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Facing my problem head-on

I’ve had this problem for a while. I feel it impeding my ability to do my best, most important work, and yet, I haven’t faced it before. Oh, I give it lip service or a half-hearted fix, but nothing sticks.   Today, I took the first step to truly eradicating from my life. Why am I telling you this? Because I suspect many of you suffer from the same affliction, and I thought we might work on it together. My problem? There’s no white space on my calendar.   I book myself so tightly in meetings, coaching calls, on-site consultations, workshops, peer groups, etc., that I don’t give myself enough margin to actually get my work done. And so I do it on the weekends or at 1 am. I get it done but is it as good as it would be if I were fully charged and wasn’t trying to cram it into the cracks? I have some huge plans for 2021, but to cross the finish line, I need big blocks of time to create. I know if I can find that time, I can create uber helpful content, videos, mini-courses, and other teaching tools that will be incredibly valuable to you. But…first I have to find the time. The challenge is — I love every single activity that fills my calendar. I love coaching agency owners. I love sitting in a conference room working with a leadership team. I love teaching a workshop or consulting on a gnarly issue. I’m good at them, and the work is rewarding. For you, it might be doing strategy for a client or sitting in on a creative brainstorming session. Or putting out a client fire or jumping [...]

By |September 23rd, 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 tips for marketing success with Pinterest your agency should consider next.

By |September 16th, 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 one of the most reliable ways to ensure the longevity of your agency is to make sure people are prepared when you’re no longer around to call the shots.

By |September 9th, 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. In this piece I recently contributed to MarketingProfs.com, I discuss how you must consistently invest in business development to keep clients in your marketing funnel. Learn 6 of the worst missteps to avoid.

By |August 26th, 2022|

The Spreadsheet, A Marketer’s Frenemy –And A Better Alternative

I would like to thank AMI for giving us the opportunity to share something that we at Workamajig are very passionate about; helping creative agencies optimize their workflow and increase accountability to improve performance. For over 30 years, Workamajig has been helping agencies streamline their operations and unclog their bottlenecks –first as a consultancy firm and eventually as a project management tool for creative agencies.  We pioneered the SaaS model for the creative industry by combining sales, accounting, reporting, and collaboration functionalities in one piece of software for an affordable rate. Today, we work with over 3000 agencies, and 20% of Fortune 500 marketing departments rely on us to scale their excellence.  Working with new clients, we usually encounter one common confession: many rely on spreadsheets for most of their marketing and company operations. While spreadsheets are great, they also have limitations. Let’s talk about what makes them awesome, and what makes them less than ideal for our purposes. Why We Love Spreadsheets It’s Free Google Sheets was released on March 9, 2006. Since then, anyone who had access to the internet could use spreadsheets for free. This allowed professionals from all industries to maximize its functions until it eventually became a staple in most workplaces. In 2017 and 2018, data shows that Microsoft Excel was the most used software by market researchers. Years later, spreadsheets stay in the same position, with 77% of respondents (from staff to upper management) spend over 10+ hours a week working with Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet software, according to a 2022 MarTech Career and Salary survey.  Spreadsheets are versatile, and they’re cost-efficient. This makes them the go-to option for many parts of a business. It’s Flexible Many [...]

By |August 22nd, 2022|

Digital Advertising Strategies During a Recession

Economic forecasters are warning that the American economy may soon enter a recession if we aren't already in one. We're in a time of economic uncertainty, unprecedented inflation, and two straight quarters of GDP decline. Rising interest rates have businesses holding off on making significant capital investments, and that, in turn, is contributing to negative economic growth. This uncertainty is causing many businesses to carefully decide whether they need to cut some areas of their budget in favor of shoring up their cash reserves. Some businesses may start asking their marketing teams to decrease investment as a result. But is cutting down on your marketing campaigns the best idea for your business? Maybe, or maybe not. Companies that continue to market during economic slowdowns often come out ahead in the long run. The key is using that marketing budget wisely and knowing how to make the most of every dollar.  Why Cutting Your Marketing Budget Now May Be a Bad Idea It's normal for marketing and ad spending to decrease when the economy starts to slow down. Facebook and Google recently reported that they are seeing advertiser pullbacks. During the 2008 recession, ad spending in the U.S. dropped by 13%. But decreasing your ad spend may not be a smart move. In a survey of 154 senior marketing executives, one study found that businesses that took a proactive approach to their marketing during a recession achieved better business growth both during the recession and longer-term during the recovery period. Of the marketing executives that were surveyed, many of those taking a proactive approach actually increased their digital advertising investments during an economic slowdown.  But why is marketing during a recession a good idea? You'll earn [...]

