agency models

Hey agency owner — can you run an agency without any employees?

Can you run an agency without any employees? You're about to find out. Recently I received an email which in essence asked how feasible it was to run an agency without employees.  I thought it was a worthy discussion to share here. Here's the question I was asked:  In the last year or so I've noticed more and more agencies that have an organizational structure like this: a strategist or two lead the agency, do new business, do client strategy and service. And the design, technical work and production is done by virtual assistants. This seems to be a particularly popular model with agencies that are Hubspot partners (or partners with other marketing software vendors) or focus on inbound / content marketing. I'd love to hear your experience on this. Particularly, where you see this model working well and where you see the more traditional agency model (a model fully staffed with strategists, account people, creative, etc) working well. My answer: I see this model working with smaller agencies that deliver something that is almost formulaic — like SEO or email automation.  If you can sell it like a product/package — it may work. Typically these agencies are smaller, could be virtual and have little to no staff. They are also at great risk of being commoditized. But for an agency that wants to dig into strategy and really be at the decision making table (in contrast to the more order taking product/package model) it’s really not effective. I don’t believe account people (AE/strategist — whatever you want to call them) are great new business people.  In most cases, they lack the sophistication in business acumen to truly have the kinds of conversations that CEOs/CMOs want [...]

How to Clear the Obstacles that Prevent You from Growing and Scaling Your Business with Karl Sakas

Starting an agency is easy. Growing and scaling your business is anything but. There are lots of obstacles and landmines, not to mention just trying to run the agency, which can get in the way.  My podcast guest Karl Sakas and I chatted about those obstacles and how to move around them.   Some of the specifics we talked about included: the number one question owners must answer in order to understand what type of agency they want to grow ways to delegate work so you can focus on what you love about agency work how agencies can manage their time, stating, “no one will defend your time but you” how to figure out where you want to go and get people to help you so you can get there faster. Karl Sakas served as the #2 man in a couple different digital agencies before he created the Marketing Agencies community at Inbound.org, which has over 1,000 agencies in 48 countries. As president of Sakas and Company, Karl advises agencies worldwide about strategy, operations, and leadership.He has recently published a book entitled, “The In Demand Marketing Agency: How to Use Public Speaking to Become an Agency of Choice.” To listen – you can visit the Build A Better Agency site (https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/karl-sakas/) and grab either the itunes or Stitcher files or just listen to it from the web.   If you’d rather just read the conversation, the transcript is below. If you're going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn't you get the benefits too? Welcome to Build a Better Agency, where we show you how to build an agency that can scale and grow with better clients, invest in employees, and best of [...]

Podcasting for Profit and Understanding the Power of Podcasting with Douglas Burdett

Podcasting seems like the “it” thing lately. On top of that, podcasting for profit is growing rapidly on its own, and can be done without appearing too ad-heavy and spammy. It’s a great weapon to have in your arsenal and you might have thought about giving it a go but stopped short wondering, “Where do I start?” and “How do I differentiate myself in the vast podcasting world?” Well, my guest, Douglas Burdett asked himself the same questions and came up with some successful and profitable answers. In this podcast, Douglas and I delve into the power of podcasting. Among other things, we cover: carving out a niche for your agency what it takes to get started and build momentum how to create a podcast that attracts how a podcast can help grow your business how podcasting for profit works the impact podcasting can have on your agency Douglas Burdett is a B2B marketing agency principle and a former Madison Avenue ad man. His aptly named agency, Artillery, (he was a former artillery officer), helps agencies get found online, convert website traffic to leads, and nurture leads towards a sale. Douglas authors two marketing blogs, Forward Observer and Fire Support, and he hosts The Marketing Book Podcast. To listen – you can visit the Build A Better Agency site (https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/douglas-burdett/) and grab either the iTunes or Stitcher files or just listen to it from the web. If you’d rather just read the conversation, the transcript is below. If you're going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn't you get the benefits too? Welcome to Build a Better Agency, where we show you how to build an agency that can scale and grow with better clients, invest in employees, and best of all, more money to the bottom [...]

Guaranteeing Your Work Using Predictive Marketing with Stephen Woessner

I know and work with a lot of agency owners who do incredible work for their clients but very few of them are willing to guarantee that work with predictive marketing and write their clients a refund check if it doesn’t deliver the results. Are you willing to guarantee your work? To make that kind of promise — you’d better be ready to bring the goods. In my podcast conversation with Stephen Woessner we dig into how today’s agency needs to understand their client’s need for verifiable and predictive ROI and that the agencies that can deliver on that expectation, can plan on a long and fruitful existence. To build that kind of agency — it takes a brilliant methodology, incredible transparency and more accountability than most agencies have in their processes. But it is possible.  And highly profitable. Stephen and I talk predictive marketing specifics about how agencies can deliver leads and sales for their clients and best of all — get credit for doing so. We get into the nitty gritty of issues like bounce rates and the impact that has on sales and we talk philosophically about recognizing that your clients exist in a holistic ecosystem and their agency had better be able to influence every facet of it. You’ll be taking notes through this one so be prepared. To listen – you can visit the Build A Better Agency site (https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/stephen-woessner/) and grab either the iTunes or Stitcher files or just listen to it from the web. If you’d rather just read the conversation, the transcript is below. If you're going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn't you get the benefits too? Welcome to Build a Better Agency, [...]

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