, during which time he has advised hundreds of organizations including more than 50 of the Fortune 500; has served in senior leadership positions at a half-dozen technology start-ups; and has launched innovative products, lines of business, and divisions from within traditional companies. Through his work speaking, writing and consulting on digital strategy, transformation and innovation, he helps business leaders build thriving 21st century companies.

Greg is also managing partner and chief strategist at VERDINO & CO, the consultancy he started with his wife to help companies create the content-driven digital experiences their customers demand.

Before VERDINO & CO, he was Executive Vice President at social business firm Dachis Group, where he worked with clients including BIC, Citibank, Fidelity, GE, Michaels Stores, Nestle and others to formulate and execute best-in-class digital strategies. He joined Dachis Group (now Sprinklr) through its acquisition of crayon, the social media consultancy at which he served as Chief Strategy Officer and in which he was the second largest shareholder. Previously he was digital strategist and head of emerging channels for Digitas, and served in media, marketing, sales and general management roles at ROO Group (now Piksel), Akamai Technologies, Arbitron, Wunderman, and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Greg is the author of microMARKETING: Get Big Results by Thinking and Acting Small (McGraw-Hill, 2010), and a contributing author to Reinventing Interactive and Direct Marketing (ed. Stan Rapp, McGraw-Hill, 2009). Throughout his career, he has served as a go-to expert for a wide range of media outlets including Advertising Age, Bloomberg Business, CNN, Cablevision News12, Fox Business, Investor’s Business Daily, the New York Times, Newsday, and the Wall Street Journal. He has given speeches, led panel discussions and facilitated workshops at more than 100 corporate and association events throughout North America, in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

He lives on Long Island with his wife, tween daughter, baby boy, and the world’s most disobedient cat.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: What has changed since the beginning days of when agencies began to do social Why content needs to expand past “content marketing” and must be infused into every single interaction inside and outside your organization How to help clients understand the value of content The importance of analytics and content metrics that Greg uses with clients Why Greg and his wife decided to go it on their own instead of taking positions inside other agencies How Greg differentiates his agency from other agencies How Greg has been able to recognize trends that matter and ignore the ones that fade Tips and tricks for getting everything done that you want as an agency owner The shift from pipeline business to platform businesses Why it’s so important for agency leaders to stay on top of trends Why small agencies are often the best at adapting to change The rules that agency owners should never break Ways to Contact Greg Verdino: Twitter: @gregverdino LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/gregverdino Facebook: www.facebook.com/gregverdino Personal website: www.gregverdino.com Agency website: www.verdino.co

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 52: How To Turn Your Agency Into An Asset, with Henry Corona.

Oct 3, 2016 41:20

Description:

Henry Corona graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa, moved to Los Angeles, and earned an MA in Economics from UCLA. He worked as an Economist for the Rand Corporation, and while at Rand, Henry earned an MBA in Finance & Marketing from USC. Upon graduating, he joined the M&A department of a conglomerate.

He went to work for Lucasfilm Ltd. in various financial management positions during the first Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark film series. His experience included cash and investment management, comptroller for profit sharing, merchandising, publishing and music. Following Lucasfilm, Henry worked in various film and entertainment companies including 20th Century Fox and New Line Cinema.

He went into the Advertising business by working for Dave Martin, founder of the Martin Agency, and has worked in financial and transactional management in marketing, advertising, communications technology ever since. His experience in marketing communications has included mergers & acquisitions, business valuation, and serving as CFO for ad agencies, tech start-ups, film and video production companies, and other communication technology businesses.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Henry’s transition from the film business to the advertising business Mistakes agency owners make that hinder their ability to sell their agencies Where agencies need to be investing Why tracking hours is critically important What to do about employees that cost your agency money Why your agency should have a profit sharing system AGI numbers you need to know What diminishes the value of an agency Charging brain surgeon prices vs. charging nurse prices Training clients so they don’t feel like they’re getting the “B Team” What agency owners can do right now to improve on the ideas from this episode Ways to Contact Henry Corona: Phone: (305)748-0888 Email: henry@financesur.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Episode 51: How to Be a Great Podcast Guest, with Tom Schwab.

Sep 26, 2016 49:41

Description:

Tom Schwab knows how to grow a business online using content as fuel. Marketing at its heart is starting a conversation with someone who could be an ideal customer. Tom's company, Interview Valet, partners with agencies to get their clients featured on leading podcasts their prospects are already listening to. This provides traffic that has been shown to convert 25 times better than blogs.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why podcasting is so relevant today The benefit of being a podcast guest How Tom’s clients are able to sell being on podcasts to their own clients Benefits of podcasting over other forms of content Why podcast traffic converts higher than blogs Message, market, and machine: what you need to have a successful podcast interview What you (or your clients) need to be a great podcast guest Why you need to bring a giveaway when you are a guest on a podcast What not to do when you are a guest on a podcast Is it appropriate to suggest questions to your podcast host? How Tom helps agencies look good The podcasting niches that Tom focuses on Things you can do right now to put these ideas in place Ways to Contact Tom Schwab: Freebies: interviewvalet.com/BetterAgency Email: tom@interviewvalet.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/thomasmschwab Resources: Drew’s podcast audio quality guide

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 50: Sustaining Your Business Through New Business, with Drew McLellan.

Sep 19, 2016 23:28

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why about 70% of your new revenue should come from existing clients How to teach your AE’s to grow the business that they’re serving Strategies for you the business owner to focus on new business The four areas of the sales funnel and how to work with all four The system for reaching out to your 25 best prospects Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 49: How to Write and Publish a Book, with Dr. Anthony Paustian.

Sep 12, 2016 54:47

Description:

Dr. Anthony Paustian was given a rare opportunity in life to create and design a technology-focused college campus from scratch. That was fifteen years ago. Since then the campus and its innovative advances in technology-based instruction have appeared on CNN, CNBC, Wired, USA Today, NPR and other national media and won numerous awards for leadership in innovation including being featured on the InfoWorld 100 List (#51) of the nation's most innovative organizations.

In 2006, Anthony created the Celebrate! Innovation Exhibition; a new type of campus learning environment where students are surrounded by the stories of great innovators through larger-than-life visuals, technology-focused exhibits, and through an annual Celebrate! Innovation Week (ciWeek) where the people behind the stories come from all over the world to tell those stories firsthand. The Celebrate! Innovation Exhibition is currently on the Iowa Department of Tourism's list of places to visit.

From his Air Force days on F-111s to building national brands to coaching a very talented group of educators, Anthony has developed a unique skill set that is quickly apparent in every aspect of his life as a leader, educator, entrepreneur, inventor, designer, author and speaker.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Anthony decided to become an author and a coach What keeps someone that wants to write a book from actually doing it How to get past the thought that your book won’t be valuable enough The process for getting a book from your head and into an actual book How to turn your blog into a book How to successfully proof your writing Why you need to speak about the topics you write about What the editing process is like once your book is in the hands of an editor What you need to have for your book to appear in a library Why you don’t need (or even necessarily want) your book to be on shelves at Barnes and Noble The best way to sell your book What kinds of e-books you should sell First steps people can take right now to get going Ways to Contact Dr. Anthony Paustian: Website: bookpresspublishing.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 48: What Clients Really Want, with Chantell Glenville.

