agency structures

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 [...]

Essential Business Building Strategies You Need to Grow Your Agency with Jason Falls

As an agency owner, you know that if you're not ready to evolve your agency with business building strategies, you'd better get ready to retire. The agency business is undergoing an incredible metamorphosis and most agency owners are running at full speed to keep up. That's where my conversation with Jason Falls, Senior Vice-President, Digital Strategy at Elasticity and author of several books on social media and email marketing, started. (listen to the podcast here) From there we move to agency hierarchy and structure, the impact of millennials on current day politics and the importance of building strategic alliances. It's a whirlwind hour of debate, stories and a few good laughs.  I think you'll not only enjoy it, but you'll also get some business building strategies you can put into play right away. To listen – you can visit the Build A Better Agency site (https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/jason-falls/) 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 line. Bringing his 25 plus years of expertise as both an agency owner and agency consultant to you, please welcome your host, Drew McLellan. Drew: Hey everybody, this is Drew McLellan, and I am really excited to be with you today. As an agency owner, I know all too well the risks we take every day. This podcast is about making sure if we're going to take [...]