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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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Build a Better Agency Podcast
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Now displaying: 2017
Jul 3, 2017

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:

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!

Jun 26, 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:

  • 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:

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!

Jun 19, 2017

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:

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!

Jun 12, 2017

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:

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!

Jun 5, 2017

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!

May 29, 2017

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:

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!

May 22, 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:

  • 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:

May 15, 2017

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:

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!

May 8, 2017

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:

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!

May 1, 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.  

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:

Apr 24, 2017

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:

Apr 17, 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:

  • 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:

Apr 10, 2017

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:

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!

Apr 3, 2017

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:

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!

Mar 27, 2017

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:

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!

Mar 20, 2017

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:

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!

Mar 13, 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:

  • 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:

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!

Mar 6, 2017

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:

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!

Feb 27, 2017

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:

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!

Feb 20, 2017

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:

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!

Feb 13, 2017

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:

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!

Feb 6, 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:

  • 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:

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!

Jan 30, 2017

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:

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!

Jan 23, 2017

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:

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!

Jan 16, 2017

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:

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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