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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: Page 3
Jun 12, 2023

Part of being an agency means that you solve problems for a living. Clients come to you with a problem, and it’s up to you and your team to figure out the solution and present it to them in a neat package. Simply put, creative innovation is woven into the DNA of an agency.

Under pressure and deadlines, creative innovation can quickly be squashed, rushed, or underprioritized. But Carla Johnson, an ideation and innovation expert, has studied and produced an effective formula for how agencies can reinvigorate their creative strategies.

Her methodology can be incorporated with client projects and daily agency strategy to improve systems and processes. Innovation doesn’t always have to be creative, but getting creative about innovation can change how your team solves problems and could even save you time and money when putting it to the test.

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

creative innovation

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • What our clients are really hiring us to do
  • Figuring out how to connect the dots more efficiently
  • Innovative ways to approach creative ideation on your team
  • Bringing clients into the creative innovation process
  • Getting creative about systems and processes during growth moments in the agency
  • The 5-step Wheel of Innovation
  • Weaving creative thinking into everyday life
  • The intersection of business strategy and creative innovation

 

Jun 5, 2023

It’s that time of year again — we’re going over the top agency trends we’re noticing so far in 2023 and going into 2024. A lot has changed since the last time we went over the data, which means we have a ton of information that you’ll hopefully find valuable and can use as a compass for where to lead your agency through the rest of the year heading into 2024.

As we exit the pandemic era and move into the AI era, there’s a lot to consider in how agencies function regarding what our clients want, how fast our sales cycle moves, how we hire, where we should focus our biz dev, and more.

One thing is certain — many agency owners like you feel re-energized and reinvigorated coming out of 2022. Let this episode be a ray of light that gives you an extra boost of encouragement for the rest of 2023, and keep that momentum going for as long as possible.

For 30+ years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies, and then started his own (which he still owns and runs) agency in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small to mid-sized agencies on how to grow their agency and its profitability through agency owner peer groups, consulting, coaching, workshops and more.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The impacts of recession fears on AGI and revenue
  • ROI — the new agency buzzword
  • A growing agency trend in having amazing teams
  • Rebalancing overservicing and overstaffing issues
  • The fading trend of over-specialization of agencies
  • The PPC, SEO, and data analyst job boom
  • A positive trend in agency owner happiness
  • The continued importance of thought leadership and community spaces
  • The agency employee trends of 2023
  • Embracing AI and using it as a tool for your work
May 29, 2023

Keeping up with data protection and privacy laws is exhausting. Nearly every month, new legislation is being introduced state by state to help keep users’ data protected online. And while this is overall a good thing, it can get really messy if agency owners aren’t educated and informing their clients about what this means when they build out their websites.

Luckily, our guest today, Hans Skillrud, has collaborated with his wife to create an easy, self-updating tool that agency owners can implement on their own websites and the sites they build for their clients. He has committed himself to ensuring that data protection tools and documentation are easily accessible for anyone without needing a legal degree to make sense of it all.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn why you must educate yourself and your clients on the most current privacy policy and data protection laws, why not to cut corners in this department, and why you should never collect more data than you actually need.

Even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal right now, with the constantly changing environment of privacy laws, you never know when you could end up in a mess, even five years later. Don’t delay on this, and get your documentation in check today.

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

data protection

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • What is Termageddon?
  • What agencies are required to provide to their clients in terms of documentation
  • The risks for smaller businesses and agencies for not practicing good data protection
  • Why agencies should embrace data protection policies, even if it seems complicated
  • Can chatGPT write our policies for us?
  • Why copying and pasting someone else’s policies is a bad idea
  • How data protection lawsuits happen
  • How the Termageddon team keeps up with constantly changing data protection laws
  • The confusing future of privacy law
  • Three best data protection practices for agencies and website builders
May 22, 2023

Marketing today is not absolute. It’s experimental, iterative, and ever-changing. And with that comes many challenges that we have to overcome and adapt to as agency leaders. One of those challenges is offering data analytics services to our clients.

Many of us got into the industry, hoping to avoid doing math. And yet, here we are again, going over another way tech and mathematics are imperative in our industry. While it might be exhausting or frustrating, a subject matter expert is joining us to help make it a little less confusing for everyone.

 

This week, I’m interviewing Jim Sterne, a data analytics expert who knows so much about the industry. Jim started the Data Analytics Association and wrote 12 books on the topic.

