How to Get Speaking Engagements that Fill Your Pipeline with Gene Hammett

One of the best ways to get on a prospect’s radar screen is for them to see you on stage at a trade conference or show. The implied endorsement of your thought leadership can open many business development doors. But how do you know which stage you should be on and how do you get there? How do you position yourself to become the choice, not a choice, when people are looking for speakers with your specific expertise? My podcast guest Gene Hammett uses his 20+ years of experience being on many stages (right and wrong) to walk you through how to find your profitable niche, translate that into new revenues, new leads, new business and make you the insider in the space you are shooting for so the right clients will come to you. Gene says, “Most people believe they should be getting paid to speak, but I believe that you can and should speak for free at the right stages. Be in the right place and the right clients will walk up to you after your speech and present you an opportunity. Of course, that assumes you've done your work and you really carry the moment and deliver something fresh and useful.” Join Gene and I as he lays out a great road map for becoming THE choice, and not A choice with: Why Gene became a coach after losing 3 million dollars The real reasons you should be speaking (it’s not a speaker’s fee) How to get speaking engagements that will fill your sales pipeline Why you shouldn’t shy away from the “breakout” sessions at conferences as a speaker The opportunity for diverse speakers Why being a generalist is dangerous for speakers [...]

The Dos and Don’ts of Agency New Business with Lisa Colantuono

"It all begins and ends on chemistry. Everything else in between is absolutely vital, there's no doubt about it, but it begins and ends on chemistry.” My podcast guest, Lisa Colantuono isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know. Chemistry is key to winning any new business opportunity. But how do you influence that chemistry? And how do you come out on the winning side?  Lisa and her team at AAR Partners have figured out a way to research and land those right fit clients so you can count on more new business with every search. Their prospecting tool will put a prospective sweet spot client on your doorstep every time.   Let Lisa and I walk you through what you need to know when it comes to figuring out your agency’s chemistry with: The simple mistakes agencies make in the new business search process Why complacency is a big problem for agencies The importance of continuing to court your current clients Why chemistry is so vital in an agency-client relationship The dos and don’ts of agency new business Prospecting smarter with Lisa’s Four T’s Building relationships by teaching Why you need to know what your agency is -- and isn’t -- good at What to do when executives change (both on client and agency sides) Finding project work for your agency (and growing that into a larger relationship) The danger of coming off as desperate to leads Why you need at least one person whose job is new business The importance of an integrated new business plan Not only does Lisa believe in enduring partnerships that matter, but she actively participates in creating them. Having consulted on and managed agency reviews including Lee Jeans, [...]

How to Win More Agency New Business and Start Driving Business Growth with John Heenan

If there’s any one “system or process” that agencies really struggle to put into place and consistently execute on – it’s agency new business development. You know you need to do it. You know your business literally depends on it. And yet, you let client work and other fires steal your attention from this mission critical aspect of owning an agency. My podcast guest John Heenan and I had an amazing conversation about getting back on track and making sure that new business is no longer an afterthought. He has spent time on both sides of the aisle, on the client side with Sony, and Philips and Uniden and on the agency side as CMO and new business leader. He can show you how to find those great clients and make your process work much more efficiently and effectively so you can implement your agency new business plan both consistently and well. Let John and I help you flesh out an agency new business plan of attack that you can stick to with:   The experiences John had on the client side that led him to working on matching up agencies and clients Why cohesive culture throughout the agency matters for clients Why you must treat your agency as your #1 client Crafting the first impression that leads will have of your agency The importance of getting crystal clear on what your agency is selling Director of Delivery: an important role inside modern agencies to make sure agencies deliver to clients Why agency owners need to get out of the day-to-day and focus on new business What John does differently to help agencies with new business Why your agency needs to be rapidly changing John [...]

