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Build a Better Agency Podcast

Scale and grow your agency with better clients, invested employees, and a stronger bottom line, with Drew McLellan of Agency Management Institute.
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 25, 2017

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:

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!

Dec 18, 2017

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:

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!

Dec 11, 2017

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:

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!

Dec 4, 2017

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:

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!

Nov 27, 2017

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:

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!

Nov 20, 2017

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:

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!

Nov 13, 2017

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:

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!

Nov 6, 2017

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:

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!

Oct 30, 2017

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:

Resources:

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!

Oct 23, 2017

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:

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!

Oct 16, 2017

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!

Oct 9, 2017

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:

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!

Oct 2, 2017

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:

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!

Sep 25, 2017

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:

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!

Sep 18, 2017

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:

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!

Sep 11, 2017

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:

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]

Sep 4, 2017

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:

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!

Aug 28, 2017

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:

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!

Aug 21, 2017

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:

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!

Aug 14, 2017

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:

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!

Aug 7, 2017

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:

Resources:

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!

Jul 31, 2017

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:

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!

Jul 24, 2017

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:

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!

Jul 17, 2017

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:

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!

Jul 10, 2017

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:

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!

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