Ever asked yourself ‘What do real agency leaders do?’ The short answer is, they invest in learning from others. So, if you’re an agency owner looking at 2022 wondering how you’re going to achieve your goals, consider this list a showcase of the top coaches, groups and resources in the agency industry.
The role of Agency Consultants & Coaches
Agency Consultants exist to help agencies improve their performance across an array of areas. They’re here ultimately to help you solve whatever is keeping your agency from reaching its full potential.
Perhaps you need guidance with pre-sale, such as lead gen, closing, marketing, etc. Whether your struggle is with getting more clients and generating new business, figuring out systems for delivering work and scaling operations, or leveling up your operations or financial insight.
Whatever it is keeping your agency at (or below) sea level, this list should point you towards the people we trust to help you improve in those areas and more.
The Merits of Digital Agency Coaching
In simple terms – it’s a shortcut.
How long would it take you to learn the ins and outs of every facet of your business? Add to the fact that the landscape changes so quickly; by the time you learn everything, you run the risk of being left for dust. Only then will you realize the true value of a coach.
Agency Coaching shortcuts the learning curve that may be in a transitional phase. Maybe it’s your next stage of growth, or the first time you’re bringing on an *insert applicable role here*… Whatever it may be, you haven’t done it before and costly mistakes are inevitable – irrespective of your legendary rockstar status!
Coaches bring a necessary level of expertise born from consistently collaborating with agencies like yours. They will teach you best practices that took them years to figure out, thus helping you reach results – in record time.
Does your Digital Agency Require a coach?
There’s an abundance of specializations that an agency coach can help you tackle. Let’s look at it from the POV of “what you’re struggling with right now”. You can bet there’s someone out there who knows how to jump your specific hurdle.
Ask yourself if you’re struggling with the following…
- Getting over your scaling bottlenecks
- Consistently keeping a full pipeline
- Profitability in general
- Knowing if certain projects are profitable at all
- Project Scope, Budgeting, Timelines
- Employee Retention
- Client Retention
If the above ring any bells, you could benefit from an agency coach. In doing so, you will get the answers you need, without having to learn through trial and error.
So, behold our lineup of Agency Coaches 2022 as broken down by field. Buckle up, you’re in for an informative ride!
For Profitability, Agency Data, & Reporting…
Why not kick off proceedings with what we’re up to at Parakeeto?! We exist exclusively to solve profitability problems. We help digital agencies account for every dollar of profit they’re missing by installing a proven, full-service Agency Reporting System. This is done without changing your tools or creating more work for your team. If you know your agency has the potential to skyrocket, but not sure where you’re going awry, we could be your solution. Watch this vid to see if we’re a good fit.
For The Best Agency Communities…
Coach/Community: The Bureau of Digital
The Bureau of Digital is a diverse mix of digital professionals collaborating across the digital agency space. A community of over 8,000 product owners, design leaders, project managers, among others, The Bureau is the go-to on-demand resource bringing collaboration opportunities, guidance, and invaluable feedback.
Coach/Community: Agency Local
Agency Local is a UK-based digital community for agency owners, with a focus on marketing and creative service agencies. It’s a place to meet, collaborate, and learn how to up your business and Leadership skills and your agency’s success.
We had the opportunity to speak with CEO of Agency Local, Chris Bantock on the #APP. See what he had to say here.
Coach/Community: BDAM (Best Damn Agency Mastermind)
BDAM is an agency mastermind community exclusive to 7 and 8-figure agency owners. Not only does it focus on elevating its members to become unstoppable agency leaders in their chosen market but also in their homes.
Leader of BDAM and Founder of Sales Driven Agency, Joey Gilkey, has also featured on our podcast! Do check out this banger of an episode to rework/optimize your sales game and drive your entire agency via this link!
PartnerPrograms is a place where digital agencies and technology teams align for growth. Consider it a partner program in a box; first learn from the workshops, then deploy inside Partnerhub to find, activate and enable your new partnerships.
Indeed, we had the pleasure of speaking with the CEO of Partnerhub, Alex Glenn. Expect a deep dive on all things “partnership”, including the “core tenets”, where to locate partnership opportunities, plus productizing your service offering. Watch here!
