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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: 2022
Dec 26, 2022

With agency ownership comes big ideas, a lot of creative energy, and infinite passion for your work. Chances are you have a million ideas floating around your head with nowhere to put them. Why not compile them into a book?

We’ve talked about why creative thought leadership matters for finding right-fit clients and aids in biz dev for your agency. This week, I’m bringing back Henry DeVries to discuss finally putting all those ideas into action and writing your book.


We have a fun episode planned today with tons of advice for creating the blueprint for your book, how to finally get started with writing (and get help doing it), and some of the common roadblocks we create for ourselves when it’s time to finally go to the printer.


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 thought leadership

 

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Building the blueprint of your book
  • 7 questions to answer when creating the book outline
  • Why writing is a team sport
  • How to solo write a book in a way that’s manageable (if you choose to go it alone)
  • The best approach to co-authoring a book
  • Discovering your hidden assets and turning them into content
  • The roadblocks we create for ourselves in the final stages of publishing
Dec 19, 2022

Business development will always be necessary for keeping your agency alive. Many agencies are great at marketing for clients but historically fall flat when it’s time to market themselves to prospects.

Peter Levitan knows this very well and has some tips to share to help us get creative about our agencies and prospecting for them. Whether aggressively pursuing a dream client or breaking into thought leadership, Peter knows the ins and outs of getting your agency’s name out there to just about anyone.

 

Tune into this episode to learn Peter’s business development expertise, hear his thoughts on thought leadership and writing, and see what’s on the horizon for agencies going into 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.
business development

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Peter’s strong background in business development and agency consulting
  • The top 3 ways to get more business and keep it
  • The importance of standing out from the crowd when marketing your agency
  • How to do direct marketing
  • Fresh and new topics that your agency can write about
  • Dabbling in thought leadership
  • What’s on the horizon in 2023?
  • Being aggressive and persistent with agency goals without overloading the team
Dec 12, 2022

Time tracking is one of the most overlooked resources in an agency’s day-to-day operations. Without it, you’re missing out on valuable data about where you need more training, more staff, or even if you’re charging enough for your services. That’s why I’m talking today about incentivizing daily time tracking with your employees.

The first thing a lot of your team will say is, “I don’t have time to do this every day.” But, with a little incentive and some tenacity, you can reach 95% to 98% compliance on daily time tracking in no time at all. Tune in to learn my step-by-step plan for starting the conversation, implementing it, and keeping the momentum once you get your team on board.

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.

 


daily time tracking

 

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The reason why timesheets matter for more than just hours worked
  • Why timesheets should be done every single day
  • How to start talking to your team about daily time tracking
  • Incentivizing the team to track time consistently
  • Holding the team — and yourself — accountable
  • The psychology behind my time-tracking accountability method
  • How to use the data that daily time tracking gives you
Dec 5, 2022

Weary is a great word to describe a lot of agency leaders right now. It comes up again and again that we’re just tired, overworked, and running on fumes. It’s not our fault, but there are things we can do to get back to feeling a little more balanced and less like we’re about to snap.

 

I brought Jeff Salzenstein on this week to teach us some good habits that we can work on little by little to improve our personal lives and help us be better agency leaders. As a former tennis pro, he knows what it’s like to be under pressure and have people counting on you to perform at your peak at all times.

We’ll talk about how he made the difficult decision to move from playing tennis to doing leadership coaching. He’ll cover everything he knows about getting your mental, emotional, and physical health to its optimal level so that you can show up as your best self for the people counting on you the most.

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:

  • How to stay strong and committed in the face of challenges
  • Navigating the weariness that comes with agency leadership
  • Shifting a negative mindset into a positive one
  • Focused breathing as an effective technique to recenter yourself
  • The importance of good sleep for good leadership
  • How incremental changes create significant shifts in our lives
  • The importance of having well-rounded emotional health
Nov 28, 2022

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’re thinking, “I’m doing too much,” or “I don’t have time to be creative anymore,” get comfortable because this episode is for you. Today, we’re talking about optimizing your agency workflow through outsourcing and hiring so that you can get your hands out of everything and get back to doing more of the work you love.

 

Manish Dudharejia of E2M Solutions is an expert in white-label outsourcing, agency workflow optimization, and hiring the right people to do the tasks you don’t need to be completing. In this episode, we’ll discuss what a white-label agency is and the value it can bring you, how to find the right mix of experience and trainability in new hires, project management, niching, and why you must find more free time as an agency owner.

