The Hybrid Agency Model
If your agency has turned into you pumping out work on your client’s dime and fielding request after request - well...you got yourself the traditional agency.
And you only make revenue one way. Labor.
I want to introduce what we call the Hybrid Agency.
I wanted to do a walk through to show you how we go from your ONE revenue source agency to a multi-revenue stream agency.
While many of our clients long to replace and surpass their DFY revenue with something more scalable and time leveraged…
...they don’t do it out of the gates.
There is a process.
We have to start by “hiding” or “scaling back” how much time you work on your client’s business and dedicate a little bit of time to getting your second revenue stream off the ground.
If you feel like you’re constantly “on-call” with your clients like a doctor carrying around a beeper then it’s time to just restructure how you manage your time.
We can fix that in 15 mins and you’ll have enough time to add this new revenue stream.
Then in 90’ish days, you’re making money TWO ways not just one way.
And, as you’ll learn in this video, this new revenue stream will allow you to increase revenue without adding any more time to your weeks and with almost no extra fulfillment.
Transcript / MP3
What's good everybody. Greg Hickman here and I hope you guys are doing well in this video. I wanted to drop some, some training on something that I've been thinking a lot about. I've been talking a lot about and will be a heavy focus for us and has been a heavy focus for us really for the last two years and what that really is is this notion of the hybrid agency and the hybrid agency to me is the best way for you as an agency owner to go from the owner operator into an actual owner in a way that provides maximized or allows for maximize impact as well as maximize profitability and scalability. And many of us know that and maybe already experience that the, it's very easy to start a business doing done for you, but very quickly it becomes difficult to scale. And what I found having come from traditional agency and having a lot of clients that come from traditional agency or are familiar with traditional agency don't want to grow an agency that way. ... They don't want to play the game of, you know, for every X number of clients I need a certain amount of people or contractors, whatever, whether they're full time or part time, doesn't matter. The overhead kind of grows equally with revenue and oftentimes profit margin begins to shrink. But along with that come headaches and stress and a lot of other things that today we don't necessarily need to deal with and, or maybe want to deal with. And we want to go back to when we were paid for what we know and not just our hands to keyboard. And what we've been teaching our clients and working on is developing what we call the hybrid agency. And it's very much the notion of productizing your agency. And I really want to talk about why this whole thing has come to be and kind of show you a little bit of the step-by-step on how you can actually get there. And so I'm going to jump to the iPad here. And so here's the reality is the problem with the traditional agency is that you have the situation [inaudible]
you get hired to do something. And like most agency owners, you finish the job but you don't have another client in queue or a prospect in the queue and you find a way to continue to work with the existing client by at maybe adding services or they ask you if you can also do X, Y, Z for them. And you graciously say yes because to you that's more revenue. But in the long term that's going to backfire. And ultimately what ends up happening with a lot of agency owners that I come across and and or service providers, freelancers, you know, this kind of ties to a lot of you, is that you try get them into a retainer, like an ongoing relationship, which seems good for cashflow in the beginning. But if you think about any labor that you've ever hired over time, the value of that labor goes down.
Yeah. As you can see here, the value of the labor goes down over time. And this is when, you know, a lot of times you're getting replaced by you know, cheaper labor overseas or another productized service or they want to bring it in house because at some point they will find a way to get it cheaper. And many of us have heard as service service providers that Hey, it's going to be better for us to bring it in house. And so they do. Or if you start raising rates like I know some people do then because you have to, because you probably were charged too low in the beginning, you actually position your self where over time they realize that they could just bring in the house and it would be more affordable. And so if as an agency owner, the only way you convey your expertise is through labor.
I think you're in for a very um, uncomfortable and unpleasant surprise over the course of the next few years in your business probably won't last. And you need to be able to start repositioning yourself if you want to have that sustainability, build the business that actually serves you and not the other way around. Now, if you are getting funding and you want to be like the Gary V and have like a thousand person agency, by all means just turn off this video right now. Like that's not who we serve. We serve like the micro boutique agency person who, you know, one to maybe 20 employees and or trying to get to that size lean and mean team that wants to have, you know, profitability, have a life and still be able to have a massive amount of impact. And so the problem with most traditional agencies, and many of you that I know are in here, over time, your clients start to devalue the labor because over time value goes down.
