The #1 Digital Agency Podcast for Social Media, SEO, PPC & Creative Agencies

How does your agency fit into your life? Are you being very honest and clear on what it is that you want and what success means to you? If you feel like a prisoner to your business or you're struggling with passion for your agency, it might be a time to look within.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • 3 simple questions to gut check whether your agency is working for you.
  • How to reinvent your agency.
  • How to understand your recurring revenue needs.

Today I talk with Pia Silva, Founder and Brand Strategist at WorstofAll Designs, speaker, Forbes contributor and author of BadAss Your Brand. Pia and her partner (who also happens to be her husband) had their lightbulb moment over 6 years ago when they’d fallen into a huge funk and some serious business debt. She’s here to share with us how to avoid those same mistakes while being true to yourself and your business goals.

It was then they realized their agency model wasn’t working and that they were trying to front an agency model and be something they weren’t and have now come to realize they have had so much more success just embracing what they did have that was different.

3 simple questions could change everything

Do a gut check with these three simple questions:

  1. Is it UNIQUE?
  2. Do you ENJOY IT?
  3. Is it PROFITABLE?

Does your current business model work for you?

Pia uses these three questions as a foundational point of helping other small business owners with their branding issues. She believes your business should really be “the intersection of what you love and what’s most profitable.” It’s that outside-of-the-box thinking that will set you apart and put you on the path of a business model that will work.

Is it time to reinvent your business?

If you’re gonna spend all your time on this, you better LOVE it!” ~ Pia Silva

If the answers to any of those 3 questions are ‘no’ then it’s time to reinvent yourself. You need to attack this and look at it going: “This is us. This is what we want to do. This is what we enjoy doing. This is what we’re going to do”...and then figure out how to do it.

For Pia and her partner, it meant letting go of employees and redefining their measure of success.

Now, instead of being a traditional agency trying to play hardball with the big guys it’s just the two of them. By their choice. Instead of taking on lengthy projects and retainer clients their agency runs intense full day workshops with one client at a time where they “badass their brand” through a BrandUp session.

How to Reinvent your Agency

First, go back to the basics.

Look within. You can’t compete with the big guys if you think the same as the big guys. Instead, think:

  • What makes us unique?
  • What do we want to do?

Next break it down, step-by-step to go after it.

If you look backwards, then you are just reacting to the market. Instead be proactive and break down your business growth into smaller decisions. Drill down by determining answers to these:

  • How can I buy an ideal client?
    • How can I buy a pitch?
      • How can I get their attention?
        • Who do I want to go after?
          • Understand yourself and your core service

Understanding Your Recurring Revenue Needs

Honesty is key. Ask yourself why you're in this and possibly, what your end game looks like.

Are you comfortable with a lifestyle business? Are you looking for enough revenue to live your life and afford you extra time to do other things you enjoy? Or, are you looking to catapult your business or eventually sell it? What do you want? What does success mean to you?

Need Guidance and Support to Grow Your Agency 3X Faster?

Are you overwhelmed by all the information out there on various ways to grow your agency? Do you want direction on how you can grow your agency faster and easier?

Then you’re in luck! I created an innovative mentorship called Agency University.

Agency University is a program which provides the 1-on-1 mentorship and ongoing support that is crucial to the success of your agency. Click here to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Related: A $3 Million Agency with a Unique Business Model

Direct download: How_to_Fit_Your_Agency_into_Your_Life__Not_Vice-Versa.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EST

How can you create an agency culture that continually inspires your team? After all your team is your #1 asset, so keeping them energized and motivated is key. Agency culture and brand are two sides of the same coin. So, it all starts with defining your on core values. Easier said than done, right?

In this week’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • Who to hire first at your agency.
  • How to create a desirable agency culture.
  • One example of core values that set the tone for amazing agency culture.

Today’s guest on the show is Brad Flowers, founder of Bullhorn Creative. Like many others, Brad and his partner “accidentally” founded their agency. What was just the two of them and some freelancers in 2008 has grown to 2 offices and 14 employees. They learned fast and hard in order to grow, and Brad is on the show to share his tips on creating a desirable agency culture.

