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

Are you struggling to retain agency clients? Having trouble helping them appreciate the value of your service? Do your clients even know all of what do? Communication is the key to retaining agency clients. And you might not be communicating as well as you think. If you don't communicate it, it didn't happen.  

In today's episode, we'll cover

  • How to help your clients see the value of your agency.
  • 3 Ways to increase client communication and retain more clients. 
  • Why you should always err on the side of over-communication.

Today I sat down with Jordan West, founder, co-owner, and COO at Mindful Marketing, a digital marketing agency focusing primarily on e-commerce. Jordan started his career as a small business owner and quickly found, the more he communicated, the more his company grew. With that, he became an accidental agency owner. Jordan's here to discuss what he has learned about effective communication and how it can make all the difference when it comes to your agency's success.

How to Help Your Clients See the Value of Your Agency

Have you ever put your blood, sweat, and tears into a project, only to have your client jump ship and find someone new? If so, you're not alone. I've been there. Jordan's been there. Most agency owners have been there. And 99% of the time, it comes down to one thing — communication. It doesn't matter how hard you work if your client doesn't know what you are doing. Jordan says his agency has a mantra, "If we didn't communicate it, it never got done." In other words, if you don't tell your client about all the work you put in behind the scenes, how are they supposed to know?

The number one way to help your clients see the value in your work is to communicate. Check-in with your clients. Schedule weekly phone calls. Tell them what you are doing. It's great when the work speaks for itself, but that's not enough. 

3 Ways to Increase Client Communication

Communication is important. So how do you make sure there is productive communication going back and forth on a regular basis?

  1. Get your client involved. Sure, your client counts on you to make a lot of the major decisions, but that doesn't mean you can't have them weigh in. Do you have a successful ad campaign that might benefit from a little extra spending? Make sure your team is talking to the client and let them make the choice. 
  2. Create availability and accessibility. Not all clients want to talk on the phone. That's fine. Your project managers need to understand this means they need to go the extra mile to communicate their availability. This means leaving the calendar open for active clients to request a check-in and scaling up communication in other forms like emails and text messages.
  3. Benchmark your client's progress. When you do communicate with your client, make sure you can show them the value of your service. Provide benchmarks that show where they started, where they are now, and future projections. 

Why You Should Always Err on the Side of Over-communication

"But Jason, I'm all over communication. This is one area I don't have to worry about." Really? Do you have a 100% client retention rate? Do your clients understand what you do so well that they literally never ask you any questions? No? There is always room for more communication. 

Take a look at your messages. When was the last time you sent an email to your biggest client? Your smallest client? If it has been more than a week, it's been too long. Communication is vital in everything you do. If you don't communicate enough, you're going to fail. Plus, as an added bonus, the more you communicate and help your clients understand what you do, the more likely they are to send you referrals

If you don't communicate with your clients, you leave them questioning and guessing what you do and how you help. Don't assume your clients know the value of your work. When you take the time to communicate and actually be there for your clients, they're more likely to be loyal to you.

Want to help your e-commerce clients convert increase CRO?

Our partner, Justuno, offers an AI solution that captures leads, personalizes messaging, and gathers audience analytics. Justuno is SaaS that features pop-ups and messaging that can be tailored to your client’s target audience from paid ads, mobile, desktop, and even former customers who haven’t purchased in a while. This helps your agency control ad costs and increase engagement for improved SEO.

With more than 20 years in e-commerce, Justuno is trusted by hundreds of agencies and thousands of businesses around the world. And for a limited time, Justuno is offering FREE unlimited agency accounts to Smart Agency Masterclass listeners. Head over to Justuno.com/Jason to get started.

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

Are you looking for a way to attract your ideal client? Have you considered hosting a live event as a prospecting tactic? An event is a great way to gather like-minded individuals and maybe even meet a few potential clients along the way. And yes, we all will be meeting in large groups again one day!

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • #1 Key to hosting a successful event.
  • How to get prospects excited about your event.
  • How to use adversity to build connections.

Today I had an inspiring chat with Jordan Kallman, co-owner of The Social Concierge, an event marketing agency. Jordan has spent many years in the event industry and has created events for some of the world's biggest companies. Today, he's here to talk about a few things you should and shouldn't do in order to host a successful event.

