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

Are your current marketing methods not yielding enough agency prospects? Wonder how other agencies are prospecting? What unique methods of outbound marketing are working right now? If your agency's traditional marketing techniques aren't producing the type of results you desire, it may be time to think outside the box.

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • Can influencers help your agency grow?
  • Should agencies pay attention to client reviews?
  • How a podcast creates added value.

Today I sat down with Luke Peters, owner of Retail Band, a digital agency that helps brands gain greater exposure with major retailers like Amazon and Home Depot. Luke recently started his own agency after several years in the retail world. Today, he's here to talk about how you can grow your agency by creating more client engagement opportunities.

Can Influencers Help Your Agency Grow?

In today's market, influencers are everywhere. Companies use them to help sell everything from shoes to high-end cosmetics. Luke works with retail brands, so it makes sense to use influencers to gain followers and increase exposure. But what about services? Can influencers promote a service their followers can't even see?

In most cases, influencers receive a product from a company and talk about it with their followers through a given social media channel. Whether it's YouTube, Instagram, or Tik Tok, these posts create engagement, promote trust, and ultimately help clients improve SEO results.

The end goal is to get people talking. When it comes to services, consider reaching out to an influencer and providing your services for free. If they like it, there's a good chance they'll talk about it. If influencers just aren't a fit for your agency, you can always use LinkedIn, podcasts, or networking to get people talking.

Should Agencies Pay Attention to Client Reviews?

Remember, you want people talking about you. Luke says you want reviews any place where prospects are checking you out.  Reviews on places like Google, Glassdoor, and Yelp can help you build trust and expand your reach. If you have a podcast, these reviews matter too.  This type of social proof is like currency and the more you have, the better.

It's important to understand not everybody is going to love working with you. Sometimes you will get negative reviews. But if you can build a community that generates a lot more positive reviews, a couple of negative reviews won't matter as much.

How a Podcast Creates Added Value

I'm a huge proponent of podcasts. A large share of my business comes from podcast listeners. As an agency owner, podcasts are a great way to generate new content and help you meet new people. And often, podcasts are just as valuable to the listener as they are to you.

When you create a podcast, it's like you are inviting people to listen in on your conversations. When I created my podcast, my goal was to create a resource I wish I had when I was running my agency. Over the years, I've discovered it's almost impossible to consistently generate unique content. But as you bring on new guests and recycle topics, you'll begin to see recurring themes.

The ultimate trust factor is when you bring on guests who talk about what they have done and how it has worked for them. When you invite listeners into this conversation, you create loyalty and your listeners learn something new — a win-win!

Whether you have an established agency or you're just starting out, it's always important to find new ways to engage and attract potential clients. Don't pigeonhole yourself into your standard marketing approach. Branch out and try new routes and you're bound to see results.

Direct download: What_Are_Some_Unique_Ways_for_Finding_New_Agency_Clients_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Are you wondering whether your agency really needs to niche down? Do you struggle to get prospects to take you seriously? Whether you have declared a niche or are running a full-service agency, the secret is owning what you do.

In this episode, we'll cover:

  • Should your agency niche down?
  • How to handle sales objections from agency prospects.
  • 3 ways to build relationships.

Today I sat down with Bronwyn Mondoux, owner and creative director at Cinnamon Toast, a creative agency based out of Canada. As a full-service agency, Cinnamon Toast has faced some challenges, but over time has found a way to truly thrive in their space. Bronwyn's here to discuss why she's chosen not to niche down and how she has learned to get out of her own way.

Should Your Agency Niche Down?

I've shared my opinion on the benefits of niching down several times in the past. Declaring a niche helps your agency have a focus and makes it easier for potential clients to understand what you do. That said, that doesn't mean you can't find success as a full-service agency.

Bronwnyn says, one of the reasons why she has chosen not to declare a niche is she's worried her team will become bored.  They enjoy the variety in clients and industries. And that's a valid concern. You have to make sure you enjoy what you do. At the same time, Bronwyn admits, because they are a full-service firm, most of the client base is localized within the Canadian market. Niching down positions your agency as an authority in that field. Prospects are more likely to work with an agency that understands their business and its challenges.