Don’t be an obstacle to your growth. Instead, outsource and hire people who want to scale with you. You’ll quickly find that your time finally becomes yours again.

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 workflow

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why agency owners are frequently stretched too thin
  • The right combination of experience, value, and trainability to look for in new hires
  • What can white-label outsourcing do to ease your workload?
  • The importance of having solid processes and workflows
  • Why niching matters when scaling your agency
  • The do’s and don’ts of niching and scaling
  • Why you should be obsessed with freeing up your own time
Nov 21, 2022

Marketing agency culture is constantly changing, but adapting the best we can is important. And one of the most important ways we need to be adaptable is by identifying where we can bring more diversity and new perspectives into our company culture.

Sometimes when you’re sitting in the boss’s chair, there can be a disconnect between knowing what your people want and need and seeing who might be missing from the room altogether. This is where this week’s guest, Farzana Nayani, comes in to save the day. She has over 20 years of DEI work experience and knows how to get straight to the core of what employees want from their employers.

 

In this episode, we’ll talk about how to create safe environments for everyone, communicate that you’re open to having tough conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, quiet quitting and labor hoarding, and how to set boundaries around polarizing topics in the workplace.

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 employee resource groups are beneficial to employees
  • How DEI work has changed since Farzana began this work
  • What can we do as business owners to create a safe environment?
  • How to communicate that you’re open to difficult conversations around differences
  • How to learn more about our employees without creating more discomfort
  • How to invite more diversity into your agency culture
  • The rise of quiet quitting and labor hoarding
  • How to avoid polarization around politics in the workplace
Nov 14, 2022

Creating content and having a content marketing strategy have become the bread and butter of marketing agencies, and we have the research to prove it. In fact, many agencies are now saying that 75% of their revenue is coming from content.

This week, I’m talking with Steve Pockross and Ryan Sargent of Verblio to go over some interesting research they did about content creation, content ROI, what types of content they create, and more. This episode is packed with information that will hopefully give you some valuable insights into why having a good content marketing strategy is so important these days.

 

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.

content marketing strategy

content marketing strategy

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Steve and Ryan’s key takeaways from Verblio’s research on content marketing strategy
  • Why it’s okay to outsource content creation
  • The shocking ROI of content marketing
  • How to sell clients on the value of content
  • The challenges of creating good content
  • The importance of finding subject matter experts
  • What types of content are the best to reach an audience
  • Why clients are more willing to pay more for high-quality content
Nov 7, 2022

For 2021 and 2022, we’ve been in a job seeker’s market where potential employees have more power to make demands. But now, this period is cooling off as we head into a recession. This means you should be able to find good talent for less money and with fewer demands.

We know it’s hard to compete with big corporations for what we can offer, but many people choose to work with agencies because they’re unique and go against the corporate grain. So once you have your star employees, how do you keep them around? This solocast, I’m focusing on how to invest in employee retention, particularly for your star players.
This episode will cover three key areas where you can get creative in making your team feel valued and how to implement them in meaningful ways. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is and show your team that they matter — because that’s almost half of the employee retention recipe. Stick around for the full episode to learn the rest!

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 biggest challenge for agency owners in 2021 and 2022
  • How to creatively compete with big corporations in your employee compensation
  • Why it’s so important to invest in your employees’ career growth
  • What star players look for when choosing to work with an agency
  • Developing a greater purpose for the work you do
  • Why your employees care more than just money
  • How caring more will make your team stick around longer
Oct 31, 2022

Fear is a familiar feeling in agency ownership. It’s easy to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing or might be missing something important, especially if you’re doing it all yourself.

In this episode, I’m delivering advice on how to conquer the biggest agency owner fears in a Collabs & Cocktails event hosted by Predictive ROI. Whether it’s imposter syndrome, money worries, figuring out how to manage employees, or learning how to collaborate with other agency owners, I have some advice that will help ease your mind and get you back to focusing on the important things.