And so the value of labor goes down. So what that usually ends up with is the next big problem that I see is that when it comes to, when it comes to, um, opportunity and capacity, you know, I talk a lot about, you know, what would happen if I gave you five new clients right now, would you or your business break? And some, most people will say, yeah, like I can't even take on, you know, five new clients. And maybe if you could take on five, what about 10? What about 15? What about 20. The the reality is that there's only S the way you do things right now is more manual and more customized. That is difficult to actually grow. And so, whoops, if you look at, um, you know, your, your opportunity versus capacity, you know, you have on both sides were, you know, kind of in the red here and then you go to the orange and we then go to, you know, yellow.
I think that's the correct color palette. And the opportunity continues to grow, right? Like I talked to many of you and you say, Greg, I have multiple prospects in the pipeline that would love to, I'd love to work with and I'd love to close right now, but I can't because I don't have the capacity, I don't have the team, I don't have the process. It's all the fulfillment is all on me. And so you're sitting here and you're stuck with this issue where there's tons of opportunity. And you can't really even maximize that opportunity because you don't have the capacity. And what I often find for most agency owners is that there's this line where like this is in many times the break even or very little profit. And so you're capped out and you can't even capitalize on all this opportunity. But this is where all of the profit lives, right?
And so you're stuck at this position where if you want to add another client, you work nights and weekends, and that only works for so long before your family hates you and you're miserable and you're burnt out and you have health problems and your wife wants to divorce you, or your spouse wants to divorce you. Like it leads to a lot of problems. If you're working on vacations like this is probably you. And so we have this issue. There's an inherent problem with the way that you do things in kind of this traditional done for you. All the projects are custom, et cetera, et cetera. And so what ends up happening is when I look at what's called the, you know, labor to leverage ratio in the traditional model, it's actually zero, right? Like it's actually a zero and every time you get a new client it's, it's a unique, it's like a unique project, right?
It's a unique set of work. If each of these is a unit of unique work, every time you get a new client it's a unique unit of work and that's not really scalable. And if you've been asking yourself, you know, why don't I have systems or you know, I want that automated funnel. The reason you don't have that is very much because of this. And a point I'm going to share with you here in a minute and right now you have no time leverage in your fulfillment. If you are doing things done for you and you're maxed out on your capacity. Now if you're just getting started, this is probably not your case. Like if you, you just got your first client, like you'll very quickly like I'm giving you a warning, this is going to happen. And when you have this model where ultimately every new client is like starting from scratch, you, I'd argue at least I'd argue that each and every new client is like having a new business because the solution that you're providing to them is like a moving target.
And again, that goes back to why don't I have automation? Why is hiring difficult? Why? Why am I always hunting manually prospecting? Why is that like feast or famine? It's because there's no way to go to market with one unique message because you serve everybody, you take everything and that's why we ultimately then lead to this problem, which is, you know, the number four, which is when you get a new client right here, sales and marketing come to a stop because you go into fulfillment, right? It's the balancing act of, okay, I just got a new client, I got to go fulfill, got to onboard, you gotta make sure they're getting the results. And so my sales and marketing stop and Oh, the client project is done over here and now we can then say, all right, we got to go back and start sales and marketing and that's why we become desperate and you start taking whatever client comes around even though it's probably not the client you want to work with.
It's doing things that I'd argue that maybe you're not even the best at. You're just doing it because you need the money and all of that comes back because you don't know where the next client is coming from because of a lot of the things that we just talked about up here and so this is why when clients come to us, we talk about this opportunity which is developing the hybrid agency and there is a progression to getting there and this is not just launched an online course and only sell online courses. While that is a viable option. Most I think most and what I've seen and experienced is most service providers do it wrong. And I won't go into all of those reasons why here, but it creates something where I've seen service providers actually go to a course and become so unfulfilled that it's difficult for them to grow because they're missing a piece that they actually enjoy, which is working with clients and building that relationship.
