Finding the right tools to manage your business, hiring the right team members to support it, and having enough hours in the day to get everything done — sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Pete Everitt of SO… Digital Communications sheds light on how to manage a successful agency, its team, and the growing Marketing Development ecosystem.
Pete Everitt is the co-owner and technical lead of SO… Digital Communications, a branding and digital marketing agency based out of the UK. He also runs the Marketing Development Podcast and recently made the leap into online course development with the Marketing Development Academy.
Essentially, his agency targets marketing consultants looking for a white-label marketing or SEO solution to round out their own marketing services. The podcast and Academy are for marketing consultants and professionals that want tips on how to run their businesses better, level up their marketing skills, and so on.
Pete and Troy gave a special shout-out to ClickUp, a new project management software, that they both swear by.
ClickUp solves a lot of the problems you’d encounter with platforms like Asana which give you limited options to manage projects, or ones like Teamwork that are overcrowded with features that you don’t need.
With ClickUp, you can:
Pete and his partner Steve Osbourne came together to form SO… Digital Communications as a branding and digital marketing hybrid. Because Steve brought a wealth of education clients with him, they were able to carve out a good niche for themselves there.
Because they understood how the education marketing model worked, they were able to step in and say:
“You don’t need to worry about marketing your most popular courses because they’re going to sell no matter what. Let us help you sell the rest.”
While SO… still targets the education sector, they’ve since expanded, bringing the same marketing model to third sector clients.
Besides focusing on what they do best (and what’s best for clients), they practice some other techniques that help them make SO… Digital such a successful agency
Today, SO… has a 10-person team of remote workers. At the start, though, it was just Pete, Steve and Steve’s wife. As they started to scale the agency, they didn’t have enough recurring revenue to hire anyone outright, which is why they’d test out freelancers on a project to project basis.
Even though the agency and team have since expanded, this is how they start every new working relationship. If all goes smoothly, they ask their freelancers for an exclusivity contract that guarantees work for certain days of the week. They’re then free to shape how their workdays look:
“All I care about is that, if there’s a meeting, you’re there on time, that you follow our process, and work gets delivered on time and to the quality that we expect. So long as those three things happen, go be yourself, go do what you want.”
As Pete explained, SO… breaks down projects in terms of units of time; more specifically, it breaks them down into four sprints per day. Pete uses time-tracking inside Click-Up to estimate sprint averages, plan future timelines and create healthy profit margins for the company.
As far as justifying time-tracking, he said:
Pete ventured into the podcasting space with the Marketing Development Podcast after realising that a certain segment of his target audience needed more help.
Namely, the podcast was developed for the marketing consultant who’s trying to be all things to their clients, but can’t possibly manage everything on their own (at least not well and not without burning out). It’s also a resource that marketing professionals can turn to in order to learn how to transition into consulting.
Because the podcast ultimately demonstrates how difficult it can be to sustain a business in marketing, it also sells marketing consultants on SO… Digital’s white label marketing services.
The only problem with running a podcast like this is that it doesn’t directly generate revenue to cover the time that Pete dedicates to it. Which is where the Marketing Development Academy and its first SEO course comes into play.
What’s so great about this episode of the WP Elevation podcast is that Pete shares tips on how to manage a successful agency while also revealing there are still things he continues to struggle with. For instance:
“I’ve done quite a good job of managing myself out of 60% of the job.”
But that remaining 40% still isn’t where he wants to spend his time.
If you’re trying to get your own WordPress agency off the ground or fix systemic issues in the way you manage projects, give this episode a listen. Not only will you pick up some useful tips on project and team management, but you’ll also see that it doesn’t matter how successful you become — there’s always something more you can do to improve your business.
If you want to learn even more about growing your business – join this free workshop with Troy that will give you the kickstart you need!