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 four biggest fears of agency ownership
  • How to eliminate money fears by running things by the numbers
  • Taking care of your employees so that they stick around
  • Why you shouldn’t operate on only referrals and word of mouth for biz dev
  • The importance of becoming an authority in your industry
  • Generating right-fit leads
  • Navigating imposter syndrome
  • The right way to collaborate with other agency owners
Oct 24, 2022

One of the best ways to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and get more right-fit clients is by publishing a book. Often, the people who don’t want to publish a book fall into one of two categories: those who don’t think they know enough (or think everyone knows what they do) or those who think they have the “secret sauce” and don’t want to give it away willingly.

Our guest, Henry DeVries, is here to tell us why everyone has it in them to get published, why it’s the best way to find new clients who are a great fit to work with your agency, and the seven best ways to market the book once it’s written.

 

This episode is packed with tips that will teach you exactly how to set yourself apart from other agencies and get clients contacting you for work, not the other way around.

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.

right-fit client

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why a book is the #1 marketing tool for an agency
  • How to identify the topic of your book
  • Why giving away your secrets will leave potential clients wanting more
  • Why you know more than you think you do about your industry — so write about it!
  • The “Magnificent Seven” of marketing your new book
  • The spectrum of “getting published” and building your body of work
  • Having a book as a legacy piece for your agency and your accomplishments
Oct 17, 2022

Today on the podcast, we’re challenging how you approach B2B prospecting. If you’ve ever been afraid to openly advertise your pricing, roll out a free offer for new customers, or try something completely different from the agency norm, I hope this conversation inspires you to take the risk.

In this episode, David Valentine and I discuss how his businesses have grown incredibly by using unorthodox methods to drive sales and keep clients for longer through “Outrageous Offers” and case studies. His agencies have closed 75–85% of their sales by giving clients nothing to lose in working with him. He knows that what companies need most are results — and fast.

Tune in to hear what he’s learned over ten years of agency experience, the different methods he uses to drive sales, and how he guarantees his clients’ happiness.

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.

B2B prospects

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • What is an “outrageous offer”?
  • How to stop creating roadblocks for your agency to obtain new business
  • The effectiveness of case studies in showing clients how you can guarantee results
  • How to sell results over selling a product
  • Why attaching free offers to a guaranteed outcome works
  • Why transparency will generate new business for you
  • Making yourself irresistible and undeniable to prospects
Oct 10, 2022

We always say, “What you measure matters,” on the podcast, and today is no exception. To keep you and your team fed, you need to measure metrics in your agency. Without this vital system in place, you likely have no idea how much money is coming in or being spent, which directly affects your team.

That’s why we have Marcel Petitpas here to teach us all about running your agency by the numbers. He’s the expert in AGIs, delivery margins, and profit and loss statements, and he knows how to keep agencies on the right track.

In this episode, we’ll discuss the most important metrics agencies should already be measuring, how to improve time utilization, calculate billable rates, and the importance of excellent project management. It might seem like an intimidating topic, but we promise that it’s not as painful as it looks, and it will make your life so much easier once you make the changes we discuss in this episode.

Marcel Petitpas is the CEO & Co-Founder of Parakeeto, a company dedicated to helping agencies measure and improve their profitability by streamlining their operations and reporting systems, a problem he discovered while running his own agency back in his early 20’s.

He’s also the fractional COO at Gold Front, an award-winning creative agency in San Francisco working with brands like Uber, Slack, Keap, and more. As well as the head strategic coach at SaaS Academy by Dan Martell, the #1 coaching program for B2B SaaS businesses in the world.

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.

measuring metrics

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The importance of measuring metrics and agency finances
  • The difference between delivery margins and delivery costs
  • Three ways to improve delivery margins
  • How to approach employee utilization differently to boost profitability
  • Why time tracking shouldn’t go out the window
  • What to consider when setting billable rates
  • The imperative role project managers play in measuring metrics
  • Where agencies might face challenges in 2023
Oct 3, 2022

We’ve all been hearing it: a storm is coming. Or maybe it’s not. Depending on who you ask, we don’t know what our economic future holds. But one thing is for sure, if you stay prepared with recession planning, regardless of what the economy is doing, you can hold strong against those unexpected changes much more easily.

In this solocast episode, I will share with you the best ways you can start recession planning even if your agency is financially okay right now. It’s never the wrong time to start looking at how you can operate better, earn more profit, and keep great clients and employees, no matter the economic outlook.

