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  • Writer's pictureMark A Preston

Essential Insights for Aspiring SEO Agency Leaders

Venturing into the realm of agency building and expansion, the journey itself is as vital as the ultimate goal. Reflecting upon my insightful dialogue with Kevin Gibbons, a stalwart in the digital marketing arena, his reflections offer invaluable wisdom for anyone on the brink of starting their agency journey or those in the nascent stages of growth. This blog aims to distil those insights into practical advice, leveraging Kevin's experiences on what he wishes were known at the beginning.


SEO agency insights

Mastering the Breadth of Agency Management


Kevin's transition from an SEO enthusiast to leading an agency highlights a familiar tale in the sector: many of us embark on this journey driven by a passion for our craft, only to discover that successful agency management encompasses far more. Moving from an individual contributor to a leader involves mastering not just your service offering but the broader aspects of running a business.


Key Focus Areas:


  1. Leadership Structure: Building and structuring a leadership team is fundamental. This entails identifying the necessary roles and ensuring the team possesses a balanced skill set to drive growth.

  2. Client Retention: The significance of retaining clients cannot be overstated. Strategies for client retention should receive as much emphasis as those for acquiring new clients.

  3. Operations, Sales, and Marketing: These three pillars—operations, sales, and marketing—are critical to an agency's success or failure. Competence across these areas is crucial for sustained growth.


Learning from Mistakes: Accelerating the Path to Success


The journey to agency success is seldom straightforward. Kevin's path was marked by trials, errors, and the priceless lessons these mistakes imparted. While learning from one's mistakes is a form of advancement, Kevin suggests that there are methods to accelerate success without having to encounter every possible misstep.


Practical Steps for Aspiring Agency Founders:


  1. Invest in Business Management Knowledge: Even if your passion is deeply rooted in the craft, a comprehensive understanding of business fundamentals is indispensable. Seek resources, courses, and mentors that can guide you on the business aspects of running an agency.

  2. Cultivate a Robust Leadership Team Early On: Identify key roles within your agency requiring leadership oversight. Search for individuals who not only align with your vision but also bring complementary skills to the table.

  3. Emphasise Client Retention from the Outset: Establish systems and procedures that bolster client satisfaction. Regular feedback mechanisms, proactive communication, and consistently delivering added value can strengthen client relationships.

  4. Maintain a Balance Across the Three Pillars: Give operations, sales, and marketing equal attention. Each area is interdependent and pivotal to the agency's overall health and expansion.

  5. Absorb Lessons from Others: While some lessons inevitably stem from first-hand experiences, actively seek advice and insights from those who have previously navigated the path. This can help avoid certain pitfalls and hasten your growth journey.

  6. Remain Adaptable: The agency landscape is dynamic. Stay open to adjusting your strategies based on new insights and the changing needs of your clients and the market.


In Kevin's words, had he completely controlled these insights at the start of his agency journey, he would have been "further along the journey" than he was. This reflection isn't about ruing the past but rather offering a guide for those embarking on or navigating the early stages of their agency adventure.



Embracing the comprehensive scope of agency management, learning from both personal experiences and those of others, and being ready to adapt are the cornerstones of not just surviving but thriving in the competitive agency environment. Let's take these lessons to heart and carve out paths that are not only successful but deeply rewarding.

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