4 Pivotal Moves to Get Your Agency to the Multi-Million Dollar Level
Are you looking for the right formula to take your agency into the multi-millions? Getting to the million-dollar mark can happen easily, but getting to the multi-million level takes strategy. It’s all about building processes, hiring a team, and choosing a niche so you continue to grow. Today’s guests found themselves in a situation where they needed guidance to take their agency to the next level. They share the #1 most instrumental decision that changed their agency, key steps to their successful growth, and more.
Chase Williams and Ryan Klein are the co-founders of Market My Market, a digital agency that uses marketing and systems processes to help law firms and franchises grow. They do organic in the digital space, such as SEO, content marketing, web design, lead gen, and more. Over the years, they have set their agency apart by not taking a “package approach.” Instead, they are look for gaps and put together plans for their clients based on newly identified opportunities in their digital marketing. This approach has helped them build long-term relationships and take their agency to the multi-million dollar level.
In this interview, we’ll discuss:
- #1 most important decision to spark real change in your agency.
- Searching for the right salespeople.
- 4 key decisions to get over the multi-million dollar mark.
- What to look for in an ops manager.
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#1 Most Instrumental Decision Sparking Change in Your Agency
Ryan and Chase were working 9 to 5 jobs at a law firm and an agency. They kept getting approached by friends to build websites, which they didn’t actually know how to do. However, since it meant extra money, they were willing to learn. Soon they were working 60+ hours a week, so they decided to quit their jobs and focus on their new venture. They went on to bootstrap the agency from Chase’s basement in Brooklyn. Years later, they now have 37 employees in two offices.
Chase recalls, the most instrumental decision they made to spark true change for their agency was working with Jason for guidance. With his support, they started focusing on niching down. First with a specific core service of SEO and next a vertical niche in law firms, which accounted for 60% of their clients.
At the time, they were taking any type of job pitched to them, whether logos, websites, or graphics. Once they started to focus on helping law firms and building processes around that, they saw a real change. This was really important to building a proven system they used in order to adapt and scale.
Finding the Right Salespeople with an Aggressive Commission Structure
At first, Ryan and Chase didn’t realize how difficult it is to find a good salespeople. They started by hiring a very charismatic person who didn’t have a lot of experience. After about six months of educating and working on his skills, they felt he could do it on his own. However not long after he left the agency to work for another company. After all the time and resources spent mentoring him, this left them feeling deflated.
This so common – agency owners are their own best sales person. Looking back, they were trying to learn what works and what doesn’t. Furthermore, they understood no one is going to pitch the agency’s offering better than you. Their best find came once they were willing to poach talent and pay them really well. The alternative is taking the time to train younger, inexperienced salespeople who take their new skills elsewhere, or more seasoned salespeople incentivized to stay. In short, they pay a decent base and offer bonuses that are basically a piece of what the person sold.
It’s tough to find good salespeople and even tougher holding onto them for a long time, but this approach has really worked for them.
What to Look for in a Agency Operations Manager
When it came time to look for someone to handle operations, Chase and Ryan went for the office manager route. This led them to a couple of administrative people who were highly organized. Ultimately, it came down to high-level organization and an awareness of the need for processes and systems.
The person they found had worked for several startups and local governments but never actually at an agency. This can be a major plus. Finding someone who has experience building systems and can bring their particular experience to the agency world can lead to a great fit.
4 Key Moves To Will Help You Get Beyond Million Dollar Mark
- Focus on the proposal. The proposal is the driving tool documenting everything you’re going to do for the client. This is where you reassure them they made the right decision. It is a contract, but it is also a narrative walking the client through the plan. Coupled with sales, the proposal drives home why you’re the right partner for this client. When you take the time to create a well-constructed proposal, you’ll stand out against other agencies. Rather than just pointing out numbers, tell a story and explain where they’re at right now and where they can get with your help.
- Hire an in-house content team. It is a lot of work putting together an in-house team. However, it allows you more control and it’s a great benefit for clients. Your agency is more of a partner, rather than a commodity when you have an in-house team of writers who specialized in creating the content your client needs. It’s an added benefit that you should also add to your proposal.
- Implement EOS. Implementing Entrepreneurial Operating System can provide you with a ton of insight. Of course, it does entail a lot of change and shifting mindset. It’s also not something you can do halfway or it won’t provide the expected results. But when you go all-in with EOS you really see the results for your agency. To ensure success, consider hiring an EOS implementer. You’ll see better results than if you try doing it yourself.
- Time tracking. Make sure everyone on your team is time-tracking. It may sound too like you’re micromanaging them and most employees will not like it. However, the data it provides is very useful. It leads to important discussions like if a client is over capacity, is it time to upsell them? Will you need a new SEO person soon based on the amount of work? It also helps you decide when it was time to raise prices. Without this data, you’re just shooting in the dark and hoping something sticks.
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