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Growing an agency is very difficult, and you might feel unclear what to do next in order to grow and scale your agency. The Smart Agency Masterclass is a weekly podcast for agencies that are wanting to grow faster. We interview amazing guests from all over the world that have the experience of running successful businesses, and will provide you the insights you need. Our podcast is just over 3 years old, and have reached more than a half million listeners in 42 countries.
 
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show series
 
Are you growing your agency to sell it in the future or prefer the idea of building a lifestyle business? Maybe you don't have to choose. When Anna Mannerfelt created Wired Mustang, an agency specializing in brand development and equine marketing, she decided selling her business was not the ultimate goal. Instead, she created a business to support…
 
Is your leadership style genuine and sincere? Do you have empathy where your team is concerned? Do your clients display empathy for their end-users? When Lonn Shulkin first started working at Bam Strategy, they had just lost their biggest client and were in the process of pivoting and taking the opportunity to shift their focus to find their ideal …
 
Are you having a hard time hiring the right talent to build your agency team? Manish Dudhareija first started his journey as an entrepreneur nine years ago when he noticed there was a huge demand for skilled developers trained in the latest technologies and there was a gap in hiring, training that fit his expertise. He created E2M Solutions, a full…
 
Are you using your resources wisely in order to scale content creation? Are you leveraging partnerships that will help you grow your agency? Content creation is following a classic marketing channel trend and continually evolving every year. If your agency is not keeping up with the increased demand, you're missing out. In this episode of the podca…
 
Is it time to sell your digital agency? Considering a merger or acquisition in the near future? John Burns worked in mergers and acquisitions for 15 years when he realized a gap in the market, specifically for agency owners. So 7 years ago, he started Clare Advisors, a company that provides mergers, acquisitions, and financial advisory services to …
 
Are your wondering how to get bigger clients and grow into a multi-million dollar agency? Mary Ann Pruitt has a background working in media and was unsure about starting her own agency. Now at her agency, Mosaic Media, she works hand-in-hand with other agency owners, business owners, marketing departments, and media buyers to provide a multi-pronge…
 
Want to build an amazing agency culture and brand? After running his own agency, Historic, for eight years and leading teams of creatives, Ted Vaughn took on the task of co-writing the book on all aspects of building your agency's brand and how leadership shapes its culture. Ted is on the show talking about how you can use culture to help further g…
 
After working for big agencies for part of her career, Josy Amann decided that starting her own business and getting rid of the commute would align more with her plans to have a family, so she co-founded Media Matters Worldwide. Today, her agency is an experienced, independent media strategy, planning, buying, and analytics partner that has grown b…
 
Would you like to successfully bootstrap your way into a thriving agency? Rich Kahn has been fascinated by the internet since its very beginning in the 90's. He started a newsletter to talk about new internet developments and grew his audience to a point where he got offers to advertise products. He realized with a relatively small investment in ha…
 
Is your agency constantly innovating and evolving in order to stay relevant? Clients needs are constantly changing as technology evolves. Are you keeping up with what clients need? Julia Smith has worked in digital advertising for over 25 years and has made a name being her client's mouthpiece. They even call her "the voice." She took that concept …
 
Scott Harkey had a rocky start in the agency business, having to keep other jobs while he tried to get his agency, OH Partners, off the ground. It took time, but he built his reputation and now runs a stable of agencies, as he says. Scott talks about how the first years of agency growth are always difficult and why new agency owners should give the…
 
Ben Worthen was a journalist for most of his professional career. During those years, he heard many marketing pitches and grew to dislike the type of marketing that focuses exclusively on selling a product. That's why, when making the transition to creating his own digital agency Message Lab, he focused on combining journalism, data, and design to …
 
Do your clients have trust issues with your agency? How can you go about creating an honest rapport to build trust? Working at a larger agency Bob Bailey started to notice a trust problem. Clients are losing trust in their agencies. This trend has actually increased over time, with clients moving to in-house services. This is the opportunity he and…
 
Dmitriy Pisarev became fascinated with computers and started building his first website at a very young age. He never lost that fascination and eventually got interested in direct response marketing, copywriting, and e-commerce marketing optimization, which is what led to starting his agency Conversion Whisperer. However, with diverse interests and…
 
What metrics should you track to create a successful lead generation strategy? Kara Brown had been working on a string of supply chain corporate jobs where she oversaw IPOs and eventually decided to create her own business and focus on lead generation. She believes filling the top of the funnel now will be the first to capture market share in the r…
 
Do you know how using AI and data-driven algorithms could help you save money on inefficient positioning? Anne Cheng is an entrepreneur that started her business with an idea in mind: what if she could get inside the heads of people and understand what information they required to make decisions? Supercharge Lab is a cognitive artificial intelligen…
 
