• The Key to Agency Profitability? Good Old-Fashioned Time Sheets

    February 15, 2017

    This is a guest post from Drew McLellan. Drew leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises advertising agencies on how to grow and build profitability. He can also be reached via LinkedIn and Google+.

    Did you complete your time sheet today? Did your employees?

    If your answer is “no,” your agency is missing out on a crucial opportunity to increase profits and productivity. There are consultants out there who think agency folks shouldn’t have to do time sheets, but they’re wrong.

    People are your biggest asset and your biggest resource, but they’re also your biggest expense. Consistent use of time sheets is the only way to know how your employees are spending their time and whether that time is well spent. Without the use of time sheets, you cannot evaluate the performance of your business — both how your assets and resources are being applied and how profitable your clients are with respect to your time investment.

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  • The Future of Marketing Agency Pricing and Compensation

    January 23, 2017

    This is a guest post from Jason Brewer (@jaybrew). Jason is founder and CEO of Brolik, a digital agency in Philadelphia. As an entrepreneur, Jason is passionate about helping other business owners navigate the complicated journey of owning a business and developing strategies to grow their brand.

    Ask agency owners about their pricing strategies and they might look at you with a blank stare. That’s because agency fees are commonly based on inputs, and are lacking any form of strategy for maximizing the skill and performance of their team to increase profit.

    Agencies need to be open to new compensation models that align their goals with those of their clients. Pricing based on an input like a billable hour puts a ceiling on potential profit and creates a perception that the agency’s service is a commodity.

    When it comes to pricing strategy, the hourly rate says commodity.

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  • 12 Questions to Guide Your Pricing Model Transformation

    May 29, 2015

    “The future belongs to dynamic agencies with more efficient management systems, integrated services, versatile talent, value-based pricing models, a love for data, and a commitment to producing measurable results.” — The Marketing Performance Blueprint

    Pricing can have a positive impact on productivity, accountability, client performance, agency growth and profits. Yet, many agencies still rely on billable hours as the key component to their pricing strategies. This wrongly ties agency performance to outputs, instead of outcomes, and lacks the transparency clients demand.

    There is an opportunity for agencies to shift to value-based pricing models that focus on client needs and goals—rather than how long it takes to complete an activity. Without hourly quotas looming over their heads, employees are empowered to focus on results and value creation. And clients aren’t left asking how their money was spent.  

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  • The Profitable Agency: How Tracking Time Can Impact Agency Profits

    January 5, 2015

    This is a guest post from Chirag Ahuja (@ChiragAhujanz), head of marketing at WorkflowMax, a cloud-based agency management software.

    A profitable agency is an efficient agency. As a service-based business, the speed at which high-quality work gets done and approved by the client has a significant impact on your overall profitably.

    Regardless if your agency’s pricing model is billable hours or value-based, time tracking should be an essential element to your project management process.

    Armed with timesheet reports, you’ll have access to the data required to effectively evaluate your agency’s profitability across the following three key pillars.

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  • 15 Ways to Maximize Marketing Agency Profits

    March 12, 2014

    Growth is the easy part. Retaining it, and making it profitable, is the real challenge for agencies. As the demand for digital services increases, many agencies are offering new services and/or are unsure how to attract and retain a profitable client base. This is where these 15 tips come in handy; use them to maximize your agency’s profits.

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  • The Affordable Care Act For Freelance Marketers

    December 9, 2013

    This is a guest post from Michael Cahill, editor of the Vista Health Solutions Blog. He writes about the healthcare system, health insurance industry and the Affordable Care Act. Follow him on Twitter at @VistaHealthMike.

    Freelance marketers trade away the tidy perks of the corporate world, like health insurance, for greater lifestyle freedom. That said, with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now in full swing, self-employed professionals need to have a firm grasp of the legislation. Why? Because the law is making big changes to the American health insurance system at large, many of which directly impact freelance marketers.

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  • Managing to Make a Profit in Your Small Marketing Company

    December 2, 2013

    In this guest post, Mary-Lynn Bellamy-Willms, CEO of FunctionFox, provides five administrative tips to help ensure financial success for your small marketing company. 

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  • Agency Pricing: Focus on Value and Results

    September 6, 2013

    As detailed in The Marketing Agency Blueprint, billable hours are contingent on the producer’s efficiency, creating what we believe to be a flawed pricing model.

    A project that may take one person three hours to complete could take another at the same level five hours. The underlying cause will vary—distractions, lack of training, misunderstanding of the project, etc.—but the end result is the same. In the latter scenario, the client pays more, but receives no additional value.  

    But it doesn’t stop there. Agency professionals are typically evaluated based on the number of billable hours they track. There are no incentives to be efficient, but rather motivators to be inefficient.

    Despite these inherent setbacks, one third of agencies rely on billable hours as their primary pricing model, according to the recently released RSW/US 2013 Agency New Business Thought Leader Survey.

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  • How to Price Your Digital Marketing Services

    April 24, 2013

    Earlier this month, I sat in on the Optifiy webinar, How to Price Your Digital Marketing Services. Rob Eleveid (@RobertEleveid), CEO of Optiify, and Jon C. Stone III (@jcstone3), CEO of Revenue Architects, presented.

    This post highlights some of webinar’s key takeaways. Before we start though, keep in mind that your pricing will evolve with your business, and it should be continually refreshed based on changing market factors, service offerings and historical data. 

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  • Inbound Marketing Agencies See Revenue Soar

    March 21, 2013

    Through integrated campaigns that combine search, social, content and PR, inbound marketing agencies are driving leads and loyalty for their clients, and themselves. They understand that today’s consumers are in the drivers’ seats, shutting out interruption-based communications, and dictating when and how they interact with brands.

    As a result, they’ve seen tremendous client success and strong business growth. Need proof?

    HubSpot’s Shannon Johnson (@shannopop) recently released a storybook, Transforming into an Inbound Marketing Agency: Stories and Advice from 6 Execs that details six companies that transitioned to inbound marketing, including the results they’ve seen.

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