293 episodes

How do world-class agencies continue to grow profitably and hit their goals, even through the choppy waters and challenges of agency life?

How do leaders like Tiffany Sauder, Marcus Sheridan, Jay Acunzo, Shama Hyder, David C. Baker, Nikole Rose, and Zeb Evans think?

Join Agency Journey host Jakub Grajcar as he interviews agency operators and leaders to share insights, actionable tips, and hilarious stories from the builders who live in the agency trenches.

Each episode focuses on crucial aspects of growing an agency like building the right team, delegation, project management, client success and retention, and operating frameworks like EOS.

Brought to you by ZenPilot: we help lead your agency through the final project management implementation you’ll ever need. Book a call to learn more at ZenPilot.com/Call.

Don’t forget to rate + follow the podcast if you enjoyed it!

Agency Journey Jakub Grajcar and Gray MacKenzie

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 27 Ratings

How do world-class agencies continue to grow profitably and hit their goals, even through the choppy waters and challenges of agency life?

How do leaders like Tiffany Sauder, Marcus Sheridan, Jay Acunzo, Shama Hyder, David C. Baker, Nikole Rose, and Zeb Evans think?

Join Agency Journey host Jakub Grajcar as he interviews agency operators and leaders to share insights, actionable tips, and hilarious stories from the builders who live in the agency trenches.

Each episode focuses on crucial aspects of growing an agency like building the right team, delegation, project management, client success and retention, and operating frameworks like EOS.

Brought to you by ZenPilot: we help lead your agency through the final project management implementation you’ll ever need. Book a call to learn more at ZenPilot.com/Call.

Don’t forget to rate + follow the podcast if you enjoyed it!

    Crafting a Winning Hiring Process for Your Agency – Lessons Learned From Our Recent COO Recruitment

    Crafting a Winning Hiring Process for Your Agency – Lessons Learned From Our Recent COO Recruitment

    “Candidate expectations have certainly accelerated. There's a difference today versus 10 years ago in terms of what people's expectations are and how fast other processes are going. And so moving quickly is an advantage in a hiring process—and figuring out how to move quickly without sacrificing on the process is a little bit of an art.”
    In this episode, our very own Gray McKenzie discusses the process of hiring the right people for an agency. He shares his recent experience of hiring an Integrator and COO for ZenPilot, and all the small and big decisions that shaped the recruitment process. Gray explains the hiring framework we followed, the stages of the hiring process, the approach towards sourcing and screening candidates, and much more.

    A great listen for anyone looking to expand their team—it will help you craft a fast process that surfaces the best talent and captures it before it goes off the market.
    Episode Insights:

    💡 Hiring the right people is crucial for agency growth and success.
    💡 “Who: the A Method for Hiring” is a framework that can help agencies find and hire the best candidates.
    💡 It’s important to promote your job postings selectively to have a higher quality pipeline.
    💡 Clear communication and transparency about the role and expectations are key in attracting the right candidates. Have a defined hiring process to provide clarity and confidence to both candidates and the hiring team.
    💡 Move quickly in the hiring process to meet candidate expectations and avoid losing top talent.
    💡 Reference checks are crucial to gather additional insights and validate a candidate's performance.
    💡 Group interviews can provide different perspectives and help candidates and team members build rapport.
    💡 Consider a co-working session as part of your hiring process to assess candidates in action.
    💡 Make connections with unsuccessful candidates to maintain positive relationships and potential future opportunities.
    Resourced Mentioned:

    🌐 ZenPilot 
    🌐 Gray’s LinkedIn 
    📚 "Who: The A Method for Hiring" by Geoff Smart and Randy Street
    📚 "Topgrading" by Bradford D. Smart
    ⚙️ EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System)
    🤝 EOS Self-Implementers Group 
    ⚒️ Loom

    ----------------------------------

    Brought to you by ZenPilot, ClickUp’s #1 Solutions Partner with 2,700+ agency ops makeovers under our belt.

    📕 Get our free, 56-page ebook: "How to Use ClickUp – The Ultimate Guide": 

    👉 Don’t forget to follow and rate us on your preferred podcast platforms. We’re also on YouTube: @ZenPilot

    • 51 min
    Paid Assessments, Collective Knowledge, and HubSpot's Future Trajectory with Adam Sharrow

    Paid Assessments, Collective Knowledge, and HubSpot's Future Trajectory with Adam Sharrow

    "I think the hardest thing that all HubSpot agencies are trying to solve for is… 500 product updates this year. How do you keep it all straight? How do you share that knowledge? How much knowledge do you have to know as a team, to what level? One thing that I practice and preach is: not everybody's going to know everything, but that collectively as a team and as an agency, we've got people in certain areas that are experts in those areas that we can rely on."
    Adam Sharrow is the founder of Process Pro Consulting, a HubSpot Diamond Partner agency specializing in technical implementation, optimization, and support for businesses using HubSpot.

