What is an Agency Growth Consultant?
For creative and technology agencies looking to level-up, a holistic approach to growth and scalability results in more ideal clients, greater internal efficiency, balance in your life, happier teams and higher profit margins.
From years of experience as agency owners, you and I both know that the issues you’re facing cannot be singular because they don’t exist in a vacuum. The nuance complexities of working with people means that multiple layers must be peeled back.
Agency Growth Consulting leverages my Signature 6 P’s Framework, focusing on the core areas that address the requirements for conscious leadership and complexities of agency growth: personal development, purpose, positioning, people, pipeline and profitability.
Everything works together to get (and keep) your agency firing on all cylinders. Let’s dive a little deeper into each so you can envision the interconnectedness and how it applies to your agency.
Have you as the leader of your agency taken the time to do your inner work—by which I mean, do you know who you are, why you’re running your firm, what you want out of life, and how to get there? Together, we dive deeply to uncover the answers to these questions. I may pull from Buddhist psychology, shadow work or integral theory to help you unearth the very things that may be holding you back as an individual. It’s up to you to decide if you’re ready to do the work.
Can a company have a calling? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? We might apply the principle of Future Mapping to help answer these questions and design an action plan. We may talk about self-fullness, work/life integration, mindfulness and more.
Our purpose as agency owners is not to work harder than everyone else, sacrifice time with our family and friends, trudge through life feeling unfulfilled, and then eventually die. Right?! Together, we will uncover your true purpose — that thing that you simply cannot ignore (but have been too afraid to consider seriously).
Our engagement begins with a one-on-one, in-person intake session with each and every employee of your agency—from the CEO to the summer intern (from about 10 to 30 employees). All conversations are confidential and anonymized. Common themes throughout the agency’s culture, operations, positioning, communications, systems and processes, deliverables, and more are synthesized. Findings are summarized and presented to agency leadership, along with recommendations. Together, we prioritize the order in which we’ll tackle the issues and opportunities.
You are the steward of the team members under your care. Your team looks to you for inspiration, vision and mentorship. What example are you setting for them in the way that you care for yourself? Are you giving from your overflow or from the depths of your well? Are you inadvertently alienating them with self-sacrifice, or showing them what true integration between life and work looks like?
Aside from servant leadership, are you supporting them in ways that set them up for success? Do you have the systems, processes and technologies in place that allow them to feel proud of the work they do on behalf of your company? Our people have the power to make or break our agencies because they are the “product” our clients are buying from us. I work with agency leaders to ensure that workflow and communication is streamlined, task automation is in place, and that we’re making the most effective use of our team’s time so they show up to work each day fulfilled and ready to represent our agencies the same way we do.
Next, what is your niche and why? How do your competitors describe what they do? Are your offerings seen as a commodity or unique and premier?
Lack of defined positioning leads to confusion in the market, unqualified leads, low morale, client and employee attrition, cash flow issues and more. While well positioned agencies have clarity in the market, qualified leads and ideal clients, premium pricing, happy and productive teams, client and employee retention, and high margins.
Think business development isn’t a creative skill set? Think again! In order to increase income consistently and exponentially at any type of creative, media or tech agency, you need a balanced mix of word-of-mouth referrals, inbound marketing, hyper-targeted outbound marketing, speaking, and strategic partnerships.
I work with agencies to assess, strategize and implement effective inbound marketing (SEO consulting for agencies is an example of improved positioning that leads to improved visibility). Then, we focus on account-based marketing—strategizing the most creative, effective ways to get in front of influencers and decision-makers at organizations that you want on your client roster. Throughout the entire engagement, I also help them develop smart, strategic partnerships that can increase new business overnight.
I also have a Resource Roster to help any agency fill specific capacity gaps, nearly on-demand. These include individual talent for production, hired gun consultants, as well other specialist agencies. Need to contract a veteran ecommerce project manager for a robust, six-month project? No problem. From brand architects, development firms and copywriting teams to strategists, animation houses, prospect list agents and more, my personally vetted network has you covered.
Tied closely to both positioning and pipeline is online visibility. I’ll manually review your agency’s website and then run a technical and content audit to find out how visible and compelling it is on Google.
Together, we can get your site optimized for targeted mid- and long-tail search terms—focused on solving a prospect’s pain point right from the SERPs—and get your site loading faster, and free of errors that a visitor might otherwise encounter. In order to attract qualified prospects for your sales pipeline, every agency needs to elicit credibility and relevance from the very first touch point.
During our keyword research, we might discover some niche terms that make sense for a paid campaign. We’ll also identify specific web properties—including client and candidate review sites—that will add value as inbound links, and begin working on those.
This final phase focuses on overall financial health and internal efficiency. What would happen if you landed $500,000 in new business tomorrow? Are your communications, systems and processes streamlined to the point where the load would make your internal machine come to a grinding halt, or would you sail through with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, perfect collaboration, and tasks as automated as possible?
When an agency is running as efficiently as possible, people are happier and more productive, the work is just better, and client retention is higher. That also means income becomes more predictable.
During our initial discovery phase, we’ll look at which software you’re using, where there may be duplication of effort or cost (or both), manual tasks that can be automated, technology integrations that can feed data from one system to another, and so on. This is a deep dive into everything from client relationship management, project management, team communication channels and reporting to time tracking, accounting and invoicing, and account/project profitability.
Finally, we focus on profitability—an obvious cross-over with efficiency. Overall growth is great, but increasing profit margin is how to grow your agency exponentially. We’ll dive into the service offerings that are the least and the most profitable, and put processes in place to ensure predictable bottom line revenue growth.
After 15 years of starting, scaling and selling my own digital agency in New York, I love helping other agency leaders do the same. I work with established creative and technology agencies—typically with $1-30MM in annual revenue, looking to transform, and committed to investing in the significant growth of their people and organization.