 

Instead of waiting out the economic storm and wishing you had been better prepared, start making changes today and know that you have the power to pull yourself through anything while still making a profit. You just need to be smart about it.

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.
recession planning

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Things you should already be doing for recession planning
  • Why you should be raising your hourly rates
  • How to prepare yourself against a longer sales cycle
  • The importance of renewing contracts and locking in good clients now
  • The good and the bad of employee staffing during a recession
  • Why having too much money in your agency is a bad thing
  • The importance of maintaining a good attitude with your team
  • Why you can still be profitable even if there’s a recession
Sep 26, 2022

What do you think of when you hear about Disney? Fireworks, castles, and happy families all probably came to mind for a moment. But you probably didn’t think of dishware — and we’re not talking about those cups from the 90s with Lion King characters on them that were in every family’s kitchen cabinets.


Today’s guest, Alvaro Melendez, knows brands deeply in a way that most of us could never even imagine. If you think you know the core of what makes a brand who they are, think again. Alvaro has been developing and using machine learning to measure brand awareness or “Brand Love” for years to help companies, both big and small, understand what makes people connect with them.

In this episode, we discuss how Alvaro uses technology to help brands reach a bigger audience. He speaks about how to advertise effectively, how DEI is imperative for brands, and how creativity and technology go hand-in-hand in brand innovation.

And, if you’re still wondering why Disney is defined by dishware, you’ll just have to tune in to the podcast to get your answer.

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.

brand awareness

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How Alvaro and his team are using machine learning to make brands trackable
  • Why organic social is the best way to advertise and promote your brand
  • How machine learning has taught major brands things they never knew about themselves
  • What the PPAI branding framework is, and how to use it to identify major brand metrics
  • How smaller agencies can learn from the experimentation of big brands
  • The importance of making DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) a huge part of your brand identity
  • Why creativity and storytelling must still be people-centered and collaborative in an automated world
Sep 19, 2022

What makes an employee want to stick around at your agency? Every year since 2014, we’ve been doing the research and compiling it into our Agency Edge Research to help agency owners get to the bottom of how to maintain employee satisfaction.

We expected certain things like financial compensation and work-from-home flexibility to be most important this year. Still, we were surprised to find many other desires shining through that have nothing to do with money. This year, Susan Baier returns to help me break down our findings.

In our analysis, we’ll highlight three categories that most agency employees fall into and how their needs, wants, and levels of loyalty differ across the board. Each group has their own unique way of viewing their role in the agency, how they want to be cared for, and what’s missing that would make them want to stay. We’ll talk in-depth about each group and how we can best address their concerns to boost employee satisfaction.

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.
employee satisfaction

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • What is the Agency Edge Research Series, and what agency-specific issues does it address?
  • What questions do we ask agency employees when compiling the research?
  • The three categories that most agency employees fall into when looking at employee satisfaction
  • The most important things that employees feel are lacking in the agency culture
  • Where millennials stood out more than other age groups in certain categories
  • What are the driving reasons behind an employee choosing to leave an agency?
  • How to build loyalty in your agency and take care of employees
  • How to identify employees who might be at risk of leaving your agency or agency life altogether
Sep 12, 2022

Are you making yourself irrelevant in your agency? We’ve been talking a lot lately about how important it is to have systems and processes in place so you can work less and get back to doing the parts of agency ownership that you love. But if you or anyone in your agency becomes irreplaceable, you will be stuck in your 60-80 hour work weeks.

This week, our guest Jesse Gilmore gives us a thorough breakdown of how to identify single points of failure in an agency—Hint: it’s often the agency owner—and how we can create a better flow that helps everyone work together more successfully. When we give our employees the tools they need to work effectively and delegate with other team members, our whole workflow improves no matter who’s out of the office that week.

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.
single points of failure

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to identify single points of failure in your agency
  • If you’re the single point of failure, how do you make yourself more irrelevant?
  • Why removing single points of failure is vital for scaling your business
  • How to create systems and processes that aren’t cookie-cutter solutions
  • How to carve out time in your already busy schedule to put systems in place
  • What is the difference between a bottleneck and a single point of failure?
  • Timing out changes to your agency’s systems and processes
  • How removing single points of failure can improve agency culture
Sep 5, 2022

If you’re in a creative role at your agency, you’re probably familiar with receiving creative briefs that just don’t measure up. Instead of getting inspired to do great work, you’re left wondering where to start or what the point of the project is.

