Episode 185:

For almost two decades, AMI has been conducting an annual salary and benefits survey. The 2019 results are in and they are quite telling. 2018 was clearly a good year to be an agency employee.

As we cull through the data to pull together the report, certain trends and patterns emerge. In this episode, I want to walk you through the ones that I believe are most critical for you as an agency owner.

I know that every agency owner is walking the fine line between wanting to fairly compensate the people on the team, not lose your best people to poachers, and still make a profit. Some insight into how other agencies are making it work should help your 2019 and 2020 planning.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • What similarly sized agencies in your market are doing with salary and benefits
  • How the focus on content is favoring writer creatives over art creatives
  • The state of entry-level starting salaries
  • What agencies are doing to keep their staff from seeking greener pastures
  • Why agencies tend to be so generous with benefits
  • How to attract and retain top employees when you can’t compete on price
  • The intangibles that make agency life so rewarding, and how to emphasize them

The Golden Nuggets:

“If you are an agency that doesn't have a robust benefits package, understand that is a weakness you have in terms of hiring.” – @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet “Those of you who have baked educational perks and benefits into your package are spot on. That's exactly what your employees want.” – @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet “There is a real challenge between rising wages and clients who don’t want to pay more for services. You can't keep taking the same amount of money or less money and then pay out more money. That leaves you with an empty wallet.” – @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet “The greatest asset you can offer employees is how you invest in what matters most to them, like educational opportunities, culture, and attracting sweet-spot clients who are grateful for the work your agency does.” –@DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet

Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an 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 — Drew 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, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

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Ways to contact Drew McLellan: