Episode 105:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 23 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 gives 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 he works with those 250+ agencies every year — he has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”


What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why the days where creative led agencies have passed and why creative has been replaced by strategy, content, and lead gen
  • The shortage of writers compared to the abundance of art directors and why that’s a pretty big issue for agencies
  • Why creative directors aren’t in that high of demand anymore, and what traditional creative directors look like in the agencies that have them
  • Administrative, account service, and creative services: the three departments that make up most agencies today
  • The triad of leadership – a writer, art director, and digital producer lead the creative services department in lieu of a creative director
  • Why you don’t usually even need to produce spec creative for a pitch anymore
  • Figuring out which roles inside your agency you still need
  • Allocating funds from cut positions elsewhere to serve your clients better


The Golden Nugget:

“Reassess every role inside your agency to see if it’s still one you need to fill.” – @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet


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Ways to contact Drew McLellan:

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!