    Drawing from his experience in building and scaling a successful HubSpot agency, Adam shares about navigating the challenges of growth, managing a team of experts, and staying ahead of the curve even as HubSpot releases 500+ product updates each year.

    This episode of Agency Journey will be perfect for agency owners looking to specialize in a specific niche, such as HubSpot consulting, and build a sustainable, scalable business model.

    You'll learn about the importance of conducting thorough client assessments, balancing quick wins with long-term strategic planning, and fostering a culture of knowledge sharing and expertise within your growing team.
    Episode Insights:

    💡 Challenges and strategies for running a HubSpot-focused agency—from a HubSpot Diamond Partner
    💡 The trajectory of HubSpot: where it’s going in the future, and how it relates to how Salesforce grew
    💡 The importance of a paid discovery/assessment—and seeing it through even when clients want to jump to solving specific issues
    💡 The capacity planning challenges created by month-to-month retainers (and how to mitigate them)
    💡 Staying on top of 500+ HubSpot product updates per year and managing collective internal expertise as you scale
    💡 Addressing the challenges of scaling from 5 to 10 to 15 people—and how it impacts which metrics you track
    💡 Specializing in your wheelhouse of expertise vs trying to solve everything + the benefits of partnering with other agencies for complementary needs
    💡 How to build sales pipeline as a HubSpot agency
    Resourced Mentioned:

    📚 Process Pro Consulting website 
    📚 Adam Sharrow on LinkedIn
    👉 Don’t forget to follow and rate us on your preferred podcast platforms. We’re also on YouTube: @ZenPilot

    • 28 min
    A Special Announcement About the Future of Agency Journey

    A Special Announcement About the Future of Agency Journey

    We’ve got an announcement to share about the future of the podcast.

    👉 Don’t forget to follow and rate us on your preferred podcast platforms. We’re also on YouTube: @ZenPilot

    • 16 min
    Fixing Underperforming Businesses, Crafting Equity Deals, and Reclaiming Time with Casey Cavell

    Fixing Underperforming Businesses, Crafting Equity Deals, and Reclaiming Time with Casey Cavell

    “In today's day and age people are scared to be measured. But your athletes, they love it because that's how they grew up. How do you know who are the best players on the team? You look at the box score, you look at the stat sheet. So I like bringing a sports mentality to everything I do.”
    Casey Cavell is a serial entrepreneur. He’s built a $40,000,000 portfolio from a $9,000 investment by founding, buying, or investing in dozens of small businesses over the last two decades.

    He also has personal experience with the kind of burnout that results from the business growing and relying too heavily on one person.

    Which is why he now focuses on helping companies simplify, focus, and get the business owner out of the day-to-day.

    This episode of Agency Journey will be perfect if you’re an entrepreneur thinking about investing in and increasing the value of other businesses; bringing in A-players; and mindfully delegating tasks until you’re left working on what you do best and love most.
    Episode Insights:

    💡 How Casey found underperforming businesses to acquire, and how he turned them into more systematic, process-driven organizations
    💡 Buying businesses outright vs coming in as an investor
    💡 Structuring equity/profit-sharing deals with clients—including earning trust with a 90-day initial engagement
    💡 How to prevent burnout by delegating tasks, hiring A-players, and removing reliance on the owner
    💡 The specific tasks entrepreneurs should delegate first
    💡 Defining what you want your business to do for your life
    Resourced Mentioned:

    📚 Casey’s consulting business
    📚 Casey’s LinkedIn
    📚 The Dugout CEO podcast
    📚 The Friday Drive newsletter 
    📚 Books: Good to Great; Rich Dad Poor Dad; The E-Myth
    👉 Don’t forget to follow and rate us on your preferred podcast platforms. We’re also on YouTube: @ZenPilot

    • 30 min
    Overprioritizing Your Business, Setting Boundaries, and Finding Balance with Carlos Hidalgo

    Overprioritizing Your Business, Setting Boundaries, and Finding Balance with Carlos Hidalgo

    “I had bought into this idea that you had to sacrifice everything you had to kill yourself for growth. And it cost me dearly. I made some really poor decisions.”

