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How Developing an Agency Framework Can Help You Grow and Retain Clients

Gray MacKenzie
Gray MacKenzie is a true operations nerd who has spent the past decade helping hundreds of agencies build more productive, profitable, and healthy teams by solving the core issues plaguing their project management.

To chat with Gray and have ZenPilot lead your team through the last project management implementation you'll ever need, schedule a quick call here.

Without a thought-out marketing agency framework, your agency will fail. 

The power of the agency framework is so influential that it will help you maintain, retain, and take on projects and retainers. 

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How to Define An Agency Framework

An agency framework is a clearly defined road map on how you want to direct the first 12 months of your client engagement. And beyond that, how you envision the next 12 months and the next 12 months after that. 

At GuavaBox, our agency framework looked like this:

Step #1 → GamePlan

The comprehensive inbound marketing strategy that identifies Buyer Personas and an outline that lays out every piece of content we will begin to create

Step #2 → Build the Engine 

This is the behind-the-scenes work put into creating the content, implementing it and setting up the marketing automation process.

Step #3 → Campaigning

The content has been researched, implemented and the marketing automation systems have been put in place. At this point, it’s time to launch our campaigns to start attracting, converting, closing and delighting our ideal customers. 

What are the Five Benefits of An Agency Framework?

Now that we’ve discussed what an agency framework is, let’s dive into the benefits of a framework. 

1) A Framework Helps You Win Accounts

There’s one thing prospective clients are looking to feel when evaluating potential agency partners—confidence

An agency framework quickly demonstrates that your agency has the experience and a battle-tested methodology for leading them to success. A framework will position your agency in an entirely different way than another that doesn’t. With it, you can walk into that meeting with confidence that what you are offering works and is effective.  

Clients don’t want to be wondering what’s going to happen when they bring you on. 

2) A Framework Presents a Road Map of Marketing Activities

As agencies, we’re always trying to retain our clients for continued marketing activities. Without an agency framework, however, even an agency doesn’t quite have a vision for the journey ahead! 

What an agency framework can do is showcase the full journey for not only the first 12 months, but the next and the next. It’s a vision that lays out the steps and milestones along the way. It’s vital to present this for new clients at the beginning to give them an expectation for what the future will bring. 

If you don’t present this journey at the forefront, it’s going to be difficult to retain clients and sell additional offerings. 

A Failed Retention Story 

Not too long ago, we were working on an account that was a thorough website redesign. Our process involved rebuilding it from scratch. We were so focused on selling the website and completing the website that we neglected to discuss the next steps during the process. From our methodology, the next destination was inbound marketing campaigns.

Towards the end of the website is when we pitched this.

Guess what? It fell flat because this was news to the client as far as what the journey should look like. 

We should have done a better job of presenting the road map and continuing to point to the destinations along the way. 

3) A Framework Helps You Grow Your Agency

Want to grow your agency? An agency framework is the key. 

A true framework allows you to document things where work is done, so that if the co-founders are sick, away or have passed along responsibility to their team that everyone knows what processes to follow.

With repeatable, documented processes, suddenly you’re in the position to grow your agency. 

4) A Framework Will Improve Your Agency

There’s another powerful effect that comes from an agency framework—it will improve your agency. 

When you evaluate and establish a framework, you’re forced to take a step back and examine how your agency operates a variety of service offerings from start to finish. You’re not only organizing and documenting these into repeatable processes easily taken up by a growing team, but you’re also taking a closer look at them. 

Throughout this, you will undoubtedly take a look at your processes and find places to tweak them and take them to the next level. 

5) A Framework Will Turbo-Charge Your Culture

The most toxic workplaces are filled with uncertainty, confusion and constant scrambling. This is often the result of a missing agency framework. 

By applying and building a framework, you’re going to identify the individual steps driving your agency. This helps you define roles and thus better direct your team members on their day to day, month to month and year to year. 

Michael Rose from Mojo Media Labs is a big advocate of this. At Mojo Media Labs, his team has evaluated, identified and created specific roles. 

Every team member of the Mojo team has a unique “swim lane” that gives them the ability to focus on their specific roles. This allows everyone to specialize and focus on a specific way to add value to client work.

Don’t Hire Without Having Purpose! 

Too often people hire without knowing exactly what they need. In an environment like this, team members quickly get confused and churn. 

Framework Helps New Team On-Boarding

With documented, repeatable processes, your team members will have everything they need to get adapted and understand what they need to do. 

Structure Helps Your Team Get More Creative

Without structure, it’s difficult to be creative. When you relieve the anxiety of wondering what is expected of them, team members have the space to get creative within their roles. 

Invest in An Agency Framework!

Without taking the time to develop a framework, you’re setting your agency up for failure on many levels. Invest time into building out your processes and you’ll see a much more fruitful agency emerge.

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