Sep 6, 2016 45:14

Description:

Chantell Glenville is the author of “What Clients Really Want (And The S**t That Drives Them Crazy)” the first ever book on how to create great client/agency relationships written by an ex-client. Winner of the WACL Future Leader's Award 2013, Chantell has worked at some of the UKs top creative communications agencies such as AMV BBDO, VCCP, and Dare as well as client-side at Vodafone, a multinational teleco.

Her experience both client and agency-side has given her a unique insight into the situations and behaviours that can really break client/agency relationships or make them excellent. Chantell has worked with and for agencies with varying specialties and on a broad range of clients; from international blue chips such as Johnson & Johnson, Barclaycard, Molson Coors, and Henkel through to high profile UK and pan-European accounts.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Things agencies do over and over that drive clients crazy The small behaviors that break apart relationships What agencies don’t know about the world clients live in The complexity of the structure of clients’ systems How agencies can help clients manage the revision process Why you need to know more than one person inside your client’s company (and get to know them face-to-face) The working hour differences between agencies and clients Why you should never overpromise and underdeliver The two things that create great agency-client relationships Why attention to detail is so important for agencies How to get to the top of a client’s to-do list Reasons clients will fire agencies (and why they never want to do that) Things agency owners can do right now to help their account executives improve agency-client relationships Ways to Contact Chantell Glenville: Book: "What Clients Really Want" Website: www.masteringaccountmanagement.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 47: How to Build Your Agency So You Can Sell It, with John Warrillow.

Aug 29, 2016 42:19

Description:

John Warrillow is the author of books “Built to Sell” and “The Automatic Customer” and founder of The Value Builder System™ where advisors help company owners increase the value of their business. Previously, he founded Warrillow & Co., a subscription-based research business dedicated to helping Fortune 500 companies market to small business owners. A sought-after speaker and popular Inc.com columnist, John lives in Toronto.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: John’s book “Built to Sell” The very easy path for agencies to follow that make it extremely hard to sell What services look like that make an agency sellable Why you can’t confuse the doing with owning a business When is it time to say no to business? What to do after you sell your agency Things to avoid when exiting your agency Services agencies can offer on a subscription model Standardizing a process and giving that process or product a specific name Why you shouldn’t surround yourself with journeymen agency employees How to assess how sellable your agency is and what can be done to make your agency more sellable Ways to Contact John Warrillow: Website: valuebuildersystem.com Website: www.builttosell.com Website: www.automaticcustomer.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 46: Extreme Leadership, with Steve Farber.

Aug 22, 2016 54:08

Description:

Steve Farber is listed as one of Inc’s global Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts. He is a Leadership Pioneer, Strategist, Keynote Speaker, and Bestselling Author on Extreme Leadership. His expertise is in creating organizational cultures where leadership is not just an opportunity and obligation for those in authority, but for everyone at all levels.

Steve is the President of Extreme Leadership, Inc, and the founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute, organizations devoted to the cultivation and development of Extreme Leaders around the world. His accessible, deeply inspirational, and eminently practical Radical LEAP framework is widely used across the business, non-profit and education spectrum. He has been credited with redefining leadership in deeply personal yet practical terms and re-energizing thousands of people to make a significant difference in their businesses, lives, and the world around them.

His third book, “Greater Than Yourself,” was a Wall Street Journal® and USA Today® bestseller. His second book, “The Radical Edge,” was hailed as a playbook for harnessing the power of the human spirit. And his first book, “The Radical Leap,” is already considered a classic in the leadership field. It received Fast Company magazine’s Readers Choice Award and was recently named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Defining “Extreme Leadership” What an extreme leader does Love in the business place Putting in more energy into your business than you take out Why leaders need to be audacious and willing to fail What agency owners can do to become more audacious How a business that embraces extreme leadership looks different Steve’s book “Greater Than Yourself” How to become one of the greatest leaders by lifting others up What agency owners can do right now to start working on the ideas from this episode Ways to Contact Steve Farber: Website: www.stevefarber.com Twitter: @stevefarber LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/stevefarber Book: "Greater Than Yourself: The Ultimate Lesson of True Leadership" Book: "The Radical Edge: Another Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership" Book: "The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership"

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 45: The 3 Kinds of All-Agency Meetings You Need to Hold, with Drew McLellan.

Aug 15, 2016 17:21

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The daily traffic / huddle meeting for discussing daily vital priorities and how to make this meeting work regardless of agency size The monthly all-staff meeting for informing and inspiring your team The twice a year to quarterly meeting for team building and planning Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 44: How to Create a Great Customer Experience, with Peter Shankman.

Aug 8, 2016 31:53

Description:

Peter Shankman is a spectacular example of what happens when you merge the power of pure creativity with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a dose of adventure, all to make it work to your advantage. The New York Times has called him "a public relations all-star who knows everything about new media and then some," while Investor's Business Daily has labeled him "crazy, but effective."

He founded Help A Reporter Out (HARO) in 2010 from his apartment before selling it to Vocus. Peter is the also founder of ShankMinds: Business Masterminds, a series of small business entrepreneurial-style masterminds in over 25 cities worldwide. Additionally, Peter is also the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Social Media, Marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, with clients worldwide.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Innovation through exploration Why you need to hold your ground with clients and force them to trust your expertise How to get your customers to tell your story for you Peter’s book “Zombie Loyalists” Peter’s company The Geek Factory How agencies can make customer service attractive for their clients Why rewarding someone for being your 10,000th follower is an insult to the rest of your followers Why everything you create has to have value for someone How to create invested customers with the way you respond through email How Peter carves out time in his schedule for everything Peter’s preferred methods for professional development What Peter’s agency of the future would look like How Peter helped his employees with professional development The things that get in the way of corporations hearing their customers Things agencies can do right now to implement the ideas from this episode Ways to Contact Peter Shankman: Book: "Zombie Loyalists" Twitter: @petershankman

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 43: How to Create a Modern Content Driven Agency, with Paul Roetzer.

Aug 1, 2016 52:28

Description:

Paul Roetzer is founder and CEO of PR 20/20, a Cleveland-based inbound marketing agency and HubSpot’s first Agency Partner. He is author of “The Marketing Performance Blueprint” (Wiley, 2014) and “The Marketing Agency Blueprint” (Wiley, 2012); creator of Marketing Agency Insider and Marketing Score; a regular contributor to leading marketing industry blogs; and a frequent speaker on content marketing, inbound marketing, performance and strategy.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Paul started PR 20/20 Standardizing pricing to prevent scope creep Paul’s point system for pricing How to create a content strategy that works today Top of the funnel content vs. bottom of the funnel content Using the point system for professional development Where to find the great content writers that you will need to hire How PR 20/20 decides if a client is a good fit The Marketing Score Automated Insights Steps agencies can take right now How to keep employees around and enthusiastic Ways to Contact Paul Roetzer: Website: www.pr2020.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 42: Positioning Your Agency Through Niche Blogs, with Michael Gass.