If you’ve ever created or pitched a brief, on the other hand, you’ve probably worked from a template or simply checked off the boxes of the bare minimum — it happens to the best of us!

This week, I’m interviewing Tim Brunelle, a creative director with decades of experience in marketing and advertising. Over the years, he has seen hundreds of creative briefs that span the whole spectrum between gold and garbage.

When our brief falls flat, it won’t inspire our creative minds to do great work. In this episode, Tim challenges us to think bigger and better rather than checking off the boxes and reading from a sheet of paper in our briefing meetings. When we think creatively about our creative briefs, we get a wealth of inspiration in return.

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 Brief

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why creative briefs often fall flat for creative teams
  • Why brief-makers should care about the project just as much as the creative team they’re hiring
  • The two core functions of creative briefs
  • What the pipeline of the creative briefing process should look like
  • How to mentor and inspire creativity across teams to collaborate on the briefing process
  • Why location is important when discussing your vision
  • Determining when a creative brief is necessary to inspire a team to do ground-breaking work
Aug 29, 2022

When you’re running an agency, you know you will not have it forever. While your goal could be to sell it eventually, you must consider retirement, career pivots, or plain old ownership fatigue as part of your succession planning strategy.

Most of us aren’t thinking about what’s happening 3, 5, or even 10 years down the road in day-to-day agency operations. But, it’s very important to understand how your decisions today could impact the future value of your business. Today’s solocast covers everything you need to know about what you should focus on to increase your valuation and why it matters to start thinking about your succession planning strategy right now.

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.
Succession planning strategy

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why your agency isn’t as valuable as you might think
  • The importance of thinking toward the future when making current agency decisions
  • The recipe to increase your agency’s valuation when it’s time to sell
  • Why profitability and where it’s coming from matters
  • Why you should be making yourself irrelevant as your agency grows
  • How agency culture plays a role in your succession planning strategy
  • Why you should avoid “gorilla clients” that make up too much of your AGI
  • Where else you should invest your money outside of the agency
Aug 22, 2022

Now that we’ve discussed what systems and processes are, the tools we can use to implement them, and how to integrate them into team culture, let’s talk about what happens when we start to use these processes as we scale our agencies.

This week, Juliana Marulanda of ScaleTime shares her 20+ years of knowledge with creating systems and processes in agencies and how it frees up more time to do what we love. We discuss how to get your agency unstuck from bottlenecks in productivity, reduce day-to-day chaos, and, most importantly, how to stop leaving money on the table from disorganized management.

Featured by Forbes and Entrepreneur, Juliana helps uplevel businesses into lean, mean, profitable machines. On average, she and her team create ways to free up at least 30 hours per week for her clients so they can have successful agencies that run without them. Agency owners can find themselves saying, “I do what I want, how I want, whenever I want — now, that is freedom.”

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.

Systems and Processes

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to free up more space in your business for creativity
  • How to create systems and processes that work whether you’re in the office, hybrid, or 100% remote
  • The clearing of the storm after you establish systems and processes in your agency
  • Where money is being left on the table without proper procedures in place
  • The trajectory of emotions agency owners experience as they change their day-to-day
  • How Juliana helps agencies wrap their heads around management, HR, and hiring challenges
  • The importance of creating culture in your agency and why that affects day-to-day operations
  • How to get unstuck if you’re stuck in a loop of unchecked chaos
Aug 15, 2022

When running an agency, efficiency is key. While we would probably prefer to focus on any other task, establishing effective systems and processes is imperative to our agency operations. The systems we create and teach our team members will ultimately define our day-to-day, client satisfaction, and employee retention.

This week, Marquis Murray of Ditto will share his knowledge on implementing agency operations adjustments into our team culture. Whether it’s project management software, a well-organized Excel sheet, or simply improving team communication across the board, Marquis knows exactly how to work with agencies to identify where they have the most room for improvement.

When everyone gets on the same page and knows exactly where they belong and what is expected of them, the whole team can focus less on who’s doing what and more on what’s important to their specific role. It doesn’t need to be complicated or high-tech, but it does need to be sustainable, scalable, and repeatable so your team members can do what they do best, effectively.

