Personal development

Agency owner personal development: January is the best time to do it

January is the month agency owners either dread or look forward to the most. 

You’ll either stumble into January still half asleep, hoping this will be your year. Or you planned the growth of your agency for the whole year in December and are ready to roll on the 1st of January!

In the first case agency owners often need a motivation boost to ensure this is ACTUALLY going to be THE year of big growth. 

In the second case, we see agency owners super motivated for the first month. The minute client work kicks off all those big plans go out the door.

January is by far the best month to start on your personal development as an agency owner to help you with either case. To help you find what works best for you, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to help you keep on top of growing your agency this year.


Join a peer support community for agency owners

Agency personal development starts with being around your peers. The Agency Collective is the best peer support community for agency owners of mainly independent agencies. A great place to sanity check your ideas. Learn from others who already made the mistakes for you. Get an ongoing motivation boost off a community that is full of thriving agencies. Also a good place to partner up with other agency owners for work, if new business is currently a struggle.


Join a trade body

Bristol Media

if you are based in Bristol, we highly recommend Bristol Media. They are the go to place for inspiring events and local knowledge about the media industry. Find out more how Bristol Media helps agencies


Manchester Digital

if you are based in Manchester, we also recommend Manchester Digital. Again the go to place for anything that is going on in our industry locally. A place to learn and recruit new team members. Find out more about how Manchester Digital helps agencies



the DBA has been around for a long time. Primarily consists of design led agencies. But they offer a lot of courses that can help you and your agency to the next level. See what courses the DBA offers for agencies



The IPA focuses heavily on large agencies and their teams. All the big agencies are part of the community, which can make it an interesting community for smaller agencies to join and learn from. Find out what the IPA can offer your agency


Get a mentor / coach / non-exec director

Sally Henderson

Is a change mentor specialist. She’s worked with a wide range of agency owners to change their mindset. Especially those that may have fallen out of love with their agency. Or those who have been incredibly successful and need to rethink their next step. Find Sally Henderson change management and leadership services for agencies here


Karl Heasman

is the perfect coach. Very calm in his approach, always leading you to the right answers. His agency experience includes building and selling a successful agency. Find his agency coaching services through Greycott Consultancy


Rachel Bell

Incredible agency entrepreneur. Built and sold multiple agencies. Including putting together a mini agency group worth more than £25M. She helps agencies scale up and is really good at it. Find her offering under the company name Brand Spanking consultancy. Connect with Rachel Bell on LinkedIn to find out more about her non executive director services


Jon Wilkins

Built and sold Naked Communications for around £15M. Jon has vast experience in agency leadership roles most recently as Chairman at Karmarama, where he was instrumental in the exit of the agency to Accenture. Now MD at Accenture Interactive. Connect with Jon Wilkins on LinkedIn


Felix Velarde

Having built and sold multiple times, Felix has found a specialism in helping agencies around the £2M triple in size in 2 years. Read up on his 2Y3X formula which explains how he does it. Find out more about Felix Valarde and his full non executive director service offering here


Louisa Pau

Having built and sold a successful PR agency, Louisa now provides leadership training for agency owners. Even your most thought through strategic plan can fail if you are not a good leader. Find Louisa Pau’s services on leadership here under the company name Otherboard here


Check out an agency relevant podcast / youtube channel


Blair Enns & David C. Baker (2 Bobs) 

Voted as a top podcast listened to by agency owners. 2 Bobs is a casual and entertaining show between two agency advisors, who talk about all topics agency owners face everyday: New business, cash flow, recruiting, the agency owner xfactor. Check out the podcast 2Bobs here


Lucy Mann (Small Sparks Theory)

Marginal gains is the bottom line philosophy behind all discussions Lucy Mann – agency new business consultant (gunpowder consulting) –  in her podcast. Great guests and inspiring interviews about how to up your new business game. Listen to the Small Sparks Theory podcast here


Chris Do (The Futur)

You will notice the production level of Chris Do’s content is ace. Why? Chris is a designer at heart. Built a successful branding studio. But also went on an adventure to help creatives be better at running their design studio and improve the way they market them self. Especially on popular social networks such as Instagram. The Futur is the company Chris shares his knowledge through. Find out more about The Futur here


The Agency Collective: DanTheAgencyMan (Say No) 

A podcast that shares the stories of agency owners who became deep niche specialist. How they did it, what hurdles they had to overcome and why it’s made them so successful. Most importantly how they learnt the ability to “say no” to things that do not move them forward. FIRST EPISODE WILL BE RELEASED MID JANUARY 2020sign up here to be notified


Immerse yourself into some good agency books


Win Without Pitching Manifesto – Blair Enns

Want to fall in love with your agency again? Read this book. An inspiring and concise manifesto on why pitching is bad for our industry. However, beyond that a book that gives practical tips on how you can become an agency that is irreplaceable and sustainable in an ever changing industry. Get a copy of the Win Without Pitching Manifesto here


Agencynomics – Spencer Gallagher & Peter Hoole

The story of Spencer and Pete successfully building and selling their agency. Agencynomics also highlights insights from the numerous agencies Spencer & Pete have worked with as non-executive directors. KPIs, agency new business tips, financial advice, recruitment tips and account management. Get a copy of the Agencynomics book here


Grow Your Digital Agency – Robert Craven

A book about agency proposition, strategy and leadership. The all around book for any digital agency. Get a copy of the book Grow Your Digital Agency on Robert Craven’s website


The Agency: Build, Grow, Repeat – Luca Senatore

Luca has built multiple businesses successfully. Is an entrepreneur at heart. His agency Genie Goals is more successful than ever. The book reveals all the mistakes he’s made and the things you need to do to scale an agency. Get a copy of Luca Senatore’s book The A

gency: Build, Grow, Repeat here


Attend an inspiring event

The Agency Collective: Runs events exclusively for agency owners that inspire and educate.


Start your personal development here. Join a peer support community.

The Agency Collective

The Agency Collective

A peer support community for agency owners. A safe place to talk about your challenges openly – when you need the help most. An opportunity for you to build new long lasting relationships with people who can provide support and leads for future work.

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