Vendasta is a white-label marketplace. In short, agencies use the platform to locate services to meet client needs, while boasting a strong community of agency owners. Members are invited to absorb knowledge from guest speakers and workshops run by industry leaders.
Our CEO Marcel had a chance to produce a two-part series at one of these events where the topic was changing your mindset to think more profitably.
For Sales, New Business Development, & Client Acquisition…
Coach/Leader: Joey Gilkey @ Sales Driven Agency
As mentioned previously, Joey’s the founder of Sales Driven Agency. He and his team guarantee a 5x ROI when hired to build out sales operations. His theory? Sales needs to be in your agency’s driving seat in order to align everything else. If you’re interested in checking one of the scientifically proven best agency growth podcasts out there – he’s also the host of (you guessed it) The Best Damn Agency Podcast.
We learned so much about Joey’s service offerings by having him on #APP Ep. 69.
Coach/Leader: Christian Banach
Christian is the Principal of Christian Banach LLC, which sees him collaborate with advertising agencies and marketing services companies. He aids new biz dev strategies, helping agencies land 6-7 figure deals predictably – without that risky RFP process.
We had 30 glorious minutes to pick Christian’s brain on Ep. 71 of the Agency Profit Podcast. Watch here to see how his team could help your business.
Coach/Leader: Dan Englander @ Sales Schema
As founder of Sales Schema, Dan helps mid-to-large marketing agencies drive new business. They execute done-for-you programs, thus generating consistent deal-flow opportunities for clients. He’s also the host of The Digital Agency Growth podcast, where you can listen to successful agency owners talk about how they’re getting their new biz dev done.
Coach/Leader: Jody Sutter @ The Sutter Company
Founder of the Sutter Company, Jody Sutter, is committed to helping small marketing agencies win more new business via coaching, consulting, and done-with-you models. Her team helps optimize your pitch and even has workshops dedicated to sharpening core business development skills so that you are in control of your agency’s new business destiny.
We had the privilege of speaking with Jody on Ep. 55 of the Agency Profit Podcast, where the topic was operationalizing your new business development with routines and rituals. Learn how to set a sustainable foundation for your new biz dev by listening/watching here.
Coach/Leader: Peter Levitan
Peter works with small to medium size agencies in the USA and abroad in advertising, digital, PR and design. His services include 1 on 1 coaching (primarily with CEOs) and detailed business development plans (from positioning to messaging – outbound and inbound to process including program assessment).
Peter applies his large USA and international agency biz dev management, medium agency CEO/ownership and client CEO experience to his agency growth program. His system is based on the art & science of business development and is designed to make your agency unignorable.
For One-On-One Agency Coaching…
Coach/Leader: Kelly Campbell
Kelly is a hybrid Conscious Leadership Coach + Agency Growth Consultant, focusing on 1-on-1 engagements with creative, media and technology agencies. She takes a holistic approach to growth that translates into greater self-awareness and efficacy at the leadership level, healthier company culture, more ideal clients and a higher profit margin.
Kelly holds a special place in our hearts at Parakeeto as our VERY first guest on the Agency Profit Podcast! She enlightened us on the power of positioning, and how it can lead to smoother ops, better clients, and more profit.
Coach/Leader: Clodagh Higgins @ Growit Group
With over 500 agencies under her belt as director of Growit Group, Clodagh Higgins is serious about agency growth. She’s also a business mentor and performance coach driven to help your agency succeed. After all, her motto is “It’s our business to grow yours”
We learned so much about Clodagh via her stint on Agency Profit Podcast, including her insights on the importance of hiring the right people and retaining talented employees!
Coach/Leader: Robert Craven
Robert is the Chief of GYDA (Grow Your Digital Agency) initiative – a team of digital agency experts collaborating on the number one resource for digital agencies. It’s a community where you can ask questions, read blogs, take a course, join a mastermind group, download free resources, or even get yourself a dedicated coach or consultant!
We had the pleasure of speaking to Robert on Ep. 7, where he outlined the three key pillars of a world-class agency. Want to learn whether your agency’s foundational pillars are in line? Listen now!
