Design Your Agency For Any Economy

If you’ve designed your agency to be an “outsourced marketing department” - ouch.

This idea sounds good in theory, especially in the early startup phases of your business.

But, very quickly this can backfire…

And it’s not just because the economy is good or bad.

That wouldn’t matter.

In this video, I’ll break down how to design your agency the right way to survive the long game.

​Transcript / MP3

Hey, what's going on guys? Greg Hickman here with all and in this video I want to talk about how you can design your agency to be successful in any economy. So let's just jump right in. So here's the deal with our business all agency, we coach and mentor a lot of different types of digital agencies. And as the time of recording this, we are in an uncertain climate. We're dealing with a big health crisis with a coven 19 and we're seeing a lot of agencies that have been designed as an outsource marketing department really start to struggle because as their clients suffer and struggle through this time, they're being looked at as labor. And in most cases I'll say 98% of the time, over time, labor decreases in value. So if your clients are struggling and they need to cut their own expenses in order to survive through a difficult economy, they're going to also be looking at your agency almost the same way that they look at some of their staff. And if you've seen the unemployment rates skyrocket, labor is one of the first things to go....

And so right now in this type of economy you're actually viewed at, um, as more of a nice to have versus a necessity. And what we teach our clients is to design their agency so that they have elements of their business that are really positioned as a necessity, as a need so that whether the economy is great or the economy is bad, you can still go out there and sell and get clients and get them results. Because really, if you think about the clients that maybe you've lost right now, they probably still need your help. They just can't afford to stay in the game with the way that you've been structuring your services till this point. So what I want to do is hop on here on the iPad and break down kind of a concept that I think is really important and the different revenue streams that you need to have as an agency so that you can be successful in any economy.

Good, bad. And really I, I believe, and I've actually been preaching this for the last three years, that any agency that wants to play the long game and be around for five, 10 1520 plus years can't be a one trick pony and cannot only be offering their labor as their core service. So let's just jump right in over here to the iPad and you'll see here that I have a couple of different circles. And what we talk about at all agency is this notion of the hybrid model. And the hybrid model is, is having multiple revenue streams that allow you to, to bring on clients different types of clients, a mindset perspective from a different stage of their own business. And also it coincidentally works really well when they don't want to be bringing on this 12 month contract or six month contract of longterm labor.

They want a specific result. And not only do they want a specific result, they might need a specific result. So how most agencies are structured over here. We'll look at this as the kind of traditional, the traditional model, a K the old model that will not allow you to survive and thrive in an economy like this. A lot of agencies will sell some sort of an audit. I've seen people do this for $0 million which I don't recommend up to, you know, sometimes $3,500 and after they do the audit, they'll present the prospect or the new client rather if they charge the money for it. I often see like the average being 1500 they'll say, Hey, here's the plan. You can either go implement this yourself or you can pay us more to go implement this thing, and they'll say, okay, well a part of the plan is where you know, we're going to do some SEO over here, we're going to do some social media marketing. Maybe we'll do some lead gen activities. Whatever your offering consists of, you have to start kind of compartmentalizing and selling them on different services. Now, if they don't want all of those services, guess what they're going to do? They're going to say, well I actually don't want that or this. So how much for just this and what ends up happening is you have a handful of different clients that you're delivering a bunch of different things too and it gets really chaotic, especially when it comes to hiring. And it comes to demonstrating that you're delivering a specific result when really every single time you get a client you're delivering a unique result because it's custom to whatever the client needs. Your product, your service is the word. Yes. Whatever their problem is, you can solve it cause you're a full service agency. Well in this economy specifically a, again, a down economy, depending upon when you're watching this, that's going to be a little bit more difficult to sell.

