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    7 Creative Ways to Make Brainstorming More Productive

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Coming up with fresh, new ideas isn't easy. And when your job requires churning them out on a daily basis, it can be easy to hit a wall. (Not to mention frustrating.)

    That's why brainstorming sessions can be so helpful. But, as many of you probably know by experience, some brainstorming sessions are more productive than others. Ever been to a one where you left feeling like your team didn't really come away with anything useful?It's draining -- and it can feel like a waste of you and your team's time. Great brainstorming sessions, on the other hand, can be ... Read More

    Thank You For Subscribing: How to Optimize Your Welcome Emails [Infographic]

    By Carly Stec

    First impressions are powerful -- and they're not just limited to face-to-face interactions. These days, many people are judging companies based on their email efforts before they even start a conversation with an actual person. 

    Needless to say, this change in behavior has upped the importance of ensuring that your email communications are optimized to the fullest. 

    Read More
    5 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Creating an Ideal Client Profile

    By Jami Oetting

    Most agencies try to be all things to all clients, even as they push their clients into defining their brand, emphasizing their points of differentiation, and developing a strong point of view. 

    They know that defining who your brand is -- and more importantly -- who it is not is essential for building brand awareness and equity. 
    Read More
    Targeting & Distribution: Stats You Need to Know About Facebook Advertising in 2015 [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    Facebook is always experimenting with new advertising platforms to engage its user base. And it's no wonder the company is currently working hard on mobile advertising opportunities: Out of the estimated 1.39 billion current monthly Facebook users, 1.19 billion of them use Facebook on their mobile devices.

    Optimizing for mobile is only one way Facebook is adapting their advertising platform to help businesses target today's consumer.

    Read More
    The Fastest Way to Grow Your Agency [Free Guide]

    By Niti Shah

    Running your own agency can be a rollercoaster. One week you're lying awake worrying about cash flow, and the next you're scrambling to find freelancers because you've got too much client work and no one to do it.

    Either way, it's keeping you up at night.

    Fast and sustainable growth is something all agencies crave -- but how do you get there? Do you know if your positioning is attracting the right clients? Have you got a plan in place to market yourself the way you set up marketing for your clients? Do you have the right team members in the right seats with the right skills? Are you losing time and resources because your processes aren't streamlined?

    Read More
    How B-Reel Attracts Talent and Hires for the Future of Digital

    By Jami Oetting

    It’s hard enough to find great talent. But the challenge can seem overwhelming when you need to hire people who can come up with ideas for things that have never been done before.

    What types of projects are we talking about? For B-Reel, it means creating a sphere made of 13,211 LED lights that can detect and react to a person’s breath. Or it's using the darkest night of the year as an opportunity to transform an office building into a music sequencer that users across Stockholm can control. 

    Read More
    Is Spec Work Evil? 12 Agency Execs Discuss the Unchecked Problem 

    By Jami Oetting

    The best agency-client relationships are the result of collaboration, with the agency forming a deep understanding of the brand and its goals. 

    Now consider how spec work reimagines this phrase: The best agency-client relationships are the result of the agency quickly producing creative without insights into the brand's challenges and its audience, which the brand will use to judge if the agency is the right team to produce more work to solve its challenges and communicate with its audience. And the agency should do this for little to no compensation.

    Read More
    The Campaign Metrics You Should and Shouldn’t Be Measuring for Growth

    By Peter Sena

    What gets measured, gets improved.

    We all know this often repeated adage -- or some form of it. It’s a nice thought, but for digital brands, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds.

    According to IBM, in the U.S. alone, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day. Quintillion isn’t a number you learned in grade school? It’s 2,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, and we create this every single day.

    Read More
    Here’s How to Find Out What Your Clients Really Think

    By Jami Oetting

    People buy based on emotions, not rational thought.

    You know this to be true when it comes to “consumer audiences,” but somehow, it fails to apply in client situations.

    Consider this: A client expresses his frustration about missed deadlines and miscommunication. Your response is to point out how the client missed approval timelines. You reference emails and phones call where the client made more revisions and asked for more time. You don't blame the client, but you make it clear why the deadline was missed. 