In this episode, he’ll share the importance of offering data analytics expertise to better serve clients, how to hire either in-house or third-party data analysts, and tons of resources on where to look for advice and find other experts to help get you started.

Those who adapt survive. Don’t wait on this one, and don’t try to be a hero. The more we can help our clients reach their goals, the better off we are as an industry. Get help, look to the experts, and start offering your clients data analytics services as soon as possible.

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

data analytics

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why data analytics is more about the questions you ask rather than the answers you get
  • The biggest hurdles agencies face when presenting data to clients
  • Should you go third-party or stay in-house?
  • What to look for when hiring a third-party data analytics expert
  • How to make data useful to the client
  • Data reports vs. data alerts, which is better?
  • How to become a data storyteller
  • Helping clients embrace experimental results over having absolute certainty
  • The best resources for wannabe data analysts or those just starting out
May 15, 2023

AI-generated content is rapidly finding its way into professional spaces and changing the way we work forever. This fact is especially important for creative agencies that are quickly realizing there could be legal implications for using AI to create work proposals, creative IPs, legal documents, and more.

And like most legal questions, the answer to “Can I use AI to generate work for clients?” is, “It depends.” We’re in such a gray area with AI right now that the legal system hasn’t had a chance to catch up to technological advances. So how do agencies protect themselves, their workers, clients, and their IP when everything is so up in the air right now?

 

Sharon Toerek has some common sense advice for approaching AI in the workplace to avoid a potential legal nightmare. In this episode, we’ll cover human-generated vs. AI-generated content, the gray areas we need to look out for when using AI, how to protect client and agency copyrights, how to avoid infringing other copyrighted content, and so much more.

AI-generated content is an incredibly important and ever-changing topic. And if you’re an agency owner, this needs to be addressed in your agency today.

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

ai-generated content

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The top 3 questions lawyers are receiving about AI
  • Having conversations with clients about the use of AI-generated content
  • The gray area between AI-generated and human-generated content
  • The ownability of AI-generated output
  • Creating documentation about implementing AI tools in a typical workflow
  • Including AI prompt strategies in trade secrets documentation
  • Can we protect the data we’re inputting into the collective that is AI?
  • Addressing the use of AI in SOWs
  • Should we use AI tools to create legal documents?
May 8, 2023

We all want to get paid what we’re worth. But it’s more than likely that we’re downplaying our agency’s value because we’re too worried about pricing ourselves out or overcharging. This week, our guest, Casey Brown, will explain why that’s wrong and how to get out of a fear-based pricing mindset for good.

Casey has been serving small to mid-sized agencies for the past 15 years to bring her corporate pricing expertise to private companies. She’ll teach us why it’s probable that we’re talking ourselves out of charging what we’re worth and giving discounts where they’re not needed.

 

Our time is valuable in a typically creative industry, and we deserve to be paid what we’re worth. Get ready to take action after listening to this episode so you can start having better pricing conversations with customers and stand up for your true worth as an agency.

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

fear-based pricing

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why you should never pre-discount in pricing conversations
  • The questions you should be asking when a client pushes back on price
  • How to establish pricing integrity that establishes trust between you and the customer
  • How to gauge if a client’s low budget is real
  • Building confidence in your pricing
  • How to get out of a fear-based mindset
  • The best approach to raising prices on legacy clients
  • Protecting your margins in this current economy
  • How to know if your pricing is right
May 1, 2023

This week, I’m covering an important topic I haven’t covered on a solocast before — agency owner work balance. Often, agency owners get pulled into too much of the day-to-day client work or aren’t correctly staffing the agency to get the support they need on the work they have.

There’s a formula you should be following for how you break down your workday or workweek to be a successful business leader, and I’m going to map it out in an easily applicable formula. It’s not always easy to get ourselves out of the daily client tasks, but the recipe I’m sharing with you today will help you block out more time for the things that matter the most.

If you’re not doing your job, nobody else is going to do it, either. And your job is the most important job in the entire agency. So tune in to learn how to map out your days better, get out of the day-to-day, and focus your attention where you’re needed most.

For 30+ years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies, and then started his own (which he still owns and runs) agency in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small to mid-sized agencies on how to grow their agency and its profitability through agency owner peer groups, consulting, coaching, workshops and more.

