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May

23

2017

How to Differentiate Your Agency by Applying a Planning Approach

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“Be useful. Be different. Be consistent.” 

These are the markers DigitasLBi Chief Strategy Officer, Fern Miller, puts down as her starting points for differentiating her agency brand. And this advice comes following her first-hand experience of being the client on her own agency’s brand.

In a talk for The Art of New Business on the topic of differentiating your agency through a planning approach, here were some of her other key takeout’s:

It’s Terrifyingly Rewarding to Take Care of Your own Brand

But it is worth it.

Your own brands’ behaviour is important, and not simply because competition for agency services is higher than ever, but because the relationship between building your agency brand and the growth of your agency is more than a casual one.

Clients are looking for people to build their brands with them. And the first place they rightly look is the brands of those they are willing to entrust with theirs.

Start With Culture

This is an industry with a high churn rate. And that churn is expensive. But culture is the biggest defence against it.

Culture is a powerful thing, particularly when you don’t have a physical product to sell, and what you are selling is your people. Culture grows. Culture can’t be defeated. And it can be a driver of new business success – because not only is it a unifier for the agency, but clients feel an attachment to it as their agency brand too.

Develop Your Positioning

All great brands have great strategy at their heart, and tell great stories around that strategy. Why would your own agency brand be any different?

Fern advocated for the need to always agitate around your core proposition to ensure it is right, working and competitive, and an anecdote she shared from being the marketeer of the DigitasLBi brand showed just that:

The merger of two separate agencies, LBi and Digitas, required a new logo for the newly created DigitasLBi entity – that was a unicorn, as a confident symbol to represent ‘a quest for digital mastery’. But over time it became unidentifiable at a global level and they needed to unify what it meant to people at a local level.

The outcome was each office getting its own custom unicorn. From the expected (a unicorn on a bike for Amsterdam) to the unexpected (a Robocop unicorn for Detroit), they added meaning to a positioning. This wasn’t just a redesign; this was a global story merging with local, cultural relevance to give the DigitasLBi network something to stand for and rally round.

It is powerful narratives like these that separate great from good brands, and in this case, agencies.

Make Your own Content

DigitasLBi embarked on a host of no-ordinary ways to show what they were about through their content.

A massive agency rave with hundreds of people pledging devotion to creativity and tech. They had Buzzfeed, Guardian Labs, Facebook Atlas, Mondeo Bank, Gay Star News, Mashable, Unilad and Contagious speak at an event program held in their basement. They were the first agency to sponsor the first Digital Pride. And they showed they were thinking about what their clients wanted with a change to the client-agency dinner party model by inviting the families of their clients to a family-day showing them all sorts of tech, and how to make stuff.

In terms of how this approach rewarded them, they won 2 Lions, a Grand Prix at the BIMAS, Digiday’s European agency of the year, Campaign APAC’s digital network of the year and shortlisted for Campaign’s UK Digital Innovation agency of the year.

No Time Like the Present

While we feel a lot of love for your own brand, doing work on it can be terrifying, and it is easy to get lost in dependent behaviour of being distracted elsewhere.

But none of these are good habits. And all impede new business. Planning on your own brand for it to be differentiated is a modern tool to grow your agency. 

So…

”Be useful. Be different. Be consistent.” 

The Art of New Business breakfast talk series exploring modern ways to grow an agency are running throughout 2017. So if winning new business and the growth is even a blip on your agency radar then secure yourself a ticket to the next event and discover some of these fascinating insights for yourself. 

Find Out More Here!

Author:

Dan Cunningham is an Account Director at sports marketing agency, Dark Horses. In a set-up unique from the rest of the sport marketing world, Dark Horses is co-owned by the advertising agency, Lucky Generals, and is a new breed of sports marketing agency that believes the moment you see yourself as the favourite, you’ve lost the race.

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May

21

2017

To College or Not to College

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Reader’s Question: Hey Leslie, I’m a 17 year old homeschooler who loves the leadership and mastery principles you teach and study yourself. Recently, I have been faced with the choice of going to college, but don’t know what I want to study and if the opportunities I have to learn other relevant skills would be … Continue reading To College or Not to College

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May

18

2017

Rare Faith for Weight Loss

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I know, I know. I tell people not to use the words “weight loss” because you don’t want your subconscious mind to go looking for the heaviness again, but these are the words that people still use in search of help, so I went ahead and put it in the title. It’s my blog and I … Continue reading Rare Faith for Weight Loss

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May

18

2017

“I can’t move forward until I get the exact vision”

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In response to the 19 Rules of Prosperity, J.S. writes: “I’m afraid. I know what my dream house looks like GENERALLY, or rather, what PARTS of it look like, but I’m having a hard time with all of the other details, and I feel like I can’t move forward until I get the exact vision. … Continue reading “I can’t move forward until I get the exact vision”

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May

13

2017

When my efforts aren’t enough

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Powerful insight I learned from my daughter Kayli – she is preparing to serve a mission for our church but has been spending the last year “kicking Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism in the pants”. One of her main concerns has been “How can I effectively help others when I myself struggle so much?” She writes: I was … Continue reading When my efforts aren’t enough

