Agency Veteran Drew McLellan on How to Increase Agency Profitability

Are you a new agency owner? Do you have an agency that’s been around a while but isn’t growing?

In today’s episode I interview Drew McLellan. Drew has owned a marketing agency for almost 20 years, and has revenue of over $2.5 million per year. He is also the founder of the Agency Management Institute which advises other small and medium size agencies on how to increase profitability.

Drew McLellanDrew has found that many agency owners start out because they are really good at a particular marketing craft. Once they go from being a practitioner to an owner, they find themselves swimming in waters of overwhelm dealing with all the things they don’t know.  Listen in for powerful advice on growing a successful agency by focusing on the mechanics of the business.

We finish off the interview talking about how to crowd source books which can be a huge boon to your business.

Listen now and you’ll hear Drew and I talk about:

  • (03:00) Introduction
  • (05:00) What type of agencies do you work with?
  • (07:00) What advice would you give to new agency owners?
  • (12:00) How should a solo agency owner make the the transition to team building?
  • (16:00) Should agencies focus more on inbound or outbound?
  • (27:30) Why is having processes so important for agency owners?
  • (33:00) How does one crowd source a book?
  • (39:00) How many authors contributed to each book?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

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About Drew McLellan

Drew McLellan has worked in advertising for 25+ years and started his own agency, McLellan Marketing Group in 1995 after a five-year stint at Y&R.

He also owns and runs Agency Management Institute (AMI), which offers agency management training, consulting and facilitates agency owner peer networks for small to mid sized agencies (advertising, digital, marketing, media and PR) so they can increase their AGI by at least 25%, attract better clients and employees and best of all — exceed the agency owner’s life/financial goals.

Drew’s agency was a member of the organization for years before Drew acquired AMI and began to run it full-time.

He launched his agency’s blog in 2006 and it has been on the AdAge Top 150 from the list’s inception. His first book, 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing, was published in 2003 and Drew and Australian marketer Gavin Heaton created the Age of Conversation series of crowdsourced books in 2007. To date, the AOC series has raised over $50,000 for charity. Drew launched the AMR blog in 2012 and hopes it will be a great resource to agency leaders.

Drew’s often interviewed/quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine, New York Times, CNN, BusinessWeek, and many others. The Wall Street Journal calls him “one of 10 bloggers every entrepreneur should read.”

When he’s not hanging out with agency owners/staff, Drew spends time with his family and pondering why the Dodgers can’t seem to get back to the World Series.

Drew has a Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota but alas, he cannot remember their fight song.