How To Maintain Growth And Take Your Agency To The Next Level - Smart Agency Masterclass: Podcast for Digital Marketing Agencies

How One Agency Doubled Revenue Every Year for 5 Years

By Jason Swenk on August 1, 2018

Are you looking for better ways grow your agency? Tired of the status quo? Missing easy targets and low hanging fruit opportunities? Then take some lessons from an agency owner who’s doubled revenue every year for five consecutive years. This agency is growing at a crazy-fast rate and on target to hit $18 million this year!

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • Finding your agency’s share of the market.
  • What to expect in your agency’s first year.
  • 4 simple actions to grow your agency.
  • 3 easy ways to maintain agency growth.

Today I chatted with Tony Delmercado, co-founder and CEO of Hawke Media. With only five years in business, Hawke Media has grown from a 5 person team to 100+ employees and has doubled it’s revenue every year, looking to hit the $18 million mark this year. With that kind of success, I couldn’t wait to pick Tony’s brain on how he was able to start and maintain growth of his agency. From his start to present day, Tony walks us through some simple tips and strategies he found successful.

Finding Your Agency’s Share of the Market

Tony says, in order to be successful you need to find a hole in the market and respond to demand.

The catalyst for starting a company, whether you want to grow a brand or do marketing well, you need to either:

  • Build a team in-house
    • this presents a multitude of challenges
  • Work with an agency
    • this can be cost prohibitive (and straight up expensive!)

Unfortunately there isn’t a good intermediate option. So Tony and his business partner turned to qualified friends that checked off necessary boxes. As their clients wanted more things, they built their agency’s internal competency and hired more people with the necessary talents and skill sets.

What To Expect Your Agency’s First Year

Work, work, work…and more work. Lots of hours and hard work. In the beginning, your agency says “yes” to everything whether it’s speaking engagements, meetings, committees, public appearances, anything and everything to get your agency name and brand out there.

Hawke Media, didn’t take on investors or debt, they simply bootstrapped on the cash coming in. In that first year, because of this model, they were very judicious with their spending.

Tony says his personal mantra is three-fold:

  1. Get shit done.
  2. Learn quickly.
  3. Be cool.

He and his partner hustled hard that first year, living this mantra every single day. That’s why it was easy to realize these needed to be their agency’s core values. Since then, they have hired their team around these values.

Your agency NEEDS to nail down and define core values and build a company culture.

One of the best things about being an entrepreneur, is that you get to pick who you want to work with. Your agency needs to make sure that it picks well, that it gets the right people, good people, to keep a good cultural vibe.

As an agency owner, Tony says, “it will never all be done”. Your agency to-do list will always and continuously grow. Stop worrying about checking off the last box, instead start prioritizing and allocate  time to the important stuff.

Your agency, but also you, will need to learn how to say “no” to those things that aren’t necessary or can be better managed by a team member. Get rid of time-sucks, like recurring meetings that aren’t necessary.

4 Simple Actions To Grow Your Agency

Growth might not be easy, but it can be made simpler when you model after someone who’s doing it the right way….

  1. Use a CRM and some form of follow-up or reminder.
    • You don’t have to use an expensive service
    • There are cheap options out there.
  2. Create some basic email automation
    • Have a form to capture information.
    • Develop a system to drop prospects into funnels for your agency.
  3. Use Google retargeting or GDN
    • Don’t underestimate the abilities of this service.
    • This is still a powerful tool when done correctly.
  4. Pick up the phone.
    • A call back or follow-up phone call, keeps lines of communication open.
    • Build solid personal relationships while your competition is automating everything.

PRO TIP: Don’t forget about the low-hanging fruit. These are old or stale leads right at your fingertips. Create a system for routinely checking those out, too!

3 Easy Ways To Maintain Agency Growth

  1. Don’t become complacent.
  2. Always look to do better and to improve.
  3. Be aggressive in marketing your agency.

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