100 episodes

The Agency Leadership Podcast provides insights for agency owners and executives. Co-hosts Chip Griffin and Gini Dietrich share practical advice and industry news relevant to PR and marketing agency leaders.

Agency Leadership Podcast Chip Griffin and Gini Dietrich

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

The Agency Leadership Podcast provides insights for agency owners and executives. Co-hosts Chip Griffin and Gini Dietrich share practical advice and industry news relevant to PR and marketing agency leaders.

    Relying on third parties to deliver agency services

    Relying on third parties to deliver agency services

    Most agencies depend on vendors and contracts to help provide at least some of the results that their clients expect.







    Any time you rely on these third parties, you need to consider what happens if they don’t deliver as expected.







    As more agencies consider using AI tools like ChatGPT to deliver services at reduced costs or shorter timeframes, these dependencies pose an even greater risk if they fail to perform as expected.







    Chip and Gini discuss options, including having fallback plans or making clear to a client that results are contingent upon that other company or organization doing their part.







    Resources









    * What is a Tamagotchi?







    * ChatGPT









    Key takeaways









    * Chip Griffin: “You need to have a backup plan and/or you need to be entirely transparent about being reliant on a third party and make sure that the client understands the implications if that is not available.”







    * Gini DIetrich: “There are great opportunities, but understand what the risks are and protect yourself.”







    * Chip Griffin: “Be careful about proposing something to a client that is hyper specific in writing. Make sure that you’re putting together more of a generalized plan, that you then work with them over time to consider.”







    * Gini Dietrich, on the client having direct relationships with vendors: “I’m not the bank, so you have the direct relationship. You pay them directly and we’ll happily use it on your behalf.”











    View Transcript

    The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.







    Chip Griffin: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m Chip Griffin.







    Gini Dietrich: And I’m Gini Dietrich.







    Chip Griffin: And today we’re gonna talk about relying on third parties, something that Gini has a lot of familiarity with because of a nice little Christmas toy she has right after this.







    Gini Dietrich: Everybody get to see the tamagotchi now, right?







    Chip Griffin: Some people would be satisfied with having their own kid they had to take care of . For some reason, Gini has now gotten roped into taking care of a pretend child. I do not understand this for the life of me. Do you want to listen for, for people like me who have never heard of this thing?







    Gini Dietrich: I don’t know how you’ve never heard of this, because this was, this was popular when your boys were little.







    Chip Griffin: Have you met me, Gini? Have you met me? I don’t know all sorts of stuff.







    Gini Dietrich: You have children!







    Chip Griffin: I have boys. They do not want to pretend to have a baby. They can barely take care of themselves let alone some little electronic toy.







    Gini Dietrich: So my little one got a tamagotchi for Christmas, in her stocking, and she can’t take it to school. So every morning she comes and hands it to me and says, thank you for babysitting. And so I take care of the Tamagotchi during the day, and then when she gets in the car, when I pick her up, I hand the Tamagotchi back and she takes care of it for the afternoon and evening.







    Chip Griffin: Okay. Yeah, that’s, um,

    • 19 min
    Beware of dangerous agency RFP terms and conditions

    Beware of dangerous agency RFP terms and conditions

    Regular listeners know that Chip and Gini aren’t fans of most agency RFP processes and believe that most of them should be avoided.







    But if you choose to play the game, you need to watch out for onerous terms and conditions — especially ridiculously slow payment terms.







    The co-hosts pick up on news reports about 1-year payment terms being proposed (and defended) by Dr. Pepper. This turns agencies into banks, something for which they are ill-suited.







    Rather than focusing primarily on price, with a secondary interest in scope, agencies need to look at the entirety of the contract terms that they are agreeing to with prospective clients.







    Resources









    * Conversations are key to successful RFP responses







    * The pros and cons of RFP’s for agencies









    Key takeaways









    * Chip Griffin: “If you’re small, lean into it. It is much better to be small, admit you’re small, and sell that as an advantage, as opposed to being small and trying to look bigger.”







    * Gini Dietrich: “I wouldn’t have known why the prospective client was looking for a new agency if I hadn’t acted like I was a 3 year-old and kept asking why.”







    * Chip Griffin: “If they’re trying to figure out whether they’re happy with their existing agency or not, they’re not.”







