How to Achieve Your Dream Life

There’s always a lot of talk about building your dream life or living out your dreams.  For many people, that’s a myth. They don’t have the opportunity to make the changes and choices that will allow them to move closer to the life they aspire to have. But business owners have a unique set of circumstances that make that a real possibility. In this solocast, I’ll tell you a little bit about an exercise that I believe can help you define how you’d like your life to be and begin to move in that direction. I know it can be a powerful experience because it has had a huge impact on my own life and getting closer to living my dream life. Join me in mapping out the future that you are uniquely positioned to create. In this episode, we’ll talk about: A CPA I recently met in San Diego who has built his life around what he loves most of all An exercise that a coach I had about 10 years ago shared with me and the impact that exercise has had Why my life would not look like it does today if 10 years ago I hadn’t visualized what I wanted it to look like ten years down the road Why it’s okay if everything doesn’t play out exactly the way you visualize How to do the exercise my coach gave me Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 20+ 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 [...]

By |March 17th, 2017|

How to Use Public Speaking to Strategically Grow Your Business with Tamsen Webster

Public speaking is the number one fear in America. Death is number two. From sweaty palms to cracking voices, speaking in public can be terrifying, yet it is a crucial skill to have in the agency world. As agency owners, our speaking skills are in the spotlight, be it in presentations, pitches, at conferences or just in front of your kid’s school. No matter how many people you’re in front of or how long you have to talk – every presentation matters. Tamsen Webster believes passionately in the power of human-to-human communication and has made it her life’s work to see to it that you become a better speaker. She coaches TedTalk speakers, business leaders and teams on how to get the audience to focus and relate to your ideas and feel connected to you in the process. Join Tamsen and I as we flesh out how to use presentations and speeches in a strategic way to grow your business. We cover:   Why speaking is the best tool for convincing someone that your agency is the best agency for them Why you need to make your speeches about your audience and not about you Mistakes that agencies make in pitches all the time How to structure your new business presentations so that you win the business Why you want people to remember the one big idea of your presentation — not specific tactics How to develop a thought leadership presentation Why niched presentations are a lot more effective than broad ones “Why,” “what now,” and “how” talks: what’s different about these kind of presentations How to structure a talk when you are given a general topic that you have to speak on Why you should stop before [...]

By |December 9th, 2016|

Why Who You Spend Time with is Critical to Your Success

"We are the average of the five people that we hang out with the most." Jim Rohn is famous for making that statement and I believe he was absolutely right. But most business leaders won’t take the time to be thoughtful about the people they surround themselves with and I think that’s short-sighted. Who are you hanging out with? What does your average look like? Determining who your posse is says a lot about you but it also says a lot about where you’re going. The people that inspire you, challenge you, teach you, celebrate you, call you out, push you and fill you with joy are the people we’re going to be talking about in this solocast, so join me and discover: Why I absolutely believe Jim Rohn’s famous adage that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with Why you should go back and take a look at the one page life plan I outlined in episode 10 Spending time with the people who inspire you to commit to excellence in every aspect of your life Spending time with the people you learn from that challenge you to think in different ways Spending time with people that you can teach Hanging out with people who see you more clearly than you see yourself Spending time with people who will call you out when you need to be called out Having people in your life that make you push harder than you would on your own Spending time with the people that fill you with joy Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own [...]

By |December 2nd, 2016|

How to Embrace Change as a Small Business Owner in Today’s World

The only constant in life is change, and man, does that apply to our world and agency life. The truth is – it’s not going to suddenly get easier, slower or less jarring.  If anything, it’s just going to get a little quicker. So buckle up. I have been in a unique position, because of my work with hundreds of agencies, to see these changes firsthand and want to share with you where I think our industry is headed. Our customers today aren’t just looking for someone to manage an ad campaign or make a media buy, they are looking for partners. Strategic partners who get business. While most of the “stuff” that we create can be commoditized, what makes us different and what can’t be commoditized is our ability to think strategically. The game has changed and agencies that are able to successfully partner with their customers beyond marketing and delve into the sales and customer service arenas are the ones that are succeeding. Learn how your agency can embrace change and succeed in these arenas by answering: Why the speed of change is the new normal and why you have to embrace that How what agencies sell has changed from the Mad Men days to today Why you need to tie marketing, sales, and customer service together to be a great agency today Why data analysis is more important than it ever has been Leads, sales, and retention: why you need to focus on these at a much higher level if you want to keep charging a premium price The importance of making real time decisions and adapting based on data Why we need to work with clients who may be resistant to [...]