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

agency owners

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Getting out of the day-to-day client work
  • The percentage breakdown of how an agency owner should spend their day
  • Why blocking your time efficiently and effectively is incredibly important
  • The key factors that add value to your agency
  • How to shift to this new breakdown of work
  • Why biz dev is the most important task
  • How to delegate and divide tasks between you and your business partner
  • The importance of making yourself unavailable sometimes
Apr 24, 2023

Podcasts, radio, and TV are all similar mediums with a broad reach across the US. But over the years, younger audiences have moved away from radio and TV in favor of other platforms that offer ad-free subscriptions.

Quickly rising to the top amongst millennials and Gen Z is podcasting. So how do we still reach people who are consistently opting out of popular advertising avenues? Tom Webster has some answers for us.

 

He’s on the podcast today to break down the findings from The Media Moves the Message study that his firm, Sounds Profitable, did on advertising performance between cable TV, AM/FM radio, and podcasting.

This deep dive will give you all the evidence you need to understand that podcasting has a bright future. And as long as we don’t oversaturate it with advertising, it will be here to stay amongst audiences, both old and young, as the medium grows.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How we can take advantage of the podcasting medium as advertisers
  • The Media Moves the Message study
  • The most noteworthy takeaways from the study
  • How podcast listeners skew age-wise and where we can make improvements
  • What the study results mean for agency owners and leaders
  • Will we eventually oversaturate podcasts with ads?
  • What the study means for content creators and podcast hosts
  • Trusting that a podcast host knows how to advertise to their audience
  • Areas where podcasting is lacking
  • The power of small podcasts
Apr 17, 2023

Many of us didn’t initially set out to become agency owners when we first started working in the business we’re in now. It sort of happened accidentally, and we put our agency together on an as-needed basis as the clients kept coming in and our services and offerings evolved.

As accidental agency owners, we’re left with a lot of room for error as we try to scale our agencies to fit our core values while also turning a profit. That’s where Herb Cogliano’s expertise comes in.

 

As an entrepreneur for over 30 years and a consultant helping scale and grow businesses, he knows all the pain points for agency owners as they navigate growing an agency.

Herb will teach us three major barriers to growth: hiring people in line with your core values, identifying general manager-level leadership, and remaining profitable as you and your team adapt to changes along the way. Herb wants us to run our business rather than the business running us. Tune in to learn how to go from an accidental agency owner to an intentional one.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Three major barriers to our growth as agency owners
  • The decisions around people, strategy, execution, and cash that we need to get right
  • What we often get wrong about scaling
  • How to improve cash flow and profits inside the business
  • How to evolve the business in the right direction
  • Establishing your core values and sticking to them
  • What to look for in good leadership as you plan your leadership succession
  • Creating processes to boost efficiency
  • How to take the fear out of change for your employees
Apr 10, 2023

How you lead your business is critical to its success. People are the most important assets in our agencies, and without them, we can’t deliver our best work to our customers. That’s why it’s critical to prioritize agency leadership so your teams can do their best work and grow alongside your organization.

Dr. Amin Sanaia is an expert in leadership development with extensive experience studying what attributes make the most successful leaders. Today, he shares the top five personality traits of a good leader, also known as CRAVE, and how we can bring leadership development and growth opportunities to our employees.

 

If you’re ready to take your leadership to the next level and start showing up for your people with more empathy and authenticity, Dr. Amin has the tools to get you on the right path.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • What gets in the way of being a great leader
  • Finding the balance between servant leadership and honest feedback
  • Balancing employee wants and running your business profitably
  • Offering fringe benefits over more money
  • How agency leadership can show up with more empathy without going overboard
  • Setting the tone of your agency culture
  • Coaching and mentoring new agency leadership
  • How to start behaving like a leader
Apr 3, 2023

So many of us hate selling or feeling like we are “being sold to” because it has the old reputation of being manipulative, exploitative, and too pushy. Thanks to the sales tactics of the old days, our sales prospects have walls up before a call or meeting even starts.

When we know the psychology of sales and truly understand how people want to be sold to, that’s where the magic begins. Jeremy Miner, voted in the top 50 best salespeople worldwide, has some knowledge to share with us about approaching the sales process in a way that sets you up for success from the beginning.