Marquis Murray is the CEO and Founder of Ditto, a systems and processes consultancy for organizations who need help creating clarity around the work done inside their companies. Partnering with companies like Asana, HubSpot, PandaDoc, LogicGate, and Kanbanize allows him to offer some of the best in class solutions for clients.

His goal is to eliminate team burnout for good so that teams can focus more on the work they do without the stress of not knowing where or how the work is happening.

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 operations

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why it’s so important to implement and codify SOPs in your agency, especially if your team is growing
  • Identifying where your agency has room for improvement and how to start making changes
  • How to set boundaries around SOPs to get your employees to adopt the same agency operations strategies
  • Why having agency owners and leaders on board with systems adjustments matters
  • The bumps in the road agencies often face when switching up agency operations
  • How to make the changes stick beyond the 45-60 day adjustment window
  • The most broken areas of systems and processes and what you can do to improve on them
  • Everything you need to know about project management tools—which ones are right for your agency, how to get started using them, and how to vet these tools within your team
Aug 8, 2022

The talent we hire is often one of our greatest assets as agencies. Building our talent pool and promoting connectedness is integral to agency culture, and we spend a lot of time finding the perfect fit for our team.

On one hand, you want a team that can come together, easily collaborate on tasks, and understands one another closely. On the other hand, casting a wider net can find you more people who are good at helping get specific jobs done independently. How do we marry these two ideas together?

Noel Andrews of Jobrack has some answers for us. This week, we’re talking with him about what he does best—helping agencies hire remote talent who want to be part of a team and can do great work at a lower cost. It’s truly a win-win, and we can all have this. In this episode, he will teach us how to build a remote team, how to create a positive agency culture, and what to look for when hiring remote workers.

Noel Andrews bought Jobrack in 2018 after 10 years of building and leading large teams in the corporate tech world. Since then, he has helped businesses all over the world hire more than 1,000 remote team members from Eastern Europe.

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 culture

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How do you make workers physically distant from one another feel like they’re part of the team?
  • What do you need to do as an agency owner to hire remote workers successfully?
  • Why you should reconsider doing a standard interview to vet remote talent and instead assess their skills directly
  • How to take the stress out of hiring by leveraging the talent you already have in your agency
  • Changing our thoughts around remote workers as only “task-doers”
  • Why it’s essential for agency culture to make remote hires feel like they belong to the team
  • How to manage and build a remote team across multiple time zones
  • How to build agency culture and promote connectedness around remote teams
  • How to set expectations and compensate your remote teams well for their skills
Aug 1, 2022

For many of us, agency ownership means that most of our time and energy goes into our work. Even when trying to sleep, we’re replaying a frustrating conversation we had earlier that day, doomscrolling, or even dreaming about everything on our to-do lists. When we can’t turn off our minds at the end of a long day, we set ourselves up for occupational burnout.

As some of you know, I learned the hard way that staying overly connected to our work can have severe consequences. I brought Dr. Gerry Farris on the podcast today to talk about how we can take care of ourselves to feel better daily, stay mentally strong and healthy, and why taking breaks is so important. With many years as a physician and working with patients who have experienced occupational burnout, Dr. Farris is the perfect person to educate us on how to be smarter about living our overly-connected lives.

Dr. Gerry Farris has been an Emergency physician for 30 years and a Functional Medicine physician for 10 years. His current practice focuses on healthy living and age management and he is a former triathlete who competed for 31 years. His goal is to help patients and persons be healthy, mitigate disease and aging, and live well for a long time. He is a double Board Certified physician with a wealth of experience and knowledge. He is practicing the “Medicine of Tomorrow, 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.
Occupational Burnout

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to know if you’re experiencing occupational burnout or heading in that direction
  • How information overload leads to hypervigilance and why it happens
  • The effects that elevated cortisol levels have on our brains and bodies
  • How to build resilience against neuroinflammation and bodily dysregulation
  • What does burnout recovery look like?
  • Why sleep is one of the most essential things for recovery and burnout prevention
  • What 37 minutes a day can do to improve your overall health
  • How to make healthy lifestyle changes that you can stick to
Jul 25, 2022

Some of the most significant innovations have been born out of the most challenging hardships, and agency innovations are no different. For the past two years, agency owners have been through the wringer. Some of you have even wondered if it’s time to shut your doors and move on to something different. You’re all. Just. Exhausted.