By |October 28th, 2016|

Solving Business Challenges by Understanding the Rapidly-Changing Global Landscape with Greg Verdino

“We are used to thinking about change in an incremental fashion when in reality, change is happening at an exponential rate.” So says my podcast guest Greg Verdino and he should know. He’s been at the forefront of most of the changes in our industry and is one of the best at solving business challenges that arise from an ever-changing global landscape. From the beginnings of social media (when he was one of only 23 bloggers out there) to today’s blur between the physical and digital, Greg knows about the changes that are happening and more important, what is coming next.   Greg and his wife Amanda (Verdino & Co.) are a small niche agency that focuses solely on content. They are constantly evolving and staying a step ahead of their clients and their client’s needs so that they can continue to be of value to their clients. We had a great conversation on how agencies can see the forest for the trees and discover: What has changed since the beginning days of when agencies began to do social Why content needs to expand past “content marketing” and must be infused into every single interaction inside and outside your organization How to help clients understand the value of content Solving the business challenges that arise from a changing landscape The importance of analytics and content metrics that Greg uses with clients Why Greg and his wife decided to go it on their own instead of taking positions inside other agencies How Greg differentiates his agency from other agencies How Greg has been able to recognize trends that matter and ignore the ones that fade Tips and tricks for getting everything done that you want as [...]

By |October 14th, 2016|

What Clients Really Want from the Agencies they Hire with Chantell Glenville

Clients rarely fire an agency over something big. It’s actually a build up of little things that erode trust and begin to wear on the relationship. Over time, the relationship is so damaged, no one inside the client organization is willing to fight to keep you. Are your account service teams focusing on the little things, the details, the things that can make it easier to work with you rather than more difficult?   My podcast guest, Chantell Glenville has been on both sides of the agency/client coin and can tell you without a doubt that it is the little things that drive clients nuts and lead to them beginning to shop around for another agency. Listen in on my conversation with Chantell as we make sure you’re doing everything you can to build relationships that last. Here are some of the things we cover: Things agencies do over and over that drive clients crazy The small behaviors that break apart relationships What agencies don’t know about the world clients live in The complexity of the structure of clients’ systems How agencies can help clients manage the revision process Why you need to know more than one person inside your client’s company (and get to know them face-to-face) The working hour differences between agencies and clients Why you should never overpromise and underdeliver The two things that create great agency-client relationships Why attention to detail is so important for agencies How to get to the top of a client’s to-do list Reasons clients will fire agencies (and why they never want to do that) Things agency owners can do right now to help their account executives improve agency-client relationships Chantell Glenville is the author of [...]

By |September 9th, 2016|

4 Extreme Leadership Principles and How to Become a Great Organizational Leader with Steve Farber

All you need is love. The Beatles put it to music but my podcast guest Steve Farber has taken those words to heart and put them into action! Steve is an advocate for extreme leadership and has built his business on the framework of love, energy, audacity and proof (LEAP), the four characteristics of an extreme leader. His book, “The Radical Leap” is one of my favorite business books of all time. Implementing these four extreme leadership principles will drastically change the way you think about leadership. For Steve, “extreme leadership is not about your position. It's not about your title. It's not about what it says on your business card. It's not about where you perch on the org chart.  It's about your willingness and ability to step up, to change things for the better, often at the risk of personal sacrifice.” Isn’t this the kind of leader you want to be? Follow Steve and I on the journey to becoming an extreme leader by discovering: The definition of “Extreme Leadership” What an extreme leader does Love in the business place Putting in more energy into your business than you take out Why leaders need to be audacious and willing to fail What agency owners can do to become more audacious How a business that embraces extreme leadership looks different Steve’s book “Greater Than Yourself” How to become one of the greatest leaders by lifting others up What agency owners can do right now to start working on the ideas from this  episode Steve Farber is listed as one of Inc’s global Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts. He is a Leadership Pioneer, Strategist, Keynote Speaker, and Bestselling Author on Extreme Leadership. His expertise [...]

