To start with, it’s never boring, things move incredibly fast, and no two projects are really ever the same. You get to work with a multitude of clients, solving important problems, and doing work with measurable success.
So, on the one hand, when you have the right client, budgets, and timelines (and Mercury is finally out of retrograde), you can deliver work you are EXTREMELY proud of.
But, on the other hand…
One minute everything seems like it’s going fine,
the next…everything catches fire.
Between demanding clients, tight timelines, turnover at key positions, and a pipeline that goes from bursting to bone-dry (seemingly overnight)…agencies are the sort of place few business owners can manage for long without losing their hair, their sanity, and possibly even their marriage.
Running an agency can be exhausting. There are so many variables to consider, and that’s where I come in.
I ran my agency for 7 years before selling it. I stayed at the agency that acquired my company for about a year and a half.
Over that time, I learned what successful and profitable agencies do differently. I also got to see first hand, what can sink an agency, even one bursting with talent.
Super Agency is end-to-end Agency optimization. Together, we will go through every aspect of your agency because the whole system needs to work together.
The Super Agency program is methodical approach focused on four critical areas of the business: Brand, Sales, Operations, and Marketing.
The program generally takes 6 months to complete but can be accelerated in certain circumstances. Most clients do the entire Super Agency program, but some only need help in one or two areas.
Estimated duration: 90 days
Your Brand guides EVERYTHING from your colors, fonts, and logos, to how you invoice and answer the phone. Yet, few agencies think about their own Brand.
Our work together will be to define your Brand, design a complete messaging architecture, and review how this shows up in everything across the organization. It’s during this work that we will talk about purpose, mission, and values, so you know how to pick the right team members, build a great culture, and lead effectively.
Estimated duration: 90 days
99% of agencies I work with want to start with marketing, when the real problem is sales. The truth is they aren’t getting enough opportunities, and they’re squandering the ones they get. What good is marketing if you don’t know what you’re selling when you get an inquiry.
Our work together will be to optimize your sales process from start to finish including how to productize your service so you can scale. We’ll get clear on your costs and profit margins, so you can know for sure that you are making money with each client. Once that’s all done, we’ll build a completely automated pipeline.
Estimated duration: 90 days
Operations is the key to keeping clients. You must be able to deliver what you promised, by when you promised it. How effectively you manage projects and people determines whether you are constantly chasing new clients to fill the void, or building on your recurring revenue.
Our work together will be to look at your systems and processes and make sure you are ready to delight and retain your clients. We’ll review and possibly rebuild your project management tools and templates. We’ll talk about internal communication, and knowledge sharing/capture.
Estimated duration: 90 days
Once you’re clear on who you are (Brand), what you sell (Sales), and how you will deliver it (Operations), only then should you go full tilt into generating awareness, interest, and leads.
Our work together will examine how to reach your target audience at each stage of the funnel. We’ll look at your internal capabilities, and figure out the most efficient and effective marketing engine for your agency without chasing trends and shiny objects. By the end you’ll have a comprehensive content calendar, and a clear picture for how marketing drives the agency forward.
Deep consulting is an intensive, but time-limited, consulting program where I work closely with the company to do a thorough analysis of their business and design strategic solutions to some of their most important business challenges. Deep Consulting is offered over a minimum of six months and can last for up to two years depending on the size of an organization. The only variables are size and depth.
The longer the program that a company chooses, the more depth we can explore and the more comprehensive the resulting strategy will be.
The program consists of three stages conducted across six disciplines of the business.
We begin with assessing what already exists and contrast that against where we seek to go.
The assessment will inform the plan.
The plan is then put into action.
To start with, I’m going to look at your business.
All of this and more will inform future work in brands, leadership, marketing and sales.
Your Brand is about more than just your logo, fonts, and colors. Those are just your visual Brand standards. Your Brand should answer an important question: What do you stand for?
Our Brand Work will include the design of a comprehensive Brand Strategy and Messaging Architecture. This will function as your entire company’s North Star. We will cover purpose, vision, values, one-livers and more…
This Brand work is the antithesis of every arbitrary conversation about “which shade of blue should our logo be.” It’s the one where we make consequential decisions that inform every aspect of the business.
When you truly come to understand the traits of great leaders, you realize that it’s not a title but a mindset, and it needs to permeate every person in your company. In this phase, I’ll be working with you to uncover how you currently support the growth of leadership skills at all levels of the organization.
I will start with people in formalized leadership roles. I’ll analyze their team performance and learn about their unique challenges. Next, I’ll survey individual team members who are not in formal leadership roles to better understand what their experiences are like with regard to the company’s leadership.
Together, we’ll talk through how leaders are expected to set and manage goals, how they are expected to communicate with their team members, and how leaders motivate their teams.
Throughout this entire process of audit and inquiry, the goal is to find the gaps so that you can build and implement a plan that results in an extraordinary organization of effective leaders. This will help us to understand your culture.
When we look at your culture, we’re looking to understand the answers to a very basic question:
“What is it like to work here?”
Your culture touches on such a wide variety of things that it would be difficult to list every single one of them. Here are just a few that we will look into in our work together:
Your culture is a direct representation of your brand and your leadership intersecting. Your culture affects your ability to attract and retain talent. It is the variable that sets the limit of your organization’s true potential.
While culture is not something that can be controlled, it is something that can be influenced. What you encourage and what you allow matter. Who you hire and who you fire matter.
During this phase of our work together we uncover what it is like to work at your company and if what we find is not what we want, then we create the path to get where we want to go.
We’re not going to analyze your supply chain or use of robotics in manufacturing, but what we will do is assess your productivity systems and practices. We’re looking for areas where systems and processes are not adequately designed or documented. We’re identifying areas where systems may unintentionally exclude people, or stop them from doing their best and most productive work.
Your project management systems and the conventions you put in place around how those systems are used can be the different between getting things done, or losing clients.
By the end of this portion of the engagement, you will understand what is standing in the way of your company’s growth.
This is where it all comes together. It is only after I have looked at your business, understood what your brand is all about, examined how your leaders guide their team and analyzed how your culture supports your various business endeavors that I can properly look at your marketing. Marketing is not a function separate from the rest of the business, it is the megaphone that amplifies what exists.
In this phase of our work together we will look at every single marketing tactic you have employed over the last three years. We will look at what has worked and what has not worked. We will analyze your customer personas. We will review your analytics data.
Once we are done reviewing every nook and cranny of your marketing function, I will ensure that the work that we have done together to understand your business, your brand, and your culture fit together into a cohesive and persuasive marketing approach the drives the business and it’s mission forward. Today there is functionally no difference between a digital marketing strategy and a marketing strategy. Everything today must include digital and it all must be tightly integrated.
There must be a confluence, the point where every strategy and tactic are tightly woven together. To build this machine is not easy and it requires careful planning and resource allocation. But, if you do it correctly, you can build a marketing machine that over time will drive costs down and increase revenue automatically.
At the conclusion of this part of the program you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt what marketing tactics you should use and which you should avoid, along with how each of them connect to and support one another.
No business can exist without sales. In this phase of our work together we examine your sales process from start to finish.
These are just a few of the questions we need to ask to better understand the potential of your sales function and design a plan to get your solution into the hands of more customers.
I will analyze past performance, and the current process to help you design a more efficient and effective sales function, informed by marketing and brand excellence.