I often use the analogy that your agency is a ship, and you are the captain. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the ship doesn’t sink. For the past 24 months, this meant finding shelter and waiting out the storm. But we must rethink that analogy for the new times we’re finding ourselves in. With pandemic days easing up, I’m now telling you it’s time to head back into open waters.

While things haven’t completely settled down yet, this is our time to shine. We’ve spent the past two years adapting, changing the game plan, and moving through a figurative storm of hardship. But that has primed us for greatness and equipped us to move forward into a new renaissance of ideas and agency innovation. It’s time to relinquish control, take new risks, and see that these hard times have made you and your agency stronger and ready for brand new ventures.

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 innovationn

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • I made a mistake in overemphasizing the importance of finding a safe harbor to get us through the pandemic. We need to rethink this.
  • Where your focus should be turning now to drive your agency innovations
  • Why control and leading with a type-A personality was suitable for the pandemic but might not be as supportive now
  • Why creativity and agency innovation is so important right at this moment
  • How taking risks will push your agency forward into the new era
  • What past tragedies and renaissances can teach us about where we’re heading in the future
  • That your only choice as an agency owner right now is to leave safe harbor no matter whether you’re ready to close up shop or move forward as an agency
  • The questions you should be asking yourself as an agency owner to be a renaissance leader
Jul 18, 2022

As agency owners, we’re often dedicated to the niche we’ve carved out for ourselves and can get very comfortable serving our clients within those parameters. It’s easy to become highly committed, and stubbornly so, to that one niche. When it stops working for us the way we want it to, deciding to pivot can be difficult.

Today, the CEO of PredictiveROI, Stephen Woessner, came on the podcast to share his experience with this exact situation. His agency had been working in a niche for many years as a podcast shop that helped clients produce content. After some time, it started to become clear to the team that there was a better way they could be approaching business. Thus, a new agency niche was born, which began their great pivot to becoming the authority in teaching clients how to be the authority of their industries.

Stephen shares with us what led to the decision to pivot, the decisions he and his team made during the shifting process, and how they re-established their cornerstone content to align with their new niche.

If you take nothing else away from this very transparent and open discussion today, you should at least know that you have permission to think differently about how you want to position your agency to potential clients and that it’s okay for your agency niche to not be permanent. Sometimes, to build better, you need to pivot.

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 Niche

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why choosing your agency niche doesn’t have to be a permanent decision
  • How Stephen Woessner of PredictiveROI knew it was time to pivot to a new niche
  • Why sometimes throwing out the playbook and rebuilding in a different direction is a better move for your agency, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first
  • What pushed Stephen and his team to rethink their agency niche and the value they were providing to their clients
  • How to know which types of clients you’re already serving the best (this could be your new niche)
  • What is cornerstone content, and why is it so important to establish?
  • The importance of building a community of people wanting to learn from you and others to make more effortless sales
  • You have permission to think differently about your agency and how you want to position it in your industry
Jul 11, 2022

We all know the phrase, “what we don’t know, can’t hurt us.” But, it also can’t make us any more money. That’s why this week, we’re kicking things off with another solocast episode where I’ll be discussing the two agency growth secrets that are guaranteed to put more money in your pocket and bring clients to you effortlessly.

To demonstrate this, I’m using Flying Camel as an example of how a few small tweaks can up-level you from an A– to an A-grade agency. They’ve already established themselves as an agency that has honed its expertise within a niche, they’re sought-after to speak at events all over the world, and are overall doing everything right. But, they knew they could be doing more, and they contacted me to help them figure out how to tackle it.

While we didn’t need to change much, we still gave them two areas to work on that will almost instantly make their agency even more attractive to potential clients. And on today’s episode, I’m going to break down those topics so that you can start up-leveling your agency, too.

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 agency growth secrets that can uplevel your agency, even if you’re already doing everything right
  • Two ways that you could easily improve your agency’s profitability and bottom line every year
  • The value of understanding the money metrics in your agency, even if you’re not a numbers person
  • Why carving out a niche and honing your expertise will establish you as a leader in your industry
  • The reasons you should not be dismissing your own expertise, but rather, magnifying it
  • How to be sought-after specifically for your expertise with very little change to your day-to-day operations
  • Why being a thought leader matters when running an A-tier agency
  • How to carve out time to create content that sets you apart from other agencies
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