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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: August, 2019
Aug 26, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Why you need to start building wealth outside your agency today
  • How real estate can become a source of income beyond your agency
  • How to use tax liens as an instrument to earn income via real estate
  • The wide variety of ways you can earn through real estate
  • Why you don’t need a massive cash reserve to get started in real estate
  • How to minimize the outlay and risk in real estate
  • When to consider remote real estate transactions, and when to work on transactions closer to home
  • How to ride out market fluctuations to make the most of your real estate investments

Ways to Contact Chris Prefontaine:

Aug 19, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Why video content is not primarily about transferring knowledge
  • How to connect with your video audience so they want to engage with you
  • How to structure your video content for maximum engagement
  • Tips on how to look natural on camera
  • Why audio is just as important as imagery in creating a video
  • How to use social proofs both as a novice and after you gain traction in video
  • Creating video out of your audio content
  • Why captions make such a big difference in video engagement
  • How to slice and dice your existing content into valuable video nuggets
Aug 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Why managing Millennials doesn’t have to be so challenging for older agency owners
  • Why transparency is so important for Millennial employees
  • The kinds of leadership that Millennials are seeking
  • How to make promoting culture and company goals the job of everyone in the agency
  • What to look for in Millennial candidates
  • How to make a contract-to-hire “test drive” worth the risk for both the candidate and you
  • The benefits that Millennials are seeking
  • What the Millennial-owned company of the (very near) future will look like
  • Why diversity and inclusion are not optional with Millennials

Ways to Contact Chris Tuff:

Aug 5, 2019

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

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

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

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

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

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

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

AMI works with agency owners by:

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

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

Ways to contact Drew McLellan:

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