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About Drew McLellan

For almost 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 run) agency in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads 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.

3 Ways You Can Pivot Your Business to Accelerate Your Growth

Most people think that once you "niche down," you're stuck. It's not true. When you run a successful niche business, you can speak to an incredibly specific audience on topics they care deeply about. That kind of personalization is increasingly sought these days, as 71% of consumers say they crave individualization from their brand interactions. In this piece I recently contributed to Entrepreneur.com, I share a few recommendations on learning when to change trajectory and leverage your pivot into a world of potential abundance, not scarcity.

By |January 27th, 2023|

Why Agency Leaders Need to Take Advantage of Their Freedom(s)

Sometimes, being the leader isn’t the only role you want to have in your agency or organization. Maybe you’re interested in being the creative director, the chief copywriter, or the guru of account services. That’s not unusual. Most leaders have other talents that give them enjoyment. The freedom to play any role in your organization is one of five that too many CEOs don’t take advantage of. In this piece I recently contributed to CEOWorldMagazine.com, I discuss how you need to start exercising the freedoms that come with being in charge.

By |January 20th, 2023|

Want Stronger Alignment With Clients? Prioritize Worldview

When it comes to building strong relationships with clients, you must consider their unique worldviews to fully understand and meet their needs. In this piece I recently contributed to Entrepreneur.com, I discuss three steps you can take to forge a stronger alignment with your clients.

By |January 13th, 2023|

What the Rest of 2022 Holds for Marketing Agencies

Every industry has its annual patterns, and the agency world is no exception. Luckily, trends from the second quarter of 2022 look promising. There are some challenges to be aware of, but many marketing agencies are sorting through a wealth of opportunities. In this piece I recently contributed to ModernMarketingToday.com, I discuss several reasons why the third and fourth quarters of the year will be golden despite the aforementioned hiccups.

By |January 6th, 2023|

3 Steps to Becoming a More Trusted Marketing or Agency Leader

The bottom line is that you can’t achieve success if you don’t foster a high-trust team. When people work in environments where they mistrust or fear leaders, they react based on the possibility of punishment. They’re stifled, not motivated. Over time, their commitment and enthusiasm will wane. If you want to retain high performers amid the current labor market shake-up, you need to assess your trust factor. In this piece I recently contributed to AdvertisingWeek.com, I discuss what steps to take to start thinking and acting like a trusted leader.

By |December 30th, 2022|

Better Today Than Never

When I left my last agency job to start my own shop, I was the perfect combination of ignorant and arrogant.  I assumed that if my doofus of a boss could run an agency, I could too.  I found out many years later that he ran it right into the ground.  So perhaps, not the best yardstick.  And I thought the hard part of agency life was the client facing stuff.  I’d taken a few business classes as an undergrad, so how hard could it be? Ignorant and arrogant. When the shingle got hung, I learned very quickly how hard it could be.  I was great at the client facing side but the back of the house stuff?  Forget it. I didn’t understand what a P&L should look like or tell me I didn’t know how to price the work so we always made a profit I had no idea what financial metrics were unique to agencies and how they could help me run my agency better I was clueless when it came to how to hire objectively and for the long term I didn’t understand how I would influence the culture as an owner (I was awesome at influencing culture as an employee…wouldn’t it be the same?) I didn’t know how to use the tax laws to my advantage and for years — we paid through the nose because of my ignorance I had no idea I was supposed to use my agency as an ATM machine and build my wealth outside of the agency itself We did okay…some months and years better than others.  And then I took a workshop.  It was like I had been hit by a truck.  Where had all [...]

By |December 23rd, 2022|

Stop Winging It And Start Taking Control Of Your Calendar

When you control your time, you control several other factors: your efficiency, your quality of work, your anxiety levels and your professional reputation. No one wants to be seen as a leader whose procrastination keeps putting the business at risk or leading to missed opportunities. In this piece I recently contributed to Forbes.com, I discuss four ways busy professionals can manage their time better.

By |December 16th, 2022|

4 Pinterest Marketing Tips to Consider for Your Next Campaign

Pinterest has evolved from a playground for hobbyists, wedding planners, and generalist creatives to a site that offers serious advertising advantages. However, many marketers do not realize they can leverage it for everything from brand recognition to direct sales. In this piece I recently contributed to SpinSucks.com, I discuss four key tips in how to use Pinterest in your next marketing campaign.  

By |December 9th, 2022|

Five Steps To Create A Contingency Plan For Your Agency

You have a duty to everyone who trusts you. Part of that duty is making sure you don’t leave the legacy of your organization up to chance. In this piece I recently contributed to Forbes.com, I discuss how to to ensure the longevity of your agency by preparing your people for when and if the unthinkable happens.

By |December 2nd, 2022|

Avoid These Six ‘Kisses of Death’ in Business Development to Keep Your Marketing Funnel Alive

Everyone has different needs at different times, and your potential clients might not need you right now. There's nothing you can do about that. Remaining relevant by investing in business development initiatives, however, is something you can control.
By |November 11th, 2022|
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