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

It's tough making decisions as an agency owner! From your first hire to knowing when it's time to sell. Here's advice from an 11-year agency owner veteran on some of the key attributes to look for in your agency's first hire as well as some simple considerations to help you know if it's time to sell your agency.

In this episode, we'll cover:

  • The #1 thing to look for in a first hire.
  • Is it time to sell your agency?

Today I chatted up Kathleen Booth, VP of Marketing at Impact, a resource for inbound marketers, and host of the Inbound Success podcast. After growing her own digital marketing agency for 11 years, from startup to a HubSpot platinum level partner, Kathleen read the signs that it was time to move on and sold her agency in a merger. She shares with us how she made big agency leadership decisions, from her first hire to selling the agency.

The #1 Thing To Look For In a First Hire

A burning, insatiable desire to learn and figure things out! The digital marketing landscape is ever-evolving and your agency needs people who will evolve with it.

Your agency wants people with a good marketing presence. Remember, this could be a person with any number of marketing-type backgrounds, so don't limit your interview process by job title.

Kathleen suggests hiring someone who can take tasks off your plate. (In most cases, I advise hiring a Project Manager - here's why.) As an owner, you need to be able to focus on strategy and building your agency, not on tedious tasks that could be handed off. Be sure your candidate can manage a client, so you don't have to. It's time for you to step away from managing agency clients and details.

Clients value that to which they don't have easy access. Meaning, if you're accessible all the time, clients won't value your time and they won't pay as much for it. Keep your interactions consistent, but spread out.

Time To Consider Selling Your Digital Agency?

Are you still having fun? You need to love what you're doing. Kathleen was having fun for the first 10 years, but the 11th year was draining.

Is your agency scalable to the level you want to be? In Kathleen's case her agency's growth was tied to being an early Hubspot partner. But as their program grew her agency's lead generation suffered.

If you answer "no" to either of these questions it might be time to consider selling.

Kathleen was faced with either pushing ahead, doubling down to grow and scale OR selling her agency and moving on.

If you're thinking of selling, use your network and start putting out feelers. It was easier for Kathleen to make her decision, because she found an interested party.

Be self aware. Don't let money and ego get in the way of making the right decisions for you and your agency. The best entrepreneurs know when it's time to walk away and can do so fast.

Ready to Discover the Best Agency Strategies Working Today?

[Invitation-Only Group for Digital Agency Owners]

Most agency owners struggle to scale. We’ve developed a process that will guide you through the journey of implementing the right systems so you can scale your agency — instead of feeling overwhelmed by it.

We do this by bringing together agency thought leaders to share strategies, offer advice, and reveal what’s working (and what’s not working) in their agency. The truth is, whatever you want to accomplish in life, nothing will help you go further, faster than getting the right advisor in the context of motivated peers. If you want to GROW fast and smart, here's how Agency University™ Mastermind will HELP. Request your personal invite here.

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

Thinking about doing a podcast, but don't know where to start? Overwhelmed by the prep work like booking guests and developing questions? Here's some insight, helpful tips and actionable strategies to have your agency stay top-of-mind and build relationships.

In this episode, we'll cover:

  • Why your agency needs to start a podcast.
  • How to get over the first hurdle.
  • 2 easy steps to secure great podcast guests.
  • #1 tip to develop strong podcast questions.
  • Tips and tools to build relationships after the episode airs.

Today I talked with social dynamics expert, Jordan Harbinger. As host of the podcast, The Jordan Harbinger Show and contributor to the website Advanced Human Dynamics, Jordan uses his great questioning skills to delve into strategies, techniques and habits of some of the most successful people on the planet. He's had the opportunity to interview huge guests like Larry King, a CIA agency, a military General, even Shaquille O'Neal! Jordan understands the influence of podcasting and shares some great nuggets of knowledge on how to start and maintain a successful podcast to keep your agency top of mind.

Why Your Agency Needs A Podcast

A podcast is a great way because:

  1. It is an outreach tool to create relationships.
  2. Your ideal audience is searching for your content.

Check out this related interview with Pat Flynn on Starting a Podcast

How To Get Over The First Hurdle

The #1 objection to starting a podcast is usually that people hate the sound of their own voice. Jordan says there is a simple way to get past this -- edit your own show.

Having to listen to your own agency show over and over will provide you with some great insight on things to work on:

  • What filler words are being used too much (such as "like" or "ummm").
  • How to be dynamic in your tone and inflection.
  • How to use a microphone and test/track sound quality.

Once these are corrected, listening to your own voice won't be so bad.

2 Easy Steps To Secure Great Podcast Guests

To get great guests you need to simply:

  1. ASK!
  2. Be persistent.

People are more accessible than you might think. Just be brave and reach out because you'll never know if you don't ask :)

Utilize and create network connections that your agency can leverage to bring on podcast guests.

Make a list of who you want. Create a system to reach out, and be sure you doesn't just focus on one guest at a time. Reach out to multiple potential guests and follow-up consistently until you get a yes.