#1 Key to Hosting a Successful Event

One of the biggest mistakes people make when planning an event is diving right in. Regardless of what type of event you have in mind or what type of guests you want to attract, Jordan says there are two things people don't realize about planning an event.

  1. Hosting an event is a lot more expensive than you think it is.
  2. It's harder than you realize to get people to show up.

Because of this, it's extremely important to start with your why or your purpose. Why do you want to host an event? People don't want to go to an event where they feel like you are constantly trying to sell something. They're too busy and don't want to waste their time. When most people go to an event they are looking to learn something new and build connections. The number one way to be successful and attract the right people is to dial in on your messaging and intention.

How to Get Prospects Excited About Your Event

Let's face it — we're all busy and we all have other commitments. If you're like me, the prospect of going to another event is anything but exciting. Jordan says you should always count on a good number of people backing out or simply not showing up. If you want 100 people to attend your event, you need to invite 300. So how do you get people excited about your event and motivate people to show up?

  1. Give attendees an expectation of value. Be clear about what people will get out of attending your event. Will there be a special speaker? Will they learn something new? And if so, what? You have to give your guests a reason to want to be there. Time is valuable.
  2. Promote your event. Now is the time to pick up the phone and talk to your invitees. Tell them how they will benefit from attending your event. Don't stick to just one channel. Promote your event through social, email, and behind the scenes videos. Over-communicate to align with expectations. When you get people excited before the event, they're more likely to share the opportunity with other people.
  3. Build connections before the event. Get personal and connect people before the big day. No one likes to go to an event where they know they won't know anyone there. Introduce a few people before an event and get them talking. People are more likely to show up if they feel like they already connected to other attendees.

How to Use Adversity to Build Connections

The goal of most events is to bring people together. Don't let your guests sit through a boring lecture, counting down the minutes until they can leave. Plan events that allow people to open up and share a common connection. It all starts with being a good host. Greet your guests and let them know why they are there. But beyond that, there are a few basic things you can do to get your guests to open up.

  1. Try a unique approach to introductions. Chances are, if you're holding an event, most of the people will be from the same industry. So instead of asking people who they are and what they do, be creative with your introductions. Ask attendees to talk about their passion or an area they struggle in. This can help people build deeper connections and find common ground.
  2. Don't shy away from adversity. You'd be surprised how much a common struggle brings people together. During my mastermind retreat, we hiked 800 feet up a mountain on the first day. This experience provided a shared sense of accomplishment and a common challenge we all had to overcome. You don't have to climb a mountain at your event; adversity can be as simple as talking about challenges in your field, or common struggles.

Events are a great way to get your ideal clients all in one place. But they take time and planning. When you take the time to carefully craft an event and make sure people show up, you'll be on your way to being able to pick and choose who you work with.

Are you looking for a simple solution to document your agency’s SOP’s?

If you want to keep your team working smarter and not harder, you need to check out what our partners at Trainual have to offer. Trainual is the top-rated software for keeping teams aligned and accountable from anywhere. Their software makes growing your agency easier than ever by keeping all your “how-to’s” and “need-to-know’s” in one place. With dozens of customizable templates, Trainual is an affordable way to increase consistency in the way your team works on repeatable processes.

For a limited time, Trainual is offering our podcast listeners a free the Smart Agency Masterclass Agency Onboarding Template pre-loaded into your account when you signup.

 

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

Are you looking for more predictability in your business model? Do you find your agency is barely treading water and are looking for a way to thrive? No matter what sector you're in or how much experience you have, most people have a competitive advantage — the one trait that sets them apart. The sooner you can recognize yours, the sooner you'll be able to find success.

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • How to find your agency's perfect niche.
  • Do you capitalize on your agency's competitive advantage?
  • 3 Ways to win over committees and boards.

Today I sat down with Yareli Esteban, CEO and president of Strategar, a full-service advertising agency. Yareli started her career working with a lot of big-name companies. But after 14 years, she knew she wanted a change. Yareli is here to discuss why she chose the niche she is in and how she discovered what sets her agency apart.

