Before you try to whisk away your problems with software, lean on these methods to improve productivity and restore sanity.

If you’re an agency professional and you feel like you’re constantly scrambling, you’re not alone. Once upon a time, clients would request changes to a campaign or initiative on a weekly or monthly basis. Now, they can ping you for changes via instant message and expect you to jump on it “instantly.” Whether it’s a Friday evening when you’re on your way out the door or a busy Monday morning when every second has been carefully allocated, there's endless potential for “just one more thing.” Still, no matter how busy you are or how many clients you have, you don’t want to give a brand a reason to consider moving your functionality in-house. Think it couldn’t happen to you? Barely five years ago, Verizon had a flock of …

A big part of running a successful agency is well-managed finances. Getting your agency budgeting right can make all the difference

Running an agency is no easy task. You have to go on a tiring process to acquire the right type of clients that want the solution you offer. At the same time, you have to hire employees to build the best team to render your services. On top of that, you have to put a system in place to ensure seamless collaboration between your team members for maximum productivity. Of course: there’s also managing your agency's finances. How do you budget your agency resources to maximize profits? [si_blog_banner_cta]

1. Settle on a costing model

To budget your resources properly, you have to find the best costing model suitable for your agency. Using the wrong costing model for your clients could lead to losses. Here are common costing models available to marketing agencies: Fixed fee:…

Avoid these 10 mistakes when developing digital services for your marketing agency

If you're running a marketing agency, you probably know a thing or two about offering marketing services to your clients. But with the pace of digital transformation and new trends emerging all the time, 'to err is human', you may make some strategic and tactical errors when selecting the best mix of your digital marketing services. If you are considering offering new digital services like Design and build for websites and mobile or PPC, Search, Social or other  Paid, Owned or Earned media, you'll want to check this quick checklist to avoid the mistakes agencies often make when getting into new digital services. [si_guide_block id="74955" title="Download our Free resource – Agency digital marketing services - the top 10 mistakes to avoid" description="This guide is a brief checklist of the common mistakes marketing agencies tend to make when offering new digital…

How can you keep remote teams productive, connected and safe?

Nearly a quarter of the nation’s skilled professionals perform remote work, according to the 2018 BLS American Time Use Survey Summary. Over the last decade, technology has transformed the workplace and facilitated even more remote work. More business leaders are building and managing remote teams to incentivize the best available talent while still increase productivity and team communication.  While many may assume developers are some of the team members most likely to work from home, the truth is that all types of skills are working from home. In fact, workers with an advanced degree are more likely to work from home, according to the study. As the world’s pool of skilled talent shrinks, nearly half of all professionals perform some work from home.  [si_guide_block id="17140" title="Download our Business Resource…

Knowing where to search for prospective clients and understanding how to pitch your SEO services, you'll be presented with opportunities to expand your client base and become a real big fish in your market

In 2019, it may seem the internet is already flooded with countless SEO agencies, and new quality clients are almost impossible to get. But the truth is, every day, a huge amount of new stores, brands and products move their operations online. In the US, e-commerce accounts for only 9% of sales. This means there are loads of new website and business owners entering the online space and waiting to be found by you. Knowing where to search for these prospective clients and understanding how to pitch your SEO services, you'll be presented with opportunities to expand your client base and become a real big fish in your market. [si_guide_block id="96392" title="Download our Business Resource – Agency guide:…

A great proposal can make a world of difference in closing a wobbly deal, while a poorly written proposal will lose even a rock solid client

In the world marketing, proposals are one of those sales elements that most people dislike but still recognize its importance. A great proposal can make a world of difference in closing a wobbly deal, while a poorly written proposal will lose even a rock solid client - and there are a lot of businesses that acknowledge this phenomenon, too. Writing marketing business proposals is no rocket science and getting it right takes just a little bit of knowledge and a lot of practice. Here are some of the key elements of great business proposals and how you too can use them in your proposals to win new business with ease.

1. A…

A good brief helps to ensure that the finished project is what you envisioned, meaning it is more likely to be an effective part of your marketing campaign

"Great projects start with a great brief. This isn’t one." "Garbage in, garbage out." Those are phrases I have heard a lot over the years. Often (whisper it) from the agency team, berating a client contact amongst themselves. But agencies have a big part to play in the quality of briefing. People in glass houses and all that. Over the last few years, I have seen some great briefs from clients that really helped an agency hit the mark. And I have seen some excellent briefs written (for themselves) by agencies, where the client couldn't articulate what they really wanted. But in amongst that have been some very lame briefs, on both sides, so I wanted to tackle that lack of consistency in the latest …

The only way to keep your agency growing is to get comfortable with discomfort

When you think back on those first few years of owning an agency, somehow the tough parts get muted. You remember the late-night pizza strategy sessions and the euphoria of signing that first big deal. You even remember stressing over payroll problems or going without paychecks (sometimes for months) just to keep the doors open. [si_guide_block id="74955" title="Download our Free Resource – Agency digital marketing services - the top 10 mistakes to avoid" description="This guide explains the 10 most common (and costly) mistakes that agencies can make."/] But it’s easier to forget about the fear of saying "yes" to a prospect and wondering how you were going to deliver. It’s even easier to forget about how you were often one mistake or choice away from having to call it quits. OK, maybe we don’t need to rehash all those…

Review where your marketing agency is at and the next steps you should take with our new tool

A question I have been asked when I work with agencies to grow their digital marketing services is ‘how can we benchmark our approach to growing our digital services?’ To answer that I have used the excellent benchmark framework that Smart Insights has used for other areas. These one-page templates let you quickly review where you are on a five point scale (from laggard to market-leading). You can spot gaps in your approach to transformation and your capabilities.

The services transformation matrix

I divided this particular benchmark matrix into two areas: Your ability to grow with existing clients or to attract new business to any and all digital marketing services. Your ability to service that work effectively and profitability. The specific digital services you might offer (from site design and build to SEO to social media community…

Follow Michelangelo’s lead and turn a daunting task into a work of genius by planning strategically, collaborating with stakeholders, and using your resources

Great marketing and great art have a lot in common. After all, marketing without art is just mkeing. To create something meaningful in either field, you need to be creative, innovative, and able to connect with your audience — all while being business savvy, on brand, and aware of the market in which you’re operating. It’s no easy feat, but great art has a long history of engaging people and capturing their imaginations: just think of the countless pilgrims who have flocked to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa since it went on display there in 1797. As marketers, we know how essential that kind of engagement…