Are You Committing Any of the 7 Deadly Agency Sins?

By Jason Swenk on September 14, 2016

In this episode, we’ll cover the 7 deadly agency sins that owners commit in their own marketing, and how to quit sinning and start winning new business.

This week on the The Smart Agency Master Class I talk with my friend Diane Young, co-founder of The Drum which is Europe’s leading marketing news platform, and recently has made it’s way to the US. Diane has spent over a decade observing and interviewing agencies. And in that time she’s been able to pinpoint 7 things that agencies do to themselves to negatively impact their own growth.

Diane shares the 7 Deadly Agency Marketing Sins. Find out if you’re committing them and what you can do to stop before it’s too late!

[clickToTweet tweet=”These are the 7 Deadly Sins #Agencies Are Committing. Are You Guilty of Any?” quote=”These are the 7 Deadly Sins Agencies Are Committing. Are You Guilty of Any?”]

7 Deadly Agency Marketing Sins

  1. Lack of unique selling proposition.

    Agencies often either the lack a USP or lack the expression of it. So many agencies aren’t telling the story about why they’re different. What does your agency do better than anyone else? That’s what you need to communicate. Being a ‘me too’ agency or trying to service everyone is actually a doing a disservice to your business.


  2. Lack of vision.

    Where’s your agency going? What’s your end-game? Your clients and your team want to be part of the amazing journey your on. However, you’ve got to identify and communicate where you’re going so they can get excited about joining you. If you have destination, it’s much easier to get where you’re going.


  3. Lack of commitment.

    A lot of agency owners don’t fully commit to marketing their agency. They can’t or won’t put themselves out there – this is especially true of digital agency owners who are more technical and usually avoid networking and personal connections. Avoid committing this sin by going out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there. No one knows how awesome your agency is better than you!


  4. Lack of inertia.

    Often agency marketing takes a backseat to clients. And yes, clients do come first. But they can’t first, middle and last. Be sure agency marketing is somewhere on the priority list. You can do this by having a dedicated person or setting aside dedicated time to market. Also, adopt the motto: “done is better than perfect.” Agonizing over the perfect post, the perfect video, the perfect…. Anything, somehow goes from being an obsession to being an excuse. Don’t let it happen. Action leads to transactions.


  5. Overselling or over claiming.

    This one’s a doozy. An agency that claims to be the best, first, biggest, fastest, most award-winning is full of it and a prospective client’s BS meter is going to pick up on it. Don’t make claims if you can’t state a source. You don’t have to the best, fastest, most award-winning if you can simply own a specific skill in a specific niche and use your expertise to establish yourself as an authority. Be true and convincing in your agency marketing.


  6. Disinterest or isolation.

    Agency owners, specifically digital agency owners are sometimes so focused on the technical side of their work they forget to spend time in the world around them. Some don’t see the value in getting out from behind their computers, meeting people face to face and learning more about others’ experiences. Professional networking groups like The Drum Network are great for gaining an understanding of what others are doing. When you let your guard down and start sharing your experiences with other agency owners you’ll be able to help each other build and grow, just like this agency that doubled their business in 6 months just by networking!


  7. Lack of insight.

    It’s hard to detach yourself and see things objectively. The sin some agency owners commit is being too shortsighted to recognize their business’ strengths and weakness. You can avoid this by seeking out a third party perspective. Gain valuable insight by researching and understanding what you’re aren’t doing well. Then you can concentrate on getting better at it.

Bottom line, in a wide sea of agencies you’ve got to find your way to stand out. Have a unique selling proposition and a vision for where you’re headed. Then, commit to taking action and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to get it done.

Agency Tools You Need to Check Out…

There’s a couple pretty fantastic tools that all agency owners need to check out with some amazing deals just for Smart Agency Master Class listeners…

Cashflow or bookkeeping issues? FreshBooks is the solution. FreshBooks makes ridiculously easy­ to ­use cloud accounting software for agencies that will help you work smarter, become more organized, and most importantly, get you paid quickly.

Check out FreshBooks.com/SmartAgency and enter SMARTAGENCY in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section for a FREE 30-day, unrestricted trial.


Klipfolio is a tool that is helping agencies continuously monitor and report analytics. It’s cloud-based software allows you to define KPI’s based on your preferences and filters. With 50+ built-in marketing metrics, you can create a dashboard for yourself and your clients which can be viewed on desktop, mobile or old-fashioned PDF.

For a limited time, Klipfolio has a special deal for my listeners. Get a FREE TRIAL and an amazing offer just for The Smart Agency Master Class listeners at Klipfolio.com/SmartAgency.

Would You Like To Get Access To A Proven Agency Framework For Growing Your Agency?