By |August 22nd, 2022|

How could you change the rules?

We’ve been doing some initial strategic planning in the hallowed halls of AMI and one of the questions that keeps getting batted around is… what if we changed our own rules?  It’s led to some very intriguing conversations and “what if” scenarios.  And no doubt will continue to do so. I think as business owners we sometimes forget that we actually get to make the rules.  All too often, we let clients or employees or habit or convention or fear or complacency (or any combination of these) drive how we actually run our business.  It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut or feel boundaries that may actually not exist. What if you HAD to change the rules?  What rules would you consider modifying, eliminating or strengthening? Just as a mental exercise... imagine you had to radically change something in each of these areas: How you are staffed How do you mentor or groom your team? The types of clients you serve How/where you connect with your clients The work your agency produces Your pricing model Your biz dev model How you as an owner spend your days Your work schedule The metrics that define success How you manage your agency’s money I’m not suggesting that you implement all of these radical ideas.  But when you force yourself to come up with crazy things… some of the crazy might actually also be smart. Another way to approach this… same list but answer this question for each area — what do I hate about how we… Just some food for thought that might yield a big change or two.   This was originally published in the weekly AMI newsletter.  To subscribe, click here.

By |August 12th, 2022|

5 Ways You’re Not Controlling the Pitch (and How to Change That)

It doesn't take long for most of us to buy a pack of gum. It can be a matter of minutes from the moment we feel the need arise to the moment we become 100% owners of that gum and pop a piece in our mouths. There was little deliberation or weighing of options. It was a low-cost, low-risk purchase—if the gum-chewing experience turns out to be unsatisfactory, it’s pretty cheap and easy to reinvest in a different option. Obviously that's not the case with buying agency services, which is a complex, time consuming process involving multiple stakeholders with different personal and professional agendas and their human idiosyncrasies. When a marketer shops for agency services, it’s embarking on a journey. And at each step you have the opportunity, perhaps more than you realize, to exert some control over the journey and affect the outcome (ideally in your favor). Each buyer’s journey is unique but here are five common situations in which I see agencies relinquishing control when they should be asserting it. Client says “just email us a proposal” It sounds promising when a client asks you to submit a proposal. And many times it is, but only under the right circumstances. This is where formal agency reviews, while far from perfect, offer some structural benefits for agencies: There’s usually a defined step-by-step process, sometimes designed and managed by an experienced search consultant. There are opportunities to exchange important information. At the very least, the marketer provides a brief of an RFP in exchange for the agency’s response. The client sets ground rules that all are expected to follow. But when you’re operating outside the confines of a formal agency review, as you are [...]

By |August 8th, 2022|

Why Inbound Marketing Is Better for Your Business Than Outbound Marketing

Social media has changed our lives in countless ways — for those of us in marketing and sales, the way we reach customers is completely different now.... In this piece I recently contributed to DemandGenReport.com I discuss, how this critical distinction between advertising mediums makes inbound marketing much more effective than outbound marketing.

By |July 28th, 2022|

How do you deliver bad news?

I was on a flight last week, and it was a few minutes past the time that they should have closed the cabin doors.  The pilot came out and got on the PA system.  Here’s what he said: “Folks, you know when the captain comes out of the cockpit to talk to you, it’s not good news. We’re going to be delayed because there’s a malfunction in the oxygen system in the cockpit and if something happens mid-flight, believe me; you want a conscious pilot. I know I’m old, but I promise, I’m more alert when I have oxygen.  This problem is only in the cockpit. There’s nothing wrong with the oxygen system in the main cabin. I’m am very sorry about this, and if anyone wants to yell at me about the delay, please come on up. But, I want to warn you - I’ve been married for 30 years, so I’m pretty immune. But you can still yell if it makes you feel better.  Once the maintenance crew gets here, it should take them about ten minutes to fix the problem, so I expect we’ll be in the air in thirty minutes.  If I think it’s going to be longer than that, I will let you know.” When he was done, people laughed and applauded.  They applauded a flight delay announcement.  That doesn’t happen very often.  So, what did the pilot do to earn everyone’s grace? He was sincere and genuinely apologized. He explained the root problem and the risks of not fixing the problem. He gave specific details as to the timeframe to fix the problem. He promised to keep his customers informed if there was a change in the plan or [...]

By |July 8th, 2022|
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