Coach/Leader: Robert Da Costa
UK-based agency Da Costa Coaching specializes in marketing agency growth. If you’ve hit a roadblock and find yourself saying:
“I need more new business inquiries”
“I wish we were more profitable”
“I’m ready to scale my agency”
“I wish the agency was less dependent on me”
Then, it’s probably the perfect time to involve a coach like Rob.
Another recent guest of ours, Robert shared his expertise in niching and specialization, plus why it could be the key to unlocking higher, more sustainable profits.
Coach/Leader: Janusz Stabik
Janusz is a consultant, coach, and mentor for digital agency leaders across the globe. He’s a trusted advisor to Google, The Directors’ Centre & more. He helps clients achieve a more predictable, scalable agency, that runs autonomously so that you’re able to get back your precious time.
Our CEO Marcel spent some time with Janusz in 2020 on a podcast full of goodies on KPI’s, utilization, ABR, estimates and more.
Coach/Leader: Chris Bantock @ Agency Local
Chris Bantock, is your agency ‘Guide’. Founder of Agency Local – a development community dedicated to making agencies better businesses and the owners better leaders. Chris is a ‘guide’ to improving your agency he know where you want to go, it is a place he is familiar with. On the journey together he will pay attention to your needs and desires, the ones you are aware of, and others that you’re not. He will coach, train, mentor, advise or educate depending on what is needed at the time. Chris is YOUR guide and YOUR business confidant with many hats. His most important hat is curiosity, and his job is to also learn on every journey.
We sat down w/ Chris on episode #76 of the Agency Profit Podcast – here’s what he had to say.
Coach/Leader: Karl Sakas @ Sakas and Company
Karl Sakas is an agency coach that has worked with more than 400 agencies by solving immediate problems, while also building better underlying systems to prevent future issues. He does this by helping you implement smart strategy, smooth execution, and cultivate strong agency leadership.
We chatted with Karl on Ep. 9 of the #APP, centered around one question: are you building your agency to sell or to own? There is a big difference in terms of process; check out this episode to see if you’ve been doing it right.
With two decades of experience running successful communications businesses, Chip Griffin has transitioned to coaching (or, as he would like to call it, a confidential sounding board and advisor) for PR & marketing agencies. As someone who has been in your seat before, he helps across a range of topics such as Growth, Positioning, Staffing, Partnerships, Client Challenges, M&A, Investments, and Leadership.
Ep. 28 of #APP sees Marcel and Chip diving into the ever-relevant topic of scoping projects (and protecting your profits).
Coach/Leader: Tim Kilroy
Agency Coach Tim Kilroy has worked with over 100 marketing agencies, solving a wide breadth of problems – from client acquisition and retention to creating more revenue, and profit. His Agency Growth courses are tailored to the size of your agency – we all know it’s not a one-size-fits-all industry.
As it happens, Tim is an upcoming guest on our Agency Profit Podcast, so if you’re interested in hearing more – stay tuned!
Coach/Leader: Greg Hickman @ AltAgency
Greg & the team at Alt Agency have coached over 500 agency owners and specialize in helping them productize their service so they can scale beyond (and/or out of) custom projects and 1:1 fulfillment and expanding revenue streams so they get paid for their knowledge and thinking.
Coach/Leader: Josh Nelson @ Seven Figure Agency
Josh Nelson is on a mission to help 500 Agencies scale to 7 Figures over the next 5 years. After building his digital marketing agency Plumbing & HVAC SEO to multiple seven figures (making the Inc 5000 list 4 years in a row) he decided to share what worked for him with other growing agency owners. His book The Seven Figure Agency Roadmap is the top-rated agency growth book on Amazon and his passion for helping agencies grow & scale is evident in the success of his members.
Coach/Leader: John Meyer @ January
John has built and sold two creative agencies for 7-figure exits. After his recent sale of Lemonly, which helped the world’s best brands tell their story, John is now coaching creative agency founders scale their teams to $1m+ in annual revenue. John launched January to provide 1on1 coaching to help move founders from working IN the business to working ON the business.