How to Find Your Agency's Perfect Niche

When you start an agency, you have to make a lot of decisions. What do I stand for? Who's going to join me? Where do I want to end up? But one of the most important questions is, "Who do you help?" In other words, what is your niche?

I talk about niche all the time. Declaring a niche sets you apart and makes all the difference in the type of clients you attract. So how do you find the right niche for your agency?

One of the most important things you can do is figure out what type of client you want to work with. For Yareli, she liked the idea of long-term contracts and predictability. She also wanted to break away from the blue-chip industries and focus more on non-profits and smaller corporations. Now she works largely with government agencies.

The more you work with new clients and talk to your network, the more you'll discover how different industries work. Focus on what your priorities and goals are and pay attention to what type of companies and what type of industries will help you get there.

Do You Capitalize on Your Agency's Competitive Advantage?

Everyone has a competitive advantage, whether they recognize it or not. The sooner you capitalize on your competitive advantage, the sooner you will be able to stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Anyone who has ever worked with the government knows they deal solely with RFPs. If you're like me, the simple utterance of RFPs makes you run in the opposite direction. But for Straegar, they've figured out their own system and can hammer out an RFP in no time. The fact that they easily do something many agency owners run away from is their competitive advantage. It not only helps them when they deal with government agencies but similar agencies as well. Find out what you are good at and run with it.

3 Ways to Win Over Committees and Boards

One of the reasons so many of us avoid working with the government is they have a strict and rigid structure. Generally, in order to get something approved, it has to pass through waves of red tape and various departments. The same goes for committees. When you have a board of 5, 10 people, it is a lot harder to get them all on the same page.

Whether you are working with the government, a committee, or a team of executives, there are going to be many times when you have to convince a group of people your agency is the right choice. The key is finding the common denominator.

  1. Active listening. Bring your whole self to every meeting. Pay attention to what prospects are saying and what they are asking.
  2. Context cues. You can tell a lot about what someone is thinking simply by watching their body language. If they are staring at their phone instead of looking at you, you're losing them. Time to switch gears.
  3. Provide 3 simple goals. Humans can process about three things at a time. Come in with an action plan of 3 things you want to do for the client right off the bat. When you have a plan in place and can show your clients the path moving forward, they'll have an easier time getting on the same page.

As an agency owner, you'll quickly find that everyone is fighting for the same thing. Often, it's not about who's the best, it's about who stands out. When you can find your competitive advantage and capitalize on it, you're less likely to get lost in the crowd.

Want to help your e-commerce clients convert increase CRO?

Our partner, Justuno, offers an AI solution that captures leads, personalizes messaging, and gathers audience analytics. Justuno is SaaS that features pop-ups and messaging that can be tailored to your client’s target audience from paid ads, mobile, desktop, and even former customers who haven’t purchased in a while. This helps your agency control ad costs and increase engagement for improved SEO.

With more than 20 years in e-commerce, Justuno is trusted by hundreds of agencies and thousands of businesses around the world. And for a limited time, Justuno is offering FREE unlimited agency accounts to Smart Agency Masterclass listeners. Head over to Justuno.com/Jason to get started.

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

Do you know your agency's purpose? Have you established a solid framework? When you know what you do and have a process to follow, both your agency and your client are more likely to find success.

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • 2 Reasons your agency should put purpose before profit.
  • How to set up your agency's framework.
  • How your agency can cut through the clutter.

Today I sat down with Robin Whalen, president of Church and State, an independent marketing agency. Robin has been in the agency world for over two decades, and during that time, she has seen a lot of changes. She's here to discuss how developing a solid framework can make everything else so much easier.

2 Reasons Why Your Agency Should Put Purpose Before Profit

We all got in the agency world to make lots and lots of money, right? No. Just me? Kidding aside, as agency owners, we have a tendency to look at the bottom line and set goals based on those numbers. I hear it all the time — agency owners tell me they want to have 5X margins within a certain number of years, or they'll say, "I want a team of 50 people by the end of next year." It's great to set goals, but if you want to be successful, you need to put purpose before profits. Why?