Does your agency have to declare a niche to be successful? No. But it will help you focus on the types of clients you attract. It doesn't mean you can't work with clients outside of that niche. It just means you identify a specific audience to focus on. At the end of the day, it's about what kind of agency you want to run and what makes you and your team happy.

How to Handle Sales Objections from Agency Prospects

We've all faced that challenge where we just can't get certain clients to sign on. They'll tell you that they'd love to work with you, but there's an excuse for why they can't.  Bronwyn says being a youthful, small, and mostly female agency has advantages, but sometimes it's a hard sell.

The best way to overcome these difficulties is to lean in. Embrace who you are. If you're a female-led agency, this may mean targeting female-owned companies and showing them "we get you." Is your team really young? If potential clients are looking to target a younger demographic, you're going to understand their needs a lot better than an agency that has more experience but is not as youthful. Discover what makes you different and leverage it as a strength instead of a weakness.

3 Ways to Build Relationships

Despite what you hear on the podcast and see in my videos, I'm an introvert. I would rather listen than start a conversation. Bronwyn says she's the same way. As an agency, relationships are critical to your success. So what's an introvert to do?

  • Know what you're good at. Clients work with you for a reason. They need you to provide a service and solve a challenge they cannot solve on their own. If you own an agency, chances are, you're good at what you do. When you acknowledge what you're good at and the value you provide, you'll be more confident when selling to prospects.
  • Make it interesting. What got you interested in what you do? What makes your job exciting? When you're proud of the work you provide, your confidence will shine through. Bring in personal stories and things you've learned to make it interesting.
  • Fake it until you make it. Let's be honest, whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, sometimes you're just not feeling it. Remember, it's okay to fake it to push through. Sometimes all you have to do is make that first connection and the rest will come.

As much as anyone can say, "You should do this, or you should do that," there is no right way or wrong way to run an agency. Often focusing on what makes you happy is the best way to find success.

Do Your Clients Need Help with Location-Based Marketing?

Would you like to help your brick-and-mortar clients so you can drive the right foot traffic to their locations? How about gaining insight into visitor trends for stores, chains, or retailers? Our partner, Reveal Mobile is reinventing how agencies use location-based analytics for geotargeting.

They help you bring new insights early in the sales cycle, easily build and deliver location-based audiences with their launch of VISIT Local Free. This is a FREE tool agencies can use to understand their clients' audiences, from foot traffic patterns, store visitors that live and work nearby, frequency of visits, competitive information, and much more. Check out to get your free access to this amazing tool.

Direct download: Is_Being_a_Niche_Agency_Really_That_Important_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Do your clients struggle to understand what you actually offer? Do you make time to work on your agency instead of just in it? Sometimes, agencies lose business because they fail to cross-sell or upsell. But when you educate clients on how your agency can solve their challenges, growth is a sure thing. 

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • Does your agency have a marketing strategy?
  • 2 ways to help clients see the value in your services. 
  • How to effectively lead your agency team. 

Today I sat down with Kornel Kurtz, president and CEO of WebTek, a digital creative agency. Recently, Kornel has seen tremendous growth in his agency, and when you find out why, you'll take a closer look at your own agency procedures. He's here to talk about how to prevent clients from choosing other agencies for add-on services and how doing so can make a big difference to your bottom line. 

Does Your Agency Have a Marketing Strategy?

For most of us, marketing is our bread and butter. We can take on a new client and create a marketing campaign that will completely knock it out of the park. We're great at doing this for clients. But when was the last time you looked at your own agency's marketing strategy?

Kornel has been in the agency world for over 20 years. And in that time, he has found a lot of success. But over the last two years, WebTek has seen 50% growth year after year. Why? It all comes down to marketing.

WebTek has always marketed itself as a web development and SEO agency. But they found beyond that, clients were going to other agencies for additional services. Why? Because WebTek's clients didn't know the agency offered anything besides web development and SEO. When Kornel figured out what was going on, he created all-in-one marketing bundles that provide everything clients need in one convenient package.

