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Marketing Agency Exposed Podcast

Jun 30, 2021


In this week’s episode, we dive into how to scale your agency without hiring. Although hiring team members is required, it’s not the most effective and healthy way to scale. To increase capacity and profit, you must innovate. Old, out-dated techniques are one part of the problem. A technique that can help you scale your agency in a profitable way is to create a culture that promotes efficiency in your current employees. Using tools and processes to track your agency’s profitability is also key. Two other elements that can assist you with scale are effective time management and traffic management. In order to serve your clients to the best of your ability, your agency must be healthy in all areas, especially as you scale. 


Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode: 


  • Hiring isn’t always the best way to solve the problem. Although hiring can address your capacity challenges, it has the potential to damage your agency’s profit in the future. You must only hire on top of an already optimized system. “The answer to just hire more is acceptable; it just doesn't produce the best profit.”
  • Create a culture that promotes efficiency and time management. By creating a culture where your employees are thinking about eliminating inefficiencies in your agency, you are streamlining your business. A culture of optimization vs clinging to “the way it’s always been done”. “Your employees need to be thinking ‘how can I make this easier’. It's a cultural thing.”
  • Use tools and resources to track capacity and profitability. Hiring someone dedicated to monitoring your employees’ and departments’ capacities will help you scale your agency. It’s also important to track your business’ true profit because as your agency grows, your profit can slip away and you won’t know where it went. “I would recommend everyone tracks everything they do”



For more tips, discussion, and behind the scenes:

About The Guys: 

Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from 2000-2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob: 

Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently, that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:

Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken: 


Show Notes:

[0:44] Ken opens this week’s episode by asking Brad about his biking adventures this week.

[2:44] Ken begins a discussion about scale in agencies and asks, “Do you feel like you have a healthy capacity for the work that you do?”

[4:41] Brad talks about the idea that, “your business is run by processes and people run the processes.”

[5:12] Brad connects efficiency and streamlining your business to a cultural aspect of your agency.

[7:11] Brad discusses how humanity wants to be seen as valuable and how that can be especially negative in the agency world.

[8:51] Bob analyzes the difference between the nomadic society and today’s industrial society and contemplates what life could be like if we “could break out of that and go back to a simpler life and say, What is it that makes me the most productive, the most creative, the most I can serve my family, while at the same time being incredibly productive at the same time?”

[11:24] Ken talks about how “there are situations we saw last year where we're stuck in a model that doesn't necessarily produce the best result.” 

[13:03] Bob discusses some important elements when scaling your agency. “At the end of the day, I think it's all about time management,” “having a Traffic Manager is really important, because then it releases the burden off the workers,” 

[14:35] Ken asks if there are any tools that the guys use to help manage and measure capacity.

[15:51] Ken asks, “Does your sales team ask if we've got capacity for something?”

[16:31] Ken talks about how hiring isn’t the only solution to the scaling problem.

 [19:00] Ken asks, “if you're hitting capacity, how do you expand what you can do with the same amount of people without sacrificing quality?”

[21:03] Bob explains how he ranks his tasks according to their value and adjusts or changes the low value tasks that don’t push conversions.  

[23:02] Ken talks about two components that can create inefficiency in your agency and how to correct them.

[26:22] Bob questions the belief that agencies have become more efficient and asks “have we really made ourselves better and more efficient? Or are we a slave to the process?”

[27:58] Brad offers a few tips about building efficiency into the mindset of your employees and the culture of your agency.

[32:05] Ken talks about the importance of regularly checking in on the agencies’ real profit.

“One of the takeaways here is someone in the business, is looking at all the time, because it gets away from you so fast, especially the bigger you get” 

[33:14] Ken uses a travel analogy to point out that in order to serve your clients to the best of your ability, your agency must be healthy.

[35:37] Bob discusses the importance of time management, universal time tracking across your agency, and someone who monitors the profitability of each project.

[36:41] Ken summarizes the discussion about capacity tools. “you can't manage what you can't measure.”

[37:55] Ken uses an analogy of the recipe for Coke to point out the importance of the successful formulas within your agency. “the value of your business is the formula of how you deliver the product you deliver.” “it wouldn't be coke. it'd be Pepsi.”

[39:16] Ken concludes this episode by discussing the important balance of structure and efficiency.