Moving 2 Inbound - for agency owners

At The Marketo Conference: The Big Difference Between Marketo And HubSpot Clients

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 25, 2017 7:16:00 AM

Why You Might Want To Consider Working With Both Technologies

We’ve been a HubSpot Partner since 2009 and we’ve worked with over 100 HubSpot clients in that time frame. We continue to be big proponents of HubSpot. But we’re also on our own journey to grow our agency, create a diverse and thriving community of clients and keep our agency on the cutting edge of marketing and sales services to ensure our clients get the best results.

Back in October we acquired a Marketo agency to help us expand who we work with and the services we offer. That chapter in our journey has been eye opening. I went to the Marketo conference last year and that further convinced me that working with Marketo clients was a strategic move for our agency. In the past 12 months (a year since last year’s conference and six months since we purchased BlueBird Strategies) I’ve seen that plan start to pay off. I think its important for you to understand the differences so you can make your own decisions about who you work with and what you offer.

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Topics: Marketo, HubSpot, Marketo Conference, HubSpot vs. Marketo

What's The Exit Strategy For Your Inbound Marketing Agency?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 18, 2017 7:14:00 AM

You Have More Options Than Ever Before, If You Start Planning Correctly Today! 

Every agency owner needs some type of exit strategy. What do you think is going to happen when you’re ready to power down or retire? All of us need to think strategically about our businesses and their ultimate transition.

In a wonderful book that I would recommend to everyone, the author talks about building your business as if you’re planning to sell it, even if that’s never going to be your intention. Check out this link for the book, Built To Sell, Creating A Business That Can Thrive Without You.

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Topics: Selling Your Inbound Marketing Agency, Inbound Agency Exit Strategy

Why Team Member Happiness At Your Inbound Marketing Agency Predicts Client Success

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 11, 2017 7:05:00 AM

AND How To Know How Happy Your Team Is AND What To Do About It

I’ve mentioned this a few times over the course of the last 12 months. Your team is one of the biggest factors in whether your agency succeeds or fails. 

Hire the right people, nurture the right team members and you’ll see major growth. Fail to bring on the right combination of team members and you’ll feel like you’re treading water.

If team member happiness is so important. What are you doing to make your team happy? What are you doing to keep your team happy? What are you doing to measure it? How are you responding to the data? What about the people who aren’t so happy? It’s an ongoing challenge that you need to be on top of day in and day out.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, Inbound Marketing Agency Team, Team Member Happiness

How To Pick The Right Inbound Marketing Clients To Produce A Ton Of Referrals And Heaps Of Happy Team Members

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 4, 2017 7:06:00 AM

Inbound marketing agency owners, welcome to one of the most challenging aspects of agency life. You need new customers to drive the agency growth but if you take everyone who comes along, you’ll be working with clients who never appreciate what you do, who never let you execute a profitable engagement, who never refer you and who consistently drive your team crazy.

It becomes a very difficult decision. Do you walk away from someone who wants to hire your inbound agency? Or do we take them on and try to turn this into a referenceable engagement. The best way to manage this is to understand what to look for during the sales process so you can limit the risk associated with bringing on challenging clients.

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Topics: Client Selection, setting client expectations, inbound marketing agency client services

What The Inbound Marketing Agency Of 2030 Is Going To Look Like

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 28, 2017 7:34:00 AM

Here's a shock, it's not going to have anything to do with inbound marketing.

A lot of inbound marketing agency owners have been going through dramatic transformations over the past few years. Moving from single practice shops to inbound agencies. Getting your first few clients, learning inbound, finding out you need different internal operations, making adjustments, struggling with the financials and finally getting it all worked out—more or less.

And now, things are changing again.

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of research into what the “bigger” agencies and digital shops are doing. I’ve been paying special attention to Deloitte and Accenture but also looking at larger agency shops to see what they’re talking about, doing and the value they’re delivering to their clients.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound marketing agency challenges, future of inbound marketing agencies

What's The Right Style Of Relationship For Inbound Marketing Agency Clients?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 21, 2017 8:34:00 AM

At Square 2 Marketing my role has evolved into more of a leader, mentor and visionary as opposed to day to day client service consultant. However, for years I ran engagements, oversaw multiple client engagements and then ran the entire inbound agency client services team. I know how challenging it is to work with clients. But over the years, I found the key to successful client engagements.

For an inbound marketing agency owner, and now for Square 2 Marketing’s consultants, the secret is the personal relationship we form with our clients. There are so many different styles for this relationship and I’ve probably tried them all. You can be professional, casual, advisory, coach or consultant. But what always worked best for me was to treat our clients the same way I treat a friend. Talk to them like I talk to my best friends and work through challenges, just like you would with a friend.

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Topics: client services, client management, inbound marketing agency client services

How Often Should The Agency Owner Get Feedback From Inbound Marketing Clients?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 14, 2017 7:00:00 AM

This is a topic I get asked about a lot and reoccurring questions are usually wonderful topics for blog articles. How often and in what format should inbound agency owners be talking to your clients about the performance of your agency and the performance of your inbound marketing program?

I know a lot of you are working directly with your inbound marketing agency clients. I know many of you want to be working less with clients and working on the agency more. Even if you’re working with clients day to day, getting client feedback from them on overall performance is something you should create a system for going forward.

Having tired almost everything to stay close to our inbound marketing clients, I’ll share the pluses and minuses of various client satisfaction monitoring systems we’ve used and why we do what we do today.

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Topics: Inbound Agency Feedback, Client Feedback, Client Satisfaction, Client Surveys

How To Raise Prices At Your Inbound Marketing Agency This Week

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 7, 2017 9:02:00 AM

Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking to a lot of agency owners about profitability and one of the best ways to be more profitable is to raise prices. I’ve stated publicly that inbound marketing agencies are NOT charging enough based on the value of our deliverables, but the challenge remains—how do you raise prices especially with companies you’re already working with?

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Topics: Pricing,, inbound engagement pricing, raising prices

Inbound Marketing Agency Profitability:  What's OK And What's Great?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 28, 2017 7:05:00 AM

I get asked a lot about inbound agency profitability. What’s our net profit margin? What’s a good goal to set? How to improve net profit to get to that goal? All wonderfully smart questions for inbound agency owners to be asking.

More importantly, what are the three or four major initiatives you want to consider working on to improve net profit, no matter what the numbers?

Before we get started, it’s worth discussing how important inbound marketing agency profits are in the larger scheme of things. If you’re getting compensated at a reasonable and regular rate, meaning you’re taking CEO level compensation out of the company every single month and you can still afford everything you want to do within the agency including hiring, training, recognition, rewards, software, you get the idea, then company profitability is all about strategy.

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Topics: inbound agency profitability, Inbound agency profits, inbound marketing agency profit margins

Setting Client Expectations For Stellar Inbound Marketing Engagements

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 21, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Welcome to the most significant challenge facing inbound marketing agency owners. It’s not staffing, it’s not sales, it’s not hiring and it’s not finance. The most significant challenge facing us all is helping our new and existing clients understand what to expect from an inbound marketing engagement.

For all of you who are positive you’re setting these upfront during the sales process, guess again. After 13 years of selling inbound marketing engagements of all shapes and sizes to clients of all shapes and sizes they rarely hear what you’re saying to them.

In fact, I’m sure that most inbound marketing agency clients don’t hear anything other than the magic word—leads.

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Topics: inbound marketing results, inbound agency numbers, setting client expectations, inbound marketing agency client services

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