The Agency Growth Blog - For Owners Who Want Growth

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

Inbound Marketing Agencies Need Systems, Processes, and Methodology

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 19, 2019 7:49:00 AM

You’re not running an ad agency. When you get a new client, you can’t pull your creative team into the conference room and start banging out ideas for print ads or a billboard campaign. You can’t treat every new client like they’re your first and only client.

Perhaps even more challenging, if you want to scale and grow, you can’t be the bottleneck, you can’t be in every meeting for every client and you can’t control every process.

When it comes to growth, the agency owner is almost always why the agency isn’t growing.  

The answer to this is systems, processes and a defined, differentiated methodology. Think McDonald's. Not the fast part, but the scalable, repeatable and trainable part. Want to know how to make French fries at McDonald's? There is a manual for that. Want to know how to wash the window? There is a manual for that. Want to know how to greet the customers? You guessed it—a manual. Today it’s probably a video tutorial, but you get the idea.

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Topics: agency operations, team member training

Inbound Marketing Agency Owners Want To Know - Do I Need A Sales Person?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 12, 2019 7:22:00 AM

I talk to a lot of agency owners who are handling both sales and client services for their agencies. They might have a couple of marketing consultants who are also working with clients but when it comes to the client engagement, the owners are still very much involved.

The question they ask me is, “Do I need a salesperson?” Or sometimes, “When should I hire a salesperson?”

It’s a good question for growing agencies. But my answer is almost always the same. I ask them, “Do you like sales or taking care of the clients?” This answer usually requires some soul searching. What I mean is, that you can’t do both.  You have to pick either selling your services to new clients or taking care of current clients.”

The answer is important if you're planning on hiring a salesperson.

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Topics: Sales Process, inbound Agency Sales Process

The Agile Marketing Agency: The Saga Continues

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 6, 2019 9:23:00 AM

We started transforming Square 2 into an agile agency back in September of 2014. As one of the first agencies to adopt the Agile Methodology (back then there were only two other shops that I was aware of who ran agile), today we have buckets and buckets of experience making agile work.

Last week at HubSpot’s Partner Day in Boston, being agile was again noted by a few of the presenting agencies as one of their “secrets” to success.

But the agile we practice is not even close to the agile we rolled out in September of 2014. Almost five years later, the way we use agile to service our clients has changed dramatically.

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Topics: agile marketing, agency operations

How Agile Marketing Transformed Our Sales Enablement Services Into An Agile Sales Engagement

Posted by Mike Lieberman on May 22, 2019 8:15:00 AM

As agency owners, continuously learning what’s going on in our industry, what’s working, what’s not and what the innovative thinkers are planning keeps me and my agency on the cutting edge of marketing, sales and revenue execution.

None of us can get to every conference, but when I have the pleasure of attending one of the year’s best conferences, I like to share those experiences with all of you.

I recently returned from one of the best conferences, Sirius Decision’s Annual Summit in Austin Texas. This is my second time attending and our agency’s third. This is the first time we exhibited. What I love about this conference is the high level of attendee (CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of both marketing and sales) and a heavy focus on technology solutions.

What I also love about this conference is the level of thought leadership shared by the Sirius Decisions team.  If you don’t know this company, I like to refer to them as the Gartner of sales and marketing.

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Topics: sales enablement

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