Why Do Great Digital Agency Employees Leave?
Are you making the right hires for your agency team? Do you feel like your best agency employees don't stick around long enough? Most of your agency's success comes down to the people you surround yourself with. Hiring a team that supports your vision and grows with the agency is the key to success.
In today's episode, we'll cover:
- Does your agency foster career growth?
- 3 strategies to help your agency succeed early.
- How to find the right team members that will stick around.
Today I sat down with Tom Yawney, director of business development at The Influence Agency, a digital marketing, and creative agency. After realizing there was no longer room for growth in his previous agency, Tom and his partners decided to start an agency of their own. He's here to talk about why he left his previous agency, what he's doing differently, and key strategies he has learned along the way.
Does Your Agency Foster Career Growth?
Have you ever spent time and money building a team, only to watch them one by one walk away? Are you struggling to understand why your top-performing team members don't seem to stick around? Tom says he never dreamed of being an agency owner, but he reached a point where there was no longer room for growth.
As an agency owner, you need to provide opportunities for your team to bring new ideas and value to the agency. Your team should never feel like they are, as Tom felt, "stuck in a dead-end job."
Too many agency owners have this hierarchy where they feel they know everything and just assign tasks. If you have ever uttered the phrase, "This is how we've always done it," it's probably time to make a change. Good employees get bored if they aren't given opportunities to challenge their evolving skills. If you hire the right people, it's your job to make sure you don't demotivate them.
3 Strategies to Help Your Agency Succeed Early
Starting an agency is hard and those who don't know what they are doing can quickly fail. Tom says his agency's success is part strategic, part circumstantial. So what went right?
- Knowledge in sales: Obviously sales are important to agency growth. At The Influence Agency, all four founders had a background in sales. It is possible to succeed without a background in sales, however, and most of the time an owner's passion is enough to create the sales hustle necessary for success.
- Complementary skills: Tom and his partners quickly learned they had skills that would complement each other. This meant they could take care of a lot of the work themselves instead of contracting out. This allowed the agency to save money and start some financial momentum.
- The right team: Your first few hires are one of the most important decisions you will make when you are first starting out. It's easy to get enamored by unique skills or an impressive resume, but Tom says you should hire for culture first. Is the person supportive? Do they bring good energy? Are they the right fit? When you bring on the right people, they can help take some of the pressure off your shoulders.
How to Find the Right People for Your Team
So how do you know if someone is a good fit? The most important thing to look at is character. This can be a little tricky, especially at the interview stage where the goal is to impress. At this stage, you want to look at thought-process, mindset, and attitude. Ask questions that will give you insight into someone's character:
- Tell me about a manager you enjoyed working for; what worked?
- How would you handle certain situations?
- What do you like to do for fun? (I like to start with this one because it helps the person feel more relaxed).
It's important to find a fit that is good for the agency and for the employee. This means you need to be transparent about the position the person will be entering as well.
Culture and growth can have a big impact on the happiness of your team and your agency's success. When your team members feel valued and are given opportunities, they'll be more motivated to help your agency grow.
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