And if that's a key piece of what you want to do, you can actually still charge a premium and work one to many if you adopt a hybrid model. And that's where I see kind of the huge opportunity is right now you have people that are selling info, call it you know, courses, um, you know, memberships, yada yada yada. And you have people over here like agency owners that you know, do things done for you and it's custom and it's super, super interesting. Cause I talked to all of you and actually let me go here and you know, the agency, the you know, course creator is kind of looking over here at the agency PR, the agency owner and the service provider. And they see that the, you know, they think the grass is greener because they're like, man, you're charging premium. Um, you know, I'm only charging like a thousand dollars, $2,000 for a course and it costs me, you know, $1,000 to $2,000 to acquire a client.
Um, really difficult. And so they see, wow, like the clients are getting more results, you know, course completion rates. I don't know what the status right now, but it's usually like less than 3%. Last time I heard and so course creators look over at agency providers and are like, man, like imagine we could help them tactically do more stuff and charge more money and be more involved in like see our clients win more but we can't do that cause we can't afford that in our margins. But then you have the the agency owner that is kind of looking over here and saying the same thing. Like man, wouldn't it be nice to have like the scalability and like the automation that comes from creating courses? Yeah. And what I'm telling you is the hybrid actually exists on the bridge right here in the middle. And I'm going to get to that.
And so if you're an agency owner and you're kind of like, I don't want to continue to grow the traditional model and everything is, you know, feast or famine and feels like I'm on a hamster wheel, then this might be a really good option for you. And it has been for us and for a lot of our clients. And so when we come back and we look at the opportunity where you have the, you know, you know, the profit we talked about is up here and we quickly just kind of give the little this, the scale here and we look at again, the opportunity versus capacity issue. Well, when you add on something that's leveraged right, would that can be one to many that's repeatable and predictable. You could if you want, you could still do your done for you and be here, but you could add on something that is more leveraged that will allow you to say yes to those clients that are in the pipeline and get to, you know, this profit zone, which is right here, right?
And this is where all the profit and scalability is going to come from. And so you could do that, which is I think the smart way is going to future proof your business by adding something that's more leverage that's based on your intellectual property, not just your labor or you could do what you know, a lot of people do is you know, well if we just move this line up of done for you, usually that means adding more people. Like we talked about adding more, you know, a headache and you know, overhead, et cetera, et cetera. So the alternative is, you know, move this line up, which comes with these things or is to focus on adding something that's more leveraged, which could get you into the profit zone. And now this can be an add on to your existing business. But ultimately what a lot of our clients do is they added on with the intention to replace and surpass their done for you revenue.
And for us, we were able to do that in the span of like eight to eight to 11 months. We took our done for you business, which was you know, fully custom done for you one on one and we were about 65 K a month on average in revenue. And in 11 months we brought that all the way down to five and with like our one of our last client and we were able to hit our first six figure month selling our leverage revenue first of many. And so that was really like a pivotal transition for us. And I've now seen and helped other agencies do this and it is 100% freeing. And I'm finding that a lot of our clients actually enjoy their business again. And what that ends up doing and how you have to think about this whole thing differently now is don't move.
Go back to look at that labor to leverage ratio. We have, say a client comes in and especially in the early days, yeah, maybe we work hard once, but when we work hard, once every other client will now benefit. So we don't take every cuss, every client that's custom, but when we do do something custom, every other client that we work with can benefit from it. And that makes us a whole lot more scalable. So when a client, this client comes in and they're like, I need help with this. And you're like, Oh, well I solved that already. Like I solved that a while ago. So let's, let's, I can help you now. The question is, Oh, and so when you do that, when you have that optimal labor to leverage ratio, there's never this marketing and sales stop because you're going to have, you're going to always have the ability, or at least way more than you have before the capacity to like one, automate marketing, automate, lead generation, nurture and systemize your sales process so that you could constantly be adding new clients.
