What Well-Run Agencies Are Made of With Drew McLellan

How does one decide to start an agency? 

According to Drew McLellan, Founder of Agency Management Institute, most people who start an agency are accidental business owners. They know the ins and outs of their craft but not necessarily the ropes of running a business. And that’s where Drew’s company comes in. AMI helps agencies run their business better through workshops, peer-to-peer groups, and educational content like their podcast.

In this episode of the Vertical Go-To Market Podcast our host Corey Quinn sits down with Drew to break down what it takes to build a thriving agency business regardless of your niche. Drew shares how he acquired AMI 15 years ago, who they work with, and what their approach to consulting small to mid-size agencies is all about. Hint: it’s all about getting personal, vulnerable, and really sharing the ins and outs of what’s going on with your business with your peers. Why? Because the best advice comes from people who’ve been there, done that, and emerged successful.

Join Corey and Drew on Vertical Go-To-Market as They Discuss:

  • Identifying the turning point when you need external support to continue on a growth path.
  • Four major agency challenges and how to approach them.
  • Niching down as a subject matter expert to meet client expectations. 
  • The ideal split of agency operating costs against Adjusted Gross Income.

Actionable Key Takeaways for Agency Founders:

  • Agency owners should aim to build wealth while operating the business by optimizing sales, staffing, and profitability.
  • Processes are a must-have; tribal knowledge won’t sustain success at a growing agency.
  • Sharing and learning from peer challenges and successes calls for full transparency and vulnerability.
  • A niche can be an industry, an audience, or even a deliverable. It isn’t always a specific type of business.
  • Hire people who have a passion for the niche you serve to avoid the boredom pit.
  • Adjusted Gross Income is the one metric all agency owners should be obsessed with.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

- Subscribe to Drew’s Newsletter Here 

- Check out Drew’s Profile on Linkedin Here 

- Learn More About AMI Here

- Explore Drew’s Books on Amazon Here


Join us as we explore how agencies can reach their goals by banding together for knowledge-sharing and insights.

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