So what we recommend is being a triple threat agency and a triple threat agency means you have what you currently do, which is you know, as you know, a little bit less scalable, which is more of your bespoke services. Some of that custom work often delivered one-on-one and and likely I'll say one-on-one and likely the most expensive offering that you have. But then we want to go out to the next level of, of offering and we want to roll out something that is more done with you. This is more leveraged. This is one to many think, productized services, high ticket consulting, um, training workshops, things like that where there's interaction with you and your client. They have access to you in some way, shape or form, but you're not doing all of the work, right? This is, uh, mentorship models, things like that. And this is a bit more affordable.

Um, that allows you to not only target someone who might not be able to afford your done for you services, but also someone who might already have internal staff that would be doing the execution. And so now they don't need to go pay for a top dollar CMO or a top dollar, uh, you know, C level person for the strategy. They get your, your brain and your expertise packaged into a end-to-end program and their team internally will execute. So that's another option. And then lastly on the further the furthest out ring is you have your, uh, DIY options, which are going to be the most affordable. And this is still one to many, but a lot less access to you, if any. So this is where you're going to see your information products, your small courses and things like that. Maybe they're a little more tactile where your prospect can invest in a training so that they can learn how to do something internally because they have the bandwidth to do it internally.

They just need someone to show them the process. So here you have three different ways to serve a client. Now the great thing is what we recommend is you're probably already good at something inside your agency. Um, being a specialist is more valuable than being a generalist. If you had a brain tumor and you needed surgery, you're going to go to a brain surgeon and they're going to be way more expensive than a general surgeon. But if you have a brain tumor, you're probably not going to want to go to the general surgeon who normally operates on hips and knees and elbows. You're going to want someone that has put in the reps and knows how to solve the specific problem that you need. So the more that your agency is designed to solve a specific problem, the more that this is going to work for you.

So we can help our clients in a variety of ways go from a to B, but depending upon their budget, their existing assets, you know, do they have a team? Do they not? Do they need more knowledge? Do they need more execution? I can offer them three different ways to get the result. Just packaged in a different way and at different price ranges so that it's affordable. So right now in a down economy, when people, while they want labor, they can't afford it. But if you can come in and say, Hey, I can help you, you need this result right now to survive in your business, get clients, make sales, generate leads, and I can do that for you in eight weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, what have you, and it's one fixed price. Here's how I can get you that result. You're to have a much easier time selling that in a down economy because they need that specific result now versus all of your services spread out over the course of a year.

And we're going to solve new problems each and every quarter or each and every month and you're going to have X amount of our hours to solve whatever problems come your way. That feels expensive to a lot of people. And especially in a down economy, they're going to say, well, I don't even know what we'd be working on nine months from now, so I don't want to be locked into this contract where I'm just paying for your time, but I do need leads or I do need insert X result. And so if you're positioned as a specialist, like we teach our clients, then you can have the three core revenues, three revenue streams in your agency, your core service, your done with you service, and a DIY offering in the long game. So that's three different ways you can make money compared to the traditional way of you just selling your time for money and these different packages, which is really just your labor.

Now again, I'll talk specifically about how this works in a down economy, but as I kind of alluded to in a good economy, you're going to have some clients say that you come in and you're doing execution and they grow and because you're successful they're going to want to bring something in house. It's natural. You've probably lost clients before because you were good at what you did and now they want to bring it in house. Well guess what? Now you have an offering to advise them internally where they can do the execution and implementation internally, but you get to keep bringing the strategy because you have a done with you coaching training option as a part of your service offering. So it actually will extend the lifetime value of a client as well, even in a good economy. So I hope you found this video helpful.

I want to know your biggest takeaway in the comment section below. And I put together a worksheet that you can opt into to start unpacking your experience into a step by step process so that if right now you have been more labor oriented, you can start unpacking your experience and package it into delivering a specific result from a to B that a client is going to want right now. So you can click the link in the description below, download that worksheet, and we'll see on the other side. If you found this video helpful, please do click the subscribe button. We've got a tons more videos of a new video each and every week and click the notification bell so you don't miss the next one. We'll talk to you guys soon.


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