    * Gini Dietrich: “You just ask questions. Why are we here today? Tell me more about that. What’s your biggest pain point? And at the end of that meeting, the prospect will say, that’s the best meeting I’ve ever had. Every time.”











    View Transcript

    The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.







    Chip Griffin: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m Chip Griffin.







    Gini Dietrich: And I’m GiniDietrich.







    Chip Griffin: And Gini, I’ve got some specifications that I’m gonna give you and I want you to think about them and let me know how much it’s gonna cost to actually record this episode, but okay. But I’m not gonna pay you for a couple of years, so…







    Gini Dietrich: Oh, okay. Well, cool.







    Chip Griffin: Right after this.







    So we’re gonna talk about RFPs, dog and pony shows, RFIs, all these fun things that agencies like to play in to feel like they’re doing something with business development and whether or not we think it’s a worthwhile use of your time.







    Gini Dietrich: No it’s not.







    Chip Griffin: Did I, did I already not give away perspective the way I framed that?







    Gini Dietrich: No it’s not, the end.







    And that’s the shortest podcast episode.







    Chip Griffin: The shortest episode ever. Ignore RFPs. Don’t do them. Just don’t do them. Just don’t do them. We’ve talked about this before, but I, I, I think it is worth talking about again because it is a topic that has been back in some of the agency news lately in part because of. the good old people at Dr. Pepper who have decided not just to make a soda that tastes foul, in my opinion.







    Gini Dietrich: I agree.







    Chip Griffin: But they,

    • 21 min
    Biz dev when you’re just starting an agency

    Biz dev when you’re just starting an agency

    You have decided to take the leap and build your own agency. But how do you find clients?







    In this episode, Chip and Gini share their thoughts on how to acquire your earliest clients.







    They also look at the steps you should take to build a consistent new business engine that will serve you well for years to come.







    Key takeaways:









    * Gini Dietrich: “Figure out where it is that you excel and then focus on building your network that way.”







    * Chip Griffin: “When you’re starting out, if you’ve got three or four decent clients, you’re probably in really good shape. So don’t focus on the quantity side. Focus on the quality side.”







    * Gini Dietrich: “It’s a lot easier to grow and scale as a new agency owner than it is for somebody who’s been in business for a very long time.”







    * Chip Griffin: “From day one, carve out that time to continue to network, to continue to have meaningful conversations with prospects or people who can refer work to you, because that’s how you will make sure that you’ve got a real engine for growth in the future.”











    View Transcript

    The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.







    Chip Griffin: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m Chip Griffin.







    Gini Dietrich: And I’m Gini Dietrich.







    Chip Griffin: And we’re gonna talk about getting started with business development today, because I have nothing… I, I don’t have a funny intro, so I’m just telling you that’s what the topic is. Getting started with business development. That’s it. After this,







    Gini Dietrich: You’re on your, on your game today.







    Chip Griffin: I, yeah, I mean, I, I screwed up the intro, so we had to, to restart the recording. Y’all will never hear that. Sorry. But, you know, it’s, and, and I, it threw me off my game, and I wasn’t able to come up with a cutesy little intro. So we’re talking about business development.







    When you’re just getting started, you just, you’re just starting your agency. You wanna know how to grow business and do it consistently. That’s what we’re gonna talk about. Easy peasy.







    Gini Dietrich: Easy peasy. All right. How do you do it?







    Chip Griffin: Oh, I have to have an answer? I, I thought I was just introducing the topic.







    Gini Dietrich: No, you have to, you have to have an answer.







    Chip Griffin: Well, so I mean, really the, the, the first and best answer is that you started with at least one client. Yes. Which is I think true of the vast majority of agencies. Most, most folks don’t hang out the shingle without a client already on the line, usually, or not usually. Sometimes that may be your last employer.







    Yep. Sometimes it may be someone who was a client of that last employer. Yep. Sometimes it may be someone that you’ve had a previous business relationship with and you’ve talked to them, and so now you can use that as your jumping off point. Yep. So chances are you’ve got some kind of revenue right out of the gate. Not enough to sustain you, probably.







    Not enough to, to sit there and say, oh, I’m happy now, but at least it gets you started. And so it’s helpful to, to figure out how to get that first client. If you don’t have it,

    • 20 min
    Is AI writing an agency’s friend or foe?

