Hiring, Scaling, Getting clients...in a marketing agency (or any other service-based business)
Hiring a Media Buyer
Use a 4 step process:
- Ask candidates to fill out a form where you ask questions specific for the role, for your business strategy and the types of clients you work with. Include case studies for them to work on. Ask them to record a loom video to explain. Make sure you ask for their compensation expectations and timezone match
- Culture fit call - a quick 15min call to check the vibe
- Short list call(s) - best if you can have two people on the call/two calls to help with assessment
- Paid trial 30 - 45days usually. Some roles need 90days.
It will cost you approx $2k USD to hire someone. They can deal with 8-10-ish accounts (depends on complexity of the account)
For one of my clients we had 120+ applications from LinkedIn/Indeed and chose 2 media buyers to trial for 30 days. Hired 1.
Hiring your first sales person:
- Same process as above
- A 30-45days trial, contractor basis. Structure of pay can be 20% first month, 15% months 2-3 (up to 6months, but you’d need to calculate profits). No base.
- At this moment I wouldn’t take them on board as an employee or with a monthly base as your lead flow is most likely inconsistent. Once that changes, you can offer a base + retainer. Ex. $1,500 + 15%/-20% mo for 6 months.
- The longer the timeframe they receive the commission % , the more they will work to get a good led, and not just any lead.
- Alternative structure is 10% first month, 20% months 2-5. No base. -> they will want the client to stay longer than just one month, which is our goal. Too many agencies experience high churn rate, which makes them very inefficient and spinning wheels, constantly chasing a new client.
You need to try to get as much processes mapped out as possibl so that when you onboard new clients everyone is following the process and media buyers know what to do and can get to work immediately
If you don’t have enough capacity use contractors for now and either (1) let them run the ads the way they want (which means no consistent approach to media buying/results) OR (2) manage them and train on your processes (which might not be effective from time involvement perspective) OR (3) you jump in to do the work vs reaching out to contractors (which will take your time away from working on the business).
Once you know clients are going to stay with you, hire to fill the MB (Media Buyer) positions and then immediately try to land new clients, because your profit margins will be hit
There are 4 main ways to getting clients
- Referrals (current/past clients)
- Strategic Partnerships (bigger agencies, other service providers) - VERY effective
- Networking/socializing and ABM (Account Based Marketing) - VERY effective
- Paid ads
From our analysis of hundreds of agencies we’ve worked with, only 25% of clients come from paid ads AND those are not the most valuable clients.