For Agency Finance, Forecasting, KPI Management…
Coach/Leader: Robert Patin @ Creative Agency Success
Creative Agency Business coach Robert Patin is a shoo-in on this list. His team at Creative Agency Success helps creative service agencies maximize scalability plus profitability by coaching towards more efficient business processes and sales operations. This, in turn, facilitates clients to make better decisions for the business through enhanced recording and cash flow management.
We had an awesome chat with Robert on Ep. 67 of the #APP where Marcel and Robert “nerded out” on the importance of data-driven decision-making and realizing it for your agency.
Coach/Leader: Russell Benaroya @ Stride Services
Russell Benaroya is a Co-Founder and Partner at Stride Services – an outsourced bookkeeping, accounting, and CFO services company. Supporting largely service-based firms, they provide access to critical financial data that inform better decision-making. With 15 years of industry experience, they currently serve over 100 clients across the States.
Coach/Leader: Jody Grunden @ Summit CPA
Jody is the Co-Founder of Summit CPA, a virtual CFO services firm working primarily for the agency sector. Outsourcing your CFO provides the expertise of a senior financial manager – without the risk of hiring them full-time. Outputs include KPI management, accounts payable (billings), accounts receivable (invoicing), forecasting, and cash flow management. He’s also the author of multiple agency financial-based books.
Coach/Leader: Jason Blumer @ Blumer CPAs
CEO & Founder of multiple companies, 1-on-1 consultant, plus podcast host… what doesn’t Jason Blumer do?! Blumer CPAs help entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders learn their accounting and tax numbers to break growth ceilings, make data-driven decisions, plus stimulate and encourage growth.
Coach/Leader: Joe DiSanto @ Play Louder
Finance expert and advisor Joe DiSanto is now sharing a lifetime of fiscal know-how via Play Louder, a resource helping agency owners increase their net worth, plan for their future, and more. He also has ample experience in Real Estate while building multi-million dollar production companies.
With so many strings to his bow, we were thrilled to welcome Joe on to Ep. 65 where he addressed “reinventing your life” by optimizing your agency for both business AND personal income. It’s not all about the business, and if it was, is that even sustainable?!
Coach/Leader: Jon Morris @ Ramsay Innovations
Jon Morris is the founder of Ramsay Innovations and a serial entrepreneur. Prior to Ramsay, he established Rise Interactive in 2004, following his second-place finish in the University of Chicago’s prestigious New Venture Challenge. Over the next 16 years, he grew Rise from a one-person shop to one of the largest independent marketing agencies in the world. After selling Rise, Jon pondered his next move and realized that helping entrepreneurs like him grow their businesses was his favorite part of his job.
Ramsay Innovations is the product of this inspiration. Like Rise, Ramsay leverages data to surface hidden insights for critical business decisions. Ramsay Innovations provides world-class, agency-specific, Finance Management at a fraction of the cost. Ramsay is tech-enabled, insight-driven and designed for marketing agencies, built by agency people.
For Agency Positioning…
When it comes to positioning, there is no one we trust more than business growth coach David C Baker. Working with firms in the creative agency & digital agency space to solve their positioning and lead generation issues, David’s advice comes with years of demonstrated success backing it up. He’s also the author of multiple books, TEDx speaker, and co-host of the 2Bobs podcast alongside Blair Enns.
We had the pleasure of David’s company on Ep. 48 of #APP.
For Agency Pricing…
Coach/Leader: Blair Enns @ Win Without Pitching
Blair Enns is a 20-year veteran of the marketing industry, founding Win Without Pitching back in 2002. WWP offers sales and new biz dev training programs for owners and employees of design firms, ad agencies, and other creative businesses – providing the tools and confidence required to leave “most agencies” behind.
Ep. 15 sees Blair and Marcel delve into the concept of Win Without Pitching, and features tips on the fundamentals required to sell based on value, to command higher prices, and close more deals!
For Agency Operations Consulting…
Coach/Leader: Alyson Caffrey @ Operations Agency
With over a hundred agencies under their belt, Alyson and her team are a solid bet for making your agency output predictable, your teams more efficient and your bottom line more attractive. Using their Operations Simplified™ framework and their wealth of industry experience, your agency will become more systemized and thus profitable.
Alyson joined us for Ep. 16 where she outlined the 3 Most Important Processes for Agency Success. Interested in learning more?