#1 Tip To Develop Strong Podcast Questions

Be well prepared! Out-prepare everyone else.

Do the research on the guest, read their book, watch their videos, listen to their podcast... learn about them before the podcast.

Keep the questions insightful and don't focus on being super witty or clever.

Your goal for a successful interview should be that you run out of time, not material. Set up the questioning to last double the amount of time as the actual podcast. This will allow for editing to really hone in on the most valuable nuggets of information and get rid of all the "fluff" that is not of vital interest to your listeners.

Tips And Tools To Build Relationships After the Episode Airs

Follow-up, reach out, stay in touch. Just because someone was a guest, doesn't automatically make them a solid contact. Make an effort to continue communication to build the relationship. Jordan's website Advanced Human Dynamics offers a free mini-course on things like:

  • How to keep in touch
  • reengaging contacts
  • reach-out text drills and exercises

These tips require very little investment of your time, but can drastically impact your relationships with guests, sponsors, and potential clients. It is worth the time! Visit the website here and click on Level 1.

There are also 2 great tools for your agency to use:

  1. Boomerang
    • A useful tool that works with Gmail and allows you to control when emails are sent and received as well as schedule reminders.
  2. Contactually
    • A CRM program that can organize and prioritize contacts and communication with them. Set reminders and store information so remember to touch base with potential guests, pasts guests, etc. at a predetermined increment of time (30 days, 45 days, etc.)

Ready to Discover the Best Agency Strategies Working Today?

Most agency owners struggle to scale. We’ve developed a process that will guide you through the journey of implementing the right systems so you can scale your agency — instead of feeling overwhelmed by it. 

We do this by bringing together agency thought leaders to share strategies, offer advice, and reveal what’s working (and what’s not working) in their agency. The truth is, whatever you want to accomplish in life, nothing will help you go further, faster than getting the right advisor in the context of motivated peers. If you want to GROW fast and smart, here's how Agency University™ Mastermind will HELP.  Request your personal invite here...

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

Wondering how to adapt to all the Facebook changes? Upset your Facebook ads aren't getting the ROI you expect? Wondering if Facebook is a dying platform for lead generation? Facebook is evolving with the demands of it's users and we know Facebook isn't going away anytime soon. Learn from an expert on the best way to position your Facebook ads as well as utilizing Facebook live and videos to build relationships.

In this episode, we'll cover:

  • Is Facebook a dying platform for lead gen?
  • How to use Facebook ads to generate leads.
  • 3 strategies for using video on Facebook.

Today I chatted with Curt Maly, CBDO at Black Box Social Media, speaker and primary voice of Social Media Ad Genius. With over 8 years experience working with Facebook Ads, Curt shares some insight on the current Facebook landscape and how your agency can adapt. With the focus being on building relationships, Curt shares some tips on Facebook Live and videos that will help your agency achieve a like, know and trust factor that is so important for building a sales pipeline.

Is Facebook a Dying Platform for Lead Gen?

The current news media surrounding Europe's GDPR has definitely scared some from using Facebook, but this won't necessarily last.

Curt says Facebook ads definitely aren't for every industry. You and/or your clients might perform better on another platform. For example, Instagram is showing success as it emerges as a more popular platform. However since it's photo-centric you need to make sure you're smart about relevant content to build your agency brand on Instagram.

If we look at the history of Facebook it can help see where the future is going. It's similar to the early years of Google Adwords, when they weren't focusing on customer service. Facebook has struggled with privacy issues as well as customer service. (Like, how hard is it to get a Facebook contact on the phone?!) But Facebook is stepping up their game by working with agencies and focusing on customer support. So, they're coming around... and Facebook is far from "dying" :)

How To Use Facebook Ads to Generate Leads

Your agency needs to build a human relationship and that's going to cost more in ad dollars. It is time to focus on content vs. relevance.

Facebook is currently the largest publishing platform. And, if your agency want to use the largest publishing platform to generate leads, then you need to publish really good content and follow-up accordingly!

A current Facebook analysis says that clicks and/or click-thru rates don't necessarily mean someone is going to increase brand awareness or intent to purchase. This goes against the common ideology, so the industry needs an ideology change. We need to adapt to change, social media platforms are still a bit of the wild wild west.

Facebook is ever changing their algorithms. Right now Facebook is looking at the engagement on business profile pages and their posts. Facebook is dinging business for "click bait" if people are clicking your link to a landing page and then come right back to Facebook. This is why using Facebook for organic reach with direct response won't work if your agency isn't playing in the game of Facebook. A successful business plan includes engaging posts and relationship building, not just running ads. You won't have scalable traffic or a predictable pipeline if you're just focusing on ROI and not the personal relationships.

3 Strategies for Your Agency's Videos on Facebook

Video allows a viewer to relate to you, get to know you and build a rapport with you. This is a much better business building strategy than a "good hook" in your ad copy.

