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

Behind The Scenes At Square 2 And How You Should Be Thinking About 2022

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Dec 29, 2021 12:15:00 PM

Some of you may have been wondering, “Where’s Mike? I haven’t seen an article from him in a very long time.” The last article was on August 21.

I have to admit that I never intended to take this much time off.

But, as many of you know, my day job is CEO at Square 2. In fact, I’m one of the few agency coaches and mentors that still runs an active agency.

That means sometimes the agency comes first. I’m sure all of you can understand and appreciate those priorities.

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Topics: strategic planning

The Top 10 Questions Agency Owners Ask Me And My Answers – PART 2

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Aug 25, 2021 9:15:00 AM

Sorry for the long pause between Part 1 and today's installment Part 2. I didn’t intend to take that much time off between posts, but my life has been extra upside down the last few months.

Besides taking care of all my agency clients, Square 2 has been going through some dramatic transformations, including adding a more technical engagement and doubling down on our Accelerator engagement.

Regardless, agency life goes on, and I’ve been wanting to get back to part two of this blog article for a while to answer the remaining five questions and continue helping other agency owners on their own journeys.

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Topics: agency management, Questions from Agency Owners

The Top 10 Questions Agency Owners Ask Me and My Answers – PART 1

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 18, 2021 9:15:00 AM

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog article for Agencies 2 Inbound. There are a lot of exciting changes going on at Square 2 and I’m happy to share those over the next few weeks. One of the biggest includes a bunch of experiments related to improving results with clients. 

However, my work with agency owners has been continuing and over the past few months, I’ve spoken with well over 50 agency owners. 

During those conversations, I’ve collected the top 10 questions that agency owners ask me when we chat. Since there is a common theme and a definite trend in what agency owners ask me, answering them in the blog seems to be a good idea. 

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Topics: Questions from Agency Owners, FAQs for Agency Owners

The Top 5 Signals That Should Be Keeping Digital Agency Owners Up At Night

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 16, 2021 8:30:00 AM

The Agency World Has Been Changing Faster Than Ever And It’s About To Get Even Faster

Having been in the agency business for over 18 years, you learn a thing or two. One of the things I’ve learned is the ability to see signals and position the agency to respond to those signals. 

Over 10 years ago, I saw HubSpot’s ability to tell me exactly what marketing was working and what marketing wasn’t. That insight caused us to tell ALL our clients, “Buy HubSpot or you can’t work with Square 2.” Just a few months later we were HubSpot’s largest partner.

I’ve seen a few other signals over the past decade. Some I responded to, and some I mistakenly ignored. Some I regret having ignored today, while others were less significant than I might have thought at the time. But today, there are some very significant signals that I think every agency owner should be aware of and be prepared to respond to at least in some way. 

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Topics: digital agency trends, changes in the digital agency space

How To Keep Your Team From Being Poached. It Might Be Easier Than You Think

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 15, 2021 2:00:00 PM

I’m part of an agency owners community and their monthly email had an article titled, “It’s Poaching Season” along with a picture of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. The title resonated with me and in a few of my cohorts we've been discussing this practice. 

It seemed like a topic worth writing about because if you haven’t had anyone poached, it's just a matter of time. 

This always seems like someone else’s problem until it becomes yours. What’s worse is that when someone leaves, there is a good chance other people will leave too. Turning over team members and especially losing client-facing people is one of the fastest ways to lose clients and revenue

Protecting your team from poaching might be the smartest thing you do this year.

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Topics: Hiring, Culture, Team Member Happiness

The New Services Your Digital Agency Should Be Considering in 2021

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 3, 2021 9:02:09 AM

Every few years write a similar article on the new services that agency owners should be considering. This might be a little overdue.

I don't want to scare anyone but if you look out far enough, you might see a world where content, emails, and even websites are built by bots and automation tools. If that future has even a remote possibility of coming true, then what services would a digital agency deliver?

When you’re playing a lot of defense, it’s hard to devote the time to create look ahead and make sure the agency is positioned for the future. It’s hard to do the research and talk to enough people to help inform your decisions around vision and new services the agency should be considering.

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Topics: digital agency strategy, new services for digital agencies

New Roles In The Digital Agency for 2021 And How To Find These People

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 3, 2021 8:00:00 AM

After taking a few weeks off from this blog to recharge and refresh, let's get back to working together to grow our agency. Today's post is about on of the biggest challenges facing digital agency owners in 2021 and beyond. 

The writing is on the wall. The digital agency is quickly evolving and the roles you thought you needed last year might not be the roles you need this year.

Clients are asking for different help in new areas and you can respond with new skills, new services and new expertise or you can defer this business to other agencies who have built out teams to deliver on your clients requirements.

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Topics: roles in an inbound marketing agency, Training, MOPS, new roles in 2021

The 12 Lessons Learned In 2020 And How I’m Doubling Down On Them in 2021

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Dec 31, 2020 9:30:55 AM

There are a couple of sayings that I tend to lean on when times are tough. These have gotten me through some challenging times in the past. I’ve shared these life lessons with my children and they seem to be doing pretty well, even reminding me of these sayings from time to time.

“Be bold and mighty forces will follow.” William Benjamin Basil King (1859–1928) was a Canadian clergyman who became a writer.

“It’s ALL about the recovery.”Pat Croce, entrepreneur, sports team executive and owner, author, and TV personality. He served as team president of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Philadelphia 76ers from 1996 to 2001. He also built and sold a physical therapy business, NovaCare.

“If you’re not remarkable, you’re invisible.”Seth Godin. If you don’t know Seth Godin, he’s probably the father of inbound marketing. Yes, he’s the actual father. His book, Permission Based Marketing laid the groundwork for inbound marketing. His books Purple Cow and Free PrizeInside are must read.

It seems like these quotes are even more relevant this year and going into next year than perhaps in other years.

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Topics: agency business strategy, digital agency strategy, digital agency team models

7 Steps To Take Before Hiring A Salesperson At Your Digital Agency

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Nov 13, 2020 8:30:00 AM

In my travels, I’ve met two kinds of owners: those who love sales and hate taking care of clients, and those that hate sales and love taking care of clients. When I force owners to choose one over the other, they always laugh and honestly pick the one that they enjoy the most.

It’s extremely hard to do both jobs at once. You generally end up doing both jobs in an average way, instead of one in an amazing way.

To fix that you really have to pick one or the other. Today’s article focuses on those of you who are opting to take care of clients because that means you’ll need to hire someone into a sales role or move one of your current team members into that sales role.

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Topics: sales person, hiring a sales person

What To Do In The Final Months Of 2020 To Make Next Year Your Best Year Ever

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Oct 30, 2020 7:15:00 AM

I try to give agency owners a lot of practical advice. I know many of you are technically capable of doing what you need to grow, but there are just forks in the road, potholes, unforeseen challenges and decisions that seem to slow down your growth.

One of the biggest challenges is simply working IN the business, instead of working ON the business. If there was a single piece of advice I could share with agency owners it would be to carve out at least 2 hours every month to stop working in the business and work on it.

This would allow you to consider how you differentiate, how you can add a few new tech partners, how you can improve your delivery, what new services you can offer, and how you can help your client services team be better consultants.

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Topics: Planning for Growth, strategic planning, 2021 Planning

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