    Carlos Hidalgo is co-founder & CEO of Digital Exhaust, a Utah-based data-driven, AI-enabled agency with a belief that "growth is a state of being, not just a goal to be achieved".

    But he's also a man with a dramatic story of putting his business ahead of his other life priorities—and learning some very hard lessons from that.

    This episode of Agency Journey will be a perfect reality check for agency owners, and an opportunity to re-assess the importance you should put on your agency relative to the current stage of your life journey.

    It will be especially relevant if you're balancing being a business owner with being a spouse, a parent, and a person driven by faith.
    Episode Insights:

    💡 The pivotal moments that reshaped Carlos's perspective on work-life balance and led him to reassess his priorities—including stepping down from one of his previous agencies.
    💡 Practical wisdom on setting non-negotiable boundaries, prioritizing well-being, and staying true to your business ethos.
    💡 Specific practices and habits Carlos introduced with his wife and himself to build a balanced and fulfilling life as an agency owner.
    💡 The virtues of being selective about what you're willing to invest yourself in, and how much.
    Resourced Mentioned:

    📚 Digital Exhaust 
    📚 The UnAmerican Dream by Carlos Hidalgo (book) 
    📚 Carlos' LinkedIn 
    🛠️ AI tools: Otter, ChatGPT, Jasper

    👉 Don’t forget to follow and rate us on your preferred podcast platforms. We’re also on YouTube: @ZenPilot

    • 23 min
    YouTube Content Ideas, Owner Mindset, and Recognizing Your Leadership Style with Ali Schwanke

    YouTube Content Ideas, Owner Mindset, and Recognizing Your Leadership Style with Ali Schwanke

    “I have long seen myself as: I’m a very good marketer. I'm a very good communicator. I'm a good content creator. That's my lane. I know how to drive in that lane very, very well. And this has been a challenge for me to say: how do I become the best president, owner of a services business? Versus the best marketer anybody knows.”

    Ali Schwanke is founder and CEO of Simple Strat—a Diamond HubSpot Solutions Partner and premium B2B content marketing agency.

    You may know them from the HubSpot Hacks YouTube channel, the #1 unofficial source of HubSpot tutorials with over 20k subscribers to the channel.

    This episode will be a perfect listen for agency operators looking to find their perfect niche; discover content topics and formats that work on YouTube; and become a better leader by leveraging their unique leadership style.

    It’s also full of inspiration for owners considering making an exit from their agency.
    Episode Insights:

    💡 Simple Strat’s journey towards becoming experts in the HubSpot ecosystem through content creation and strategic focus
    💡 How Ali and her team approach content production and finding ideas for their HubSpot Hacks channel on YouTube (leveraging TubeBuddy, AirTable, and HubSpot rep feedback)
    💡 Moving from solving problems on her own to empowering team members to learn and grow
    💡 Ali’s advice on leadership styles, the shift in mindset from a marketer to an agency owner, and the importance of systems and processes in scaling an agency
    💡 Ali’s thoughts on how to prepare for a future exit from an agency, including the importance of mindset but also legal compliance, data preparation, and more
    Resourced Mentioned:
    📚 Simple Strat 
    📚 Ali Schwanke’s LinkedIn
    📚 HubSpot Hacks YouTube channel 
    📚 TubeBuddy (for YouTube keyword research)
    📚 "Work Less, Earn More" by Karl Sakas (book)
    📚 "Built to Sell" by John Warrillow (book)
    📚 "How to Win Client Business When You Don't Know What You're Doing" by Doug Fletcher (book)
    👉 Don’t forget to follow and rate us on your preferred podcast platforms. We’re also on YouTube: @ZenPilot

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

Adarcus ,

Engaging

Andrew and Gray do an incredible job of sharing stories from owners

J. Barshop ,

Awesome show, highly recommend!

Andrew, Gray and their guests provide some incredibly actionable and compelling content on how to effectively build the digital marketing agency of your dreams.

Highly recommend listening and subscribing to Inbound Agency Journey if you want the knowledge & mindsets to level up your marketing and business efforts (and reach all of your overall goals as a result)!

Bouso ,

Insightful & Actionable

I've been listening to Andrew and Grey's podcast for the better part of a year and have learned so much that i've put into action in my business. They interview interesting guests on topics and strategies on Inbound, I highly recommend a listen!

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