Who to Hire First at Your Agency

Their first hire was a Project Manager which is ideal, because PM's:

  • Pay attention to details and follow-up/follow-through.
  • Create and implement agency systems and processes.
  • Keep track of projects, keeping them on time and in budget.

All this frees up the owner(s) for higher level, business growth activities. Things like: identifying your ideal clients and proactively going after the business you want in order to grow.

How To Create a Desirable Agency Culture

It clicked for Brad when he read a line in Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness.

Our belief is that a company’s culture and a company’s brand are just two sides of the same coin. The brand is just a lagging indicator of the culture.” ~ Tony Hsieh

Meaning, culture is the outside world’s perception of the people within your agency. And since the people on your team are a reflection of your agency’s core values you need to hire the right people in order to have the culture you want. So, it all starts with  setting core values. Here's how:

  1. Do honest inward reflection to determine your (and your partner’s) personal core values.
  2. Write your core values and live them by example every day.
  3. Begin hiring based on core values in order to mesh them into your culture.
  4. Consider incentives or awards in line with the core values.

For more on Zappos' highly acclaimed company culture and core values check out: How to Define Your Agency’s Core Values and Set Up Your Team for Success Like Zappos.

Core Values that Set the Tone for Agency Culture

Bullhorn has 3 pairs of core values they bring to life in their agency’s culture. Like Zappos, these aren’t just a motto to aspire toward, they’re a way of life.

1. Empathy & Honesty

  • Understand where someone else is coming from but be honest enough to keep things on track.
  • Relevant both internally among the team and externally with clients.
  • Empathy is a unique way of demonstrating authority to your prospects and clients.

2. Dissatisfaction & Improvement

  • It’s OK to be unhappy but also important to help be part of the solution.
  • Always look for ways to make things better.

3. Creativity & Decisiveness

  • Agency teams are presumably creative, but creativity is encouraged and celebrated in every role - including bookkeeping, business development etc.
  • Indecisiveness is the enemy of good work.

Need Guidance and Support to Grow Your Agency 3X Faster?

Are you overwhelmed by all the information out there on various ways to grow your agency? Do you want direction on how you can grow your agency faster and easier?

Then you’re in luck! I created an innovative mentorship called Agency University.

Agency University is a program which provides the 1-on-1 mentorship and ongoing support that is crucial to the success of your agency. Click here to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Direct download: How_to_Create_a_Desirable_Agency_Culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Do you want to grow your digital agency with amazing talent, but worried you can’t pay top dollar? This unique “reverse recruitment model” for finding, training and keeping incredible talent might make it more doable than you think.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • Why and how to implement a reverse recruitment model.
  • How to develop agency talent with an entry level team.
  • 2 big benefits to reverse recruitment.

Today’s guest is Morgan Lopes, CEO of Polar Notion, the web and mobile app development agency he co-founded 5 years ago. Like so many of us, he’s an accidental agency owner who shares with us some valuable advice about hiring a team to grow your agency. He has created and implemented a new recruitment model that’s netting fantastic results.

Why Hiring Entry-Level People Can Grow Your Agency

Morgan had an amazing mentor when he was young and new to the industry. He developed his craft through the generosity of an older, more experienced person who would not accept payment for his time. Instead, he asked Morgan to pay it forward. Years later, the solution is Polar Notion’s reverse recruitment model.

How the Reverse Recruitment Model Works:

  • Skills are teachable, personality is inherent.
  • Hire entry level candidates, typically right out of school.
  • Hiring process focused on personality and character instead of skill level.
    • Character traits to look for: teachable, curious, thoughtful, actionable
    • Skills are teachable, character is not.
  • Train skills and develop the craft in people who are already a culture fit.

How to Develop Agency Talent from the Ground Up

  • At first Polar Notion had no process and it was messier than it should’ve been.
  • Now there’s a process and curriculum in place.
  • New hires are onboarded and trained based on specific guidelines.
  • Employees follow process/steps and their appointed mentor makes daunting tasks more bearable.
  • Expectations for new hires and existing team are clear so the program is more successful.