Um, and in sales and marketing don't stop. So like you could spend time into fulfillment and you don't have to sacrifice and put up a hold on your sales and marketing because your marketing engine is out there working for you. So this all hopefully sounds cool and hope you're getting value from this. But what does that mean? And so the couple steps that we take to do this is to develop the hybrid agency is really exactly what we did. And, and now what we teach. And the first thing is called the five ones. And I cannot take credit for this. I just heard it and implemented it and it changed my life. And I originally heard it by, uh, from clay Collins, who's the founder of lead pages. And he said the fastest way for any business to get to six figures is to focus on the five ones.
And that means the one avatar offering, the ones solution, focusing on one conversion method, call it sales system and one traffic source, and do that for one year. And I mentioned earlier that we were able to make that transition in about 11 months. And we, I heard this in late January, we started applying it in February and by December we had our first six figure month and this was a handful of years ago now. And so we followed this. And what I find is that, you know, for us, we at the time were actually, you know, thinking about red light, green light, you know, we were a green light on avatar. We were very specific on who we were serving from the get go. But I find that most agency owners and most service providers, they serve a two, you know, two broad of clients, which instantaneously makes this, you know, red for them, which makes doing the rest almost impossible.
And so, um, once you get to, you know, once you apply all of this and kind of in this order avatar, then you get to one solution and then you're probably asking, well, but Greg, I offer a bunch of different services. Like how do I offer one thing? Well, that's a key piece of this whole transformation is you have to go from offering a service menu, which I'd argue in many times your client actually picks because you give them the menu of what you can do and then they probably don't like the price and you either a lower your price and deliver the exact same thing. Or you cut out things from the menu that they want or they cherry-picked, which if you think about it, put them in control from before the time they even started working with you, which is probably why sometimes you feel like a glorified freelancer and your business sucks, right?
It's because they were in control from the beginning. So you need to, and what we have a process for, we call it the signature service, is we look at your, um, uh, go take your, your service offering and like what you're best at and who you serve. And we kind of find the, you know, the few services that, a combination of services that you can then put into a box and you sell for a fixed price, a fixed deliverable, um, and you might start delivering it one-on-one. Um, but this is the option that can actually get you to delivering something one to many done with you. And so this is where we see the hybrid agency thrive. Is this done with you solution? And we need to package up these service options that actually solve our client's problem. And instead of saying, Hey, what do you need help with?
I need a website. Like, well, why do you need a website? Understanding the actual painful problem that you solve where you can now create a transformation. You can say, Hey, you can say, Hey, mr or mrs. Ideal prospect and ideal prospect, not any prospect. I know that you suffer with X, Y, andZ , and I can take you through my three or four or five step solution to get to the result that you want the promise land. Right? And that's pretty much what goes in this box is these steps. You're packaging up these steps and you're going to deliver it. Now this leads me to kind of, another piece that I think is really interesting for agency owners is this notion of the value ladder. You've probably all heard of the value ladder. The value ladder is talked a lot about by Russell Brunson from ClickFunnels.
And typically it's in line with this notion of Ascension. But that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the fact that there's different ways you can convey value. Just like there's different ways you can convey your expertise. And right now like we've established as many service providers and agency owners, they convey their expertise in labor. And so we'll put that at done for you. And when I say done for you, this is what I mean custom. This is, you know, one on one. Everything starts from scratch, scratch, scope creep, you know, long sales cycles, proposals, all of that stuff. Um, now the path that we help our clients move to is to take a step down the ladder and introduce their solution. That can be done with you, that is not as hands on. That is one to many, not one to one.
And that's what this, these two steps are up here. And so we introduce this done with you option and eventually, you know, if you want down the line you can have your DIY option, which could be a course or whatever. Um, but the focus is, look, the reality is you currently offer something that's done for you. I'd argue that many of you charge your done for you rates are actually that as either DIY or possibly what done with you should be charged. And we start by increasing the rates of your done for you. And so we need to elevate that which will create an anchor for people that want to go through your, done with you. And that becomes the focal point. This is, um, you know, your core offer, call it core solution that you're going to sell. And we have our clients that over the course of, you know, 90 ish days are launching this to a pilot program and getting their first one to 10 pain clients.