2 Ways to Help Clients See the Value of Your Services

We've all been to that one restaurant that has so many choices, you skip right to the special. When it comes to marketing, the same concept applies. Clients don't want to have to figure out what they need and make a bunch of choices. That's what you're for. When it comes to showcasing your agency's value, the answer is simple:

  1. Offer solutions, not products. Chances are, your clients don't know what they need, they just want to see results. Help the client understand their problem, then offer the solution. 
  2. Make it measurable. WebTek has an online portal where clients can log in and see a direct connection between a specific marketing campaign and actual results. When clients can easily view and understand the data, and realize ROI, they're more likely to trust your methods. 

How to Effectively Lead Your Agency Team

A lot of us start out as creatives, with no idea how to manage a team. So how do you know when to push and when to pull back? Kornel believes the key is to pick your battles. 

Some people will be harder to manage than others. Pay attention to which employees need guidance and which ones can use a little room. 

The goal is to hire a team that supports your vision and shares your goals. Don't tell them what to do. Tell your team the specific outcomes you are looking for and trust them to handle the rest. Employees love autonomy. At the same time, it's important to create procedures your team can reference and add to when necessary so they have a framework. 

When it comes down to it, no one can sell your services better than you. Make sure your clients know what you offer and can see the value in your services. The results just may surprise you. 

Direct download: How_One_Agency_Grew_By_50_Two_Years_in_a_Row.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Would you like a bigger piece of pie? Do you want a way to serve more clients without generating leads organically? An agency acquisition growth strategy can help you bring in new clients and new talent while rapidly growing your agency.

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • Should your agency invest in an acquisition?
  • How do you know an agency is right for acquisition and merger?
  • 2 things to consider before you close an acquisition deal.
  • #1 way to integrate agency cultures.

Today I sat down with Mike Maynard, managing director of Napier B2B, a technology agency based in the UK. Mike started his journey in the agency world as a client and has since bought an agency of his own and acquired two more. He's here to tell us when you should consider an agency acquisition and key tips to make sure you get it right.

Should Your Agency Invest in an Acquisition?

Most agency owners I encounter aspire to grow their agency bigger and better. So it comes as no surprise, most owners have considered an acquisition at some point or another. So how do you know an acquisition is the right move for your agency?

Mike said there are two main reasons he chose to acquire an agency rather than opt for alternative growth strategies.:

  1. Client movement was stagnant. The tech industry is known for clients who choose an agency and then sit. There isn't a lot of movement. If you're in an industry where there is a shortage of clients, an acquisition is a great way to acquire new clients who are reluctant to change.
  2. A very small margin for error. We've all had that moment where we knew we were just two phone calls away from shutting down. Mike says his largest client made up 80% of his revenue. In other words, he was just ONE phone call away from losing everything. If you are heavily leveraged in one area, an acquisition can help spread out the risk.

In this case, an acquisition helped reduce risk and create greater diversity. An acquisition shouldn't be a move you make out of desperation, but instead, a proactive way to increase growth and expand your client portfolio.

How Do You Know if an Agency is Right for Acquisition and Merger?

Obviously, you don't want to go out and just acquire any agency. It's important to find a good fit. How do you know you've found the right match? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. A lot of the process comes down to patience and knowing what you want.

Mike has acquired two agencies. The second time around, he knew he was looking for a larger agency. As Mike says, he had to kiss a lot of frogs to find the right fit. Be patient. Know what you want and talk to as many agencies as you can. You'll learn a lot through the process that will ultimately help you be successful.

2 Things to Consider Before You Close an Acquisition Deal

You've found the perfect agency. Now what? Before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few things you need to look at:

  1. Cash flow. What is the recurring revenue? Do they have long-term contracts? Are those contracts transferable? You need to make sure the agency you acquire can justify the investment.
  2. How will you fund the acquisition? You should never pay top line when you acquire an agency. Generally, the terms will be a percentage of the top line and some type of earnout. Napier set aside funds early on to put into agency growth. Do you have the means to successfully turn an acquisition?

