The Agency Growth Blog - For Owners Who Want Growth

30 Owners of Small Agencies Shared Their Top 5 Challenges AND The Advice I Gave Them

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Oct 7, 2020 6:15:00 PM

I Bet Most Of You Have Similar Questions, Challenges and Issues

A few weeks ago, I posted an offer to the HubSpot Solutions Partners Group on Facebook. I offered 30 minutes to any agency owner who wanted to pick my brain and talk about their challenges.

Over the past few weeks, I've chatted with 30 owners just like you. I took some notes and was surprised to hear they ALL have very similar issues.

Here are the top five challenges as identified by the people I’ve chatted with and the advice I gave them so you all can benefit from our conversations.


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Topics: inbound marketing agency challenges, inbound marketing agency owner support

The Game Just Changed: The Biggest Challenges Facing Digital Agencies Over The Next Few Months And Beyond

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 23, 2020 12:37:33 PM

What You Do Next Will Shape Your Agency For Years To Come

I’ve talked to over 100 agencies over the past few weeks. Some I’ve spoken to via email, others on Zoom and a few on one to one calls or chats. The story is very similar. Yes, a few agencies in a few unfortunate industries are closing, but most are making it through.

We’ve weathered the initial wave of the storm and are now trying to figure out what’s next. But what’s next is what concerns me, because your agency will have to be retooled to deal with what’s coming over the next few months and beyond.

What worked last year won’t work this year and what you planned for 2020 needs to be thrown out and you need a new plan. Not an annual plan, but a plan that you can adjust every week and a plan that goes out no more than 30 days. A plan that is flexible, but based on data and a plan that ensures your agency will be around for the next 10 years.

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Topics: inbound marketing agency challenges, agency operations, 2020 planning

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

How Is Your Inbound Marketing Agency Responding To The Changes With Inbound?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on May 9, 2017 7:10:00 AM

If You Thought You’d Be An Inbound ONLY Agency, You Might Have Been Mistaken

What? There are changes? We just became Platinum (insert HubSpot Partner Level here). We just got our fourth client and we’re starting to get the hang of it, how can there be changes?

The world of marketing is in a chaotic period and change is the only constant. If you thought what you did today was going to be what you did for the next 10 years, you might have miscalculated.

Look around you. There are new tactics, new tools, new software, new techniques, new agencies and new client requirements almost every single month. If your inbound marketing agency isn’t built to deal with these monumental shifts in the ground beneath your feet you might be in trouble.

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Topics: sales enablement, inbound marketing agency challenges, marketing technology

What The Inbound Marketing Agency Of 2030 Is Going To Look Like

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 28, 2017 7:34:00 AM

Here's a shock, it's not going to have anything to do with inbound marketing.

A lot of inbound marketing agency owners have been going through dramatic transformations over the past few years. Moving from single practice shops to inbound agencies. Getting your first few clients, learning inbound, finding out you need different internal operations, making adjustments, struggling with the financials and finally getting it all worked out—more or less.

And now, things are changing again.

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of research into what the “bigger” agencies and digital shops are doing. I’ve been paying special attention to Deloitte and Accenture but also looking at larger agency shops to see what they’re talking about, doing and the value they’re delivering to their clients.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound marketing agency challenges, future of inbound marketing agencies

Who's The Right Contact For Inbound Marketing Client Engagements?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 14, 2017 10:34:00 AM

This might seem obvious, but honestly, it’s one of the most discussed aspects of client services at Square 2 Marketing. Who is our point of contact?

Is it the CEO? Is it the marketing person we’ve been assigned to work with? Is it their boss? Is it the person who signed our agreement or Is it the person who approves our invoice each month?

Yes, it matters and yes, there’s a methodology behind how we decide who the ultimate decision maker is and then how we engage with that VIP (very important person) even when we’ve been instructed to work with a lower level marketing person.
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Topics: client services, inbound marketing agency challenges, client management

The Biggest Challenge Facing Inbound Marketing Agencies Will Shock You

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 9, 2016 10:30:00 AM

If I asked 20 inbound marketing agency owners,  "what is your biggest challenge," the answers would probably all be the wrong answers.

The biggest challenge facing inbound agencies is not hiring, it’s not culture, it’s not picking the right clients, it’s not pricing and it’s not technology.

The biggest challenge facing inbound marketing agencies today is that we’re all not good enough at inbound to make it obvious why businesses should invest in inbound and hire us.

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Topics: inbound marketing agency growth, inbound marketing agency challenges

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