The Agency Growth Blog - For Owners Who Want Growth

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

It's Official: Digital Marketing Agency Services Are A Commodity! Now What?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 17, 2019 8:10:00 AM

I hate to say it, but I believe it’s true. Most of the services now provided by digital agencies are commodities.

Don’t get me wrong, there are strong digital experience and digital transformation agencies working with Fortune 1000 companies who have effectively positioned their companies to drive significant value for high dollars, but most agencies are not in that space.

Almost every agency (at least at the top of the HubSpot partner network) have decided to low ball their retainers to win business, come in with small projects or start with training and that has caused everyone to be viewed as having similar services. In those circumstances history has shown we’re now selling a commodity where lowest price generally wins the business.

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Topics: inbound agency strategy, inbound agency planning, inbound agency team structure

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

Staffing Your Inbound Marketing Agency: Why My Philosophy Changed

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 24, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Hiring, team building, and resource management is such a hot topic for inbound marketing agency owners there are over 10 different blog articles on this site alone that address related topics. With all that, what we’ve learned about staffing an inbound marketing agency has changed dramatically over the past 12 months and I’m wondering if these articles are even relevant anymore.

We’re all in uncharted waters here, so it’s not surprising that what worked last January might not be working today. We’ve changed our approach to building our team and we’ve changed the way we deliver services. It seemed like a good time to share that with all of you.

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Topics: Hiring, staffing your inbound marketing agency, inbound agency hiring, inbound agency team structure

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