Jul 25, 2016 49:30

Description:

Michael Gass is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm that provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

Since 2007, Michael has pioneered the use of social media, content and inbound marketing strategies specifically for agency new business. Michael has originated a system that makes targeting, positioning, and differentiation easier and helps agencies to find, attract and engage their best prospects online. He has trained over 200 agency CEOs and their senior management teams in all 50 states here in the U.S. and agencies in over 21 foreign countries.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Generating new business through niche blogs Making these niche blogs truly niche (hint: “healthcare” is not a niche) Why these blogs need to be written by one or two visible authors The pace these blogs have to be written, at least initially Why you should start out with just one niche blog Why a person should be the face of only one blog How to keep this process running smoothly and consistently Why agencies have to add consulting as a service line The differences agency websites and niche blogs have to have The time commitment this kind of program requires The steps your agency can take right now to get this program up and running Ways to Contact Michael Gass: Website: michaelgass.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaelgass LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/michaelgass Twitter: @michaelgass Google+: plus.google.com/108664560492921436543

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 41: Aligning Fees, Resources, and Workloads, with Michael Farmer.

Jul 18, 2016 56:59

Description:

Michael Farmer grew up in the Midwest and was the first child in his family to go to college. He went to Princeton on an NROTC scholarship and worked at various jobs to pay the difference. After that, he spent 5 years as a naval officer, 3 years at sea, and 2 years teaching NROTC at Iowa State University. Then he was off to Harvard Business School and a one-year research assignment writing cases and teaching marketing in Lausanne, Switzerland. He then joined some consulting firms and worked all over the globe. Eventually, he ended up at Bain & Company where he spent three years in Boston, and then nine years in London, Munich, and Paris. Bain then started his own consulting firm, Farmer & Company, specializing on solving agency / advertiser problems. He stayed in London until 2001, and then returned to the States and continued his work. He wrote Madison Avenue Manslaughter between 2009 and 2015, and the book was published in 2015.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Some of the big problems agencies face today Why the future is bright for small to mid-sized independent agencies Why your agency needs a uniform approach for working with clients and an example of what that looks like The documented scope of work document: what should this look like? Why it’s harder than ever for agencies to make money Michael’s “price for the work” metric Creating accountability with client heads Why agencies probably will have an easier time fixing scope of work than they think What agencies can do right now to start fixing some of these mistakes Ways to Contact Michael Farmer: Website: farmerandco.com Twitter: @farmerandco Email: mfarmer@farmerandco.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/michaelfarmer Book: "Madison Avenue Manslaughter"

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 40: Mistakes Agency Owners Make That Cost Money, with Drew McLellan.

Jul 11, 2016 27:33

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency over the last 20-years. And all through the year, he straddles the fence of working in his agency and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies in a variety of ways.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with a lot of agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Gross Billings vs. Adjusted Gross Income How agencies lose money when pricing Why scope creep leads to little or no profit Why your agency needs to issue change orders and how to turn this into a process Why you need to use the one page business plan How to know if you need a better new business plan (hint: you probably do) Why you need a tax advisor not a tax preparer Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 39: Scaling Your Agency, with Jason Swenk.

Jul 6, 2016 37:07

Description:

Jason Swenk calls himself the defender of truth, justice, and effective business practices. 16-years ago, he founded a digital agency and they worked with clients like AFLAC, AT&T, Coca-Cola, and LegalZoom. He sold that agency and is now working with agencies, teaching them to use cutting-edge business strategies to defend themselves against the competition. His website, www.jasonswenk.com, has a plethora of information dedicated to educating agency owners including Agency Insights, his weekly newsletter.  

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Jason prepared his agency for sale The importance of systems inside an agency What to do when the systems you put in place make you nonessential for day-to-day operations Lead generation: why is this the biggest pain point for agencies and what can be done about it How agencies can deliver exceptional value to clients willing to pay a premium price and how to get those clients in the first place How to recognize which clients to seek out and which to avoid Jason’s Agency Playbook Things agencies do to get in their own way Agencies and niche: why you need to start very, very small What can agencies do right now to take action on the ideas in this episode Ways to Contact Jason Swenk: Website: www.jasonswenk.com Playbook: jasonswenk.com/playbook Podcast: jasonswenk.com/category/podcasts

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 38: Content Marketing for Your Agency and Your Clients, with Joe Pulizzi.

Jun 27, 2016 49:32

Description:

Joe Pulizzi is the founder of Content Marketing Institute, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s fourth book “Content Inc.” was just released. His third book, “Epic Content Marketing” was named one of “Five Must-Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: What agencies and clients need to do to develop a content marketing strategy that actually succeeds Why you need to focus on your email list more than people you are connected with on social media How agencies can leverage their own content better Why you need to focus on content in specific platforms over trying to be everywhere What differentiates the agencies that do content marketing extremely well Old school deliverables that still work today Why you need content marketing mission statement Why the editing process is a crucial part of content marketing The ways smart agencies get smart enough to create valuable content Things agencies can do right now to get the content marketing techniques discussed in this episode rolling Joe’s events Ways to Contact Joe Pulizzi: Twitter: @joepulizzi Website: content-inc.com Website: epiccontentmarketing.com Website: contentmarketinginstitute.com Event: www.intelligentcontentconference.com Event: www.contentmarketingworld.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 37: Your Agency from a CPA’s POV, with Donya Powell.

Jun 20, 2016 47:02

Description:

Donya Powell has been a CPA and consultant for 23 years in the advertising/marcomm industry. She learned the industry working as a contract CFO for an agency early in her career and continues to serve as a remote CFO for agencies today. She has worked through several merger and acquisition deals with agency clients as she consults with agencies across the US on operations, agency compensation agreements, merger and acquisitions and succession planning.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Misconceptions agency owners have about the value of their agency Donya’s spreadsheet for assessing your financial picture during retirement Understanding your agency’s normalized EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) Factors that severely impact your agency’s value in a negative way What you may need to change in your agency’s books Things on the financial statement that agency owners often ignore that they really need to pay attention to What financials agency owners should be looking at every week, month, and quarter Budgets: can modern, project-based agencies use them? Mistakes agencies make in regards to taxes and tax strategies to take advantage of How to know if your agency is structured as a corporation in the correct way Things to think about when planning the selling your agency Factors that play into an agency sale falling through Things agency owners can do right now to start improving their agency’s financial health with the idea of an eventual sale Ways to Contact Donya Powell: Email: donya@consultiium.com Phone: (303) 932-1193 Resources: AMI Monthly Financial Report (Mac) AMI Monthly Financial Report (PC)

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 36: Using PR for Business Development, with Don Beehler.

Jun 13, 2016 44:01

Description:

Don Beehler has worked with news media from local to international levels and has won numerous professional awards throughout his career. He also has co-authored or ghostwritten three books for clients and has a blog called The Art of Telling Your Story.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The dramatic changes PR has seen over the years How agencies can use PR as a strategic tool to drive new business How to determine what stories to pitch Ways you can become discoverable so that reporters can find you The kind of news that is truly newsworthy for agencies Why you shouldn’t think about using PR with the expectation that people will write stories about your agency How agencies can get the right kind of attention Incorporating PR into your business plan How to correctly use PR in relation to speaking engagements How to use Google Alerts to capitalize on PR opportunity The steps to take right away to boost your PR Ways to Contact Don Beehler: Email: don@abcdcommunications.com Website: www.donbeehler.com

  We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 35: How to Deal With the Employee Shortage, with Drew McLellan.

