I spent the past ten years starting, growing, and eventually selling an award-winning marketing agency. And you can do the same. To help you out on this journey, I put down everything I know (and what I wish I knew before I started) in this free guide. Get it here:
Are you curious about striking out on your own? Do you want to leave the comfort (and sometimes curse) of the traditional 9-to-5, or are you a recent grad looking to try to build something for yourself? Starting a marketing agency is easier than ever, but truthfully it's just not for everybody. In this guide you'll first learn if this endeavor is right for you, and the attitude you'll need to succeed.
An agency without paying clients is just a hobby. But how do you get clients when you're first starting out, and how do you continue to attract them as you grow? From RFPs to cold calls, we'll review what works, what doesn't, and how to start getting those first contracts signed.
As a baseline, you're going to win about 25% of the leads that land in your inbox. If you're sloppy, that number goes down. But, with the right processes and tools, you can increase your batting average and make more money. You'll learn how to write a winning proposal, figure out the best pricing models, and leave a good impression even if you don't win the bid this time around.
The hardest hire is your first one, and it doesn't get much easier after that. In this guide, you'll learn about different staffing models for your agency, how to work with freelancers and partners, and how to attract and retain top talent.
Winning a tough pitch is the most thrilling part of running a marketing agency, but it's the beginning, not the end. Now you have to actually do the work and get your client results – otherwise they won't be your client for long. We'll go over some of the best ways to mange the work, maintain client relationships, and keep your team humming.
Maybe running an agency is your forever job, or maybe it's just something for this next chapter. Either way, agency owners often look down the road and wonder if, one day, their business can sell. You'll get the scoop on what makes an agency actually valuable, how to position yourself for sale, and the cold truth on what an exit is really like.
My name is Ben Guttmann, and I started a marketing agency out of an old professor's basement in 2011, working with the local ice cream shop and camera repair store, and grew it to a multi-million dollar company working with some of the biggest brands in the world. After ten years, we sold our agency in 2021.
Now I teach and write about marketing, technology, and business, and I consult with brands and agencies looking to do big things. I wrote this guide to share what I've learned along the way – and partly as a letter to my past self on what I wish I knew when we were first starting out.
Running and growing an agency is an incredible ride, and you'll wish you started sooner. What I wish is that we had a copy of this guide when we first opened up shop more than a decade ago. Consider this resource a cheat code to get ten years of free, hard-fought wisdom.