Playing marketing fixer: Picture a Pulp Fiction cleaner wiping up an agency’s mess and doing the work the agency promised to do but never did.
Over the years, some of my clients grew so large that they left me to work with a full-service agency. On three of these occasions, the agency in question hired me to handle the client’s work—and charged the client a 200% markup.
Did I lose you there? Understandable. Let me break it down for you:
- The client paid me an hourly rate for marketing and brand strategy efforts (for the sake of simplicity, let’s say $100/hour).
- The client broke up with me and decided to date an agency instead.
- That agency then hired me at an hourly rate (say, $100/hour) to lead marketing and brand strategy efforts for my former client.
- The agency charged the client $300/hour for my work (200% markup).
CLIENT –> CAROLYN ($100/hour) CLIENT –> AGENCY –> CAROLYN ($300/hour)
Now, some businesses hire me directly to lead brand strategy workshops, build marketing playbooks, produce high-value content, and upskill their staff. Other businesses hire agencies that in turn hire me. Let’s just say that quite a few agencies have my number.
Know Your Agency — Don’t Turn Over the Reins
Case in point: I’ve worked for dozens of agencies, and only about half the time do any agency staff review my work. I’ve traveled solo to client sites around the country to lead brand strategy workshops for agency clients without any agency oversight whatsoever. More often than not, I’m the guy in charge. In addition, some agencies burn through client hours (and boost profits) by asking their staff to sit in on meetings I hold with their clients.
Lucky for the agency clients I’ve supported, I’m damn good at what I do. Imagine, however, if a mediocre freelancer was given free rein—and imagine paying a 200% markup for the privilege.
Entrepreneurs wear 20 hats, at least 10 of them ugly and ill-fitting. I get it. I’m an entrepreneur too. I hate paperwork. I have no idea how to integrate WordPress, Mailchimp, and Kajabi. Few things are more entertaining than watching me spill a drink on myself as I try to work a room.
Business operations, technology, and networking aren’t my strengths. My wheelhouse: marketing and communications. I’ve played marketing fixer for more than 30 agencies and for hundreds of companies that needed to build their marketing and brand foundations. I know what works, what doesn’t, and why. And I’ve made it my mission to share the whats, whys, and wherefores with you.
Fast Wins + Zero Fluff = Game Changer
I have a lot more to say on this and many other important subjects. I’m pulling back the marketing veil to empower small businesses to survive and thrive — no marketing agencies required. Get the free Top 5 Small Business Marketing Fiascos – and How to Fix Them e-book here.
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