By |August 26th, 2016|

Hey agency owner — are these must read books in your office library?

An agency owner recently asked me for my list of must read books so she could stock up and encourage her team to dig in (and no doubt herself as well) and so I thought it made sense to share the list with all of you.   I don't like books that are big on theory but not on tangible ways to put those theories into play so all of these books are good reads with lots of practical takeaways.  They’re in no particular order after the first 3 — which are the best business/marketing books I’ve read. Selling the Invisible — Harry Beckwith Becoming a Category of One — Joe Calloway Radical Leap — Steve Farber The Automatic Customer — John Warrilow Hug Your Haters — Jay Baer Everybody Writes — Ann Handley Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg Start with Why by Simon Sinek Contagious by Jonah Berger Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely The Go Giver by Bob Burg To Sell is Human by Dan Pink The New Rules of Marketing & PR  by David Meerman Scott Blue Ocean Strategy by Renee Mauborgne Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore The Secret to Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar Misbehaving by Richard Thaler (not what you think it’s about — it’s a business book) Hooked by Nir Eval The Human Economy by Wayne Pacelle The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod The Third Wave by Steve Case The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni (I think all of his books are good but this, IMO, is his best effort) The One Thing [...]

By |May 3rd, 2016|

Why the Written Word is More Important than Ever in Business with Jody Sutter

Words matter. They’re often an agency’s go to tool for clients and biz dev. Your prospects spend time on your website, follow you on social media, and read your content long before they ever reach out to you – so your written word is critical. It’s the first thing that your prospects see, so it better be up to snuff.   My podcast guest, Jody Sutter has a long history with the written word. Jody works with agencies helping them develop a more proactive approach to growing their business, with a special emphasis around how they communicate - getting jargon, generalizations, wordiness, and sloppy writing out of their proposals and everything else they use to promote their agency. Through your writing, Jody helps you to differentiate yourself, so that your work stands out from the others by being clear about who you are and what you do best. Jody and I help you find your unique voice by showing you: Why strong writing is more important than ever in our digital age The major mistakes that agencies make when presenting themselves in writing How to avoid making the big mistakes agencies make when responding to RFPs Why editing is so important for improving your team’s writing, how to get good at it, and what you should keep in mind if you are outsourcing the editing How agencies can differentiate themselves through storytelling The Pixar pitch The “5 things that you can do to make your writing better right away” checklist What you need to do to assess whether or not your writing needs improvement Jody Sutter started her career in sales and ended up working in agencies leading the new business teams. Today she runs [...]

By |April 18th, 2016|

How to Write and Create Valuable Content with Ann Handley

As agencies, we're constantly struggling with how to write and create good solid content for our clients while at the same time, doing it profitably enough so that we don’t lose our shirts in the process. We’re also trying to step up and take the role of helping clients make sure that their content is meaningful, useful and unique. That’s a tall order and sometimes we just don’t have the time or the skill level on our staff to get it done. This world of content is where my podcast guest, Ann Handley shines. As the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, she has a handle on what it takes to get all of that accomplished as well as some invaluable strategies and resources to make us all better writers and content officers in our own right. In my podcast conversation, Ann and I really get down to the core of writing and writing well and why it is so important in content creation and the role all of that has in building your agency. Some highlights include: How agencies can educate their clients The MarketingProfs B2B Forum How to write valuable content that your clients will absolutely love Strategies for working on better content instead of lots of content Why you need to focus on writing during the hiring process and throughout your agency’s work Resources for editing whether you have the budget for a human editor or not Why you need to find writers with an audience-centric point of view (and the pros and cons of hiring journalists) Tips for creating spaces for creating your best writing Ann Handley speaks and writes about how you can rethink the way your business markets. Cited in [...]

By |March 14th, 2016|
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