Moving 2 Inbound - for agency owners

What’s The Inbound Agency Team Structure To Drive Results And Profit?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 14, 2018 8:06:00 AM

I get asked two questions when it comes to inbound agency growth. The first one is “How do we get more new clients?” and the second is “How do we get our current clients better results?” These are both good questions and both important aspects of agency operations that should be getting a fair amount of attention from agency owners. 

I think we talk more about how to get new clients, so today let’s focus on getting clients better results. The inbound agency team structure has a ton to do with giving your team enough time, attention, direction and experience to drive client results—no matter what results you’ve agreed to with your clients.

I want to preface the advice I provide here by pointing out that inbound marketing agencies are all different and  each agency is going to have to make the inbound marketing team structure decisions that are right for you and your shop. However, I will also tell you that we’ve run through a wide variety of team structures and the structure I describe here has been the only one that allows us to provide clients great experiences AND allows us to scale as we grow.

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Topics: inbound agency team structure, inbound marketing team structure

The Inbound Agency Owner Checklist: Checking In On 2018 Progress

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 21, 2018 7:03:00 AM

February is almost over. That means 18% of the year is behind you. How are you doing?

I get it, I ran an inbound marketing agency with less than $1 million in revenue for years. I was the marketing consultant, copywriter, and QA guy for years. I know that almost every day is a whirlwind of wearing different hats and putting out a variety of fires, just to keep the whole thing from coming crashing down. But that cycle is what keeps you from growing. You have to breakout and be the agency owner, leader or CEO.

To make that move you have to act differently. The heroics that got you this far are not going to get you to the next level. To grow, you’ll need systems, process and methodologies.

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Topics: agency business strategy, inbound marketing agency planning, Leadership

How The Underdog Eagles Won The Super Bowl And What Inbound Agency Owners Can Learn

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 14, 2018 8:34:00 AM

Most of you know I’m from Philly (born and raised) and this might seem like a frivolous article that is taking advantage of my hometown team’s big Super Bowl win, but the reality of it is—there are lessons to be learned here and after years of working with inbound agency owners, there might be some significant lessons that can be applied to your inbound agencies immediately.

The Eagles weren’t the best team, they didn’t miss having to deal with significant injuries and no one expected them to win much of anything this year. They didn’t have the most experienced coaches, they didn’t have the best draft choices and they didn’t have the biggest budgets for players. All these factors were against them and they still won it all. How did they do it? What can we learn from their big win?

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Topics: Leadership

Are You Afraid To Sell $20,000 A Month Retainer Engagements?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 31, 2018 7:49:00 AM

Selling larger inbound retainer clientsI hear this all the time. I can’t charge what I want because…fill in the blank here. “We’re too new,”  “We’re too small,” “Our customers are too little,” “They can’t afford a bigger retainer,” “We’re not good enough yet,” “We’re trying to win the business,” “We’re not a Diamond Partner yet” or “We’re not Square 2 Marketing.” It’s all bullshit, honestly. You don’t have to be any of these things to get paid true value for the services you’re providing your clients.

I’m speaking from personal experience. You might not know this about us, but we used to be just like you. Much smaller, hungry for new clients and much less certain about our abilities to produce big time results for our clients. We used to sell $3,000-a-month engagements. We sold these for years and signed up a lot of new clients at that level. But we quickly learned these were click crack, a fast track to unprofitable, unhappy clients and a team of unhappy people servicing these unhappy clients. It was dark times for Square 2 Marketing.

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Topics: inbound Agency Sales Process, larger retainers

Our Dirty Little Secret - Why Is Inbound Marketing So Hard?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 24, 2018 8:05:00 AM

Why Is Inbound Marketing Hard Work?Not too many inbound agency owners can claim they’ve been doing inbound marketing longer than me and the team at Square 2 Marketing.

Back in 2003, when we started the company, we ONLY did inbound even before we knew it had a fancy name. Since then, we’ve probably had 500 client experiences and while most of our clients have seen results, only a handful have seen game changing results. Why is that?

When I watched Marcus Sheridan talk about what it takes to make inbound work during his 2016 session at Inbound 16, it resonated with me. He couldn’t be more correct. There are a lot of elements that need to be in place for inbound to produce business transformation.