  1. Your time is important. We all remember staying up until 4 am burning the midnight oil. But as the agency realm shifts, bags under your eyes are no longer a badge of honor. Work/life balance is important for you and your team.
  2. You're able to set clear goals. When you prioritize profits, you lose your focus on what type of agency you want to become. What you really need to be thinking about is what type of services you want to provide, what type of clients you want to work with, and what type of culture you want your agency to have.

How to Set Up Your Agency's Framework

When you have a solid framework, everything else has a way of falling into place. Plus, you'll gain your clients' trust when you have proven processes in place. But how do you develop a successful framework?

It goes back to knowing your purpose. What type of agency do you want to be? What is your guiding force or true north?

Robin says brands are known by three things: what they think, what they do, and what they say. Focus on these areas because when what you think, do, and say don't line up, you have a serious integrity problem. At Church and State, the three leaders all have their own goals and their own distinct specialties. However, they all come together for one solid goal, to create the bridge between content and advertising. Find your goal and what guides you and implement a process that supports it.

How Your Agency Can Cut Through the Clutter

Think about what you are saying to your clients and prospects. How great is your reach? Sure, you spend countless hours creating and developing campaigns for your clients, but what about your agency? You need to cut through the clutter and let everyone know you are here.

This may come in a few different forms. Robin says her agency has written a book, delivers marketing presentations, and recently started a podcast.

You don't have to do all these, but you do need to put yourself out there. If you're just starting out, this can be as simple as consistent social media posts. If you have some experience under your belt, I highly suggest a podcast to gain authority and generate leads.

Focusing on profit will only get you so far. At the end of the day, you have to remember why you started your agency. Start with your purpose, develop a framework, and create a culture that supports your vision.

Are you looking for a simple solution to document your agency’s SOP’s?

If you want to keep your team working smarter and not harder, you need to check out what our partners at Trainual have to offer. Trainual is the top-rated software for keeping teams aligned and accountable from anywhere. Their software makes growing your agency easier than ever by keeping all your “how-to’s” and “need-to-know’s” in one place. With dozens of customizable templates, Trainual is an affordable way to increase consistency in the way your team works on repeatable processes.

For a limited time, Trainual is offering our podcast listeners a free the Smart Agency Masterclass Agency Onboarding Template pre-loaded into your account when you signup.

 

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

Do you have what it takes to be a successful agency owner? Are you afraid you’ve hit the ceiling of your own success? What are the traits and disciplines of successful agency owners?

  • Why your agency might need a fresh perspective.
  • How can agencies survive the economic downturn?
  • 2 disciplines every agency owner needs.
  • Are you built for successful agency ownership?
  • Where are you on the entrepreneurial range?

Today I had the great privilege of talking with Gino Wickman, founder of EOS Worldwide and author of Traction. With 30+ years of entrepreneurial experience, Gino has helped 100,000 entrepreneurs build amazing companies with is systems and training. Today, he’s talking about vision, partners, and knowing whether you have what it takes to be the kind of entrepreneur you want to be.

Why Your Agency Might Need a Fresh Perspective

Almost thirty years ago, at the age of 25, Gino ended up replacing a partner and president at his father’s business and turned it around in what he outlines as a 4 steps process.

  1. Simplify the business. There were 5 subdivisions under the umbrella of the larger company which, over time, Gino spun off so they could get back to the core business. This is why we often talk about being the jack of all trades and the master of none. I preach it all the time, right? Do one thing and do it better than anyone.
  2. Win back every client. Gino says that as the family business took off, they got cocky and lost key clients. Listening to those former clients, learning from mistakes, and growing because of it was a huge step in the rebirth of the business.
  3. Restructure the organization. At the time, there were 50 people at the company. Gino reorganized them all and got the right people int the right seats. Of course, there were firings and layoffs as he stripped the business down its core, too. But simplifying the org chart made a huge difference in accountability.
  4. Sell, sell, sell. The final step Gino took was to pay off the company’s mound of debt. What’s the best way to do that? He says they sold their asses off and just focused on their core service to not over complicate things.

How Can Agencies Survive the Economic Downturn?

A business coach once told Gino that every business runs in 10-year cycles. You have two great years, six good years, and two terrible years that could put you out of business.

The economy has been good for a long time and we shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a downturn right now. (Of course “why” is a different story!) But, don’t be surprised in 10 years when this happens again.