How to Create Content that Plays to Your Unique Strengths with C.C. Chapman

“They've got to feel like they're getting something out of it so they keep coming back.” “If you give them something on a regular basis, create something to give back to them, that's when a community starts building.” “You've got to make me feel welcome, give me a reason to come in and sit down, and then give me a reason to stick around.” Do you sense a theme?  My podcast guest C.C. Chapman is all about giving and building community. He firmly believes that when we give, we can build something great. C.C. is the co-author of the International bestseller “Content Rules” and is also the author of “Amazing Things Will Happen.”  He travels the world teaching companies how to understand content marketing with the goal of creating tribes of people with a shared vision and goals.  He has worked his magic with companies like Nike, HBO, American Eagle Outfitters, ONE, Verizon FiOS, and Coca-Cola. It doesn't matter what kind of community you're looking to build, C.C. and I will show you how to do it through:   Social Good: giving your employees an opportunity to make a difference How to pick the right cause for your agency to support Don’t be too humble: why you need to talk about the non-profit work that you do The International bestseller “Content Rules” C.C. co-authored Speak Human: the most violated rule from “Content Rules” Differentiation: what makes your agency different? Creating content that plays to your strengths Why you can’t afford not to create content for yourself (and how to get it produced if you honestly don’t have the time to do it personally) Building trust by giving away at least pieces of what you do [...]

The Top Agency Trends of 2017 (Part 2)

Working with 250+ agencies a year gives us a great perspective on the top agency trends that impact (or are going to impact) us all. With that in mind, I hope you were able to listen to podcast episode 85 where I covered the half of the trends that I expect will have the biggest influence on your agency in the next 2-12 months. This solocast will cover the second half of those top agency trends of 2017. This would be a good episode to share with your leadership team because it’s all about the realities we need to be prepared to face in the coming months. Our conversation will cover: Augmented reality and virtual reality: what you need to know about this technology that is coming fast Influencer marketing: connecting your client’s brand with their audience through social influencers who have built an audience around a specific topic Ratings & Reviews: How agencies can turn a profit by solving this problem for existing clients (and how to use it as a door-opener for prospects) Why agencies are developing relationships with more people inside companies than just CMOs Why you need to play nice with the other agencies that you share a client with If you’re not being offered exclusivity, do you need to offer it in return? Selling what you know and what you think instead of “stuff” ROI: why it’s not an optional conversation Why you need to be transparent on your fees Bragworthy benefits like a student loan repayment program Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an [...]

How to Use Content to Position Your Agency as a Thought Leader with Simon Thompson

We all know how important content is for our own agencies and for our clients. And yet, most agencies struggle to actually get it done and done well. We know how to do it in theory.  We understand the audience and the key messaging we need to deliver.  But somehow there is a huge chasm between what we know and what we consistently get done. My podcast guest Simon Thompson, founder of Content Kite, packed our conversation with concrete examples and advice on how to get it done.  He argues that we often write about the wrong things.  We write about us/our clients. Instead, we should be writing about the problems the audience is having first. We shouldn’t fret about how it connects to what you sell. At least not yet. Because if you can’t get their attention the rest is just noise. Simon has decades of experience at major global brands such as L'Oreal, Nissan, BMW, Adidas, Disney, and Mondelez and is now leveraging that experience into great content marketing lessons not just for your clients but for your agency as well. Join Simon and I as we re-examine your content strategy and give you the framework to get it all done by: Keeping your content interesting and on topic for the problems your customers need solving Focusing all your content so it moves toward the same goal Optimizing your content to collect email addresses and then regularly engaging with those people How to effectively repurpose content across multiple mediums The frequency which you must create content How to use content to position your agency as a thought leader in the industry Why you need to spend as much time promoting a piece of [...]

The Best Lead Generation Channels for Agencies with Alex Berman

Agencies should get 70%+ of their new net revenue from referrals but that does not mean you shouldn’t have a concerted new business effort as well. When you count on referrals and referrals alone, you are beholden to accept whatever client walks in the door. They might be too small, too big, out of your industry expertise or a jerk. You need to be cultivating targeted leads and opportunities so you can be choosy on the referral side. My podcast guest Alex Berman believes that he and his team at Experiment27 have cracked the code for agency biz dev efforts. They’ve experimented with many different lead generation channels (cold calling/emailing, directories and sponsorships, agency partnerships, meet-ups and in-person events) to help put more wins in the agency’s new business column. Hear what Alex and his team are doing for their clients and explore if you think the tactics might work for you as well. The massive opportunity outbound marketing provides for agencies How to know if your marketing strategy is the right marketing strategy What to measure with your tracking software to make sure your leads are working The best lead generation channels for capturing leads Tailoring cold calls to the target Why cold emails need to be short and to the point Partnering with other agencies to take on overflow work/give away your overflow work How to capture leads at meetups/in-person events Making yourself memorable by connecting people How to do the follow-up right (it differs if you’ve actually met them or not) Why you need to set a KPI Alex Berman is the founder and SVP of Operations of a marketing and lead generation firm Experiment27. Alex is responsible for generating over $2.5 [...]