When looking to create a video, Curt says he likes to think of structure of infomercials. That's right, infomercials. Infomercials last the test of time and follow a basic formula: every 3-5 minutes, there is a call-to-action. Many of us only give a CTA at the end of the video. But for those who don't want all the way through, they miss out on the their next steps.

There are three types of videos your agency can use:

  1. Short one minute video. Use this video to address a cold audience.
    • Generally, this video is to build awareness.
    • Provide 2-3 bullet points and then a call-to-action.
    • Hint: Instagram can support a 1-minute video too, so why not multipurpose?
  2. Facebook Live. Use this type of video to help people get to know you and your agency brand.
    • Facebook Live videos can help grow engagement to score points with Facebook.
    • As much as 80-90% of views are from Facebook live replays.
    • Apply infomercial structure and split your video into 4 equal parts with a CTA after each part.
    • In the first 30 seconds give them: what you're going to cover or why they should watch and a CTA or where to find out more info.
  3. Long, 10-15 minute videos. Use these videos to provide great value to the existing followers. as well as to announce or promote something new.
    • Apply infomercial structure and split your video into 4 equal parts with a CTA after each part.
    • You can have more than one CTA and take them multiple places, such as a landing page, an early bird list, or even point them to "like" and "follow" you on Facebook.

Ready to Discover the Best Agency Strategies Working Today?

Most agency owners struggle to scale. We’ve developed a process that will guide you through the journey of implementing the right systems so you can scale your agency — instead of feeling overwhelmed by it.

We do this by bringing together agency thought leaders to share strategies, offer advice, and reveal what’s working (and what’s not working) in their agency. The truth is, whatever you want to accomplish in life, nothing will help you go further, faster than getting the right advisor in the context of motivated peers. If you want to GROW fast and smart, here's how Agency University™ Mastermind will HELP.

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

Wondering how you can get PR and media coverage a for your agency? Afraid your agency isn't newsworthy? Then it's time to learn some simple tips to get your agency the media coverage it deserve so you can generate interest and leads organically, plus amplify your brand. Today's show guest is talking ways to jump-start your agency's publicity.

In this episode, we'll cover:

  • 3 tips to achieve media coverage.
  • The #1 thing to do for a media interview.

Today I chatted with Emily Richett, founder and owner of Richett Media. In 2013, Emily left her job as a TV news reporter to start a new venture and naturally leaned towards publicity. Over the past five years her agency has grown from a solo act, to now 5 full time employees. Emily shares some great advice on working with different media outlets and how to start getting your agency in the news.

3 Tips To Achieve Media Coverage

Your agency is newsworthy, even if you don't think so. There are always ways to be newsworthy if you understands what the media outlets are targeting, what they care about and the natural ebb and flow of the news cycle. Emily shared 3 big tips for getting noticed by the media:

  1. Make it easy for the media to want to cover your story.
    • The media is going to cover seasonal and holiday trends, based on their annual calendar. If you can connect the dots for them and align with a season or time-sensitive current trend you're more likely to get noticed.
    • Create the hook for the media. Often times reporters are too busy, so if you do some of the leg work for them it's a much easier sell.
  2. Tie into what the media outlet's viewers care about.
    • People care about people (not businesses) and their impact on society.
    • Outline how your agency is making an impact, whether on a local or national level.
  3. Utilize social media as a media lead generation tool.
    • On Twitter search #journalrequest, where journalists request information and quotes for stories.
    • On LinkedIn, use Dux Soup as a lead generation tool to leverage for media lead generation.
    • Check out other resources, like H.A.R.O. ("Help a Reporter Out")

The #1 Thing To Do For a Media Interview

Prepare in advance!

You want to leverage this media opportunity, so you MUST do your homework in order to make your media coverage great.

  • See if  you can find out what questions they will ask. A great way to do this is to study past interviews.
  • Create a list of questions you want to be asked in order to touch on the important topics; provide the list to the media outlet.
  • If your agency will be in print, provide professional pictures and /or headshots.
  • If you agency will be on TV, shoot a hi-res B-roll and provide it.

Remember to be yourself. Find your agency's voice.

[clickToTweet tweet="Fifty-percent of a great PR opportunity is getting the press. The other 50% is leveraging the media exposure." quote="Fifty-percent of a great PR opportunity is getting the press. The other 50% is leveraging the media exposure."]

Always have a call to action with media coverage. Make sure the viewers can find your agency or your client.

For Emily's free entrepreneur's publicity guide, click here.

 

Ready to Discover the Best Agency Strategies Working Today?

[Invitation-Only Group for Digital Agency Owners]

Most agency owners struggle to scale. We’ve developed a process that will guide you through the journey of implementing the right systems so you can scale your agency — instead of feeling overwhelmed by it.

We do this by bringing together agency thought leaders to share strategies, offer advice, and reveal what’s working (and what’s not working) in their agency. The truth is, whatever you want to accomplish in life, nothing will help you go further, faster than getting the right advisor in the context of motivated peers. If you want to GROW fast and smart, here's how Agency University™ Mastermind will HELP. Request your personal invite here.

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

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