First Steps to Grow and Scale Your Digital Agency - Smart Agency Masterclass: Podcast for Digital Marketing Agencies

First Steps to Grow and Scale Your Digital Agency

By Jason Swenk on March 14, 2018

Do you lack the knowledge on how to grow and scale your digital agency? Overwhelmed by not knowing what role to hire first? Afraid to niche down, and afraid what might happen if you don’t? You’re not alone! Learn how to tackle these very important tasks in order to grow and scale your digital agency.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • Overcoming common challenges of starting an agency.
  • Hiring based on your agency’s needs.
  • Why and how to choose your agency’s niche.
  • Benefits of an agency mastermind.

On today’s show, I talked with Jeremiah Smith, President and CEO of Simple Tiger, a digital agency which focuses on SEO for SAAS clients. With over 12 years of SEO experience, Jeremiah has watched Simple Tiger go through many changes and has had to face the difficult decisions we all face with our agencies. He shares some of his big challenges and decisions with us and some guidance on how he knew, it was time to act. He is, admittedly, still working on some aspects, so don’t beat yourself up if your agency has some tough calls to make. Let’s just get your agency to a place, where you start making the right calls.

Overcoming Common Challenges Starting Your Own Agency

Jeremiah shared his two main challenges starting Simple Tiger and what you can do to overcome or avoid them…

1- Starting out as self-taught SEO consultant and then moving on to build an agency was difficult. It’s tough going from a “lone wolf” freelancer to building a team. It was a transition that took time and has grown the agency because of smart hiring choices.

2- It can be hard to separating your personal life from your business. When you work for yourself you can spend your money on what you want. When you start a business, this isn’t the case. It’s important to be careful and keep business income and expenses separate, particularly in regards to taxes. (You can even check out this podcast with Jason Blumer CPAs.)

Hiring Based On Your Agency’s Needs

Understanding what your agency’s needs are, will then point you in the direction of who your agency needs to hire and when.

In most cases, you will hear consultants recommend hiring a sales team first. (Although I tell my clients to hire a Project Manager first!)

However, Jeremiah’s main role is sales, and the sales role is his baby. He says SEO sales can get scammy and shady, so selling it in a truthful manner is the most important thing. He wants his agency to be seen with integrity and that starts with sales.

That’s why Jeremiah’s first hire was someone who could produce the work he was selling. Hiring the right people can be the difference between feeling like you’re a prisoner to your agency, or enjoying running your agency.

Why and How to Choose Your Agency’s Niche

There are many benefits of niching down. Jeremiah says he finally did it because:

  1. Your agency’s marketing gets easier.
  2. You will attract more of other types of businesses.

The beauty is you can still say ‘yes’ and service clients outside your niche if you choose. But, your marketing is targeted at just one specific audience. Instead of casting a wide net, you’re getting really specific.

Picking a horizontal niche should be based on your background and pretty easy. With Jeremiah, SEO was a no-brainer. Selecting a vertical niche can prove more difficult and can even be terrifying.

What got Jeremiah thinking was a client who couldn’t identify their target market and instead said “we service everyone.” It made him start looking inwardly at his own agency.

When you specialize in a particular niche, you become an authority in that segment of business. By becoming a member of my Agency University Jeremiah learned the value in declaring a niche.

He starting by asking himself these 3 questions:

  1. Who are my agency’s most profitable clients?
  2. Which clients were an easy sell, they just get you?
  3. Who do I love working with?

Benefits of an Agency Mastermind

Speaking of Agency University…. 🙂 Jeremiah felt like he knew a lot about agencies and how they operate, so he was apprehensive to join Agency University. However, by participating in our mentorship program he realized he was making things harder and more complex than they needed to be. And, he realized he had a lack of focus.

He says he learned some real game changing strategies that helped his agency grow and scale. And hey, that’s why I do this – so it’s a win-win.

What’s Agency University All About?

Are you overwhelmed by all the information out there on various ways to grow your agency? Do you want direction on how you can grow your agency faster and easier?

Then you’re in luck! I created an innovative mentorship called Agency University.

Agency University is a program which provides the 1-on-1 mentorship and ongoing support that is crucial to the success of your agency. Click here to see if it’s the right fit for you.

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

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