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Is Your Marketing Agency Business Model Broken?

Andrew Dymski
Andrew Dymski I'm a Founder at ZenPilot where I help marketing agencies buy back time by developing the processes and systems they need to scale without reinventing the wheel for every client. I'm co-host of the Agency Journey podcast where each week we interview an agency owner, consultant, or author.

Most marketing agencies I speak with on a day-to-day basis are stressed out. Some are nearing a nervous breakdown. Everyone is busy, spread thin, and feeling the pressure.

But why? 

We rejected corporate and working “for the man” to feel the cool breeze of freedom.

What happened?

How has this vehicle for freedom transformed into this ugly beast that keeps us up until all hours of the night?

The stress and chaos that plagues #agencylife stems from a lack leadership.You break free from this beast by leading yourself, leading your team, and ultimately leading your prospects.

This kind of leadership requires clarity and conviction

It is hard to have either when every client looks different and each client is telling you to do something different. 

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How Can You Build A Marketing Agency That Serves You?

To build an agency that serves you, you must start with a few fundamental questions: 

1. How are you uniquely positioned to serve? 

Look at your experience, the experience of your team, your pre-agency life, and your client successes. Look for things that set you apart from everyone else.

There are assets that are sitting right under your nose. They’re there, you’re likely just not leveraging them the way that you could. 

2. Who do you want to help?

You could spend your time serving anyone. You’re building the business, so you get to choose. Get crazy specific on what your ideal-fit client looks like.

You don’t need to work with bad-fit clients anymore. You can choose who you work with, but you first need to know what they look like.

Take industry, company size, role, and experience into account as you work on this. 

3. What is the most painful, costly problem they’re facing today? 

Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re solving cheap problems. There are 10,000 other people out there who will build a Facebook ad, design a web page, optimize a listing, or send an email.

You want to identify a problem that is really hurting a group of businesses. A problem that you can obsess in solving. Clients aren’t afraid to spend money when you solve a costly and painful problem for them. 

4. What is their desired outcome or state? 

Get to know your ideal-fits and understand the dreams that they have. When you know the destination, you can better craft the offer and journey that will get them there. Ask yourself these questions: 

  1. How does their life change when this problem is solved? 
  2. How much is living with this problem costing them? 
  3. How is their life different when this problem is gone? 
  4. What problems could they face next when this issue is resolved? 

5. How do you plan to help them move from where they are to where they want to be? 

By solving one painful problem, you’ll make them happy for a moment. But this honeymoon won’t last long. How many times has a client told you “Well the leads suck, man!” That happens because the client didn’t just have a lead generation problem. They had a lead closing problem.

Your job is to know what pains they’re going to experience next and build that into your offer. You can only get to this level if you’re helping the same type of client solve the same type of problems over and over again.

Answering these questions dials in your focus. It clarifies your messaging. It simplifies your delivery. This is a great place to be. Don’t fight it! 

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