2 Big Benefits of Reverse Recruitment

1. A Company Mission Transitions to a Way of Life

This isn’t a “thing” Morgan wants to talk about all the time or force his team do. They’re starting to create habits of mentoring and teaching each other - which is the ultimate goal. Instead of mentorship just being a company mission he aims for it to be something that is naturally ingrained in their culture and lived out.

2. A Super Low Employee Turnover Rate

Morgan's agency has only ever let one person go. Ever. When you’re hiring based on personality and character everything clicks and people stick. Also, if/when issues arise the team is more apt to talk to leadership and work through a solution.

Need Guidance and Support to Grow Your Agency 3X Faster?

Are you overwhelmed by all the information out there on various ways to grow your agency? Do you want direction on how you can grow your agency faster and easier?

Then you’re in luck! I created an innovative mentorship called Agency University.

Agency University is a program which provides the 1-on-1 mentorship and ongoing support that is crucial to the success of your agency. Click here to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Direct download: Why_Hiring_Entry_Level_People_Can_Grow_Your_Agency.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EST

Have you thought about productizing your SaaS idea or tech solution? Is a SaaS company the way to go? It might be! As agencies, we provide solutions and create tools for clients every single day. So, why not monetize them? But first, learn the right way to build a profitable SaaS company.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • How to create a profitable SaaS product.
  • What agencies are doing wrong when it comes to productizing.
  • How to avoid common mistakes creating your SaaS product.

This week’s guest is Dan Martell, a former agency owner and current coach to SaaS companies. His passion has always been in the tech space and he’s here to share insights on how you can get your incredible SaaS idea off the ground and be profitable at it.

How to Create a Profitable SaaS Product

Successful SaaS creates a technology solution for:

  • customers, so they can do something themselves.
  • the industry, so they can do something easier.

B2B SaaS is the most tried and true type.

There are 5 categories:

  1. Alerting or monitoring tools
  2. Reporting tools
  3. Workflow tools
  4. Collaboration
  5. CRM (customer relationship management)

4 Steps to getting your SaaS idea off the ground (without going broke!)

Step 1: Create a clickable prototype - create a spec model, no coding necessary in order to test your idea.

Step 2: Identify early adopters - techies crave innovation and like to be first to jump into new using new solutions and tools.

Step 3: Accept pre-orders - take advance orders from the early adopters by offering an amazing deal (like 50% off) if they order and pay in advance.

Step 4: Build your team - usually once you have taken the first three steps, the team falls into place.

3 Mistakes Agencies Are Making with SaaS

A lot of agency owners stumble into the business accidentally. When they are struggling or unhappy they often think the “grass is greener on the other side” and want to develop a SaaS product. If that’s the case for you, that’s OK. But remember: the grass is greener on the side you water.

1- Product: Make sure the idea is something you can get behind. The best products are at the intersection of what people will buy + something you’re passionate about + your area of expertise. So the goal is to find a sweet spot between all three elements.

Mistake to Avoid: Don’t spin your wheels on something you don’t love or don’t know enough about.


2- People: A lot of agencies decide to productize a solution so they start using their existing team to develop it. This is a bad idea because that same team is also responsible for working on billable projects. Given the choice, billable work will always take priority over the new SaaS project causing a major stall.

Mistake to Avoid: As tempting as it is, keep the teams separate. And, find the right person to be in charge of it. Use what you know as a springboard but bring on the right person to actually push the boulder up the hill.


3- Profit: With little to no resources to start, agencies tend to pull funds from the existing business in order to get the SaaS up and running. While focusing on SaaS they neglect the growth of the agency. The end result, is two struggling businesses.

Mistake to Avoid: Keep agency and SaaS funds in separate silos. Follow the steps for launching SaaS to the early adopters in order to fund the project.

Related:  The Ins and Outs of Going from Agency to SaaS Company

Software Idea for Agencies?

If you would like to talk to me about your software you are developing for your agency or the software idea, click here and fill out the form.

Direct download: How_to_Get_Your_SaaS_Idea_Off_the_Ground_Without_Going_Broke.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EST

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