Do you know how relationship equity could help you grow your business and establish yourself as a category of one? Michael Stamatinos has always thought of himself as a connector. His love for building bridges and connections led him to the business development, marketing, and sales world. He founded Omorfi, an agency that empowers individuals to t…
 
Are you looking for the right formula for quick agency growth? When Ellen Jantsch was working as a head of growth in a small tech startup, she felt there was space for an agency focused on testing and executing strategies into long-term sustainable growth. She held on to that idea while she worked as a freelancer and when she started Tuff, a remote…
 
Are you looking to start your transition to the role of agency CEO? David Anderson started living the entrepreneurial dream more than twenty years ago when he started Off Madison Ave, a full-service marketing agency he founded with his partner after getting fired from his agency job. After two decades as a business owner, David has experienced succ…
 
Forbes has called Nancy A. Shenker a “bad girl” because she selectively breaks rules and takes calculated risks to help companies innovate and grow. Nancy had worked as a CMO for big brands like MasterCard and Citibank when she ventured to start her own business, TheONswitch. That was more than 18 years ago and she credits her client side work for …
 
Do you know which levers you can pull in order to scale your agency faster? Greg Bond believes his purpose in life is to add value to other people's lives. He is the head of revenue at SharpSpring, a company that aims to help businesses better understand their customers so they can maximize their value proposition. Greg oversees the sales function …
 
Do you know the importance of building relationships to help your agency scale faster? Brian Cosgrove was doing well at a big agency but felt it kept him from doing what he really wanted to do, which was starting his own business and bringing innovation to the way the services are provided. Once he founded BrainDo, they started scaling and, within …
 
Do you know how you can improve client-agency relationships to scale faster? Joe Koufman has worked in the agency world for over 20 years. He was actually a guest on the podcast during its first year. In 2014, he decided to use his experience in marketing, business development, and management to create Setup, a company that works to connect brands …
 
Do you know the importance of focusing on the who, rather than the how, to get your agency to the next level? Dallin Cottle had a degree in political science and was heading to law school when he started working at an agency and discovered a knack and passion for advertising. He quickly felt that he couldn't continue to grow at that company and dec…
 
Would you like to land big retainers of $50,000 to $100,000? Spencer Brooks is the founder and principal of Brooks Digital, an agency that empowers health nonprofits to build engaging digital platforms that improve the lives of patients. He has worked to create an agency that brings a new perspective to the nonprofit sector, which is very one-time …
 
Are you looking for ways to boost your team’s productivity while also improving your work-life balance? Jason Berkowitz was working as a personal trainer in NYC when he discovered SEO and decided to become a freelancer. He grew his business and started hiring and building his team to create a legit agency, Break The Web. Now that he has a team, he …
 
Do you think that growing and scaling your agency means always going for more in every aspect? Will Russell is the founder and CEO of Russell Marketing, an agency focused on product launch marketing, crowdfunding, e-commerce, and Amazon. Through his experience with his agency, he created a five-step launch process meant to enable anyone to validate…
 
Hollis Carter is an entrepreneur and avid skier who, after founding many companies in his career, recently became the co-founder of the Baby Bathwater Institute, a membership-based community of entrepreneurs with a focus on cultivating natural, mutually beneficial relationships. Since his business relied on many in-person events, it was quite affec…
 
Do you want to know how to land major brands? Bill Durrant had been working for a big agency for years when he decided to leave and work freelance for a while. That's when opportunity knocked and old Nestle client asked him to work on his new account, Clif Bar. This is the client that really started his agency Ex Verus, which helps brands develop a…
 
Are you thinking about the ways you could use NFTs for your digital agency? After working in nine agencies, Kent Lewis decided to start Anvil Media in 2000, which is nowadays one of the oldest search engine marketing agencies in the Pacific Northwest that specializes in analytics, SEO, paid media, and organic social media strategy. Last year, durin…
 
Are you wondering how to go beyond the six or seven-figure mark and continue your agency growth? After graduating college with a Liberal Arts degree and an interest in advertising, Ben Wiener jumped at the opportunity to work at Wongdoody, an advertising agency that specializes in UX, as well as customers experience and employee experience. He cont…
 
Are you willing to start saying no to wrong customers to see real change for your agency? Kerrie Luginbill is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Old Town Media, a Colorado-based agency that since its beginnings offered a unique and agile approach to web design, development, and marketing by providing customers a business-driven approach. Now t…
 
Do you want to create a machine that ensures agency growth? David Butler was working as a special ed teacher when he decided to try his luck in the real estate business. He later created an agency looking to reinvent himself during the 2009 financial crisis. With Jason's help, he was able to grow and ultimately sell his business. David now enjoys a…
 