    Read More
    The Science Behind Pricing Strategies That Increase Sales [Infographic]

    By Emma Snider

    This post originally appeared on HubSpot's Sales blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

    Why is it that products and services always seem to be priced following the formula $XX.99? Are we really too cheap to cough up the extra penny?

    If you're a penny collector, you might hesitant to hand over the luckiest of all currency. But frugality has nothing to do with this pricing phenomenon.

    Read More
    Why Your Employees Are Leaving (And How to Make Them Stay)

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Whenever someone quits their job, it can really shake up a team's dynamics. Remaining employees might find themselves scrambling to cover the extra work for weeks or months until someone new gets hired. Even then, the onboarding process can take months.

    And yet a lot of managers don't understand -- and don't make the effort to understand -- the reasons behind why their employees leave.

    Read More
    14 Elements for an Agency 'About Us' Page That Connects With Clients

    By Jami Oetting

    The "about" page is typically an afterthought. While designers, copywriters, and CEOs might spend weeks agonizing over what information and pictures are included on your homepage, they rarely consider what elements other than a short description should be included in the "about us" section of the agency's website. They simply pop in some copy and press publish. 

    This often leads to confusing, self-indulgent information that tells potential clients very little and can even alienate you from the people you want to hire you. 

    Read More
    Agency Execs Weigh In on When to Defend an Account in Review

    By Jami Oetting

    Yearly reviews are typical in the corporate environment. While you might dread them, they are typically positive -- either you find out that your performance exceeds expectations or you gain an understanding of where you are falling short and what you can do to improve. 

    But in the agency world, reviews can be a dramatic event, especially for an agency who is invited to defend a client account. It would be similar to an employee having to re-interview and compete for his job, while also spending upwards of $100,000 and waiting three months to prove he can do the work he has already been doing. 

    Read More
    9 HR Metrics Worth Measuring

    By Jami Oetting

    Google, Apple, and Microsoft are recruiting from advertising schools. Startups are giving creatives the chance to use their skills in a high-growth environment. New media companies -- such as Buzzfeed and Thrillist -- are launching in-house creative shops.

    All these opportunities mean that agencies are facing increasing competition for the talent that once flocked to their swanky offices for the ping-pong tables and free beer.

    Read More
    How to Report on Inbound Marketing Results [Free Ebook]

    By Angela O'Dowd

    The internet is an infinitely measurable place. Data reflects the performance of your online campaigns that will either prove your winning ways or send you back to the drawing board. But before you start plotting the X- and Y-axis for a monthly deck, you need to be clear on your clients challenges and goals.

    Read More
    How a Blank YouTube Video Got 100,000 Views

    By Neil James

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    In an advertising agency, having a good idea isn’t enough. You also have to demonstrate that your thinking caused your client’s cash register to ring. 

    Proving your ads actually rang the register, however, has historically been a difficult exercise -- one requiring deep expertise in research, statistics, and business analysis. 

    Read More
    How to Get Paid for Proposals

    By Jami Oetting

    I think we all can admit that the proposal process is broken.

    Besides the fact that proposals are costly to the agency, time-consuming, and typically result in low close rates, they are also a terrible way to start a relationship.

    Read More
    10 Body Language Tips for Your Next Client Pitch

    By Jami Oetting

    Communication is about more than what you say, and oftentimes, the nonverbal cues you give off can be more influential than the words coming out of your mouth. Knowing how your facial expressions, posture, tone of voice, and movements effect the viewer is especially important when it comes time to pitch a prospect or deliver a client presentation. 

    Read More
    Why People Like, Share, and Comment on Facebook [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    Of Facebook's 1.25 billion monthly active users, 44% Like their friends' posts at least once a day -- and 29% do it multiple times a day. That's hundreds of millions of people interacting with content on the social network on a daily basis.

    So what motivates people to Like Facebook posts -- and share them, and comment on them? And why should businesses care?

    Read More
    10 Edible Billboards You Have to See to Believe 

    By Carly Stec

    There's an old saying that goes, "The best way to a man's consumer's heart is through his stomach."

    Think about it: We swoon over free samples at the mall, grab one too many treats when we come face-to-face with a candy bowl on someone's desk, and broadcast practically every meal we eat on Instagram.