And really starting to validate this whole thing's going to work. And we have a step by step process that helps them do this with all of the automation systems, which I'd be happy to talk to you about now. So the hybrid agency, what does that mean? Real quick recap, we go from a menu into a solution that is fixed price, fixed, deliverable, free fixed timeframe that allows us to go to the marketplace with a clear message and say, Hey, we can solve your problem. We have a step by step process and that actually allows us to create the automation around sales, marketing and onboarding the things that are going to give you time back using technology, not just people, although people are a part of the process and it will live in a value ladder for you. That is one step down from how uh, you know how you operate now, which isn't a done with you experience. So if you're of the mindset of I want to go and move into one to many and more leveraged than this is exactly what we're doing here. We're launching this together, following a proven process. And really the, there's three ingredients of the hybrid agency and the hybrid agency of I will call it, you know, I'll say done for you. And again, when I say done for you in this instance, uh, I mean one-on-one and help with implementation.
That's what I mean when I'm saying done for you. Then you have on the other side training and this could be you know, your info, this is your IP. Okay. This is you unpacking your intellectual property, your intellectual process and creating a step by step roadmap and system for your client to getting the results. And then the last piece is, you know, everyone uses different terms but I'll say coaching, consulting and or a mentorship, very similar combination. And you have these three ingredients and as you, depending upon exactly what your service is, we don't necessarily force you into a specific one box of you have to do it this way because honestly, once we help you design what your signature service is, we can show you exactly how you can use each of these over time to get your client to the result. And if I were to say like, Hey, where do you, where does yours exist? If we were to put like a pinpoint, um, you know, you might start like kind of here, but over time, you know, this.is moving more to an even mix, right? Even mix of kind of right in the middle of the sweet spot. Your sweet spot might be over here or over here. But either way, when you have these combination of ingredients to get your client this result, which honestly nine times out of 10 is the exact same result that you get your client doing done for you services. So it shouldn't be too hard.
combine these ingredients to have a recipe that is going to be way more leveraged for you. Way more scalable ally to have a mean lean and mean team profitability, not working nights and weekends. And that my friends is the hybrid agency.
again, I truly believe that this is the, the future of what agencies are going to do. It's not just getting paid for labor is having a combination of ways to monetize the relationship with their clients. And add value and it's getting back to getting paid for your thinking and having both, um, you know, front end revenue streams and ongoing recurring revenue streams that are on the back end that are more based on advisory, mentorship and coaching. And over time, if we look at kind of the graph again,
Over time, as you continued to do what I was talking about is refining your training and refining your mentorship, refining the systems that you're helping to help people get this, this transformation right here.
You will end up in a position where over time you'll have your, um, if we'll say this is time and we'll, you'll, you'll have your leverage go up, right? And so, um, and scalability and price, so your price goes up, your leverage goes up, your scalability goes up over time because again, each time you're solving a problem, it's making it better for the next person. You're refining the same systems over and over again. You're solving the same problem over and over again. Your marketing gets better, your fulfillment gets better. It's not unique every single time and you just exponentially improve. Okay. That's the hybrid agency and that's the future of what I believe service providers that want to kind of win in life and in business are going to go into, you know, focus on now if you want our handheld step-by-step solution to that where we walk you through a proven process, uh, I'd love to chat with you.
You can click on a link below this video. You can schedule a call with my team, we can learn a little bit more about what it is you do, what your services, who you're serving to see if the hybrid agency model even applies. And if we can help you, we'll share how we can do that. So if you want to have a free discovery call to chat about this, I'll put the link below. But again, this is where I see things going. If you are watching this say in Facebook or even on YouTube, I'd love for you to comment below and tell me what you liked the most about this notion of the hybrid agency. And other than that, talk to you guys soon. Okay. Are you looking for that cool place to hang on the internet with all the people just like you? Well, I got it for you. If you want to learn the best strategies, tips, and tools to productize and automate your business, visit system dot L Y four slash community to join our free private community and continue the conversation. We'll see you there.