#1 Way to Integrate Agency Cultures

Culture is an important part of any agency's success. The last thing you want to do is bring on an established agency that completely clashes with your values and beliefs. The number one way to integrate agency cultures is to look for an agency that has similar beliefs and values. A small amount of discord is a good thing and helps generate ideas and movement. But if you bring on an agency that has substantially different core values, you'll have a hard time ever getting the two to mesh.

An agency acquisition is a great way to grow your client base, bring on new talent, and serve new areas. But it's important to make sure it's the right first. Be patient, do your homework, and know how to tell when the deal is right for you.

Direct download: How_to_Use_Acquisition_as_an_Agency_Growth_Strategy_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Do you struggle to find clients that align with your core values? Are you looking for a way to be able to choose who you work with? When you have a clear understanding of your true north and share your vision with others, the perfect clients will find you.

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  •  How your true north can help you find your agency's niche. 
  • 3 ways to pick and choose your ideal clients. 
  •  Why your agency needs to put people first. 

Today I sat down with Eric Kiker agency partner at LRXD, a full-service digital agency in the health and happiness sector. Eric has been with the agency for 8 years and considers himself the chief relationship officer. He's here to talk about how you can get to a point where you can choose your own clients and the importance of knowing who you are as an agency.

How Your True North Can Help You Find Your Agency's Niche

Your true north is where you see your agency and how you want your business to grow. While we often think of true north as agency values and culture, your vision should be at the core of determining your agency's niche. 

When we talk about niche, we often think about what type of businesses we want to work with or what services we will provide. But the true question is: "What type of values do you want to align yourself with?" 

LXRD focuses on the health and happiness sector. They choose to work with companies whose goal is to bring health and happiness to the world. If a prospect is just in it for the money, they're not a good fit. Take some time to figure out the types of clients your agency wants to work with, rather than focusing on specific industries. 

3 Ways to Pick and Choose Your Ideal Clients 

Every agency owner wants to get to a point where they can pick and choose who they work with. But often, this is easier said than done. Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspective:

  1. Focus on people, not brands. Too often we get caught up in big-name brands or clients who are the most profitable. But at the end of the day, the goal is to enjoy what you do. When you focus on the people and core values, you'll have an easier time finding a match. 
  2. Put your vision out there. As agency owners, we're natural salespeople. We have a habit of telling potential clients what we think they want to hear. Don't be afraid to be proud of your vision and put it out there. Not everyone will like you or believe in your mission and that's okay. The ones that do are the ones you want to work with anyway. 
  3. Be patient You won't get to a place where you can choose who you work with overnight. It took LRXD nearly five years to get to this point. If you focus on people and look for opportunities for growth, the business will take care of itself. 

Why Your Agency Needs to Put People First

People should be at the core of your true north. As an agency CEO, you should be the face of the agency. People have to know what you stand for. It may sound corny, but sometimes you have to lead with your heart before your head. 

Any agency can pull together numbers, provide analytics, or a stellar sales pitch, what makes you unique is your attitude and values. When people know who you are and what you believe, there is no trickery or convincing. There will be plenty of people who dig what you do and those are the people you want to work with. 

Finding the right clients won't happen all at once. But once you begin working with the people you should be working with you're going to be way more profitable, have the freedom to pick and choose, and be able to afford to bring on the right people. 

Direct download: Are_You_Working_With_the_Right_Clients_to_Grow_Your_Agency_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Do your clients struggle to find consistency, working with multiple agencies to create an advertising campaign? Are you looking for a way to add more value to your clients? When you build out and provide more services, your clients are more likely to choose you.

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  •  Why clients want your agency to do more.
  •  How branching out can help you find your agency's niche.
  •  3 steps to creating a team that supports your vision.

Today, I sat down with Meny Hoffman, CEO of Ptex Group, a full-service digital marketing agency. Meny started his agency over 18 years ago and has learned a lot about culture, customer satisfaction, and creating a business model that works. He's here to discuss how to find your niche while delivering multiple services and creating a culture of excellence.

