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Marketing Agency Exposed Podcast

Jan 29, 2020


Bob Hutchins, Brad Ayres, and Ken Ott are back with Episode #3 of Agency Exposed! Today they’re talking about funding agency growth- both fiscally and psychologically as well. They break down how important it is to have your team on your side and be profitable. We discuss the difficulties of maintaining a long-term vision with your team as they complete short-term goals, and how keeping your team motivated makes a world of difference.  


Resources Mentioned: 


Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode: 

  1. Fail Fast- When you make a mistake, learn to pivot quickly to an alternative solution.
  2. Self-Capitalization means being highly profitable with your current income/clients. Get your financial health in check so that you can lead people with authority and vision. 
  3. As a business owner, it is YOUR responsibility to cast a vision of your company’s future, encourage your employees to believe in that vision, and give them certainty through it all.


About The Guys: 

Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from 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:

[1:45] The Guys Discuss the name Agency Exposed and what interested them most about going the Podcast

  • Ken: In the agency world, it’s common for people to struggle in silence. “I would have loved to have been able to hear other people talk freely about… pain points.”
  • Brad: Fail and Fail Fast- this will teach you more in the early years than anything else. 
    • “Your company can be disrupted overnight… and we need to be more open to change.”
  • Bob: “This is a biz of putting the best foot forward at all times.. This is what we’re selling… the other side of that coin is that you can easily take on that persona and thought process in your agency… it’s a facade. Talking about failures is what people are hungry for!”

[6:25] Brad: “Fail fast. Get back on your feet. And that’s where you learn and grow.”

  • Learning from others going through the same pains is the point of this podcast!

[10:47] Last episode The Guys discuss marketing your business and getting new clients, and this week they’re unpacking how to finance it all. What are they using to market and promote their businesses right now?

  • Ken: Facebook Ads are a heavy part of Metacake’s mechanism. At the end of the day, MC relies heavily on teaching and content. MC has a particular philosophy, and that’s what we teach. 

[15:21] Brad: How much of your resources do you spend on new business? 

  • MC is invested in a LOT of educational content- what are the mechanics of how this works for Metacake’s business model? 

[18:55] The Guys discuss Social Proof and the value of that in today’s social media-fueled world. 

  • In this space, it’s a challenge to get people to talk positively about you. The community tends to be tight-lipped about who they’re working with and what they’re working on. Ken likes to disrupt this tradition! Asking clients for testimonials, asking customers for reviews, etc. 

[23:12] Bob asks Brad how Anthem uses his strengths in visual and creative aspects to make his agency memorable.

  • Strong case studies within different industries can be challenging but rewarding. 
  • Highlighting these so that all companies can see themselves in the results, not just those in the same industry. 
  • LinkedIn has been a focus to publish content and ideas- algorithm works better for your business because roughly 50% of people are seeing those results- much higher percentage than anywhere else.

[26:27] What specifically is Brad doing to use LinkedIn to the fullest?

  • Industry-specific blog posts, thought leader 
  • Repurposing content from other platforms
  • Starting an ad campaign on LinkedIn soon- will update us on how that goes. 

[28:12] Bob asks Ken how Metacake uses YouTube for content creation.

  • On YouTube you can get views for fractions of a cent if done well. 
  • MC strategy: Videos as ads to interrupt the viewer’s experience- get them to remember your name. 
  • Measure of success is seeing Google searches for Metacake; ultimately attempting to get Google Trends up- playing that game for name recognition.

[33:26] Discussing and even showing off your other specialities to clients is always a good idea- you don’t want to find out that your client is using another company for a service that you provide. 

  • [37:30] “People make 80% of their buying decision before they talk to you.” - Bob Strachan, Sales Coach @ Metacake
  • There’s an idea that the only way that clients can get anything from their vendor is if they beat it out of them- flipping this mindset changes EVERYTHING.

[39:20] Brad talks about the 4 Disciplines and how it has impacted his daily work within Anthem Republic. 

  • Making self-promotion a Goal through the 4 Disciplines has helped him to put his business in front of more of the right kind of people. 
  • Don’t be afraid to look at what your company is doing already and bolstering those efforts. 

[43:40] Talk about how you capitalize on your own business- how to take advantage of the funds you do have and what you have struggled with in terms of capitalizing. 

  • Brad: How are we doing and how are we able to grow? Growth takes money “We can only grow as fast as we can have the funds and the means to do it.”
  • Current struggle is adding staff wisely as business grows “I don’t want to get access to money and not use it properly… I want the business to run on it’s own in a very healthy way… without that constant cash infusion via debt.”

[49:24] Ken shares the ways that Metacake has approached self-capitalization.

  • According to Tony Robbins: In a business, you’re 1 of 3 people: the entrepreneur, the artist, the manager- most agency owners are likely artists. Being aware of your place here and who else in your organization might be able to fill in for the rest. 
  • Self-capitalization means looking at your profit margins. Ken hired a CFO consultant who helped direct MC through specifics of net profit of every project. 

[54:51] Brad talks about Time Tracking, and how important that is in terms of keeping real track of how your time is being spent. 

[55:57] Bob shares advice from his mentor

  • Weekly reports from your staff every Friday that list 5 goals achieved for the week, 5 goals in place for next week, their quarterly goals, etc. 
  • This allows you to be in tune with your team in a more sustainable, growth-centered way and serves as a check-in for them to re-establish their purpose and overall objective in the business. 

[59:11] Brad speaks on the challenges of being the sole business owner, and being responsible for the long-term vision of the company. 

  • Using processes like weekly/quarterly goals that Bob mentioned will help every member of organization buy into long-term goals and have an eye on the horizon as they fight daily battles.

[1:03:09] Ken speaks on staying inspired for the sake of the team.

  • “The challenge is… casting that vision, believing in it, and giving them certainty through it.”
  • Basic human need of certainty is one of the things that any long-term thinker should consider when expecting support/agreement from a team. 

[1:07:25] Brad speaks on allowing your team to understand the value of long-term goals/growth 

  • “If I’m going to Mars, they need to see the value of why we’re going there. And they need to value that so deeply that they’re behind it 100%.” 

[1:08:37] Ken talks about developing your own passion before expecting passion from your team. 

  • What is your REASON for running your business. 
  • “As long as your intentions are true… that can come through.”