What Your Key Executive Needs from You, the Business Owner with Craig Barnes

The cornerstone of AMI is our agency owner peer networks. As an agency owner, there aren’t a lot of people you can be 100% candid with, when it comes to how things are going, what you’re working on and the struggles along the way. That’s why network membership is so valuable. The owners get the best of both worlds by joining. You get that outside perspective you really need but from someone who walks in your shoes every day. Many of our network members have been a part of AMI for almost 20 years. They find it so valuable, they asked us to create a lookalike network for their right hand men/women. So we have done just that. We call this our key executive network. My podcast guest is Craig Barnes who is a part of the AMI team and facilitates the key executive networks. Craig‘s uniquely qualified for this role because of his 30+ years of agency ownership. He’s an amazing mentor and teacher so he’s perfect for the job. In this episode, Craig and I dissect what makes a great #1 and how an agency owner can set up their key teammate for success. The key executives (#1s) group Craig facilitates for AMI What makes key executives so valuable Integrators: the employees that don’t want to be owners and just want to pull the levers How we as agency owners make life hard for integrators by not letting go of control Having an empowerment agreement with your #1s for setting expectations for who gets to control what Setting regular meetings with your key executive that you do not break How agency owners can know whether or not they’re ready for a #1 to take [...]

Why Your Agency New Business Plan Needs Consistency with Dave Currie

I know I sound like a broken record but I can’t emphasize enough how vital it is to your agency that business development activity is a daily occurrence. You’ve got to plant seeds while the business is strong and the clients are happy. The day your biggest client hints that they might be leaving is not the day to start your new business program. That’s how you stock your pipeline with prospects that can help you level up your agency. There are very new experts in our field who spend more time thinking about agency new business than my podcast guest Dave Currie. Dave Currie is the CEO of List Partners Inc., the home of: Winmo, Localead, and Catapult and we are on the same page when it comes to the best practices surrounding new business development. I will keep repeating it until you all keep doing it! Dave and I want to show you how to make a plan, use your resources, and then consistently implement that plan. Dig in and be proactive as you learn about: How the List has evolved over the years and what they do today to help agencies grow through their three brands Winmo, Localead, and Catapult The biggest mistake agencies make in their business development efforts: not having a plan List’s CMO tenure study How successful CMOs keep agency relationships longer than their less successful counterparts Why agency-client relationships moving away from AOR engagements is a great opportunity for agencies Separating marketing and sales and giving them their own plans Building sales plans for both growing business with existing customers and bringing in new customers How small agencies can win huge projects Why being the one to implement [...]

The Top Agency Trends of 2017 (Part 1)

Every year, we’re blessed to work with 250+ agencies and that gives us a chance to develop a serious micro and macro view of the business. While every agency is unique – there are certainly some trends that impact (or are going to impact) us all. Every year, I identify the top agency trends that I expect will have the biggest influence on our business and in this podcast, I walk you through the first half (9 of 19). I’ll pick up the back half in my solocast for June. Grab your notebook and see what your agency can do to get ahead of these trends to make the most of them: Why agency owners are confident again and why new business is easier to come by right now The trend where talent inside agencies has become a scarce resource What to do about having to hire under-skilled employees The challenge of providing clients with the right data Having an answer when clients ask agencies about diversity Opportunities for agencies with old school media Why you have to be great at marketing automation And a few more! Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today. AMI works with agency owners by: Leading agency owner peer groups Offering workshops for owners and their leadership teams Offering AE bootcamps Conducting individual agency owner coaching Doing on site consulting Offering online courses in agency new business and account service Because [...]