In this episode of Agency Journey, Justin Then from ALSOF Publishing shares the story of growing his agency and the power of partnering with other agencies.
After moving around the agency world as an employee then consultant, Justin began to build his own agency.
Here are the main takeaways from the interview:
Develop Partnerships with Other Agencies
Partnerships are one of the most underutilized ways for scaling an agency.
Rather than building a new internal team or hiring your own contractors, you can work with another agency that has the team built or specializes in this service. You still get paid for working with the client, but don’t have the headache of making the team.
Agencies like ALSOF Publishing are also happy with the white label route to grow.
This means that you don’t have to manage as many client relationships or worry about selling. Your team handles the work while the other agency deals with the client's issues.
Finding a way to partner with other agencies can make a huge difference for your stress, finances, and ability to focus on building an agency you love.
However, the important thing is to be very picky about who you partner with. There are thousands of agencies out there with varying levels of skill and quality of work.
Too often a partner could be better at selling you on a service rather than delivering on it, or they’re not giving you a fair rate for the work being done, etc.
Taking time to vet and find your ideal partnerships just like your ideal clients is essential to making partnerships work.
Become a Real Marketer
One thing Justin takes time to talk about is what he perceives a lack of real marketing in the agency space. There’s a lot of noise where agencies gain the tools and buy into the training, but they aren’t real marketers.
They don’t understand the nuances of lead scoring, generation leads, etc. They’re better at following the party line delivered by a toolset or method. They’re trained on a platform but not good at actual marketing.
When following the rulebook doesn’t work, and a client needs results, the agency won’t have the marketing expertise and knowledge to reach the client's objectives.
Gray and Justin also discuss that is becoming overused in the marketing space are ebooks. With the availability of wifi everywhere, it’s easier to have a well-designed web page along with the e-book so it can be read online right away. It can be cumbersome to need to download a PDF and hoping it’s formatted to be easy to read on a screen, especially on a mobile device.
Its essential for agencies to continue investing in their marketing education, not just the latest tool or hype that is being sold. By doing this, they’ll be able to develop strategic campaigns to deliver big results for their clients.
Future of Inbound Tools
Justin takes some time to explain what he sees the future of inbound tools turning into in the future.
For example, he believes that inbound tools that allow for in-depth customization for visitors to a site traditionally used in B2B could be well-used in the B2C space.
It’s not as common there, and it could do a lot to help a client stand out in their market from the other competitions that haven’t begun to leverage cool features generally used in just B2B. Tools, especially in the inbound space are sophisticated and can provide benefits out of the current way they're used.
Another opportunity Justin sees is with artificial intelligence (AI). He believes machine learning technology will soon be able to continue to improve personalization, segment and target markets, interpret and leverage data and so much more in the future He’s bought into what is possible with AI In marketing much like Paul Roetzer from PR 20/20.