October 6, 2022
As a digital marketing agency leader, you understand the importance of continuous growth to sustain a successful business. Having a steady pipeline of new prospective clients and a long-term plan for building an ad operations team each play critical roles in an upward trajectory.
What does that look like to you? Perhaps you want to establish a boutique agency with a small but dedicated team and a solid foothold in a niche that you’re passionate about. Conversely, you might prefer to become the largest and most sought-after agency in your local market.
There is no “right” or “wrong” end goal for your agency. Ultimately, you control its destiny. However, there are still some universal pain points that agency leaders face when scaling upwards to accomplish what they have set out to achieve.
At Conduit, we speak with hundreds of agency leaders like yourself each year. Based on these conversations, we’ve distilled 4 common pain points associated with growing agencies, and we’re going to break them down in-depth here. We’ll also offer our tips for overcoming them.
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Does it ever feel like you are one account away from under or overutilizing your team?
For example, if you lost one client tomorrow, would your team suddenly feel like its one or two people too large?
Building a team for a high-capacity client roster requires an effective business development strategy to support it. Without a steady influx of new leads that could turn into potential new accounts for your agency, you may start to feel the capacity squeeze sooner rather than later.
Similarly, if you need to grow your team, you might find that hiring in your market proves difficult. Traditionally, a large majority of digital marketing talent is located within large metropolitan areas or in communities that are home to large universities.
Still, that does not mean that you can open an agency in New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago, and expect an endless roster of candidates to fill your vacancies. Where more remote areas may have a smaller pool of candidates, the larger metros pose the opposite challenge of a more competitive job market with more opportunities for talented individuals to launch or continue their career. It can feel like either finding a needle in a haystack or a constant bidding war to attract and retain the talent that you need to grow your agency.
Beyond struggles with hiring the right team, retaining them also proves another challenge. It may feel like that the team becomes more difficult to manage as it grows or you are experiencing high turnover once someone has received training to go elsewhere.
No one wants to feel like their agency is nothing but a stepping stone. You have real, tangible goals that you want to achieve, and building an engaged team that shares your vision likely complements these objectives.
Alongside capacity and hiring challenges, a limited suite of services can often become the Achilles heel for many agencies; especially ones in highly competitive markets. If you do not have a team that has the bandwidth or expertise to land and expand new accounts, this can quickly become a roadblock.
As we have said many times before: If your client asks for a service that you do not provide, they often seek out a competitor that can and will fulfill what they’ve asked for. While you might absolutely dominate paid search and programmatic campaigns, if the client wants SEO and TikTok, they will find an agency to provide them with SEO and TikTok.
Continuously investigating, testing, and expanding your service offering will allow you to create a more diverse team with a wider range of strengths to serve your clients. This also can help to more effectively streamline your internal capacity and bandwidth and create lanes where your team is made of specialists in specific product categories.
When many agency leaders arrive at this point, one of the first reactions is to seek out vendors that can help expand their services for a fee. However, with vendors, they can quickly become expensive, only operate in specific silos, and it will soon feel like you need to hire another person just to manage these relationships and ensure they produce at a level of quality you’re satisfied with.
Lastly, whether you have a team that operates over or under capacity, any agency can become bogged down with tactical work. When you want to serve as your client’s strategic partner, many of the day-to-day operational tasks can quickly consume valuable business hours.
When agency leaders have more free time and are spending less time in the digital weeds, they can use that bandwidth for growing and strengthening their business. This can include building better client relationships, focusing on the health of your internal team, and finally carving out enough time to take that vacation you’ve wanted to go on for the past 3 years.
Growing your agency requires a massive investment of time, effort, and capital to launch in its early stages. At some point, returning to a more stable work-life balance probably sounds like the preferred way to live.
When you are able to stay afloat and continue growing with the right infrastructure supporting you, you will find that you do not need to sacrifice nearly as much of your personal time to operate a successful agency.
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Before you decide this is an ad and stop reading, hear us out.
We know that we’re a white label digital marketing agency, and that this may sound self-promotional at first. However, we believe that finding the right partner for your agency is not speed-dating. Deciding to entrust your client’s campaigns to an external team is a major investment of trust, and you should treat it as such.
We aren’t attempting to bait-and-switch you with some puff piece about how amazing we are (though we are fans of our work). Instead, we just want to provide some space here to offer some more information on how a white label partner can benefit your agency in general. If you decide that you want to schedule a call with us after reading this, great! We’ll have a link for you at the end, but until then, we’ll do our best to keep it even-keeled.
With what we just said above in mind, we want to highlight how, in general, a white label partnership can help your agency address and overcome many of the pain points we mentioned previously. If you want to learn more about how a partnership differs from a platform or vendor, check out our Ultimate Guide to White Label Digital Marketing.
So, now that you’ve learned more about white label, let’s talk about how a partner can assist you in overcoming your pain points on your journey toward sustainable agency growth.
Partnerships typically involve a monthly fee along with a percentage-based service fee for managing digital campaigns. This allows you to scale your spend upwards and downwards as your client roster evolves and strategies pivot. Your team remains stabilized and you always have a team ready to assist you with any overflow that could compromise your internal bandwidth.
White label partners build their reputations on expertise and performance. Look for a partner that’s made of highly certified analysts so that you can ensure that your partner has vetted and trained their own team to meet the standards for quality that you would expect from your own in-house ad operations.
A distinguishing feature of a white label partner compared to a platform or vendor is that they offer a holistic suite of digital marketing services that you can integrate into your agency’s offering. Overnight, you can become the most complete agency in your local market or target industry. If a client wants to launch a campaign that you do not offer in-house, you can confidently tell them “yes” to this new opportunity.
Essentially, joining forces with a white label partner is like hiring an entire team instead of a single individual. This removes much of the hiring, training, mentoring, and operational oversight involved with a large in-house team and you will only need to manage a single source for all of your external ad operations instead of multiple vendors. Instead, you can spend more time doing what you love about running your agency (and maybe finally take that vacation).
While there are multiple paths that you could pursue toward growing your agency, we believe that partnership provides the most complete and scalable solution from a single source. You do not have to keep the ship afloat in isolation.
In fact, you do not have to “keep the ship afloat” at all. With the infrastructure that your partner provides, you can continue growing and building a stronger client base that supports your short and long-term goals.
If you’re interested in exploring opportunities with a white label partner, we would love to speak with you more about how we could help your agency scale. At Conduit, we provide a complete suite of white label services from our headquarters in New Jersey with a team of U.S.-based, certified analysts to enable you to say “yes” to whatever opportunity arises next. Your accounts, data, and clients all stay yours – we just help you serve them better.
To learn more, schedule a quick 20-minute call today.