Why Clients Want Your Agency to Do More

Over the years, I have talked to a lot of agency owners. And a good deal of them find the one thing they are good at and really knock it out of the park. But imagine what would happen if you were able to provide a team of experts to your client who can address all of their needs? Instead of going to one agency for branding, one for web development, and one for SEO, they can get everything they need under one roof?

Ptex Group has multiple departments that each focus on one component of the marketing strategy. There's a division for branding, one for design, and one for web development — they even have a call center! When you provide a comprehensive service your client will see greater consistency and they won't have to go somewhere else for the next step, a win-win!

How Branching Out Can Help Your Find Your Agency's Niche

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can't underestimate the value of declaring your niche. The reason Meny's model works is he is not trying to provide all types of services for all types of industries. If you are going to provide a larger range of services, you need to find your niche.

A lot of people are reactive to the market — they're afraid to go all in. The best way to find opportunities (and discover what you're good at) is to get down in the trenches. Go wide and let the market tell you where you are successful.

Remember, your niche won't always be where you have the most clients. You have to find a path that aligns with your vision, passion, and your team's skill set. When you bring your team into the conversation, you're more likely to find success.

3 Steps to Creating a Team That Supports Your Vision

At the end of the day, this model won't work unless you have a solid team to back you up. So how do you find the right people that will support your vision? It all comes down to culture.

It goes without saying, culture is more than ping-pong tables and babysitting (Meny calls these perks). To be successful, you have to create a culture of excellence. Where do you start?

  1. Walk the walk. You can't just put your values up on the wall. You have to live and breathe your core values. Culture is actionable and is what you do and what you say, not something that's written on a poster.
  2. Give room to grow. When you give your team infrastructure and autonomy to make decisions and grow, they're able to shine and add value to the team.
  3. Be open and approachable. Talk to your team. "How's it going?" "What can we do better for you?" "How can you provide more?" Often it's the little conversations to engage employees that make the biggest difference.

At the end of the day, we're here to provide our clients with a quality service. The more you're able to meet your client's needs, the greater the opportunity you'll have to grow.

Do Your Clients Need Help with Location-Based Marketing?

Would you like to help your brick-and-mortar clients so you can drive the right foot traffic to their locations? How about gaining insight into visitor trends for stores, chains, or retailers? Our partner, Reveal Mobile is reinventing how agencies use location-based analytics for geotargeting.

They help you bring new insights early in the sales cycle, easily build and deliver location-based audiences with their launch of VISIT Local Free. This is a FREE tool agencies can use to understand their clients' audiences, from foot traffic patterns, store visitors that live and work nearby, frequency of visits, competitive information, and much more. Check out to get your free access to this amazing tool.

Direct download: Are_Your_Agency_Clients_Looking_for_More_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Do you struggle to find the right way to motivate your agency team? What's the right balance between sharing too much and not sharing enough? Are you looking for an effective way to incentivize your employees? Your team is your agency's biggest asset. When you create a team that shares the same common goals and who all work hard to get there, everyone wins.

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • How transparent should you be with your team?
  • 2 Reasons why your agency's bonus structure matters.
  • 3 Ways to create a culture for employee retention.

Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Slocumb, president and founder of Clarity Quest Marketing, a boutique agency dealing solely with biotech and the healthcare space. Chris jumped to the agency world after she realized there was a serious gap in the market when it came to agencies equipped to handle the biotech market. Right off the bat, Chris made it her mission to create a culture where people are the number one focus. Chris shares how she was able to build a rock-solid team and how that team has helped her agency grow. 

How Transparent Should You be with Your Team?

It's a problem agency owners struggle with every day — "How do I make sure my team has enough information, without sharing too much?" What exactly is too much? Chris says, when it comes to running her agency, her goal is to be as transparent as possible. Obviously, she can't share information about everyone's salaries, but everything else is pretty much fair game.

Chris believes, the more information her team has, the better decisions they'll make. She also believes by sharing revenue, profit margins, and timekeeping, everyone on the team has a greater feeling of ownership.