Like me, Gino has run businesses during the dot-bomb, 9/11, and 2008 crash. Economic downturns are cyclical. And while it does suck, it is also an opportunity to get clear and do some ‘weeding.’ It gives you time to reevaluate your business, get back to your core values, figure out what you’re best at, and develop your next 10-year plan.

The best advice right now? Get as close to your clients as possible. Give, help, teach. It’s in these times when market share is gained.

It’s been two months. We’ve had time to settle it. It’s time to get back at it. Sure, the pie has got smaller, but you can still get the larger piece while others are being lazy right now.

And don’t be short-sighted. Don’t react to the market with fear of losing everything. Gino encourages every entrepreneur to think in 10-year targets or 10-year goals. There is light at the end of the tunnel but you have to think long term in addition to short term actions.

2 Disciplines Every Agency Owner Needs

In Gino’s new book, The Entrepreneurial Leap, Gino walks the reader through three parts of what it takes to be a great entrepreneur:

Confirm you are an entrepreneur.
Glimpse, show the light.
Path to greatly increase the odds of success.

As well as 8 disciplines we all need in order to be successful. He covered two of those in detail for our listeners:

1. Determine whether you’re a partner person. Are you a partner person? Not everyone is cut out to have or be a partner. On the other hand, some people need a partner to help with decision making or that has a complementary skill set. Learning whether you’re a partner person will help you succeed.

2. Get feedback from clients early and often. You should know your clients better than they know themselves. The only way your business is going to flourish is if you evolve and change with your niche’s needs. You need to be in a position to see what they need before they see what they need. Like Henry Ford said, “If I listened to everything my customers wanted, I would have given them a faster horse.” When you know them better than they know themselves you’re going to be indispensable.

Are You Built for Successful Agency Ownership?

Gino says 10-year thinking means knowing where you want to land ten years from now. What’s the end goal? Then every decision you make today be thinking out 10 years. Time slows down and you make better decisions and get there faster.

As an entrepreneur, you need to know what you’re built for. Not every agency entrepreneur is built to run a billion-dollar agency. Some should always be a freelancer out on their own. The proverbial “glass ceiling” is not always a true glass ceiling. Sometimes, it’s just the entrepreneur trying to go beyond their capacity of what they should be doing. Certainly, the glass ceiling does exist and that’s when an entrepreneur needs to learn in order to grow bigger.

Know your vision and motivation. There no right or wrong answer, it’s just about knowing yourself.

Where Are You on the Entrepreneurial Range?

The entrepreneurial range is everything from a self-employed freelancer to an entrepreneurial giant like Disney or Oprah. When you are on the larger side of that range, you have 6 essential traits: Visionary, Passionate, Problem Solver, Driven, Risk Taker, Responsible.

If you want to learn where you land on the entrepreneurial range and what it takes to be successful, you can take the Entrepreneurial-Leap quiz. If you are on the range, you are a hard-charging entrepreneur, and knowing where you are on the range can help you drive forward.

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

How is your agency surviving the economic crisis? How can a great agency culture help during a downturn in the economy? As an agency owner, there's nothing more important than knowing your values and surrounding yourself with people who are working toward the same common goal, especially at times like these. 

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • Is your agency prepared for the economic crisis?
  • 2 Reasons you should always start with why.
  • 3 Ways to find the right people for your agency team.

Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mark Emond, founder and president of Demand Spring, a revenue marketing agency. Over the past several years, Demand Spring has grown to nearly 20 employees who work in different parts of the world. Mark is here to discuss why it's important to know your agency's vision and how to create a team that supports your vision. 

Is Your Agency Prepared for the Economic Crisis?

I always like to look at recessions and economic changes as a cleansing. Those that are prepared and are good at what they do will succeed. The rest of the agencies who are just winging it and reacting to the economic changes are the ones who really struggle. There are a few things you can do to make sure you are in a good position. 

  • Prepare in advance. It's harder to make the right decisions when you're doing so under pressure or in a panic. 
  • Identify which costs you can cut. Try to avoid cutting manpower. Instead, look at your billing and eliminate any recurring spending that is eating away at your margins. Work with your vendors to see what kind of allowances can be made for pausing or extensions.
  • Know your why. When you can tell your clients why your service matters and what you provide, they will have a hard time letting you go. 