Drew Hendricks was a philosophy major who started in the agency world after building his first website in the 90's and never looked back. Today, he owns Nimbletoad, a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in website design, SEO, and PPC. Recently, Drew expanded by founding Barrels Ahead, an agency where he adapts his love for wine …
 
Are you creating a solid recurring revenue stream for your agency? Dan Sundgren has been involved in the digital marketing industry since he became one of the first employees at Google around 2003. After years of witnessing the rise of that tech giant, he eventually started his digital agency, FreeGren, which specializes in SEM, SEO, SMM and Websit…
 
Brian R. Johnson has served as a leader in online advertising and conversion rate strategy for nearly two decades. He had been offering professional training courses in the Amazon ad space for years before opening his own agency with his partner. Now, Canopy Management is an eight-figure agency and the leading A-to-Z, full service Amazon agency. He…
 
Chris Leone was playing drums in Japan trying to figure out his next step in life when a keynote by Gary Vaynerchuk inspired him to enter the agency world. He ended up working an entry-level position in a small agency and worked his way up to being president and CEO of WebStrategies Inc, a multi-million dollar agency that focuses on mid-low funnel,…
 
After working on his own using his experience in the agency world, Chris started specializing in the project management side of the business. Eventually, he decided to form Genius Digital Marketing with a partner and they have been growing ever since. Now, they work with growth-focused companies to accelerate their digital marketing strategies by o…
 
Have you had a few failures in the agency world? Everyone is afraid of failure. But when you change perspective and treat it like a lesson instead of a defeat. That's the lesson from today's guest, Frank Kern, a well-known marketing consultant and agency owner who has ventured to start several agencies over the years. In this episode, Frank discuss…
 
Is your agency as profitable as it could be? Are you successfully forecasting agency finances? Nate "Agency Dad" Jenson has built his business around helping agency owners drive profitability. Nate is a certified management accountant and internal auditor who focuses on offering the tools and accounting practices necessary for a thriving agency, wi…
 
Can you identify some services that might be holding your agency back? Maybe it’s time to consider getting back to the basics. Phil Blackmore and his agency Create Health are really passionate about bringing back something the world of health marketing was really lacking: creativity. Recently the pandemic helped him reflect on the agency’s true cor…
 
Every agency owner needs solid negotiation skills to feel more confident when dealing with clients. Mori Taheripour is an executive and award-winning educator who focused her career on negotiations. She currently teaches at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and works privately with entrepreneurs, corporations, foundations, and un…
 
Having your own agency and the responsibility for people’s livelihoods can be an isolating experience. Darren Fox says he fell into the agency world unexpectedly. After a while of offering freelance web design services, it became clear he could not continue solopreneur. So, Darren founded Idea Marketing Group. and started building a team. Even thou…
 
Ever wondered if you could make money on performance-based pricing? Kyle Sulerud was a Google ads expert with many years of experience in the space. He even had a training program teaching others his Google ads methodology. That was until he was presented with the challenge of running YouTube ads. Today he runs AdLeg, an agency specialized in this …
 
Do you have the crystal clear vision needed to take your agency to the next level? John Quinton-Barber describes himself as a visionary and accidental entrepreneur. He had 30 years of experience in the media and communications industry when he decided he wanted to set up his own business. After eight years, Social is now a top 20 UK agency. He join…
 
After the life of digital nomad led to the failure of his first company, Dean Dutro started Worth eCommerce. Since then, found the Digital Agency Elite mastermind, learned the importance of having a mission and values, and grew an amazingly successful agency that helps eCommerce stores drive new and repeat sales with email & SMS marketing. He recen…
 
Would you consider having a laser focus niche in a way that you create such a demand you have a waiting list? This agency did just that and has grown more than they ever imagined. When Ryan Redding and his agency DP Marketing.Services built a website for a plumber who suggested that he should only work with other plumbers, he could have never guess…
 
Shaun Clark is the co-founder and CEO of HighLevel, a company that offers an all-in-one sales and marketing platform for agencies and marketers. HighLevel gives the tools, support and resources marketing agencies need to succeed all in one place. Today, he joins the podcast to talk about how marketing agencies can reduce churn rate by becoming an a…
 
How can agencies prove value to their clients and eventually charge more? That's the solution Paul Deraval offers in this episode about founding NinjaCat. After entering the agency world later in his career as a software developer and finding the competition was everywhere, Paul shifted his focus. As Paul says: Who makes money in a gold rush? It's …
 
Vasa Martinez is the founder and CEO of Growthbuster, a remote marketing agency that has helped food and beverage brands reach new heights with community, creative, and innovation. After years of CPG experience working with many brands, Vasa started building his own company focused on the outsourced marketing department. Today he joins us to talk a…
 
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