Jun 6, 2016 32:23

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency over the last 20-years. And all through the year, he straddles the fence of working in his agency and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies in a variety of ways.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with a lot of agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The employee shortage: why it’s happening right now What agency employees want most (and how to use this to attract and retain them) Things that will cause employees to leave The best benefits you can offer to attract and retain employees How you can compete with the corporate world for employees Why you need to be actively looking for employees, even if you don’t need them right now Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 34: Agencies Should Solve Thorny Problems, with Gareth Kay.

May 30, 2016 51:01

Description:

Gareth Kay is a strategist by trade. He’s co-founder of Chapter, a creative business partner dedicated to solving the wicked problems facing pioneering businesses. Prior to setting up Chapter, Gareth was Chief Strategy Officer and Partner at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners and the Head of Planning at Modernista! In his decade in the US, Gareth has led strategy on brands including Google, Cisco, TD Ameritrade, the NBA, General Motors, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. and (RED).

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Gareth’s decision to venture off and start Chapter What makes Chapter truly unique How to build a business model and hire employees when the work you do is very diverse Becoming a client’s partner through absolute transparency How to generate new business when you’re in the project based business Creating ideas and solutions vs creating “stuff” How Chapter develops and retains its staff The importance of transparency with your employees How Gareth’s perspective has changed since making the jump into ownership Things agencies can do to move away from widget sales to selling ideas and problem solving Ways to Contact Gareth Kay: Twitter: @garethk Company Twitter: @chaptersf Email: gareth@chaptersf.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support

Episode 33: How to Become a Trend Curator, with Rohit Bhargava.

May 23, 2016 36:56

Description:

Rohit Bhargava is a non-obvious trend curator and an expert in helping brands and leaders be more influential. He is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of five books on topics as wide ranging as the future of business, building a brand with personality, and why leaders never eat cauliflower. Rohit has advised hundreds of global brands as the Senior Vice President of Global Strategy & Planning at Ogilvy and with his own firm, Influential Marketing Group. He also teaches marketing at Georgetown University. A two-time TEDx speaker, Rohit has keynoted events in 31 countries and is regularly featured as a marketing expert by media such as The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and NPR.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Working as a solopreneur vs. working in an agency Rohit’s trend report that started as a blog post Habits for being a trend spotter Big trends for 2016 VR: How Virtual Reality can become important to agencies Data overload: what will happen when all the data available to different parties eventually gets pooled together? Understand your clients’ true needs and becoming their true partner Architecting an Innovation Day to open up your clients’ wallets How to teach trend-creating thinking to employees coming out of college Ways to Contact Rohit Bhargava: Website: www.rohitbhargava.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rohitbhargava Twitter: @rohitbhargava “Non Obvious” Book Website: nonobviousbook.com More Books: www.rohitbhargava.com/books-publications

  We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 32: Business Development in a Digital Age, with Tom Martin.

May 16, 2016 54:48

Description:

Tom Martin, author of “Invisible Sale,” has been in the agency life for many years. He has spent 20 years driving new business for agencies. In 2010, he created Converse Digital, an agency that focuses on doing business differently.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How new business has changed over the years Why clients no longer believe in hiring just one agency How to define your value to your clients when delivering ideas instead of “stuff” Correctly positioning your agency in the days when your client first discovers you Painless Prospecting: how to get great leads to find you Can Painless Prospecting work for generalists? The risks of delegating the Painless Prospecting process What your content has to do for your Painless Prospecting process to work Why giving away your secret sauce is never going to implode your business Tom’s propinquity theory on marketing today What you can do right now to get started on the business development path discussed in this episode Ways to Contact Tom Martin: Website: www.conversedigital.com Twitter: @TomMartin Book: "Invisible Sale"

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 31: Agency Projects and Profitability, with Ron Baker.

May 9, 2016 48:11

Description:

Ron Baker is the founder of VeraSage Institute, a leading think tank dedicated to educating professionals internationally, and a radio talk-show host called The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the Knowledge Economy. Ron is the author of seven best-selling books, including “The Firm of the Future,” “Pricing on Purpose,” and “The Soul of Enterprise: Dialogues on Business in the Knowledge Economy,” co-authored with Ed Kless.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Ron believes that the billable hour and the timesheet need to go Value pricing: the differences between different pricing plans Ways to add in additional value that isn’t more “stuff” How to start a value conversation The typical agency objections of value pricing and why they’re false How to succeed at the transition to value pricing Other kinds of mistakes agencies make when shifting towards value pricing The major benefits for focusing on value and the customer Action steps that agencies can take when deciding whether or not to utilize value pricing Ways to Contact Ron Baker: Website: www.verasage.com Email: ron@verasage.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ronbaker1 Twitter: @ronaldbaker Radio Talk Show: www.thesoulofenterprise.com Ron's Books: "The Firm of the Future" "Pricing on Purpose" "The Soul of Enterprise: Dialogues on Business in the Knowledge Economy"

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 30: How to Identify and Prevent Internal Fraud, with Drew McLellan.

May 2, 2016 21:54

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency over the last 20-years. And all through the year, he straddles the fence of working in his agency and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies in a variety of ways.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with a lot of agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Common ways internal fraud is committed and ways to prevent it from happening How agencies are targeted with email scams The ways Drew has seen agency employees embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from agencies The systems you need to put in place to prevent fraud Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 29: Spend Time Doing Your Homework, with Mitch Joel.

Apr 25, 2016 56:48

Description:

When Google wants to explain innovation and marketing to the top brands in the world, they bring Mitch Joel to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Marketing Magazine dubbed him the "Rock Star of Digital Marketing" and called him, "one of North America's leading digital visionaries." Mitch Joel is President of Mirum – a global digital marketing agency operating in 20 countries with over 2500 employees (although he prefers the title, Media Hacker). He has been named one of the top 100 online marketers in the world and was awarded the highly prestigious Canada's Top 40 Under 40.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Mirum’s unique structure Generalists vs specialists: the philosophical and financial reasons agencies should specialize instead of generalizing How to figure out if a client is a good fit for your agency Mad Men vs Math Men: how to blend creative and data Why it’s more important than ever to stay hungry and keep learning everything you can Do your homework: how to balance learning time with time spent on client work “Algorhythm”: Mitch’s upcoming book Tools Mitch uses for consistent learning Ways to Contact Mitch Joel: Website: mitchjoel.com Agency website: www.mirumagency.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 28: Your Words Tell Your Agency’s Story, with Jody Sutter.