2 Reason Why You Should Always Start with Why

Most of you have heard me talk about knowing your why. Your why is your purpose or reason for doing what you do. It's your driving force that inspires and motivates you. Knowing and understanding your why is key to growing your agency because:

  1. It will make the hiring process easier. Think about the last employee you hired. Were they a good fit? If you don't know what your agency stands for, how are you supposed to hire employees that will help you achieve your goals? 
  2. You'll be able to provide more to your clients. How can your clients understand the value of your services if you don't even understand why you are providing them? When you know your values and the culture you want to create, you will have an easier time providing exceptional customer service at every touchpoint. 

3 Ways to Find the Right People for Your Agency Team

Let's be honest, building a team you love is hard. It takes a lot of work to find people that support your values, support your team, and are actually good at what they do. But the good news is, there's a large pool of candidates out there right now. Your team can quite literally be the difference between success and failure. So how do you find people right for your agency?

  1. Bring in your team to help conduct the interviews. Obviously, the final decision about who you bring on board is yours, but culture-fit is important. When you get the opinions of current employees, you're more likely to find a good fit. 
  2. Dig deep. Don't ask for references. Just don't. Candidates aren't going to hand over a bad reference. Instead, do a little digging. Mark says he usually jumps onto LinkedIn to reach out to second connections. These people are the ones who will truly know a candidate's strengths and weaknesses and will be able to provide greater insight into whether they will fit into your culture. 
  3. Hire for attitude and culture (and be creative with your questions). If part of your culture is being resourceful and scrappy, don't ask a candidate if they are "resourceful and scrappy." Of course, they are going to say yes. Instead, ask them questions that will help you determine their likelihood of fitting in.

Values and culture can help you stand out from a crowd of "me too" agencies. During an economic downturn, this is more important than ever. Start with why and you'll find you'll have an easier time getting the rest to fall into place. 

Want to help your e-commerce clients convert increase CRO?

Our partner, Justuno, offers an AI solution that captures leads, personalizes messaging, and gathers audience analytics. Justuno is SaaS that features pop-ups and messaging that can be tailored to your client’s target audience from paid ads, mobile, desktop, and even former customers who haven’t purchased in a while. This helps your agency control ad costs and increase engagement for improved SEO.

With more than 20 years in e-commerce, Justuno is trusted by hundreds of agencies and thousands of businesses around the world. And for a limited time, Justuno is offering FREE unlimited agency accounts to Smart Agency Masterclass listeners. Head over to Justuno.com/Jason to get started.

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

Do you struggle with pricing? Is your agency getting paid what it's really worth? Are you a victim of scope creep but not sure how to put an end to it? The sooner you can recognize the value of your service and begin charging appropriately, the sooner clients will begin paying you what you deserve.

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • How relationships play a role in agency pricing.
  • 3 ways to determine what you are worth.
  • #1 way to eliminate scope creep.

Today I sat down with Brian DeMarco, CEO of Draftr Media. If you're a longtime football fan, you might recognize Brian from his time as an NFL offensive lineman. But today, Brian's here to talk business. He's here to talk about a topic many agency owners struggle with — how to start charging what you are worth.

How Relationships Play a Role in Agency Pricing

We've all been there — that internal battle about how much to charge for your services. Brian says one of the things that helps him feel comfortable charging a specific price is the relationships his agency has built with their clients. Brian says he always likes to ask his clients about their family and their lives and actually get to know them as people. It's not just good manners; it's good business.

It seems counterintuitive — you'd think the more you get to know someone, the harder it would be to ask for more money. But the opposite is true. The more you get to know your clients, the more they get to know you. When you build a rapport and gain trust, your clients are more likely to recognize your value instead of questioning your price.

3 Ways to Determine What You Are Worth

Great. You've built the relationships and feel comfortable charging for your services. But how much exactly is that? This is a question many agency owners struggle with and nine times out of ten they err on the side of undercharging instead of overcharging. So how do you determine what you are worth?