    Read More
    Stop Leading and Start Showing Up: How to Create Impact With Intention

    By Anese Cavanaugh

    Everytime I work with a group or leadership team, whether the goal is alignment, more effective collaboration and communication, conflict navigation, enhanced leadership skills, or whatever they may need to help them hum as a team and do great work in the world, there is a distinction that needs to made.

    This distinction is ultimately the reason why even the most highly educated, brilliant, and talented human beings don’t have the influence or impact they truly want to have.

    Read More
    Instagram Insights: How Brands Use Hashtags [Infographic]

    By Carly Stec

    Instagram is a powerful visual platform for expanding your agency's reach; however, there's more to it than point, click, filter, and post. 

    If you want to ensure that your images aren't lost in a sea of selfies and abstract shots of people's lunches, you must have a plan for optimizing their discoverability. 

    Read More
    The 20 Best Sites for Wasting Time on the Internet

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    There's a lot of content out there about productivity -- everything from hacks to shortcuts to tips and tricks for how to get more done in less time. It's all about the sprint, the checking things off the lists as quickly as possible, and the downloading of software that'll block out any and all distractions.

    But what about those times when you just want to surf the internet aimlessly? Hey, no one can be totally productive all the time.

    Read More
    What You Can Do Today to Grow the Hell Out of Your Agency Tomorrow

    By Mike Lieberman

     

    Whoever told you the agency business was fun and rewarding probably never managed a small inbound marketing agency. 

    Yes, it can be extremely rewarding when a client calls you to let you know they just landed their biggest client, and the lead came from one of your inbound marketing campaigns.

    But let’s be honest. Most of the time you’re working overtime just to stay ahead of the work and the bills.

    Read More
    The Science Behind Why Native Ads Work [Infographic]

    By Jami Oetting

     

    With clickthrough rates of 1% to 5%, mobile banner ads are a sad savior for publishers looking to drive advertising revenue. But they can't ignore this, as people are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to consume content. 

    Consider this: Elite Daily saw a 61% drop in desktop traffic between January 2014 and June 2015, said Nicole Goksel, vice president of revenue operations, at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit.

    Rory Brown, chief content officer at Bleacher Report, said at the same conference that he has seen points in time where 90% of the site's traffic came from mobile devices.  

    Read More
    Get Your Agency's Shit Together: 10 Ways to Build a Great Company

    By Marisa Smith

    When I first started my company, I thought it would be all rainbows and unicorns. I had a lot of fantasies about how much better my lifestyle would be when I didn’t work for “the man,” which is probably why I spent most of my time depressed and anxious when reality finally set in. The financial roller coaster, the feast-or-famine nature of project work, and the loneliness of being a solo-entrepreneur was not what I had in mind.

    Read More
    Type A vs. Type B: Does Personality Type Matter at Work?

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    Organized, ambitious, competitive, and sometimes a little impatient. Laid-back, collaborative, creative, and sometimes a little messy. Does one of those sentences describe you better than the other?

    Most of you probably already associate with either the "Type A" or the "Type B" personality. Or, perhaps you associate with both in different contexts -- like those of us who schedule our time and write to-do lists like maniacs, and yet have never made our beds once in our lives.

    Read More
    5 Tips to Help You Match the Right Agency With the Right Creative Projects

    By Carrie Golvash

    Organizations both large and small are continuously challenged to make the most of their marketing dollars -- do more with less and faster than before. Today’s marketers are tasked with generating demand for their brands, products, and services, and their marketing budgets are being scrutinized and squeezed like never before. Agency spend always ranks high within these tight budgets so improving the agency selection process, which is usually missing or outdated, can yield great returns for companies. 

    Read More
    8 Meeting Scheduler Tools to Make Your Day More Productive

    By Jami Oetting

    We complain about spending countless hours -- billable hours at that -- in unproductive and mismanaged meetings. 

    But the greater crime is the time we all spend scheduling any type meeting. The endless back and forth communication and steps -- reviewing calendars, finding out the best place to meet, seting up a call-in number, adding the meeting to the calendar, and inviting all the necessary attendees -- can ruin your productivity. 

    Read More

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