Apr 18, 2016 49:24

Description:

Jody Sutter started her career in sales and ended up working in agencies leading the new business teams. Today she runs The Sutter Company, a business development consultancy. She spends a lot of time working with agencies to take a more proactive approach to growing their business with a special emphasis on how they communicate and tell their unique story.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why strong writing is more important than ever in our digital age The major mistakes that agencies make when presenting themselves in writing How to avoid making the big mistakes agencies make when responding to RFPs Why editing is so important for improving your team’s writing, how to get good at it, and what you should keep in mind if you are outsourcing the editing How agencies can differentiate themselves through storytelling The Pixar pitch The “5 things that you can do to make your writing better right away” checklist What you need to do to assess whether or not your writing needs improvement Ways to Contact Jody Sutter: Website: www.thesuttercompany.com Email: jody@thesuttercompany.com Twitter: @jodysutter Resources: Points of Contact Matrix Pixar Pitch/Writer’s Checklist

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 27: Taking a Traditional Agency on a Digital Evolution, with Nick Westergaard.

Apr 11, 2016 40:22

Description:

Nick Westergaard is a strategist, speaker, author, and educator. He is the chief brand strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps organizations build better brands online. He teaches at the University of Iowa in the Tippie College of Business, is a regular columnist on The Cedar Rapids Gazette, and is also the host of the popular podcast, “On Brand.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Nick took his traditional agency and transitioned it to becoming a digital powerhouse The differences and similarities between traditional and digital marketing and why they really aren’t all that different Social Brand Forum: Brand Driven Digital’s yearly live event The business strategy behind having a live event Why you should get out and attend events The importance of prioritizing your agency as a client Why experimentation is so important for your agency’s success Ways to Contact Nick Westergaard: Website: www.branddrivendigital.com Twitter: @NickWestergaard

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 26: Moving Agencies Forward Through New Business Acquisition, with Lee McKnight Jr.

Apr 4, 2016 55:43

Description:

Lee McKnight Jr. is the Director of Business Development for RSW/US in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are a new business development firm that works solely with agencies and marketing services firms. After graduating law school, he ran away as fast possible from that profession and worked for an internet healthcare start-up until the bubble burst and his magical stock options disappeared in the late 90s.

Fast forward through some interesting marketing and sales positions to RSW/US where Lee has spent the last 8 years working with agencies of all types to help drive their new business efforts. A big fan of history, comics and horror novels, he’s currently in a few bands in Louisville and Cincinnati and likes to pretend that chicks dig married, 44-year-old guys with kids that play in cover bands.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How to prevent your agency from making the major mistakes that agencies make all the time Why agencies need to specialize instead of generalize New business: how to develop a better, simpler process How to use a delicately balanced process that uses all different kinds of marketing Why patience is so key in closing on new business The importance of having one person who is the leader on a project Why there needs to be a balance between showcasing the figurehead and the agency The tools you’re going to need to put into practice the objectives discussed in this episode Ways to Contact Lee McKnight Jr.: Website: www.rswus.com Email: lee@rswus.com Twitter: @LeeMcKnightJr

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 25: How to Deal with Stale Employees, with Drew McLellan.

Mar 28, 2016 17:09

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency over the last 20-years. And all through the year, he straddles the fence of working in his agency and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies in a variety of ways.

AMI works with agency owners:

By leading agency owner peer groups Offers workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offers AE bootcamps Conducts individual agency owner coaching Does on site consulting.

Because he works with a lot of agencies every year -- he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Stale employees: how to recognize them and why they’re holding your agency back Can these employees be saved? It’s a firm maybe. How to have the necessary conversation with stale employees -- you owe them honesty The kinds of goals to set to see measurable change and growth before determining their place inside your agency The costs to you as an agency owner for working with stale employees to up their game How to recognize if you really do have to let the employee go How to make a decision while realizing that you aren’t the only person it affects Ways to contact Drew McLellan: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 24: Hiring for Keeps, with Art Boulay.

Mar 21, 2016 57:02

Description:

Art Boulay is the owner of Strategic Talent Management and offers common sense solutions for hiring better employees and making current employees stronger. Art has partnered with AMI for years and has created (through testing A players) profiles for the ideal candidates for most agency specific positions.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Assessment tools for hiring the right employee lead to more objective and effective hiring How Art’s tools can assess agencies, what makes them unique, and how that will help to find the right future employees From hire to retire: what employers and employees should do to ensure that employees don’t leave right away How to use assessments to counteract biases that we bring to the table during the hiring process Why asking specific types of questions and having at least two people conducting an interview will reveal what you actually need to know about interviewees Tips for making ads as attractive as possible to the people you want to hire and unappealing to people you don’t even want to interview Why age is not an indicator of knowledge and skill: hire leaders, not experience Ways to Contact Art Boulay: Website: www.strategictalentmgmt.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 23: How To Create Content That Matters, with Ann Handley.

Mar 14, 2016 45:43

Description:

Ann Handley speaks and writes about how you can rethink the way your business markets. Cited in Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers, Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a training and education company with the largest community of marketers in its category. Her book, "Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content," is a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

She is a monthly columnist for Entrepreneur magazine, a member of the LinkedIn Influencer program, and co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, "Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, eBooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business." She currently has 290,000 followers on Twitter and writes about content, marketing, and life at AnnHandley.com.

A pioneer in digital marketing, Ann is the co-founder of ClickZ.com, which was one of the first sources of interactive marketing news and commentary. She started her career as a business journalist and editor.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How agencies can educate their clients The MarketingProfs B2B Forum Strategies for working on better content instead of lots of content Why you need to focus on writing during the hiring process and throughout your agency’s work Resources for editing whether you have the budget for a human editor or not Why you need to find writers with an audience-centric point of view (and the pros and cons of hiring journalists) Tips for creating spaces for creating your best writing Ways to Contact Ann Handley: Website: www.annhandley.com Twitter: @annhandley Twitter: @marketingprofs Company website: www.marketingprofs.com B2B Marketing Forum: mpb2b.marketingprofs.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 22: Defining your agency, with Jami Oetting.

Mar 7, 2016 43:10

Description:

Jami Oetting is the editor of Hubspot’s Agency Post, which is a blog for advertising and marketing agency professionals. She led the launch of the publication in 2011 and its growth before Hubspot acquired it in 2013. Hubspot works with about 2,500 agency partners and about 15,000 customers worldwide. Now, Jami’s blog is one of the largest blogs for agency professionals. It offers incredible content to help agency leaders grow their business.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How agencies can and should be getting clients now that we’re not bound by geography Why getting business through referrals is still viable -- but why the source of those referrals is changing Why buyers have as much if not more information than sellers and what that means for your agency Using inbound marketing to attract the right kind of clients (and turn away the wrong ones) Why you need to stick with inbound marketing content creation Why you absolutely must specialize on a niche if you want to survive Why you will struggle to attract great employees if you don’t have a strong new business plan Why you need someone on your team who is responsible for marketing your agency How to come up with content for your blog Why interviews are a great way to create content What agency owners can do right now to get the ideas from this podcast into place Ways to Contact Jami Oetting: Website: blog.hubspot.com/agency Email: joetting@hubspot.com Twitter: @jamioetting

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 21: Innovation Can be Learned, with Gavin Heaton.

Feb 29, 2016 46:20

Description:

Gavin is a marketing technologist, strategist, and advisor. He is the founder of the Disruptor’s Handbook, a network of entrepreneurs and innovators that help businesses innovate like startups, which Gavin calls “marketing lead innovation.”

He has led new venture startups for organizations like PwC, developed digital strategy and execution for global brands on both the agency and client sides, and spent some time as an analyst in digital transformation for award-winning analyst and advisory firm, Constellation Research.