Coach/Leader: Melanie Chandruang @ WeConsult
Founder and Lead Ops Consultant at WeConsult, Melanie is a must-have on a list full of ops experts. WeConsult offers consulting (obvs) and operations support for creative agencies, with a focus on streamlining agency finances, ops, HR, and service offerings to lead to a more profitable business with less complexity (and headaches!)
We were delighted to speak with Melanie on Ep. 19, where she explained how to create a culture of operational excellence in your agency. Interested? You can view/read about the episode here.
Coach/Leader: Andrew Dymski & Gray Mackenzie @ ZenPilot
Andrew is a Co-Founder of ZenPilot, an agency specializing in operations and PM software implementation for marketing agencies. They typically work with ClickUp, one of the fastest-growing Project Management software on the market today. Their service works in three steps, from discovery and benchmarking to implementation, and subsequent ongoing elite support.
Coach/Leader: Marquis Murray @ Ditto
Marquis Murray is the founder of Ditto, an Asana Partner agency dedicated to helping you organize, optimize, and integrate your business’s systems and processes as well as the software to support it all.
We sat down with Marquis on Ep.77 of the #APP where he goes into more detail on Ditto’s service offerings, typical process pitfalls, the steps involved in documenting your processes, plus more!
Coach/Leader: Rob Harr @ Sparkbox
Rob is an operations coach and a co-founder of Sparkbox, a web design and development agency founded in Dayton, Ohio. He’s taking his wealth of experience and applying it to clients who want smoother operations leading to higher profitability – who doesn’t want help achieving their business goals?
We had a chance to pick Rob’s brain on #APP, which saw him outline the solid foundation required for successful ops and systems. If you are currently laying that foundation, it’s a good idea to be sure you’re doing it the right way.
Coach/Leader: Mandi Ellefson @ Hands-Off CEO
Founder of Hands-Off CEO, expert Mandi Ellefson aids consulting businesses and other service-based agencies find hidden profit opportunities, double their fees, and train their Operations Manager to run their business so they can sustainably scale. The ultimate goal is to phase out the need for the founder, so the company can scale to $100k/mo in sales, then $100k/mo in profits. Meanwhile, the CEO can enjoy more freedom to step back and enjoy the fruits of their labor, and even sell the business if desired.
Mandi went into more detail on their service offering (and how they go about making it a reality for CEOs) during her stint on our podcast. Listen to learn more.
For Agency Project Management & Account Management…
Coach/Leader: Rachel Gertz @ Louder Than Ten
Rachel is the Co-Founder and CEO of Louder Than Ten, an agency offering digital project management training for digital agencies, departments, and product studios. Clients that have worked with Rachel’s team see productivity increases up to 40% and a reduction of project bleed by 27%. If you’re looking to upscale your existing team or train up a new PM, this is the expert for you.
Rachel recognizes that digital PMs are agency linchpins and wants to give back power to those leading projects. She outlines her mission to refine project management and ultimately deliver healthier, more profitable projects on this episode of the Agency Profit Podcast.
Coach/Leaders: Ben Aston & Galen Low @ The Digital Project Manager
Ben & Galen are the founders of the DPM – a community for digital project managers brimming with templates, courses, workshops, and forums to help PMs up their game at managing and delivering projects. Recently, they’ve added a job board to connect you with like-minded agencies & talent.
As another recent guest on the Agency Profit Podcast, Ben chronicled the critical importance of project management and how to shift your process to make projects more predictable and less risky.
Coach/Leader: Taylor McMaster @ Dot & Co.
Trailblazers in their space, the team at DOT & Company is the first agency dedicated to remote account management for agencies. They also offer training services to keep your Account Managers astride the top of their game.
For the best Agency Coaching Programs…
Coach/Leader: Dev Basu @ MillionDollarAgency.Coach
Dev is the founder of the remote-first B2B SaaS Marketing Agency, Powered by Search. Having a management team has allowed his agency to to an 8-figure run rate, now growing 8-10% every month. He now also coaches digital agency owners to go find their first million dollars, or their next million dollars in recurring revenue through MillionDollarAgency.coach.