    Is AI writing an agency’s friend or foe?

    The communications world has been abuzz with discussion about the impact that AI-generated content may have on their roles.







    Some agency owners are concerned about tools like ChatGPT taking away revenue from their businesses, while others see those same services as an opportunity to increase efficiency and profitability.







    In this episode, Chip and Gini discuss the questions that they have been hearing from agency leaders and share some of their insights on where the technology stands today — and what the future may hold.







    Resources









    * ChatGPT









    Key takeaways









    * Gini Dietrich: “Where we add the value is in the storytelling and the engagement. And the process that it takes to engage and nurture somebody from a website visitor to a customer. That’s where we add the value from a content perspective. And this AI doesn’t do that.”







    * Chip Griffin: “Agencies should be focused on working with their clients on longer term plays to try to figure out how do we create engaging content that creates a relationship with the reader that draws them in, that shows off our actual individual expertise that we have within our organization. And if you’re doing those things, then AI is not nearly as much of a threat.”







    * Gini Dietrich: “This is an opportunity, just like when social media was launched and when blogging was launched, and we’ve had all of these changes in the last 10 or 15 years that have affected the way that we run our businesses. And it hasn’t created this whole crisis where we all go out of business.”







    * Chip Griffin: “It’s sort of like when we brought along combustion engines and if you were going to be determined that all you were ever going to do was run a horse and buggy, well, you’ve probably got an issue there.”











    View Transcript

    The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.







    Chip Griffin: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m Chip Griffin.







    Gini Dietrich: And I’m Gini Dietrich.







    Chip Griffin: Gini, today I think we’re gonna be artificially intelligent, because let’s face it, we can’t be intelligent on our own.







    Gini Dietrich: No, we cannot. I agree with you.







    Chip Griffin: Right after this.







    So we’ll call this the, uh, the NutraSweet episode, of the Agency Leadership Podcast.







    Gini Dietrich: I love it.







    Chip Griffin: Does NutraSweet even still exist?







    Gini Dietrich: I don’t know. I was just gonna say, I think you just aged yourself. I don’t know that. I don’t know if it does.







    Chip Griffin: I remember as a kid that was, they were the pink packets, right?







    Gini Dietrich: Yeah, I, yeah, I think so.







    Chip Griffin: Yeah. Yeah.







    Gini Dietrich: It might still exist. It might.







    Chip Griffin: It, I, you know, I, I’m sure it probably exists right along. I mean, Sanka has still gotta be out there too. I remember all of the grandparents and that sort of thing, drank Sanka, which was just super nasty. Instant coffee.







    Gini Dietrich: Well, she loved it. Ugh.







    Chip Griffin: Yeah. So Sanka with Nutrasweet. Mm, tasty.

    • 20 min
    Get to Know Your Clients Better

    Get to Know Your Clients Better

    How much do you really know about your clients? Not the organization and its goals, but the people you actually work with on a daily basis.







    In this episode, the co-hosts discuss Gini’s recent article with 11 questions you should ask your clients so that you know how they work and how you can best engage with them.







    It’s all part of building stronger, more lasting relationships that will serve you well as you work to produce results and maintain the business.







    Key takeaways









    * Chip Griffin: “Remember that we’ve got people working with people here. We often talk about the agency client relationship. There really is no such thing.”







    * Gini Dietrich: “Understanding where they came from, what their career path has been, and what kind of biases they have will help you understand how to help them navigate the work that you’re going to do together.”







    * Chip Griffin: “If you know what they’re reading every morning, you can read it too.”







    * Gini Dietrich, on not liking surprises: “It’s like my mom used to tell us when we were kids, if you’re in trouble at school, it’s far better for you to tell me than for me to learn it from the teacher.”











    View Transcript

    The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.







    Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m Chip Griffin.







    Gini Dietrich: I’m Gini Dietrich.







    Chip Griffin: And Gini, how about we play 11 questions today, not 20, just 11.







    Gini Dietrich: I like it. 11 questions it is.







    Chip Griffin: All right. Right after this.







    So we’re gonna talk about an article that you wrote for LinkedIn recently that I saw, and I’m like, we need to talk about that on the show because it covers something that I think a lot of folks in agency land don’t pay enough attention to, which is really digging in to understanding your clients. And I’m not talking about the usual questions you would ask them, like, what do you want us to do for you?