He also has extensive international experience in driving measurable outcomes via digital customer experience platforms, digital strategy, and executing innovative content driven campaigns.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Gavin’s long road that ultimately led him to become a marketer Creating value for customers by working on their problems The evolving role of agencies Why you have to be transparent about what it is that you do How to get your employees to become better strategic thinkers A “lean canvas” and creating a business out of the problem that has an idea as a solution How to have better business conversations Improving your business by bringing together your best advocates and harshest critics Getting past the fear that comes with working transparently What agencies can do today to become better at honing in on their clients’ problems Tips for fostering innovative thinking throughout your entire organization Why you need to start thinking like a startup Ways to Contact Gavin Heaton: Website: www.servantofchaos.com Handbook website: disruptorshandbook.com Twitter: @servantofchaos

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 20: Define Your Mission, Vision, and Values, with Drew McLellan.

Feb 22, 2016 20:36

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The things we say about our agencies that make them all sound the same The terms every agency uses to describe themselves Why you can’t say you’re good at everything Finding clients that are the right fit Understanding who you are as an agency The benefits of defining your “why” Remembering that hiring your agency is a huge risk for the person making that decision and what you can do to alleviate that person’s fears An example: how my agency McLellan Marketing Group defines itself Ways to contact Drew: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 19: Systems Lead to Scale, with Brian Shea.

Feb 15, 2016 43:35

Description:

Brian Shea is the founder of Shea Consulting where he helps companies streamline their business development systems so they can enjoy consistent, sustainable success. Most business owners flinch at the word “systems” but in reality a system that is simple and repeatable helps free business owners to be more creative, more successful and more profitable.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Brian’s background in consulting What is keeping smaller companies from utilizing processes and systems Why systems and processes are so crucial for scaling Freeing up capacity through delegation Why processes and systems can often fail inside agencies Making sure the system or process matches the actual problem The four-step assessment Brian uses with his clients for finding the right systems The importance on getting clear with specific goals Who in an agency keeps systems from succeeding How to bring processes to agencies that pride themselves on their creativity What happens when systems aren’t put in place How to solve the scope creep problem What systems every agency needs to have What you can do today to begin being more process driven Ways to Contact Brian Shea: Consulting website: www.sheaconsulting.biz Blog and newsletter: www.sheaconsulting.biz/blog

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 18: Improving Productivity Through Accountability, with Adam Carroll.

Feb 8, 2016 52:17

Description:

Adam Carroll is quickly being recognized as one of the top financial educators in the country based on his core message of “you are the architect of your own life.” Adam has presented all over the globe. Over 500 universities have been lucky enough to host him and he has presented some amazing TedTalks all over the world.

In 2014, Adam successfully crowdfunded a documentary on student loan debt titled Broke, Busted & Disgusted, and he raised nearly $70,000 for the film in 45 days. The mission of the film is to start a national debate about changing the way we fund college and not crippling 20 something’s with mountains of debt.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Adam’s documentary “Broke, Busted, & Disgusted” Accountability and business owners: why you need accountability partners What agencies should be doing at the tail end of the year How Adam saves time for his family by using a Power Priority List What to look for (and look out for) in an accountability partner What different kinds of accountability partners you should have (hint: they shouldn’t all be entrepreneurs) Mastermind groups vs. accountability partners: do you need both? If not, which one is right for you? The commitment required for mastermind groups and accountability partners What you can do right now to act on the ideas from this episode Adam Recommends: Book: Essentialism by Greg McKeown Book: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill Podcast: Dream, Think, Do by Mitch Matthews, episode: "Masterminds" Adam Carroll's Websites: Business Website: www.adamspeaks.com Podcast: www.buildabiggerlife.com Film: www.brokebusteddisgusted.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 17: Capitalize on the New Frontier of Customer Service, with Jay Baer.

Feb 1, 2016 46:34

Description:

Jay Baer is known for many things. He’s the world’s most retweeted digital marketer. He is also a renowned business strategist, keynote speaker, and The New York Times bestselling author of five books.

He also travels the globe helping people get and keep more customers. He’s the founder of Convince & Convert, a strategy consulting firm that helps prominent companies gain and keep more customers through the smart intersection of technology, social media, and customer service. His company’s media division owns the world's number one content marketing blog, the world’s top marketing podcast, and many other educational resources for business owners and executives.

Jay has created five multimillion-dollar companies and is an active venture capitalist and technology advisor as well as an avid tequila collector and certified barbeque judge. His new book, Hug Your Haters, is coming out on March 1st.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Jay’s new book “Hug Your Haters” and what you need to know about the people who complain on social media How to use this information to increase your customer advocacy Why complaints are going to continue to go more and more public Defining customer experience in the modern age Why this creates enormous opportunity for B2B buyers Why haters are your most important customers The problem with surveys The Honest Audit: what this is and how to put it into place Things that agencies have to be careful of when discussing these issues with clients Software solutions that agencies of all size can leverage How agencies should package and price this sort of work What agencies can do right now to get started Ways to contact Jay Baer: Website: www.convinceandconvert.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 16: Chemistry is Key in New Business, with Bob Sanders.

Jan 25, 2016 51:59

Description:

Bob Sanders is a powerhouse in the marketing industry. He has previously worked with Agency Management Group, a firm that specialized in the operations, finance, and technology consultations for multinational agencies around the world. Since then, he has become the leader of Sanders Consulting Group, a leading consulting firm specializing in helping agencies implement best practices faster and more effectively. 

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How agencies can manipulate chemistry to their advantage The four quadrants people fall into and why this is an important thing to be able to assess when pitching new business Why you should never stop generating new business What agencies can do to get better at closing sales Strategies that work with big and small accounts Why spec creative isn’t something to be feared How to play on the misperception that agencies live exciting lives Why you need to alter your pitch based on who you’re pitching to How to be persistent to the point where potential clients are always thinking about you What your agency needs to do today to get on the right track in terms of new business Ways to contact Bob Sanders: Website: www.sandersconsulting.com Twitter: @newbusinesshawk Email: bob@sandersconsulting.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 15: Why You Need Weekly One-On-One Meetings With Every Employee, with Drew McLellan.

Jan 18, 2016 15:09

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How you are preventing your employees from becoming the employees you want them to be Why every employee needs weekly one-on-one meetings with their direct supervisor How to get your employees to run these meetings The form that needs to be filled out before one of these meetings takes place How these meetings can help you celebrate the wins you might not know about if you didn’t have these meetings Documents: Direct Report Form Ways to contact Drew: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 14: Using Research to Grow Your Agency, with Susan Baier.

Jan 11, 2016 49:27

Description:

Susan Baier began her career as a brand manager for companies like Dial and Conoco-Philips. She also worked agency side and within client companies in their research departments, honing her skills as a research professional.

Recognizing that primary research was often too expensive for small to mid-sized agencies, she launched Audience Audit, where she conducts quantitative attitudinal audience segmented research. She helps her agency clients develop marketing strategy for their clients based on customer insights. They find it much easier to develop messaging, strategic plans, and business development plans with real data that helps them understand how customers who look (demographically) the same behave in very different ways and what motives those choices and behaviors.