2 Reasons Why Your Agency's Bonus Structure Matters

Do you have a bonus structure in place at your agency?  There are many ways to incentivize your employees, and each has an impact on how hard your team works and how valued they feel. So what does a good bonus structure look like?

At Clarity Quest, Chris uses an annual bonus and quarterly bonuses to motivate her team. The team gets a quarterly bonus when they all come together to meet a specific goal by the end of each quarter. The annual bonuses focus on the roles of each individual. Chris says there are two main reasons why this structure has worked at her agency:

  • Continued motivation. When you spread out bonuses throughout the year, employees have something to look forward to. This, in turn, keeps them engaged and inspired.  When your team has to wait an entire year for a bonus, it can feel too far out of reach. 
  • Cause and effect. There will be some quarters where your agency doesn't meet its goals. It happens. When you use a quarterly bonus system, your team is more likely to remember exactly what mistakes caused them to lose out on their quarterly bonus.   

3 Ways to Create a Culture for Employee Retention

No agency owner wants to put in the hard work of finding an employee, training them, and watching them grow, only to watch that same employee walk out the door a few years down the road. So how do you retain employees and in turn, help your agency succeed? At the end of the day, it all comes down to culture.

At the core, there are a few main things every employee wants — to feel valued, to be happy, and to enjoy what they do. How do you provide a culture where your team is happy and devoted to your agency's success?

  1. Provide opportunities to grow. Nobody wants to feel like they're expected to know too much in a short amount of time. In the same regard, you don't want your team to be bored. Pay attention to what your employees want and create a culture where they can move up and advance on their own terms.
  2. Create training opportunities. Be there to support your employees and make sure they have the tools to succeed. 
  3. Keep stress levels to a minimum. This one sounds easier said than done. But really, if you can find a way to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction, you're all more likely to be happy with your job. 

If you want a great team you have to build and support it. Successful teams don't just happen on their own. When you treat your employees like a cohesive group and not a bunch of individuals, they're more likely to share your goals, and ultimately help your agency grow. 

Direct download: 2_Secrets_to_Motivate_Your_Agency_Team.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

How can you give your brick-and-more clients a bigger ROI? Are you looking for a way to drive more traffic to your retail clients? Location-based marketing, or geotargeting is an effective way to learn about customer behaviors so you can analyze habits and trends to drive new business for your clients. Better results for them means more new business for you.

In this episode, we'll cover:

  •  2 reasons geotargeting is better than traditional marketing.
  •  Should your agency offer location-based marketing?
  •  Is location-based marketing right for your agency clients?

Today I talked to Dan Dillon, VP of Marketing at Reveal Mobile, a location-based marketing and analytics agency. Reveal Mobile helps clients analyze customer behavior and use that information to create effective marketing campaigns. Dan's here to discuss how location-based marketing works and what your agency needs to do to be successful.

2 Reasons Geotargeting Is Better Than Traditional Marketing

In a constantly changing space, it can feel like a never-ending battle to keep up with technology and trends. So what separates geotargeting from all those other trends and makes it stand out as one your agency should invest in?

  1. Greater insight into customer behavior: Imagine what it would be like if you could tell your client not only how many visitors they had, but where those visitors went before and after their visit? Geotargeting allows you to take a deep dive into customer behavior to analyze habits, preferences, and why some customers never return.
  2. Targeted marketing to potential customers. Just because a customer doesn't stop by your client's business, that doesn't mean you can't still get a sale. With geotargeting, you can see customers' buying habits and trends and specifically target to that market.

Should Your Agency Offer Location-Based Marketing?

To put it simply, geotargeting allows you to be more efficient with your marketing dollars. When you can offer potential clients greater insight, they are more likely to see the value of your services. Often, clients don't realize specific characteristics about their customers, and presenting this information can be a real eye-opener.

The benefit of geotargeting means driving more of the right visitors to your client. You can use location-based marketing data to build custom audiences for Google and Facebook ads while really zeroing in on results for your clients. It's a win-win!

