Todd Friesen – Performics
Ian Lurie – Portent Interactive
Moderator – Mark Knowles
Summary: What are some proven techniques for winning new business? What are the large agencies doing for streamlining client reporting, scaling their efforts, and finding & retaining net talent? How can you establish credibility with clients and peers in this growing industry? The speakers on this panel will show you!
- Time management
- Employee satisfaction
- Deliverable management
- Set expectations
- Goals achieved
- Make them experts
- Share freely – Boss has to be accessible
- External training
- Educaion goals – SPECIFIC career & professional development goals
- Standard reporting
- KPI agreement
- Year-over-year – everything is YOY, because all businesses are seasonal
- SMART: Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-bound
- Empower your team
- Trust your team
- Fall on your sword
- Celebrate & reward success – monetary & public
- Recognize motivation – team & individuals
- Cash flow is good. Income is not cash, revenue is not cash, cash in the bank is cash.
- You’re not a tech company or a software company. Client services is unpredictable.
- Build around the knowledge that you will be interrupted.
- Document everything. Portent’s Fat-Free Guide. Provides structure, reinforces learning.
- Teach inside and outside the company. Prospects need to have heard of you, and find you on Google.
- Hire for brains not skills.
- Hire honest people.
- Hire curious people.
- Hire people with emotional intelligence. Need to know when clients are happy & unhappy.
- Have a sense of mission (not to be confused with a mission statement). Ian’s: Turning people into good communicators. Making sure good people with good businesses don’t get bad advice.
- Root for the home team.
- Delegate for long-term efficiency, not for speed. Every bit of training is an investment.
- Build a good leadership team (not to be confused with “executive team”), preferably internally.
- Foster organization clarity. Things always fall apart if no one is willing to make a key decision.
- Manage the tug-of-war. Things go haywire if any one part has a stranglehold.
- Have a spine. Don’t try to be the cool parent.
- Don’t be a psychotic despot, stay caml, cool & collected. Once your team is scared of you, you’re in trouble.
- Buy shoes that have strong toes for those times when stupidity reigns.
- Pick a toolset and use it. Majestic, SEOMmoz, Raven. Don’t try to build your own (yet).
- Automate reporting as much as possible. Read Edward Tufty (sp?). Remember reports are not analysis…clients want recommendations & guidance.
- Be nimble, but not too nimble. Know what can be outsourced and what can’t.
- Don’t fart in public. Keep it off of Twitter & Facebook. Never call out a client in your blog (even if anonymous).
- Encourage your team to argue with you. Yes men are worthless.
- Is IS personal. if you don’t feel it in your gut when something goes right/wrong, you will run out of motivation.
Ian: Performance-based pricing requires long-term commitment, and you need to control enough of the conversion train to succeed.
How would you start out today?
Ian: Find a tiny niche — local, mobile, etc. Old-fashioned networking. If you want to make a living, approach other agencies and be willing to contract for overflow.
Todd: Get your name out there in the community & the industry.
Client horror stories…what are the red flags?
- Don’t work with anyone out of South Florida.
- “I just want to pick your brain.”
- The person who can’t tell you what their company is/does.
- Any sign that one particular group has a stranglehold over the site/company.
- Nightmare stories about the last agency…you’re probably next on the firing line.
- Beware of squishy goals (particularly in relation to performance-based pricing) & lack of balance.
The cost of retaining people…is it an unavoidable cost of business, or do you think if you do the right things, people should stay.
Ian: Make sure the only people leaving are the ones getting deals that they can’t (and you wouldn’t yourself) refuse.
Todd: People go looking for new jobs for a reason, they don’t just fall into their laps.
Terminology….used to be ad agencies, what do you prefer now?
Todd: A Performance Marketing Agency. Internet Marketing Agency is still accurate.
Ian: Full-service Interactive Agency