The Agency Growth Blog - For Owners Who Want Growth

Why Your Inbound Marketing Agency Might Not Be Ready For Inbound Sales

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 10, 2017 9:45:00 AM

After a short break, the Agencies 2 Inbound blog is back in action and will be posting weekly starting this week. This year nothing is more important to me than giving you all good guidance around adding inbound sales to your existing inbound marketing agency practices.

Yes, there is going to be immense pressure this year from HubSpot, specifically, for you to sell inbound sales software, HubSpot CRM and start offering inbound sales services. The long-term direction here is accurate. They are correct in wanting to create a full funnel agency experience at partners so your firm enables clients to both get leads and then close those leads.

But is that right for everyone? No, it’s not.

To give you some context, at Square 2 Marketing, we’ve been delivering sales enablement or inbound sales services in a variety of configurations for the past three years. We already know what works, what doesn’t work well and why it’s so challenging.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound sales

Are You An Inbound Marketing Pro Or An Inbound Marketing Pretender?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Aug 24, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Continuing our conversation about differentiating your inbound marketing agency means honestly evaluating your ability to be an inbound marketing expert. Are you a pro or a pretender? Unfortunately, my evaluation of the true capabilities in most of the agencies calling themselves inbound agencies is more pretender than pro.

I’m not criticizing. I’m actually challenging anyone reading this to step up their game. The consequences of continuing to “fake it” is going to impact the entire community. We’re already seeing it. More and more of our opportunities are made up of companies who have had disappointing experiences with inbound. This has to change.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound marketing strategy, Inbound marketing expert

Why Growing Your Inbound Marketing Agency Might Be The Wrong Move

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jul 7, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Over the past few months I’ve talked to a number of agency owners who have expressed concern at the level of effort required grow their inbound agencies and in two circumstances, I’ve spoken with owners who have thrown in the towel. Giving up the fight to return to something more comfortable.

I’m not judging anyone and in both cases I congratulated the owners for having the guts to admit they didn’t want to fight the good fight anymore and were going back to something that was easier. After all, we only go around this world once, you have to live the right life for you. Sometimes lifestyle businesses are just fine.

But these conversations got me thinking. For some of you trying to grow your agency might actually be the wrong move. Here are some signals that growth might be bad in your case.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound marketing agency growth

How One Inbound Marketing Agency Blog Article Helped Close A $130,000 New Client

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

I love it when a good plan comes together. Last week we were wrapping up our strategy engagement with a new client and as part of the recommendations we provided three program levels with increasing levels of investment. As I’m sure you can all relate, the first response from the client was, “Can we do something for less?”

On the outside, I was positive and upbeat, but on the inside I was disappointed. We just spent 2 months working up the perfect inbound marketing plan to take the client from $10 million in annual revenue to $12.5 million in annual revenue in one year. The plan was brilliant and the investment levels were commensurate with a 20% growth goal.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, blogging for inbound marketing agencies

Why The Inbound Marketing Agency Needs To Be Agile

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 2, 2016 4:11:57 PM

Inbound_Marketing_Needs_To_Be_Agile.jpgLook up agile marketing on the web and you get so few listings it’s hard to believe. Most of the listings don’t even refer to the application of Agile and Scrum as it relates to ongoing marketing operations. They talk about being flexible and adopting a less rigid approach to marketing or using data to decide what to work on—all good ideas, but not really Agile Marketing as I see it.

Not all digital or creative agencies need to work in an agile way, but for the inbound marketing agency, it’s critical in my opinion. When you start researching the Agile or when you read the book, How To Deliver Twice The Work In Half The Time by Jeff Sutherland, the first phrase you hear is how great agile is for complex and creative tasks. Yes, this was meant to describe software development efforts but when I think about inbound marketing engagements, complex and creative are two words at the top of the list.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound agency growth, agile marketing

Get Your Clients To Be Inbound Marketing Agency Clients In 30 Minutes

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 3, 2016 7:00:00 AM

SPECIAL REPORT: How To Get Your Project Clients To Be Inbound Agency Clients In Just 30 Minutes

My work with inbound marketing agency owners has given me tremendous insight into the major challenges facing owners today and by far the biggest challenge is moving away from your legacy project clients and towards more stable inbound retainer clients.

The challenges are real and sometimes seem insurmountable. How do you walk away from revenue? How do you turn down business? How do you afford your team if you’re not doing projects? Where will new retainer clients come from if we don’t do projects? If I tell clients no, who’ll hire us? I get it. There are a lot of questions.

In this Special Report, I’ll help you work through all these issues so you successful manage a full transition from commoditized project shop to unique inbound agency.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound agency growth, inbound marketing agency transition, inbound agency planning

What Gets Measured Gets Done: Using Numbers To Drive Your Inbound Agency's Growth

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 27, 2016 12:30:00 PM

Every business has magic numbers that help leaders gain insight into the performance of the organization. Inbound agencies are no different but they are unique in that there are very few existing models from which to benchmark your agency against other similar agencies.

Once you create a dashboard of KPIs (key performance indicators) you’re going to see your entire agency responding differently to those numbers. There are gobs of data that prove people do what you measure. So as you work your way up the inbound marketing agency growth tree you need to set numeric goals for your crew.

Here are some of the numbers you want to consider when setting up your KPI dashboard.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound marketing agency numbers, inbound agency metrics, inbound marketing agency metrics, inbound agency growth

Why Inbound Marketing Agency Owners Should Be Thankful This Thanksgiving

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Nov 24, 2015 10:50:36 AM

If you’re an inbound marketing agency owner, then you have a lot to be thankful for during this holiday season. While I know it might seem like your hair is on fire most days and clients have become more and more demanding there has never been a time when so many tools and resources are available to delight every client.

The challenge for most of us has become how do we leverage the tools and resources efficiently and at the right time to enable our agencies and our teams to deliver on our service promise—we’ll get you leads.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound marketing strategy

Inbound Sales Services Help Inbound Agencies Create Long Term Clients

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Nov 10, 2015 10:00:00 AM

This might come as a shock, especially if you’ve never been accountable to any results-oriented metric before, but simply getting clients leads might not be enough to not get fired.

I know it seems crazy when a client comes to you and they’re getting zero leads from their website and in six months you have them getting 20 to 30 leads a month yet you still get fired. How could this be bad?

Clients say they want leads and they say they can close the leads, but past experience has proven that what they really want is revenue growth and they’re not great at closing the leads you’re getting them. So to create long term clients and to grow your business, you’re going to have to help them close leads too.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound sales, inbound agency services

Why Your Inbound Agency Looks Like Every Other Inbound Agency and Why That's Not Good!

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Sep 22, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Differentiate Your Inbound AgencyIt’s really not surprising a lot of the inbound marketing agencies look alike. You’re all saying the same thing about what you do and how you do it. The result is that you’re prospects are confused and they don’t know what makes one agency better or even different than the next.

In addition, HubSpot provided the Attract, Convert, Close and Delight methodology around inbound marketing and I see that on about 50% of the inbound agency websites. As inbound agency owners, you have to be marketers first and inbound experts second.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Agency, inbound agency growth

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