Over the past few years, AMI and Audience Audit have partnered together for studies on how business owners find agencies, their attitudes towards working with agencies, and more.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How the research that Audience Audit does differs from a lot of the research that’s out there How your agency can leverage research inside your agency-client relationships The ways agencies can better sell the value of research to existing and prospective clients Why agencies can’t build their business around “shiny toys” The ways research has changed and why agencies shouldn’t be afraid to bring it to clients that they haven’t done research with in the past How bringing research to clients can give them a sense of relief and make it easier for your agency to retain their business A specific example of how this kind of targeted research helped a client in a big way The mistakes agencies make when trying bring research into their shop Why niche really matters when it comes to research Baby steps agencies can take to start incorporating research Ways to contact Susan Baier: Website: www.audienceaudit.com Email: susan@audienceaudit.com Twitter: @susanbaier Resources: 2015 research 2014 research

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 13: Sales is not a dirty word in the agency business, with Chuck Meyst.

Jan 4, 2016 53:11

Description:

Chuck Meyst has been in sales all his life, from his childhood bike route to CEO and founder of AgencyFinder.com, a matchmaking service for agencies.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Chuck started AgencyFinder and how it works Why agency descriptions of themselves should be results-focused What both clients and agencies need to do well to find the right partner The big mistakes agencies make with their websites Sales: why do agencies not like this word? The traits Chuck sees in terrible employees Why processes are so important, especially when it comes to sales The characteristics in agencies that clients love to see How agencies win business through pure chemistry What AgencyFinder does to assess agencies and how to receive that perfect score of 100 How AgencyFinder helps agencies team up with clients that are great matches Things agencies can do today to improve upon the topics discussed in this episode Ways to Contact Chuck: Website: www.agencyfinder.com Email: chuck@agencyfinder.com Phone: (804)346-1812

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 12: Growing Your Agency without Growing Pains, with Karl Sakas.

Dec 28, 2015 46:44

Description:

Karl Sakas served as the #2 man in a couple different digital agencies before he created the Marketing Agencies community at Inbound.org, which has over 1,000 agencies in 48 countries. As president of Sakas and Company, Karl advises agencies worldwide about strategy, operations, and leadership.

He also volunteers as a bartender on a 1930’s railroad car. He has recently published a book entitled, “The In Demand Marketing Agency: How to Use Public Speaking to Become an Agency of Choice.”  

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why Karl launched Sakas and Company High-growth agencies vs. lifestyle agencies How agency owners can do what they love without getting sucked into the day-to-day client work How to turn a high-growth agency into an asset that can actually be sold Things that get in the way of the growth and scaling of agencies and how to fix them Karl’s Time Bucket Template for improving time management How agency owners looking to sell their agency should spend their time Action steps agency owners can take to put these theories into practice Recommended books and resources The In-Demand Marketing Agency: How to Use Public Speaking to Become an Agency of Choice Karl's Time Bucket Template Don't Just Make the Logo Bigger: Taking Clients from Painful to Profitable Don’t Be the Shoemaker: And 11 Other Easy-to-Implement Ideas to Improve Your Agency Escape Plan: Your Guide to Finally Getting Out of the Office Website: www.sakasandcompany.com Email: karl@sakasandcompany.com Twitter: @karlsakas and @sakasandco

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 11: Recognizing Your Role as an Agency Owner, with Trent Dyrsmid.

Dec 21, 2015 43:10

Description:

Before Trent Dyrsmid started a digital agency called Groove, he founded Dyrand Systems, a managed IT service provider that was recognized twice as one of Canada’s PROFIT Magazine’s 100 fastest growing companies. During his 8 years as CEO, Trent was fortunate to have been recognized as one of the Top 40 under 40 business people in Vancouver, B.C.

In addition to overseeing Groove, Trent is also the host of the Bright Ideas podcast, where he regularly publishes interviews with some of today’s brightest entrepreneurs.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Trent’s journey into entrepreneurship, leaving to become an employee, and his return to being his own boss Why Trent created Bright Ideas and Groove Digital Marketing The importance of creating a business that works within a niche Generating leads through a lead magnet Why you should be targeting leads on Facebook How to make your agency more valuable by creating systems and getting out of the client work What’s next for agency owners that have successfully built the systems that allow them to take a step away from their agency Action steps for putting in place the topics discussed in this episode Trent Dyrsmid Recommends: E-myth by Michael Gerber A Stake in the Outcome by Jack Stack www.brightideas.co/whats-next Bright Ideas interviews Brian Clark: www.brightideas.co/145 Contact Trent Dyrsmid: Website: www.brightideas.co

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 10: Establishing Life and Agency Goals for 2016, with Drew McLellan.

Dec 16, 2015 17:43

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why planning ahead is so important and why your agency can’t ignore it The Agency Owner Life Plan The One Page Business Plan Steps you can take to hold you and your leadership teams accountable on the goals you set together Documents: Drew's completed 2016 Agency Owner Life Plan document Blank Agency Owner Life Plan document Blank Agency One Page Business Plan document Ways to contact Drew: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 9: Understanding Programmatic Buying and Real-Time Bidding, with Jay Friedman.

Dec 9, 2015 49:20

Description:

Jay Friedman is a nationally recognized and accomplished digital media expert, speaker, and author. You will often find him speaking at conferences, writing for lead publications, websites, and books. He recently authored the incredibly well written, information packed 7th edition of “Thirty Days to PAID Digital Media Expertise.” He is, without question, a well-versed expert on digital media and programmatic buying.

In 2006, Jay joined Goodway Group to launch the digital division. Now in 2015, Goodway has more than 200 clients across the country.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Programmatic buying: what is it? Why programmatic buying is much more effective than traditional ad buying models How to know whether to bring programmatic buying in-house or work with a partner and rules for both options Jay’s action plan for jumping into programmatic Why programmatic partners have to continually educate their agencies The qualities that the agencies that do programmatic well all have in common How agencies can succeed by adapting the Airbnb and the Uber model What agencies need to do to be good partners to their programmatic partners Websites Jay recommends: www.AdExchanger.com www.goodwaygroup.com www.mediapost.com Ways to contact Jay: Email: jay@goodwaygroup.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 8: Making the Shift to Specialization, with Douglas Burdett.

Dec 2, 2015 46:15

Description:

Douglas Burdett is a B2B marketing agency principle. He is a former artillery officer, and his agency, Artillery, helps agencies get found online, convert website traffic into leads, and nurture leads towards a sale. Douglas authors two marketing blogs, Forward Observer and Fire Support, and he hosts The Marketing Book Podcast.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The importance of niche for creating a market How to run a niche blog that acts as lure for your other services Why buying email addresses is a bad idea Why absolute patience is key whenever you are creating content The Marketing Book Podcast How Douglas automates the promotion of his evergreen content Why Douglas only conducts one podcast interview per week Great productivity software Douglas and his team use Tips and resources for getting your own podcast started Ways to contact Douglas Burdett: Agency website: www.artillerymarketing.com Email: douglas@artillerymarketing.com Douglas Burdett’s Blogs and Podcast: Forward Observer: http://www.artillerymarketing.com/blog Fire Support: http://www.defensecontractormarketing.com The Marketing Book Podcast: http://www.artillerymarketing.com/marketing-book-podcast

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 7: Mentoring your best assets, with Mitch Matthews.

