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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.
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Build a Better Agency Podcast
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Now displaying: January, 2018
Jan 29, 2018

Joe Kashurba started a freelance web design business when he was in high school and grew it into a digital agency with a world-class team and clients around the world. He went from building $300 websites to building $30,000 websites and managing 6-figure digital advertising budgets for some of the largest manufacturing and construction companies.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Joe’s agency that started when he was in high school
  • Why you’ll never get consistent clients without consistent marketing
  • Selling results instead of technology and why prospects respond better to that approach
  • How to know whether it’s better to have in-house employees or an outsourced team in any given area in digital
  • Evaluating digital partners that offer services that you understand but don’t know how to do
  • Using analog marketing tactics when you have time but not money to devote to your marketing
  • Why it’s hard to scale when you try to be everything to everyone
  • The cost of offering complex services
  • How Joe manages his completely virtual team
  • The differences between selling products and services
  • Clearly defining what you offer in a package to prevent scope creep
  • What to do to get caught up on digital trends if you feel you’re really far behind (and how to stay ahead if you’re on top of it)

Ways to contact Joe Kashurba:

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 22, 2018

It’s funny what a single question can do. I was all set to record this week’s solocast about the content from the workshop I taught earlier in the week and then someone asked me a question that took me in a completely different direction. The direction of how much agency owners need a posse.

I’ll get to the workshop content next time but for this solocast I followed the nudge of the question and talked about how agency owners can surround themselves with people who understand the grind and who can make the journey a little less lonely and frustrating.

We’ll talk about the different kinds of groups out there that serve as coaches, mentors, support teams and accountability buddies. We’ll explore why this matters and how it can serve you and your business. But most of all we’ll talk about how much easier life and work can be when you have a posse!

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

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

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

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The pros and cons of local business networking groups and what you can hope to get from one
  • The importance of creating genuine connections inside your posse so they become your greatest supporters on both the best and worst days as a business owner
  • How to build a mastermind group from scratch and fill it with the right peers
  • The accountability that comes from having a strong peer group
  • Being a good member of a peer group is about giving first. You will gain in proportion to what you give
  • Why being an agency owner is one of the toughest jobs in the world and why AMI was started to give agency owners other owners in noncompetitive markets to confide in
  • The virtual and in-person peer networks that AMI offers to pair agencies up with other agencies in non-competing markets

Ways to contact Drew McLellan:

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 15, 2018

Duane Melius has worked eight years in journalism, social enterprise, and media production in London and over six years across Southeast Asia in a digital agency environment. He’s previously had clients in banking, automotive, food & hospitality, FMCG, entertainment, and more, and those clients have been both B2B and B2C. He has millions of dollars of Digital campaign experience. Duane specializes in growing teams that use digital channels to reach niche and mass audiences with ROI-enabled campaigns, activities, and retainers.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The challenges traditional agencies are facing in going digital
  • Why you need to use digital in your personal life to be able to sell it (and why your team needs to do the same to create great digital content)
  • The importance of mastering the area of digital your agency has as its core competency while keeping familiar with other areas
  • Staying on top of what’s new in digital
  • Qualities that make for great digital employees
  • Using reporting to show your clients how your digital efforts are improving
  • Ways to interview for new digital skillsets that you don’t have inside your agency yet
  • Using a multi-step approval process to make sure mistakes don’t get made with digital content
  • Making the content approval process easier on clients -- especially when there is compliance involved
  • The good and the bad of digital tools (and why there’s often more bad than good, especially with social media)
  • Why clients might start to take their social media in-house and what agencies can do to stay invaluable
  • Unlocking the competitive advantage which exists within your people

Ways to contact Duane Melius:

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 8, 2018

As soon as I heard the tax law had passed, I made one call – to Eric Levenhagen, my personal tax advisor who has helped me craft my own tax strategy for years and today works with many agency owners across the country.

I had two questions for him: 1) How do we need to alter the tactics we’ve been applying for my businesses and 2) Will you be on my podcast and help my listeners understand how the tax laws will impact them?

As you’ll hear, we got right to the heart of the matter and spent the entire episode talking specifics about how we can take advantage of the new law and what we’re going to have to shift because it’s no longer advantageous or possible.

I hope you’ll listen and walk away feeling like you have a better handle how the new tax law is going to impact your agency and your personal finances.

Eric Levenhagen founded ProWise Financial Coaching (formerly known as ProWise Tax & Accounting) in 2005 Eric’s mission is to perform a comprehensive service for his clients, unlike any other firm out there, and help clients lead a life of financial abundance.

Eric is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Tax Coach who integrates both disciplines into a holistic, client-centered approach towards maximizing his clients after-tax income and wealth.

Outside of the office, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife and kids. His hobbies include reading, following college and professional football, and music. Finally, Eric is an aspiring traveler and hopes to be able to take his family many places around the world someday.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What isn’t changing with the new tax law
  • The big deduction changes you need to know about (both for S Corps and C Corps)
  • Income pass through: the specifics of the 20% deduction you will now get on income that rolls down to your personal taxes from your agency and any other businesses you may own (as long as you don’t make too much)
  • Why we don’t know everything about the new tax law yet (and why it will take months or years to figure everything out)
  • The loopholes that are going to appear in the next few years and why you need a tax strategist (and not just a tax preparer) to find you those loopholes
  • How the new tax law will impact agencies that make stuff for clients and those that consult and sell their knowledge as a stand alone product
  • How the way C Corps get taxed will help those making over $100,000 in net income but hurt those making under that threshold
  • Are there any things that agency owners should shift from their personal taxes back to the business?
  • Keeping versatility in your tax plan so you’re not stuck if and when things change again when the tax law changes again
  • How to get your money out of your agency to invest elsewhere under the new tax law (and why it differs for S Corps and C Corps)

Ways to contact Eric Levenhagen:

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 1, 2018

Jeremy Knight spent 20 years as a B2B publisher creating publications for the private equity and fast growth business sectors. With digital technology, the Internet, and social web Jeremy believed making clients the publisher in a new media age was not just a good idea, it was the foundation for building a business. After all, building an audience was a better proposition than renting a list or leveraging third party routes to market, right? He launched Equinet Media in January 2009.

Discovering HubSpot in 2011 was a game changer. The blending of a content marketing play with an inbound methodology propelled the business forward as everything we did for clients had measurable outcomes. Today Equinet is an Inbound Agency, working specifically for the manufacturing and professional services sectors, operating on the EOS system and delivering services through an agile scrum process.  

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Jeremy’s transition from publisher to agency owner and the challenges he faced in that transition
  • How Hubspot changed the game for Equinet -- even when it was far less powerful in 2011 than it is today
  • Why CMOs are going to lead revenue and why sales and marketing are two halves of the same whole
  • Hiring for attitude and training for aptitude instead of hiring based on skills alone
  • Why you need to focus on developing different skills in all your team member when you keep all the work inside your agency and never outsource anything
  • Why your team needs to have access to and understanding of the tools inside a tool like Hubspot, even if using them is not part of their day-to-day job
  • What Agile is and how its point-based system works
  • Learning how to implement Agile into your agency so that it matches up with inbound
  • Why Agile doesn’t work the same for every agency and why you need to be ready to customize it
  • Using Agile to figure out what works needs to be done to achieve the best results
  • Why Jeremy uses two sets of points within Agile -- one for the value it provides a customer and another for the effort it takes his team

Ways to contact Jeremy Knight:

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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