Hybrid agencies will be immersed in technology, and they will deliver a results-driven blend of digital and traditional services, but the most important factor in their ability to surpass traditional financial performance benchmarks lies in diversified revenue streams. For some, that will mean moving into software development, which can offer higher profit margins and lucrative licensing fees, but the more logical strategy for most agencies will be to explore channels as educators, publishers, and value-added resellers (VARs), and affiliates.
Educator and Publisher
Once an agency positions itself as a thought leader and establishes a proven performance track record, it opens up opportunities to create and capture value on a larger scale through speaking engagements, online courses, webinars, digital publications, book publishing, and teaching.
In order to monetize your knowledge and capabilities outside of services, you have to differentiate yourself and bring real value to audiences. Do not be afraid to start small, and remember to have patience. Creating recurring revenue through education and publishing requires that you build up significant reach and influence through online and offline channels.
Seven Steps for Building an Effective Speaking Strategy
A sound speaking strategy can have a dramatic effect on the growth of your agency, and it can position your professionals as thought leaders and innovators. Here is a step-by-step guide we often use to help clients looking to build speaking strategies that deliver results.
Speaking topics establish the foundation for a sound speaking strategy. These topics, will evolve over time, and support the identification and pursuit of opportunities.
VAR and Affiliate Programs
Value-added reseller (VAR) partnerships, such as the HubSpot VAR Partner Program, are an ideal way to generate referrals, differentiate your firm, and create recurring revenue through license fees. In VAR relationships, agencies provide services, consulting, training, customization, and integration around third-party products. VAR programs give agencies the ability to expand their services and reach, without investing resources in developing their own software.
Intrinsically motivated professionals who are driven to be great will redefine marketing agencies and the industry. They derive fulfillment from being a part of something greater than themselves. Their success is not defined by money, fame, or power, but rather by the pursuit of purpose. They challenge authority and quickly tire of tradition, seek autonomy and flexibility, desire balance, and value the freedom to pursue their passions outside their careers.
These professionals excel in agency cultures that reward collective success over individual achievements. They care less about why, and more often ask, “Why not?” Theirs is a world of endless possibility, and they are the future. Your agency will be defined by its ability to recruit and retain the best. When all else is equal—processes, services, pricing, and infrastructure—it is a talent that cannot be replicated.
Model agencies are constructed one employee at a time. They do not allow market demand or outside expectations to dictate their growth and they do not sacrifice the quality of their hires to satisfy short-term needs. They take a controlled, almost methodical, approach to expansion. They develop talent from within and construct teams based on shared values, innate abilities, and complementary character traits.