Luke Trewin, Managing Director at Modern Visual, joined me for a great conversation on Agency Journey. We walked through his early beginnings and growth as an entrepreneur, how Modern Visual got its start as a side project and has evolved its service offering, a major recent business success, and much more.
Agency as a Side Job
Modern Visual was born out a side hustle. Luke was operating printing presses in a factory when an opportunity presented itself to dig into web design in his after-work hours.
The initial service offering was primarily built around web design and development, but soon expanded to include email marketing, SEO, and more services.
We often refer to this stage of agency growth as the "yes-man" phase. Clients need additional services and turn to you as the natural solutions provider. During this period of exploration and growth, most agency owners are, frankly, too cash-strapped to say "no," so they commit to doing the work - then go find a way to deliver it.
The "Yes-Man" agency phase is not necessarily bad, but the most common mistake here is staying in this phase for too long.
Fortunately for Luke, he realized that building a full-service agency simply because his clients were asking for additional services was a mistake for his vision and for the agency's profitability.
Analyzing Profitability by Service Line
Luke assessed the situation and realized that his core service (web development) was more profitable than all the accidental add-ons that the agency wasn't as experienced at delivering.
Armed with that knowledge, he made the shrewd decision to tighten up his focus and reign in Modern Visual's service set.
Today, rather than engaging with clients from a traditional agency perspective, Modern Visual focuses on services that come after traffic. Luke positions this as being "platform consultants" and works with clients to integrate platforms (CMS/CRM/PM/production and ticketing systems/etc) and remove friction from the end customer experience.
Attaining a Milestone in the HubSpot Ecosystem
Modern Visual recently became on of HubSpot's Advanced CMS Implementation Partners (the first in Australia and one of the first globally). This was a big goal set by Luke and a great validation of how far Modern Visual has come in a relatively short time-frame.
Increasing Agency Efficiency
Luke's big focus internally right now is on increasing efficiency. Being forced to work remotely has forced workflow changes and keeping up with the demand and delivering consistently high-quality services requires strong processes, team alignment, and the correct tools (Modern Visual is currently using ClickUp for project management - you can hear ClickUp CEO Zeb Evans' Agency Journey interview here).
If you enjoyed the conversation today, reach out to Luke (LinkedIn) to connect and let him know!