Not only can you ditch lengthy sales pitches and pretend to care about the weather in your prospect’s city, but you can also get to the root of their needs much more efficiently and teach them how you fit into that equation. Your prospects win because they learn about their company’s problems, you win because you know how to solve them, and you both win again because fixing those blind spots helps you both make more money. What do you have to lose?

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Jeremy’s first door-to-door sales job
  • How to get sales prospects to pull you in rather than you pushing them to make a decision
  • Getting to the bottom of your prospect’s problems and figuring out how to solve them
  • The least persuasive way to sell
  • Leading sales conversations with emotion instead of logic
  • The NEPQ approach to sales conversations
  • How Covid impacted selling to prospects
  • Building a visual gap between where your sales prospects are and where they want to be
  • Asking the right questions
Mar 27, 2023

This week, I’m using this episode to talk about some questions I get asked a lot, and that is what we offer in AMI memberships. Many of you want to know what our different tiers of memberships include and what other services we offer. If you’re curious about AMI and our membership offerings, this episode is for you.

I will break down what we offer for agency owners and leaders and how you can get involved in the AMI community if you feel compelled to do so. We have a ton of different ways to become a community member, get consulting and one-on-one coaching, access our peer networks, and even get help with succession work.

Our goal is always to help small to mid-size agencies reach their goals and get access to the best network possible. You’re never too small or far away from us to participate, so if you’re feeling compelled to join the community in some way, I’m giving you all the details here today.

For 30+ years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies, and then started his own (which he still owns and runs) agency in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small to mid-sized agencies on how to grow their agency and its profitability through agency owner peer groups, consulting, coaching, workshops and more.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The free resources we always offer agency owners and leaders
  • Our workshops, both online and in-person
  • Online and onsite consulting with experienced business leaders
  • Creating a network of agency leaders with Peer Networks and Virtual Peer Groups
  • How we can help in succession planning and coaching new buyers to acquire an agency
  • The BABA Summit
  • How to get involved if you can’t travel or just want some content from us
  • The members-only perks as an add-on to our free content
Mar 20, 2023

You need innovative ideas to stand out and be ahead of the curve. We often get caught up in the chaos of day-to-day agency operations and retreat into the comfort zone of doing things the same way we’ve always done them.

Today, we’re talking you out of that way of thinking and giving you an entirely different framework for approaching client projects. Stan Phelps, an author and keynote speaker with prior agency experience, has a whole new way of thinking about client projects and asking the right questions to build out innovative ideas that will keep clients coming back to you for more.

 

When we make the time, space, and budget to allow our teams to think outside of the box and take more creative risks, we make space for better, more trusting clients who know you’ll hit a home run for them every time.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Creating innovation through action and insights
  • Why we need to be incentivizing our teams and clients to think outside the box
  • The IDEA Framework for mapping out innovative ideas
  • Sometimes it’s about learning what our clients don’t value
  • Using attribute and journey mapping to learn about customers and how they interact with us
  • How to start asking your clients the big questions that lead to big ideas
  • What to internally evaluate before taking your ideas to a client
  • How to infuse innovation into agency operations as an agency leader
Mar 13, 2023

Think about some of your favorite brands for just a moment. What aspects of those brands make you feel the most connected to them? Do you ever find yourself talking to your friends or family about a company you love so much because of what they stand for or how they connect with people?

Enter community building as a marketing strategy — the next big thing in brand marketing, according to Mark Schaefer. This week, he will teach us why brands need to hop on this trend as quickly as possible and how agencies can join in on the fun, too.

 

As business leaders, the best way to reach our audience is to turn that audience into a community and connect with the people who are your biggest advocates. In this episode, we’ll talk about the role of creating emotional connections to your brand, the difference between an audience and a community, how agencies can become leaders in community building for brands, and so much more. Mark will leave you thinking about how your agency can evolve into a thriving community while growing your brand organically.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Mark’s inspiration for writing his book on the next big brand marketing strategies
  • The 3 trends that came together to bring community building to the forefront of brand marketing
  • The importance of having an emotional connection with your community
  • The major difference between audience and community
  • How can agencies begin helping brands with community building?
  • Nurturing organic advocacy for your brand
  • Perfecting community building in both online and face-to-face interactions
  • Some pitfalls to avoid when beginning to dabble in community building
  • Can/should agencies create their own communities?
Mar 6, 2023

There’s no denying that when the pandemic hit, the workforce changed forever. We experienced some of the most rapid shifts in our economy and lifestyles this century, and we still feel its effects today.

