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Build a Better Agency Podcast

Scale and grow your agency with better clients, invested employees, and a stronger bottom line, with Drew McLellan of Agency Management Institute.
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Build a Better Agency Podcast
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Now displaying: August, 2022
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
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