The Agency Growth Blog - For Owners Who Want Growth

Mike Lieberman

Mike started Square 2 Marketing, the largest and most successful inbound agency on the planet, in 2003 with his business partner Eric Keiles. Since then, Mike has grown Square 2 Marketing into a $6 million business. Square 2 Marketing is HubSpot’s ONLY Diamond Partner and is responsible for almost $1 million in HubSpot software each year.
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Recent Posts

Can An Agency Survive and Thrive With Strategy Only Consulting Services?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Sep 18, 2019 7:30:00 AM

It appears that one of the bigger HubSpot partner agencies is moving to “strategy only” services. Just consulting on how to grow, no delivery services, no content, no websites, no paid media management, no organic SEO work—just thoughts on how to drive revenue.

I’ll preface this by saying my knowledge of the “news” is second hand and via social media primarily, so let’s have a more conceptual conversation about this idea, as opposed to commenting on this specific agency’s new strategy.

Can an agency exist to just offer strategic consulting services and no delivery?

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Topics: inbound agency services, inbound marketing agency services

Inbound 19 Update: Partner Day and Day One Updates and Key Takeaways!

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Sep 5, 2019 11:13:40 AM

Partner Day at Inbound and Wednesday Day 1 is behind us now and the event hasn’t disappointed. At Partner Day we heard about the new Elite Level of Partner. To qualify for this level, you’ll need $50,000 in trailing 12-month sales and at least $150,000 in monthly managed revenue.

The response from the Diamond Partners I spoke with wasn’t very positive, but I think HubSpot needed to do something to identify top partners. I also found out there will be between 5 and 10 partners who already qualified for the new Elite level.

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Topics: Partner Day Inbound 19, Inbound 19

How To Get Full Value From Inbound 19 And Partner Day at Inbound

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Aug 29, 2019 8:28:00 AM

This time next week, most of us will be walking the halls of the Boston Convention Center enjoying Inbound ‘19.

This will be my eighth time attending Inbound, so I have some experience getting full value for the week of sessions, meetings, parties and exhibits.

The more you come back, the harder it is to get that real value. Inbound is specifically designed for HubSpot customers and as they add more customers, more people flock to Inbound. The content is specifically designed to help these new, unsophisticated customers get the most out of HubSpot. 

Somtimes that means agencies have to dig deep to find value in the week long event. 

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Topics: inbound

How Marketing Agencies Provide Services For Sales And Customer Service

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Aug 21, 2019 8:18:00 AM

Inbound 19 is right around the corner and if last year is any indication, this year is going to be filled with ideas about how to work with clients across marketing, sales , and customer service. HubSpot’s Platform play is going to be in full swing come September 3rd in Boston.

The question to agency owners is, “Should my shop be providing services across all three areas?” The answer is maybe. Let’s dig into this question to prepare you all for Inbound.

It’s easy to get swept up in the orange wave associated with Inbound and I think it’s important to arrive with a plan so you can make the most of your time in Boston.

Should my agency provide services to clients beyond the marketing services we’re already providing?

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Topics: inbound sales services, customer service services

The Top 5 Asked Questions From Inbound Agency Owners AND The Answers REVEALED

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Aug 7, 2019 7:47:00 AM

Besides the 30 or so agency owners I’m actively working with right now, I talk to roughly another 10 to 15 agency owners each month who reach out with basic questions. The time I spend with them gives me insight into the specific challenges facing agency owners today.

Anyone who has talked to me in the past or has taken the time to get to know me is aware that I’ll give any agency owner 30 minutes to talk shop, help them with challenge and share any insights I’ve gained over the past 17 years running Square 2.

Working with other agency owners is one of my passions. Over the past few months, I started noting the questions people ask and its crystal clear to me that everyone has very similar challenges.

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Topics: Hiring, agile marketing, inbound agency team structure, sales person

Lower Than Expected Client Results? It Might Be Your Team's Ability To Find Insights In Your Client Data

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jul 31, 2019 8:36:00 AM

With 17 years of consulting experience and over 30 years of marketing, sales and revenue generation experience I think I can speak in an educated way about what it takes to get clients results.

Is it responsiveness? Yes. Is it solid communication? Yes. Is it expertise around technology? Yes. But the number one reason clients fire you is because they did NOT get the results they expected.

Regardless of whether they had a hand in the failure, it is your fault, 100% of the time.

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Topics: client results, Insights and Analytics

How To Build Your Technology Expertise To Drive Clients And Commissions

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jul 24, 2019 7:21:00 AM

You’re a HubSpot Shop and while the community is great, the platform versatile and the ongoing retainers make the agency business much easier, is that it?

What I mean is, if you can grow your agency by working with HubSpot, can’t you grow even more by working with other technology companies too?

The answer is a resounding yes. If it fits your agency mission and vision, then yes. Of course, this means your mission or vision is to be the biggest or most successful HubSpot Partner than that helps you answer this technology question.

But if your mission is to be more than just a HubSpot Shop, then adding new technology partners to your portfolio is a NEED to have, not a nice to have.

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Topics: marketing technology, sales technology, Technology Practice

Your Clients Aren't Happy. How To Make Sure They're Happy Every Month

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jul 17, 2019 8:48:00 AM

Some days it seems like no one is happy. When in reality, the handful of unhappy clients get 90% of your attention, while most of the happy clients get little or none of your attention. Sometimes this makes it feel like everyone isn’t happy and that’s just not the case.

Regardless, the goal should be to make as many clients happy as possible. While you’ll never get ALL of them to be happy. Even the best and nicest restaurant have a handful of bad reviews. The key here is to build process and systems that work together with your teams to ensure a large majority of your clients are happy, referenceable and willing to write a review.

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Topics: Client Feedback, Client Satisfaction, client retention

Your Clients Think The Program Isn't Working, But You Disagree. Now What?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jul 10, 2019 8:28:00 AM

Tips And Techniques To Make Sure You Are Always On The Same Page With Your Clients When It Comes To Results

A lot of what I write about comes from my conversions with other agency owners. As part of my consulting and Cohort Coaching programs I talk to roughly 30 agency owners each month and one of the most consistent challenges is helping clients understand their own results.

In full transparency, Square 2 is challenged with the same set of issues. I think ALL agencies deal with this, some more than others and the common denominator in all these situations is—the client. This makes the key to helping clients understand their results ALL about you and how your team works with your clients, day in and day out.

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Topics: client results, setting client expectations, Client Satisfaction

Everything That's Wrong With The 12-Month Retainer Engagement and What To Do About Fixing It

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 26, 2019 7:52:00 AM

When we started Square 2, almost 17 years ago, we were smart enough to know that doing projects for clients was not going to get them the results they expected from an investment in marketing. Fast forward to 2019 and now the 12-month retainer engagement is not getting clients the results they expected either.

How is that possible? Everyone told you to sign up clients for ongoing, retainer engagements to balance out cash flow, create long term relationships with clients and help you build your agencies.

But 12-month retainer engagements don’t do anything to get clients what they want—FAST RESULTS. Do you know any clients who don’t want fast results? Right, I don’t either.

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Topics: inbound agency team structure, Inbound Marketing Agency Team, Retainer Model

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