  1. Ask other agencies what they are charging. Yes, it's that simple. Talk to your mentors, your partners, and industry leaders. You can get a good idea about what type of pricing is appropriate just by asking.
  2. Know how good you are. Brian says the world will pay you exactly what you think you are worth. So it's extremely important that you know what you are worth. You created an agency because you are good at what you do. Own it.
  3. Be confident. Sometimes you just have to throw out a number and see if the client will bite. You'd be surprised how often they do. If you choose this route, you have to do so with confidence. If you question what you are charging, the client most definitely will.

#1 Way to Eliminate Scope Creep

Ah, scope creep — an agency's worst nightmare. We've all experienced it. The important thing is to recognize scope creep before it happens. The fact of the matter is, most clients don't realize what they are asking for is out of scope. It's up to you to stop it from going too far.

How do you do this? Start at the beginning. Be very clear and specific with clients on what you do and what is included for the price. Explain to them when something they are asking for is out of scope even when you decide not to charge for it. The sooner you recognize scope creep and put a stop to it, the less likely it is to get away from you. Scope creep is a slow killer. The more you let it continue to happen, the more it eats into your profit margin.

You have to know what you are worth and ask for it. When you start doing that, you'll find yourself in the driver's seat instead of your clients.

Are you looking for a simple solution to document your agency’s SOP’s?

If you want to keep your team working smarter and not harder, you need to check out what our partners at Trainual have to offer. Trainual is the top-rated software for keeping teams aligned and accountable from anywhere. Their software makes growing your agency easier than ever by keeping all your “how-to’s” and “need-to-know’s” in one place. With dozens of customizable templates, Trainual is an affordable way to increase consistency in the way your team works on repeatable processes.

For a limited time, Trainual is offering our podcast listeners a free the Smart Agency Masterclass Agency Onboarding Template pre-loaded into your account when you signup.

 

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

Are you an e-commerce agency? Would you like to help your e-commerce clients achieve better results including more upsells and cross-sells? Would you like to help your clients leverage the current health and economic situation? It’s all about having the right tools that help you work smarter, not harder.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • How your agency can adapt in today’s changing market.
  • Is AI taking over for digital agencies?
  • How agencies use AI for e-commerce clients.

On today’s podcast, I’m talking with Mat Bingham, Director of Agency Partners at Justuno, a SaaS tool that is helping e-commerce agencies get better and faster results for their clients using artificial intelligence (AI). He’s sharing some strategies agencies are using right now to make quick changes for their clients who might be shut down, plus ways you can use AI to increase sales for your clients.

How Your Agency Can Adapt in Today’s Changing Market

In the B2C space, there is a need to communicate differently and update more frequently due to delays or changes in the way they’re doing business. With this in mind, a lot of agencies have adapted well to onsite marketing, email marketing, text messaging, and trying different channels to help clients. There’s huge potential for digital agencies right now to help clients pivot their business to meet today’s needs.

What got you to where you are today is not what will get you to the next level. The old set it and forget it tactic will no longer work for growing your agency.

Is AI Taking Over for Digital Agencies?

In short, no. Mat says there is a common misconception that artificial intelligence (AI) will take over for us humans. Mat says this is just not true. Instead, AI brings personalization at scale. When you want to personalize any of your automated client interactions - email, content, ads, site displays - AI is the way to do it. As an agency, it’s not efficient to spend hours building a unique campaign to a unique visitor profile.

AI can help you segment your audience to strategically offer a certain cross-sell or upsell. Mat says humans have to set the strategy and messaging, but the machine uses data to help your strategy come to life as well as executes on your strategy.

How Agencies Use AI for E-Commerce Clients

As a marketer, making decisions based on data is the best way to get results. With AI like Justuno you can create strategies based on data and get results for your clients easier and faster.

Their system injects the client’s product inventory and SKU’s into its AI engine and matches it with customers’ purchase history. It basically builds a profile for every visitor that goes to an e-commerce site. It has predetermined algorithm rules, such as: upsell, cross-sell, most viewed, most purchased, previously viewed. Then you, the marketer, tweak those algorithms to determine what is displayed when and where.

You do the strategies on what works best on for a specific upsell or cross-sell but use the tool to set up the campaign, then test and tweak it as needed.