Is Location-Based Marketing Right for Your Agency Clients?

If you're like me, the whole concept of geotargeting sounds a little too much like "Minority Report." So how can you make sure location-based marketing is right for you before you dive in?

Dan says it's simple — do your homework. Many services like Google Ads and Facebook Ad Manager already allow customers to use geotargeting on a smaller level to analyze customer behavior. Try this first. While you won't have the level of customization or flexibility that you would with a full-service provider, you can experiment and see what kind of return you get. After you give it a try, the numbers will tell you what to do next.

Location-based marketing provides your clients with valuable information they would not otherwise have access to. Your job is to help your clients figure out what to do with that information. When you're willing to think outside of the box and offer unique services, you're more likely to see big results.

Ready to see what location-based marketing can do for your agency? Reveal Mobile has a special offer just for Smart Agency Masterclass listeners. Head over to to learn more and sign up today.

Direct download: How_to_Win_More_Agency_Clients_with_Location-Based_Marketing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Is your agency struggling due to the current economy? Are your clients pulling back? Now is not the time to panic! Learn how your agency can thrive during this economic crisis and how to be prepared for the future.

In today's episode, we'll cover:

  • 2 Things agencies can learn from the current economic crisis.
  • How to start acting like an agency CEO.
  • 3 Steps to preparing for the agency's future.

Today I had a timely and informative chat with Michael White, CEO of Lively Worldwide, a creative agency. Michael got his start in the agency world nearly 20 years ago, but recently made a major pivot when it comes to how he does business. Michael is here to discuss how these changes set him up for the economic crisis, and how you can prepare your agency for any circumstance.

2 Things Agencies Can Learn from the Current Economic Crisis

We don't like to say it, but the current economic crisis has taught us all a few useful lessons. I always look at situations like this as an opportunity for agencies to prove who's got what it takes and weed out the ones who don't.

If you're paying attention, there are a few things you can learn from the current economic climate:

  1. Digital is more important than ever. At a time when people can't go to work, go to school, or even go outside, businesses are turning to digital agencies to help them develop strategies to continue to reach people and do business as usual. As a digital agency, this is not a time when you should be struggling and shutting down. If you are doing business right, this is the perfect climate to thrive.
  2. Those who do best are the ones who don't panic. The economic climate is changing. You may have to develop new strategies or double down on current investments. Now is not the time that panic. People are struggling to survive quite simply because they are freaking out. You need to choose not to participate in the recession.

How to Start Acting Like an Agency CEO

CEO is not just a title, it's a position. You can't just call yourself the CEO, you have to act like one. In most cases, this means letting go of some of the control and thinking about the bigger picture.

Michael said he finally had time to start planning for the future and developing strategies when he started delegating and empowering his team to be more accountable. As agency owners, we have a tendency to throw ourselves all in and try to do everything. Not only is this the quickest way to burn out, but it forces you to be reactive instead of proactive. Listen to me — let go.

3 Steps to Preparing for the Agency's Future

So how do you learn from the current economic crisis and not just survive, but thrive? How do you make it through this challenging time and make sure you're prepared for the next economic downturn? (Because it will happen.)

  1. Do your research. Michael tries to take in as much information as he can. The more you can learn, the more you can prepare. Talk to your colleagues, listen to podcasts, read, read, read. Take it all in and learn.
  2. Have a plan for any and all circumstances. I read a story about how Wimbledon bought pandemic insurance a few years ago. Nobody else saw what was going on. But now that the tournament has been canceled, their foresight and preparedness are paying off.
  3. Reevaluate your business strategy (often). Michael says you shouldn't ever create a business strategy without making changes every couple of years. The world is changing so fast if you don't do a thorough check-up every two or so years, you almost certainly won't be prepared for changes in the economy.

The economic climate is changing and you can count on it changing again. The key is to be prepared so when the next economic downfall happens, you'll be ready to capitalize on the opportunities instead of fighting to survive.

Direct download: How_Agencies_Can_Learn_and_Grow_in_the_Current_Economy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT