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Podcast hosted by Andrew Dymski & Gray MacKenzie

Culture Team Structure

How to Build a Strong Culture at a Remote Marketing Agency

Lance Cummins has built a remote team at Nectafy with a strong culture. Lance has built the team slowly and as needed. From the beginning, the business had to exist to feed the Cummins family. Unlike other large agencies, there is no cash backing. With each success, they reinvest into the business.

With each phase of growth, they've been able to build the team. Today they cover several continents and support clients is a wide variety of industries. 

But it wasn't always that way. Things started out small. Lance started first by himself, working out of his basement. It didn't take him long to discover that to reach the life goals he had set out, the team would need to grow.

In the early days, he started off charging far too little for website design. Lance knew that he wanted to focus on content marketing. This was long before they discovered HubSpot and adopted inbound. Even after getting into content marketing, he didn't have a strategy for putting it together or charging for it. He needed a process to drive success. That is when they discovered HubSpot and started doing inbound.

Do Inbound On Yourself (or Else!)

Nectafy has a strong brand and the team takes inbound seriously. This starts with their name. Plants create nectar. This is something that other creatures want.

As the bees and bugs take the nectar, they're taking something else with them, too. Pollen. The pollen is like the flower's message. The bees, attracted by the sweet nectar, transfer the pollen without realizing what they're doing.

This is inbound marketing!

From the beginning, Lance has recognized the importance of doing inbound. He even decided to document his experience with HubSpot. The result was a blog post called Does HubSpot really work?

It went viral! 

This was just the start. Lance contributes their success in part to their ability to stick to inbound for themselves.

If you're serious about building your business, you need to be serious about your inbound efforts! 

The Remote Nectafy Team

The Nectafy team is completely remote. This reality has influenced the way they hire.

The value set for a remote team is different for someone who works on-site. We hear a lot about building an agency culture and building a culture code. The same applies to a remote team. 

While the values and goals may be different, the goal is the same. Many of the people on Lance's team are at-home moms. They have amazing skill-sets, but they want to be close to their families. This setup works out because the agency and the team have an aligned value set. 

The team has grown over time through a variety of channels. Old fashioned networking is the primary method. They have also used the freelancing site UpWork to build their team. 

Whenever he posts a job on UpWork, he does so longterm mindset. He is looking for someone that could be a good fit for a second and third project. This mindset led them to their web developer Nicolie. He works for the team full-time from Europe. They started working together over two years ago and hit it off. 

Lance's story shows that you don't need a fancy office or big budget to build a great team. If you're patient and you work with people over time, you can construct a world-class team.

Recently Lance has started working with a business coach. Hired a business coach to help hold him accountable. He has supported Lance on the business development side and on the hiring process.  

When it comes to work for clients, Lance recommends focusing everything on questions. Answer their questions by writing from a point of transparency.

For yourself and for your clients, be all in for inbound. To see success, you have to commit to making things work. Turn out content even when you don't want to or when you have client work to do.

Tools Used by Lance and the Team

Connect with Lance

Resources from the Nectafy Team

Additional Resources to Check Out

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. I'm also a founder at GuavaBox, an inbound marketing agency.