Most notably, our work standards morphed along with how we view leadership and hustle culture. The old ways of working longer hours and devoting yourself to a company to climb your way to the top have dissolved.

This week, Heather McGowan is joining me to talk about the major shifts we’ve recently experienced and will shed some light on how agency owners can adapt to better fit the new roles employees expect leadership to fill. She’ll talk about “The Five Greats” that led to these intense shifts, and four leadership adaptations agency owners should consider making to support the new-age workforce best.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How Heather accidentally became an expert in human work culture
  • “The Five Greats” that collided all at once to shift the workforce
  • How to change the mindset around hustle culture and where it still has its place
  • Four shifts an agency owner needs to make to align themselves with the current workforce
  • Moving from competition to collaboration to motivate your workforce
  • Polling your workers and being open to feedback as you make changes
  • How agencies are successfully building a remote culture
  • What are the new standards of effective leadership today?
Feb 27, 2023

If you’re tired of assessing your agency’s project values based on an average hourly rate and having your team constantly updating timesheets, you’ll want to take some notes on this episode. Today’s topic is all about restructuring pricing models to focus more on the scope value rather than an average billable hourly rate.

Our guest, Jonathan Stark, is a former software developer on a mission to rid the world of hourly billing. He’ll teach us to reevaluate the work scopes we’re pitching to prospects and customize it so you can focus on their actual needs rather than what they think they need.

 

By using this method, you will not only remove the headache of hourly billing but also have better conversations with prospects, establish yourself as a thought leader, and have the potential to increase your profit exponentially — just by changing this small aspect of your sales and discovery calls.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How and why Jonathan became so passionate about eliminating hourly billing from his agency structure
  • Why fixed pricing models based on scope value are both easier and more profitable
  • Asking the right questions to get to the bottom of your prospect’s actual needs and weed out bad clients
  • Talking about the value of the outcome of the work you’re going to do for clients
  • Building proposals with 3 budget options based on a fixed-price value
  • How to engage with a prospect to discover what they need and how to price it out
  • The pros and cons of changing your pricing strategy
  • Productizing some of your services as “off-the-shelf offerings”
  • How to implement this strategy as a smaller agency without too much risk
Feb 20, 2023

One of the most common traps we fall into as agency owners is making decisions based on our fears. Every day we have to make hard choices, and it’s easy to fall victim to a fear-based narrative when trying to make everyone happy while keeping a business afloat.

But fear not — I have some advice for you that will help you see the bigger picture of where you are likely making fear-based decisions for your agency. This week, my goal is to help you identify the most common fear-based business decisions, understand why this happens almost universally, and learn some tricks to rewire our thinking around these decisions.

As you listen to this episode, take stock of when you’ve made decisions out of fear. Fear of losing a good employee, fear of losing money, fear of missing out on a good project or client — and see if you can find a better approach to tackling even just one of these examples.

For 30+ years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies, and then started his own (which he still owns and runs) agency in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small to mid-sized agencies on how to grow their agency and its profitability through agency owner peer groups, consulting, coaching, workshops and more.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The biggest, worst fear-based decision agency owners often make
  • Acknowledging the truths behind our fears and putting action behind them
  • Financial decisions (and mistakes) we make when we’re afraid
  • How we hand over control to our clients when we’re acting out of fear
  • The vital role of client and employee satisfaction surveys
  • The psychology behind fear-based decisions
  • Why you should step away from a problem and ask for help
  • How to rewire our thinking around decisions and get out of the fear narrative
Feb 13, 2023

To continue on the sales theme this week, we’ll dissect everything you need to know about winning and retaining right-fit clients, honing in on your agency vertical, and strategizing your agency growth plan.

Our guest, Corey Quinn, has a 25-year track record of extraordinary success as an entrepreneur, sales leader, and CMO for a $150M+ company. Today, he helps B2B SaaS and Agencies grow from 7 figures to 8 by doing less, not more.