Coach/Leader: Jason Swenk
Over 10,000 agencies in 23 different countries have used Jason Swenk‘s framework to sustainably scale their digital agencies. Jason is a long-time agency coach/mentor/advisor specializing in growth, with a particular niche helping systemize agencies to ultimately increase profits.
Jason appeared on Ep. 22 of the Agency Profit Podcast where the topic was eliminating scope creep, improving profits, and getting paid faster.
Coach/Program: Drew McLellan @ Agency Management Institute
Drew McLellan is CEO of Agency Management Institute, an online membership community offering webinars, courses, workshops, podcasts, and blog posts, all centered on helping agencies to be more stable, sustainable, and scalable.
Drew joined us for our milestone 50th installment of the Agency Profit Podcast where the topic is centered around critical metrics you need to know to monitor the health/performance of your agency.
Coach/Program: Brent Weaver @ uGurus
uGurus is an agency FOR digital agencies and freelance entrepreneurs, providing education, resources, and community in an attempt to attract more leads, win more deals, deliver better results and scale your business. In short, uGurus will help you get your work/life balance on track.
Coach/Program: John Jantsch @ Duct Tape Marketing
John is an agency marketing firm speaker, consultant, and bestselling author of Duct Tape Marketing, among others. He helps independent marketing consultants and agency owners scale their business – and their life! His firm offers different levels of service based on unique needs, including programs that train, manage, and activate your marketing team, along with a marketing consultant network to connect you to the resources/answers you need.
John featured on Ep. 45 of #APP, where he discussed how to form strong client relationships by managing expectations, reinforcing the optimum outcome, and reverse engineering the client relationship.
Coach/Program: Mike Reid @ Dent Global
If you’re looking to up your leadership or agency’s game, Mike Reid’s Dent Global offers multiple (and often free) accelerator courses, including StartUp, Becoming a Key Person of Influence, and Entrepreneur 21-day sprints. These accelerators include WebClasses, peer review, templates, and access to 1-on-1 coaching.
We took a deep dive with Mike for Ep. 60, tackling Dent’s service offerings, with a focus on how you can become a Key Person of Influence.
Coach/Leader: Robin Waite @ Fearless Business
Business coach Robin Waite is the founder of Fearless Business – a 12-week accelerator for coaches, consultants, and freelancers who want to confidently charge more for their services. This change is made possible by charging for results rather than time-for-money.
We also had a chance to sit down with Robin on Ep. 73, which outlines the shift in approach to pricing and productizing services.
Coach/Leader: Lee Goff
Lee Goff comes with more than 15 years of industry experience, founding his first agency in 2003 and successfully exiting it in 2016. He’s now shifted focus to coaching, serving digital agency owners by helping them grow, scale, and truly enjoy their digital marketing agencies!
Lee shared his two cents on how productization can transform how you run your agency – doubling your profits plus halving your workload. Listen to his episode on our podcast!
Coach/Program: Rahul Alim @ GDS
Rahul Alim has been in the digital marketing scene for 16+ years. With that experience, he developed GSD (Get Sh!t Done), a three-step program designed to help your agency scale to 6-7 figures. They have oodles of Masterclasses and courses, including agency fundamentals, a mentorship program, free toolkits – and that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
Rahul came on the Agency Profit Podcast to share expertise in the realm of positioning, focused niches, and how to drive down costs while bolstering profits.
Coach/Agency: Rachel Jacobs @ eCommerceAgencyGrowth
Rachel is the leading trusted advisor for eCommerce agencies across the globe. From building scalable retainer models to coaching high-performing leadership teams, she works with eCommerce agencies to simplify the next steps in scaling their agency.
As a former COO of a leading eCommerce agency, she’s consulted with over 700+ and acted as fractional-COO for 80+ eCommerce agencies across the globe to help them implement best practice systems and processes to grow profitably. Leading authority in systematizing and scaling eCommerce agencies with a specific focus on maximizing agency efficiency, and enabling agency owners to get out of the day-to-day of running their agency.
Agency Owners: What’s your next step? Which area of coaching do you need in 2022?
We hope this list is a good guide. We think every successful agency should include coaching or consulting in their growth plans.
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