If you want to add or improve your CRO then on-site experience is the focus. And now there is a technology that allows you to apply CRO tactics to many different channels: paid-ads, email marketing list building, as well as on-site. If you’re interested in learning more about Justuno, check out their FREE Conversion Rate Analyzer tool which provides data on email list building, how to lower cart abandonment rates, and how to increase average order value for any specific URL you provide.

And as a special offer for Smart Agency Masterclass listeners, when you signup for Justuno you’ll receive a free unlimited agency account. Head to Justuno.com/Jason for more information.

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

Do you find yourself repeatedly teaching the same tasks to your team? Is it a challenge to get everyone on the same page? Processes are an important part of employee onboarding, but they also make sure your team is working smarter, not harder. 

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • 2 Reasons to have solid agency processes.
  • How to streamline your agency's processes.
  • When should you focus on agency SOPs? 

 

Today I sat down with Chris and Jonathan Ronzio, CEO and CMO of Trainual, a training app that helps business owners establish processes that make their team more effective and productive. Today, they're here to discuss why it's so important to streamline your agency's processes and the best way to make it happen. 

2 Reasons to Have Solid Agency Processes

Take a minute to think about your team. If you gave each member of your team one simple task, would they all know how to get it done? Now, look a little closer. Would they all do it the same way? Creativity is great, but when it comes to basic, repeatable tasks, it's usually a good idea to have a process in place. Why?

  1. Consistency. Your clients expect a certain standard of work. If you have five different team members doing the same task five different ways, your clients are likely to get confused or overwhelmed — not good. 
  2. Time. Think about how much time you and the rest of your team spend trying to figure out how to do something, how to train someone to do something, and how to respond to a client when there's a question. When you have documented processes in place, it's as simple as rinse, wash, repeat. 

How to Streamline Your Agency's Processes

Processes are important, but you don't want to create a process that is so convoluted your team needs a process to understand the process. When you streamline your processes, not only will your team be more successful (and less frustrated), but you'll also find it easier to be more profitable. Why? Because when you have a process in place, it's easier (and quicker) to chose and onboard your ideal clients. So how do you streamline your agency's processes?

  • Recognize what tasks are a time suck. What tasks is your team spending way too much time on? Is there a way to eliminate these tasks? If not, how can you simplify them so they are easily repeatable?
  • Make sure everyone can do the same tasks the same way. As an owner, you want to know your team is actually providing what you expect of your agency. Shadowing your team and watching how they do things takes time. When you have a solid process in place and train everyone to do things right the first time, both you and your clients will be happier. 
  • Hold your team accountable. Your team won't be successful if they don't know what you expect of them. Be clear about your processes, but don't forget to follow up. 

When Should You Focus on Agency SOPs?

You've heard the old saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." The best time to focus on your agency's processes is during employee onboarding. Once your employee develops their own routine, it's much harder to get them to change the way they do things. 

If you don't have a solid onboarding process in place, there's no better time to create one than now. But don't worry, you don't have to whip up one from scratch. Trainual is currently offering a special deal to help you document and organize your agency's processes and procedures. Ready to get started? Head over to Trainual.com/smartagency for a free preloaded offer just for Masterclass listeners.

Your agency's processes are a big factor in determining whether your agency fails or succeeds. When you take the time to streamline your processes and make sure everyone is on the same page, your agency will run much more smoothly. 

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

Is your agency tone deaf? I am seeing agencies handle this pandemic and economy crash in one of two ways. They have either stopped selling because they feel it's insensitive or futile. Or, they are tone deaf and not listening to the actual needs of the market. In this video, I am putting the spotlight on Scott Bell, CEO of Bell Media. Right away, Scott changed his agency's messaging to be empathetic and get the attention of his market. This gives your prospects reassurance that you understand what's going on and hear how their needs, challenges, and concerns are changing right now. In times like these, your agency needs to be flexible and have the ability to move swiftly to make changes in how you're gaining clients. What are your current challenges and struggles in surviving and thriving right now? Comment below. ================================================ SUBSCRIBE NOW to follow my entrepreneurial journey. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDvZHFVeqEMq58q6tMoyMK-ufpp0ysoVP

 

 

Music by epidemicsound.com

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

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