 

In this episode, Corey will share some wisdom from his successful business career to teach us how we, as small agency owners, can implement an effective agency growth plan. He’ll teach us how to keep right-fit clients on our roster and establish a vertical that gets even more customers coming to you for your expertise and fantastic customer service.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Growth and retention strategies that are applicable to small agencies
  • Honing in on your agency growth plan
  • The power of niching and word-of-mouth connections
  • Leveraging both inbound and outbound sales tactics
  • The common mistakes people make when trying to increase sales
  • How much time an agency owner should dedicate to biz dev
  • Why specializing in specific customers and industries works so well
  • 2 or 3 things you need to have exponential growth
  • Sales strategies that will have new customers coming to you for work
Feb 6, 2023

Sales — the dreaded word that most of us cringe when we think about it. It brings up thoughts of manipulation, forced conversations, and fear of rejection. It’s one of those necessary evils that come with being a business owner that’s essential if you want to keep growing.

For many of us, we fear hearing the word “no.” Once it’s out there, we drop the conversation, take the loss, and move on. But if you want to sell effectively AND create a pleasant sales experience for yourself and your prospects, you must rethink your sales strategy.

 

Today, I’m talking with Richard Fenton, a seasoned expert in all things sales prospecting, selling styles, and getting to the other side of the “no.” It didn’t always come naturally to him, but after a long time in the business, he’s learned that an initial rejection can be a huge win later in the sales process.
Whether you like sales or not, you have to get better at it to keep new clients coming through the door. So join us to learn how you can rethink your sales process and become a better salesperson, even if it doesn’t come naturally.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Richard’s “aha” moment that made him rethink sales forever
  • Why “no” isn’t the end of the sales process
  • The four types of salespeople and the one we should all strive to be
  • The intersection of caring about relationships and caring about results
  • Why you need to ask better questions in the sale process
  • Getting a prospect to know, like, and trust you
  • Staying in touch even after an initial rejection
  • The reason sales has gained such a bad reputation
  • How to sell without being manipulative or shark-like
Jan 30, 2023

It’s no secret the job market has shifted immensely over the past 3–4 years. One minute, we’re hitting the brakes and halting all new hires. The next, we’re kicking things back into gear and going through a hiring frenzy with inflated salaries. And now, we’re entering a recession but still need to hire top talent at an affordable price. How do we keep up?

This week, I’m talking with Art Boulay and Sue MacArthur, two experts in talent management and agency staffing. They created a perfect formula for assessing potential new hires’ strengths, weaknesses, and full-on red flags that could save you a lot of time before even starting an interview.

 

This episode is packed with information about how agencies can optimize their hiring in a job market where you only have a few days — rather than a few weeks — to decide on a candidate. I hope you grab a pen and paper and take some notes on this one because this could change your entire approach to hiring new team members.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How hiring has changed rapidly in the past 3–4 years
  • What agencies should have in place before they begin looking for a candidate
  • Why you need to try your best to lock in a new hire in under a week
  • Don’t be afraid to make a candidate sweat a little
  • Why trying too hard to sell your agency to a candidate could lose you a great hire
  • Identifying yellow and red flags for in-office, hybrid, or remote positions
  • How to handle and possibly prevent a bad Glassdoor review if you encounter one
  • Pay attention to the little things — body language, demeanor, and even their background in the Zoom call
  • The most critical things to consider to get the right candidate to accept your job offer
Jan 23, 2023

One of the biggest sticking points with agencies is establishing tried and true onboarding and training SOPs. Over and over, we find that new hires aren’t pleased with how their onboarding process went, despite agencies and larger companies investing billions into this one area.

Poor training and onboarding experiences can result in disaster and influence how long your new hire will want to stick around after the fact. It can be even more challenging for remote agencies to establish cohesion in SOPs when a team is remote or hybrid. That’s why it’s essential to have well-established training SOPs that are easy to follow and help your new hires understand their purpose within your agency.

In this episode, I’m interviewing Jennifer Smith from Scribe to teach us how to make SOPs that are quick, painless, transferable, and digestible. She knows what remote teams need to get everyone on the same page quickly, and she has a lot of knowledge on how to make that happen. Tune in to listen and learn great ideas from Jennifer to make a typically painful process seamless and much more organized.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The importance of having tribal knowledge in an agency
  • Where agencies often fail to have proper documentation
  • Establishing the why, the who, and the how of your agency to new hires
  • Creating proper SOP documentation to onboard new team members
  • Where agencies can improve on building a remote team
  • How to demonstrate skills and tasks to new hires with training SOPs
  • How to make SOPs and documentation pain-free and easy to share amongst your team
Jan 16, 2023

With a heavy heart, I’m recording this week’s solocast to commemorate the life of a cherished and respected team member of AMI, Craig Barnes. I have known Craig for 25 years, and we became great friends and colleagues over our time together as fellow agency owners.

