Costly Mistake One Agency Owner Made You Want To Avoid

By Jason Swenk on April 9, 2023

Why do your clients hire your agency? Do you know the struggle or challenge that led them to you? Many agency owners think they know these answers. However, a deeper search could lead you to change your entire strategy. It starts with simply asking clients what they expect and need. Armed with this information you can rethink who and how you’re marketing to your prospects. Today’s guest talks about two mistakes he made at his agency and how he learned the importance of defining the client’s north star in order to know what they really want.

Valentin Radu is the CEO of OnmiConvert, an agency that provides e-commerce services to improve conversion rates and grow faster with their AB testing platform. The agency also has software, which helps them serve as a bridge between agencies and clients. Valentin also runs the CVO Academy, which seeks to democratize the way people grow in retail and e-commerce.

In this interview, we’ll discuss:

  • 2 Mistakes to avoid early on.
  • Learning to target the right prospects.
  • A shift in mindset that helps you realize results.


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Dot & Co: Today’s episode of the Smart Agency Masterclass is sponsored by Dot & Co, client management specialists that will help digital marketing agencies keep their clients happy. With the help of their knowledgeable account managers, agency owners can step away from the day-to-day and focus on driving results. Check out and get 20% off your first month working with them.


2 Early Mistakes to Avoid in Your Agency

Starting a business is a challenging venture. It requires patience, dedication, and most importantly, a willingness to learn from mistakes. Valentin’s company learned this the hard way. Initially, his company consisted of just a software division. However, they soon discovered that their ideal customers needed not only software but also services. This led to building a consulting arm within the company to work like an agency for large companies. It was a hard moment, but it ultimately improved their services.

Valentin’s agency encountered two mistakes that nearly ended their agency. However, learning from them ultimately improved their services.

The first mistake was venturing into consulting services without fully understanding the results-oriented nature of the agency world.

The second mistake was trying to serve all types of customers and markets, which burned a lot of money on a go-to-market strategy that ultimately led to increased churn rates.

Learning to Target the Right Prospects

After realizing that going after every prospect they could find wasn’t working, Valentin’s team began to put all their existing customers under the microscope. Customer research became the basis of their methodology to improve customer lifetime value. They found out who their best customers were and why they were buying from them. This allowed them to position themselves as the solution for similar prospects.

Defining the Client’s North Star Metric

Valentin’s agency developed what they call the “North star metric” for each of their customers. They reinvestigated existing clients, even after two years, to have a direct account of what they expected to get from the agency. Some of the responses were surprising. They found out that many customers appreciated their creative solutions and saw them as an extension of their teams. They weren’t really after the numbers but rather stayed for the innovative ideas.

Interviewing existing customers can be a great way to unveil hidden struggles and lead to real progress. It can change not only reporting but also marketing once you understand what your ideal client wants.

Why You Need a Mindset Change to See Real Results

Clients want a partner that will help them figure out their business model. It’s essential that agency owners are willing to adapt to these changes. Valentin’s agency handles data that show how much agencies are struggling to work as a bridge between clients that are using their technology and agencies looking for customers.

Valentin believes the entrepreneurial journey is, in part, a spiritual journey. It’s not just about the likes and the zeros, but also about who you are becoming in the process. Many entrepreneurs get comfortable and don’t make any more progress. This means they end up with a mediocre company or struggling to find reliable people that would take their business to another level out of fear of change.

Preventing Costly Mistakes

Valentin’s company learned the hard way that starting a business requires patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. They had to adapt to the changes in the market and redefine their ideal customer. They had to redefine their reporting and marketing strategies to meet the needs of their clients. Above all, they had to change their mindset to see real results.

If you want to start a business or take your existing business to the next level, it’s essential to understand the importance of adapting to changes in the market, defining your ideal customer, and interviewing existing customers to understand their struggles. You must also be willing to change your mindset and embrace the challenges of entrepreneurship to see real results.


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