However “What does it take?” in my opinion, is not really the right question.  The right question is why don’t more companies do what it takes? If we all know, and we’re all working hard to help clients do what it takes, why do the massive success stories make up just 1% of all the companies trying to make inbound marketing work?

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Topics: inbound marketing agency challenges

8 Bold Predictions For 2018 Every Inbound Agency Needs To Know Now!

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 18, 2018 9:54:14 AM

AND How To Deal With Them Proactively

One prediction that I am 100% confident in is that the agency world is changing at a pace never before seen in our lifetimes.

What we do today is not going to be what we do in five years. How we do it today, is not going to be how we do it in five years and what our clients want from us today, is not what they wanted from us five years ago.

If inbound agency owners are not planning on how to keep up with the coming changes then your business is in grave danger. One of the entrepreneurs I used to work for had a saying, “you have to create the business that is going to put you out of business.” When you look back at Blockbuster, RadioShack and other businesses that failed to identify trends and then change their businesses accordingly then you know how those stories end.

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Topics: 2018 planning, 2018 predictions

Why Your Partner Tier With HubSpot Means Almost Nothing

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 3, 2018 9:00:00 AM

I’ve been reading a handful of celebratory announcements on social media highlighting the ascension of several agencies to Diamond or Platinum status in the HubSpot ecosystem.

This is an accomplishment, no doubt, and one any agency should be proud of but as HubSpot’s first Diamond Partner, I can assure you that status is no guarantee of success, nor is it a measure of an agency’s ability to perform.

When you think about it, partner level status simply means you’re handling a certain level of business with HubSpot as the marketing automation platform. It signals that you have acquired a certain number of HubSpot clients. The number required to achieve partner level status is not particularly high. Silver only requires $1,125 in monthly managed licensing revenue and that you sold the same $1,250 in licensing revenue. That means you can get to Silver by selling ONE nice Pro level client. That hardly qualifies you as an expert.

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Topics: agency goal setting, HubSpot, 2018 planning

The Death Of The Inbound Marketing Agency

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Nov 30, 2017 7:06:00 AM

You might have missed it, but the inbound marketing agency is dead. All of you agency owners who changed their website design, branding, SEO or PR firms into inbound agencies, it’s  time to change again. What happened? When did it happen? Why it happened? And most importantly what should you be doing about it?

If you think I’m wrong, check out this article from HubSpot’s FAQ section of their website. In full transparency, this was an article from 2014 that must have been high performing and they republished and updated it about a week ago. This is a guest article, not created by anyone at HubSpot. I don’t know Ritika or anything about her, except that her article appears to show the future of inbound marketing’s place in the wild world of marketing.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound marketing agency owner support, inbound marketing agency owners

8 Inbound Marketing Agency Owners Spend The Week at Square 2 Marketing

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Nov 15, 2017 7:34:00 AM

Last week we hosted eight inbound marketing agency owners from as far away as Milan, Italy at the Square 2 Marketing offices for Agency Week 2.0. This is the second time we’ve opened the doors at Square 2 and allowed agency owners to see a true “behind the scenes” at one of the largest of HubSpot’s partners.

The experience was a truly immersive experience and there is no simlar educational opportunity for agency owner coaching on the planet. 

The owners came to meetings, listened in on prospect and client calls, sat in on internal planning meetings and attended company-wide creative sessions. Their agenda included sales, marketing, client services, creative, project management, agency-wide retrospectives and our all-hands Friday brunch session. 

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Topics: Agency Week

Inbound Marketing Agency Consulting vs. Tactical Delivery

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Nov 7, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Over the past few months I’ve had a few inbound marketing agency owners email me regarding their agency and the consulting they do. This would be different than the services delivery model that most agencies operate under.

To be clear, you can tell people what to do and then expect them to do it—that’s consulting. Or you can tell them what to do and then help them do it—that’s services. 

Most of the time, I’m talking about the agencies who are responsible for delivering the services associated with inbound marketing engagements but I know there are agencies who simply consult. Today’s article outlines the differences and some of the benefits and challenges that go with both models.

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Topics: inbound marketing agency owners, inbound marketing agency planning

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