I want to use this solocast as an opportunity to honor the legacy Craig left behind and share with you all some of the core values he taught me over our long time working together, the most important one being to lead with love.

Whether you were part of his family, community, colleague, or client, Craig always made sure that people knew he loved them. He was never afraid to shower others with love and celebrate their wins in life, no matter how big or small. He did everything in a big way, whether that was making a huge business decision or taking up a new hobby — and he wasn’t afraid to go after it with genuine, whole-hearted passion.

I’m heartbroken to be recording this episode. Still, I hope this allows everyone the chance to reflect on his incredible life and legacy and encapsulate everything that Craig taught us in the AMI community.

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

In This Episode:

  • How Craig Barnes became a part of my life and the AMI community
  • What we can learn from Craig’s life and professional life
  • Keep evolving
  • If you’re going to do it, do it big
  • Strategy is critical
  • There is no substitute for integrity
  • The more you teach, the more you learn
  • Lead with love
Jan 9, 2023

As agency owners, we’re always looking for ways to get great customers that increase our profitability while decreasing the length of the typical sales cycle. That’s the dream, right?

This week, I have Tom Schwab on to talk about one of the best ways to make that dream a reality — being a great guest on other people’s podcasts. As a great guest himself, Tom has a gold mine of valuable information to share with us about getting featured as a guest on podcasts, the ROI that it brings to your agency, and how to track the results you’re getting from being a podcast guest.

 

Great conversations lead to great customers, and Tom will teach us exactly how to turn all that talking into gold. Don’t miss out on this information-packed episode so you can start your year right by setting the stage for increased profitability in 2023.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why you don’t need to host your own podcast to get your name out there
  • How to use podcast guesting as a way to achieve your goals
  • Why podfade is such a common occurrence
  • How to identify which podcasts need your voice as a guest
  • Leveraging a podcast to attract great clients, not more leads in the sales funnel
  • How to be a great podcast guest and get the host to sell you to the audience
  • Pre- and post-interview podcast guest best practices
  • The importance of having a tracking mechanism for performance and conversion rates
Jan 9, 2023

As agency owners, we’re always looking for ways to get great customers that increase our profitability while decreasing the length of the typical sales cycle. That’s the dream, right?

This week, I have Tom Schwab on to talk about one of the best ways to make that dream a reality — being a great guest on other people’s podcasts. As a great guest himself, Tom has a gold mine of valuable information to share with us about getting featured as a guest on podcasts, the ROI that it brings to your agency, and how to track the results you’re getting from being a podcast guest.

 

Great conversations lead to great customers, and Tom will teach us exactly how to turn all that talking into gold. Don’t miss out on this information-packed episode so you can start your year right by setting the stage for increased profitability in 2023.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why you don’t need to host your own podcast to get your name out there
  • How to use podcast guesting as a way to achieve your goals
  • Why podfade is such a common occurrence
  • How to identify which podcasts need your voice as a guest
  • Leveraging a podcast to attract great clients, not more leads in the sales funnel
  • How to be a great podcast guest and get the host to sell you to the audience
  • Pre- and post-interview podcast guest best practices
  • The importance of having a tracking mechanism for performance and conversion rates
Jan 2, 2023

Diversity in the workplace is the cornerstone of running a modern and successful agency. Without it, you’re not only selling your agency short, but you’re also passing up on an immense pool of talent and ideas that you won’t find by staying in a comfort zone.

This week, we have Dr. Ella Washington, a professor, organizational psychologist, and DEI expert, on the podcast to share the purpose, pitfalls, and progress behind effective and measurable DEI work. Whether your agency has fallen behind the times or you just need a fresh perspective, we all have work to do in this area.

 

So, take this episode with an open mind, actively listen to it, and use it as a guide for refocusing your DEI efforts in 2023.

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

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The metrics for tracking DEI work progress
  • The three P’s of starting DEI work
  • How hybrid work environments promote diversity in the workplace
  • Inviting more diversity into your organization
  • Why diverse backgrounds of all kinds matter at work
  • Inclusive leadership
  • Acknowledging and addressing microaggressions
  • How to create a safe space as a leader and invite conversations about DEI
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