Nov 25, 2015 01:01:25

Description:

Mitch Matthews is a keynote speaker, a success coach, and a bestselling author. He has an amazing podcast titled Dream, Think, Do. Mitch works with leaders from companies such as NASA, Disney, Booking.com, and more. He is passionate about coaching entrepreneurs and leaders to dream bigger, think better, and do more of the stuff they love.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why mentoring your employees is so important Mentorship 2.0: how to structure your mentor/mentee relationships to draw out the best results The dangers of “getting a PhD in mentoring” Mentoring with the CEO vs. CFO model How to equip employees to make decisions The fundamental differences between how we were brought up and how millennials were brought up and how to deal with these differences How to mentor someone who is skilled in areas that you aren’t Mitch’s “Mentor Manager Cheat Sheet” Book Recommendations: "Drive," by Dan Pink "IGNITE" (2nd Edition), by Mitch Matthews Mentoring Cheat Sheet Ways to Contact Mitch: Website: www.mitchmatthews.com Podcast: www.mitchmatthews.com/blog

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 6: Legal protection for today’s agency, with Sharon Toerek.

Nov 18, 2015 43:54

Description:

Sharon Toerek is an intellectual and property law attorney. Her national firm, Toerek Law, works with clients all over the country, devoting time to helping creative professionals protect, enforce and monetize their creative assets. Sharon consults with clients on legal issues surrounding copywriting, content protection, licensing of creative content, trademark and brand protection, and more.

She is the former President of the American Ad Federation (AAF) Cleveland and serves on the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) Legal Consultant panel.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: The most common legal concerns agencies have The big misperceptions that get agencies into hot water How and why you need to structure agreements with freelancers and clients The Legal and Creative Agency Protection System The big legal issues that are holding agencies back Employees and social media: the policies you need to put in place with your employees to protect your agency Some things you can do at low to no cost to protect your agency legally Resources Sharon provides: Website: www.legalandcreative.com Website: www.agencylegalprotection.com Developed as a result of FAQ’s Sharon was receiving, Agency Legal Protection is a legal toolkit for marketing agencies. Ways to contact Sharon: Email: Sharon@legalandcreative.com Twitter: @SharonToerek

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 5: Stop Getting in Your Own Way of Scaling and Growing, with Drew McLellan.

Nov 11, 2015 17:57

Description:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency over the last 20-years. And all through the year, he straddles the fence of working in his agency and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies in a variety of ways.

AMI works with agency owners by:

Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on-site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with a lot of agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How to know if you are spending too much time on client work Why your agency’s growth suffers when you spend your time on client work The specific areas where you should actually be spending your time Ways to contact Drew: Email: drew@agencymanagementinstitute.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 4: Clarity trumps persuasion, with Stephen Woessner.

Nov 4, 2015 53:54

Description:

Stephen Woessner is CEO of Predictive ROI and the host of the brilliant Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, The Small Business Owner’s Handbook to Search Engine Optimization and Increase Online Sales Through Viral Social Networking. His digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Inc. Magazine and more. His agency blends education in very transparent ways for clients.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Stephen’s agency blends education into what they do for their clients How you can charge a premium fee while building trust and proving expertise What needs to be changed to fix the money draining mistakes that are sucking money out of your business Predictive ROI’s scorecard The modern agency ecosphere Data vs. traditional creative: how do you blend them? Why Predictive ROI had to completely rewrite their client contract agreement How their money-back guarantee has helped them retain clients longer Strategies to use to assert your intelligence to clients and earn them money How to combat the fear of criticism Ways to contact Stephen: Company Website: www.predictiveroi.com Podcast Website: www.onwardnation.com Email: stephen@predictiveroi.com Twitter: @StephenWoessner

Books:

The Small Business Owner's Handbook to Search Engine Optimization Increase Online Sales Through Viral Social Networking

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 3: Increasing your New Business Odds, with Peter Levitan.

Oct 19, 2015 39:49

Description:

Peter Levitan builds successful brands, digital technologies, publishing and advertising environments, and highly effective marketing programs for Fortune 500 companies. He has 30 years of experience running Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide, his own Portland Agency, and as the CEO of two Internet start-ups.

What you'll learn about in this episode: The major mistakes agencies make in regards to bringing on new business How to create distinction using your website and the reason most agency websites aren’t attractive to clients The ways agencies are doing sales wrong and what can be done about it Specialization vs. generalization: how to specialize and still have fun The kind of research Peter’s agency does that helps them look better than their competition Why you should stop using the term “full-service” if you want to position your agency against your competition They ways many agencies and agency owners are failing when it comes to their content Recommended books and resources: The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches.

Websites (not his):

www.londonadvertising.com www.frankpr.com www.L2inc.com

Books (not his):

Seth Godin’s books Poke the Box All Marketers Are Liars We Are All Weird: The Rise of Tribes and the End of Normal Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Ways to Contact Peter: Website: www.peterlevitan.com Email: peter@peterlevitan.com Twitter: @PeterLevitan

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 2: Retooling and reinventing your agency for the future, with Jason Falls.

Oct 19, 2015 44:18

Description:

Jason Falls is one of the most widely read and respected voices in digital marketing and social media industries today. He leads digital strategy for Elasticity and he also shares his no-nonsense ideas regularly on his own website, www.jasonfalls.com.

He is the author of some great books, including “No Bullshit Social Media” and “The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why social cannot be an upsell The benefits of putting your pride aside, admitting you can’t do everything, and partnering your agency up with other agencies Why you need to be truly honest with yourself about what your agency’s strengths and weaknesses are How to protect your agency when partnering with other agencies How millennials are changing the entire landscape of our world and what we need to do to adapt The action steps you can take to start partnering up with the right agencies Recommended books and resources: No Bullshit Social Media The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing Website: www.jasonfalls.com Twitter: @jasonfalls Website: www.goelastic.com

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Episode 1: Increasing Client Loyalty, with Scott Monty.

Oct 19, 2015 45:22

Description:

Scott is an international recognized leader in digital communications, digital transformation, social media, and marketing. He is the principal of Scott Monty Strategies where he counsels brands and agencies on strategy, executive communications, influencer management, customer experience, and digital innovations.

He has extensive experience in communications and marketing agencies, including a client base of IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, T-Mobile, GE Software, and more.

He has also authored the widely acclaimed Week in Digital newsletter at ScottMonty.com and is the executive editor and co-host of the Sherlock Holmes website and podcast “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.

What you’ll learn about in this episode: What Scott learned about agency/client relationships while working at Ford The qualities in agencies that clients want to keep around The things agencies tend to do that get on clients’ nerves How Scott sells his consulting services by having a side career giving speeches Why understanding humans on a deep level is an important strategy to work on “The Week In Digital”: Scott’s weekly newsletter Scott’s great strategy for getting to the core of ideas Ways to Contact Scott: Company Website: www.ScottMonty.com Sherlock Holmes site/podcast: http://www.ihearofsherlock.com Email: scott@scottmonty.com Twitter: @ScottMonty

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!