    When is it due? How much are you going to pay us? Those questions, these are really questions that you suggest should be asked to help them get to the, the root of how they work, how they, and how you can interact with them better. In other words, how to build a relationship, which is so important.







    Gini Dietrich: Yeah, and I think it even goes beyond you know, the typical questions you would ask of a friend, right?







    Like, how many kids do you have? What are their names? What are their ages? Where do they go to school? You know, like those kinds of things. What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies? Like, those kinds of things you would ask normally, I think in just general conversation, how are your holidays? How was your weekend?







    That kind of thing. So it goes beyond that and we start to look into exactly what you said.







    Chip Griffin: Well, normal, not socially awkward people like me might ask those questions. I’m not…







    Gini Dietrich: Listen Chip, don’t get me started. But it does. It goes beyond that, and it really helps you understand the kinds of questions that you should have the answers to about your clients as you are building a relationship with them and something that’s going to, to be longlasting.







    You know, we,

    • 25 min
    How to keep making money in 2023

    How to keep making money in 2023

    With all the talk of inflation and recession, agency owners are understandably concerned about maintaining — let alone growing — profitability in the new year.







    In this episode, Chip and Gini explore how you can correct your pricing to handle shrinking margins due to inflation and other factors. They look at how you should think about client retention as part of the profit mix.







    Finally, they remind agency leaders that price increases aren’t the only way to protect profits and that managing scope and efficiency can have the same effect in some situations.







    Key takeaways









    * Gini Dietrich: “Really it’s less about raising your rates and more about how you message it.”







    * Chip Griffin: “Our nature is we want to over service. Fine. Just plan that into your estimates for how much it’s going to take to do the work so that you can price appropriately.”







    * Gini Dietrich: “Don’t raise your rates just to raise your rates. Find creative ways to embrace the opportunity with clients, and you’ll be able to make money that way.”







    * Chip Griffin: “When you’re trying to think about how do you continue to make money in an uncertain environment with all the things that are circling around us right now, part of that is focusing on client retention.”











    View Transcript

    The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.







    Chip Griffin: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m Chip Griffin.







    Gini Dietrich: And I’m Gini Dietrich.







    Chip Griffin: And Gini I, I need to figure out how to make some money. I just, you know, it’s crazy time. I, I gotta figure it out.







    Gini Dietrich: Holiday time. You gotta make some money. Get it. Yeah.







    Chip Griffin: Right after this.







    So we are creeping up on the end of the year here. Lots of folks are doing their year ahead planning and they’re reading about how inflation is continuing. There’s still the possibility of a recession and who knows what else 2023 might have to offer. So, so we thought we would talk today about how do we keep making money in this environment as an agency?







    How do we, you know, not just generate revenue, but actually profits. And so that’s our jumping off point for today and, and we’ll see where we wind up.







    Gini Dietrich: Yeah, I’m glad you said that because I was going to say, making money does not necessarily mean more revenue. It means profit.







    Chip Griffin: Yes.







    Gini Dietrich: How do make money?







    Chip Griffin: And we beat that dead horse all the time.







    Gini Dietrich: We do.







    Chip Griffin: Because still too many people come to us and say, Hey, I need to grow my revenue by this, or, I’m a million dollar agency. I wanna be a $2 million agency. No, no. Let’s focus on profit, please.







    Gini Dietrich: Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Please. And I think in as part of that, we can have, there are lots of things that we can be looking at. Certainly raising your rates. Making sure that you’re not over servicing, making sure that you’re getting paid for the work that you’re doing. Making sure that you’re considering a profit margin when you budget for new clients or for, for new projects. Considering other alternative revenue streams.

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Mike_Rosenberg ,

Informative with specific tips

Very informative for agency owners with a diverse list of topics. I love the perspective that Gini and Chip provide and they alway provide some specific example of what to do. Plus their banter is entertaining.

Ken Schulz ,

Consultant

This is a program I look forward to each week. With each episode I'm learning new things or being reminded of things I know but should be paying more attention to in my day-to-day. It's a terrific guide for any agency owner looking to grow revenues and build stronger businesses.

RoninMarketeer ,

The Insight You Need To Run an Agency

I'm biased, I've followed both of the hosts' work so I know what they bring to the table. Worth listening to.

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