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May

12

2017

$10,000 worth of home repairs – no charge

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From a Mindset Mastery Honors Graduate and Genius Bootcamp Participant: Super LONG and Super COOL Laws of Thought Story and Tender Mercies… First Some Back Story…  Prior to the taking and graduating with honors from Leslie’s Mindset Mastery course, I had been living in a scarcity & doubting mindset for well over 20 years. For … Continue reading $10,000 worth of home repairs – no charge

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May

11

2017

Why I no longer have “bad” days

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I love learning. I find it exhilarating. Most of my learning over the past few years has been self-improvement oriented, and that has been the most exciting, most empowering learning of all. I have noticed a pattern, however. I find myself enjoying everything I’ve learned, applying new principles in my life, and feeling really good … Continue reading Why I no longer have “bad” days

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May

11

2017

How to Know if You’re Close to The Victory

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In my first book I compared the birth to a dream to giving birth to a child. The Law of Gestation helps us understand why it’s good to be patient, and why it’s okay if the success doesn’t always arrive when we want it to. After all, we want the baby and our dreams to arrive fully formed. (Continued below…) Read my book free here … Continue reading How to Know if You’re Close to The Victory

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May

10

2017

A Little Bit of Wisdom

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(Podcast Excerpts by Topic) Here I will be collecting short stories and quick snippets extracted from the longer Podcast episodes, for quick reminders of the principles and easy sharing. #1 – Happy Without It – the House Story Sometimes you get what you want only after finding peace of mind and happiness without it.

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May

10

2017

Making the Choice

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I was talking to my sweet daughter the other day. She is of an age and a temperament that makes not getting her way an absolutely miserable experience. I was trying to help her through a particularly upsetting disappointment, when she asked me the $64,000 question: “How can I be happy when I’m just NOT?!” … Continue reading Making the Choice

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Apr

27

2017

Choosing a Date for your Goal

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So you want something to change. Maybe you need more money, want to reach a business goal, or just long for better health or relationships. Can you see yourself as though you’ve already achieved it? Can you feel how you expect to feel when it’s accomplished? These are some of the first steps to powerful and effective goal-achievement, … Continue reading Choosing a Date for your Goal

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Apr

23

2017

#22: Lessons Learned Since Writing Jackrabbit Factor

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I released the Jackrabbit Factor book in 2005, and then in 2006 the real life lessons began. What I’ve taken from those experiences has been amazing.  I’m grateful for every one of them, even though thinking right in the middle of it all was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life! … Continue reading #22: Lessons Learned Since Writing Jackrabbit Factor

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Apr

20

2017

How to Overcome the Fear of Not Being Liked

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I’ve spoken to a few audiences in my lifetime, and I’ve experienced that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach as I’d anticipate standing in front of a room full of strangers, worrying about what they’d think of me and what I had to say. Sometimes I would feel the anxiety for days (or even weeks) before an event. Thank heavens … Continue reading How to Overcome the Fear of Not Being Liked

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Apr

15

2017

A Christian’s Guide to the Law of Attraction and other New Age Philosophies

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Coming soon… (I’ve posted on this topic a number of times but am now preparing to bring it all together into one place.) In the meantime, here is a piece of what the article will include.

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Apr

14

2017

Content Creation Workshop Roadshow | 7,000+ Miles in 100 Days

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pillar-content-creation-workshop-map-1.pngI’ve always been obsessed with content – how its message has the ability to inspire,
educate, motivate, and drive people to take action, whatever that action may be. Early on in my career – dating back to 2010 when Google Analytics still let you view keywords that led to organic website visits – I sold enterprise-level search engine marketing services for a small startup in my hometown of Charlottesville, VA. I loved it. Not only did I learn the ins and outs of how search engines operate, but most importantly, I noticed a trend that seemed to plague the majority of folks I talked to: people had issues creating valuable content on a consistent basis. This poses an obvious issue to those who aspire to be found online through non-paid search, as you need content to be successful.

Once I learned this, I was hooked. It became my life’s mission to help people effectively tell their brand’s story in a way that attracted and engaged their ideal audience. This led to me managing content strategy for a range of companies over the course of five years, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. I had failures, I had successes, but most importantly, I learned a lot and developed an understanding of how to start and grow an efficient and effective content process.

To keep it short: tactics come and go, but having a foundation is what will get you through the ups and downs of being a successful content marketer.

Currently, I’m the Content Professor for the HubSpot Academy. This is a perfect position for me as I’m able to spend the majority of my time digging deeper into research and performing tests to solve this fundamental issue that plagues many business – creating valuable content on a consistent basis. It should go without saying that I’m very passionate about what I do.

Over the past year, I’ve:ContentMarketingCourseBadge-1arm-Cropped-1.png

  • had countless hours of content marketing conversations with anyone interested in the subject
  • created and launched HubSpot’s Content Marketing Certification
  • created a beginner’s guide to applying content marketing to your business
  • hosted various content creation training sessions
  • performed multiple tests to learn more about what works, what doesn’t, and why when it comes to content creation.

And while there’s a lot that still needs to be done on this front, I’ve reached a milestone in this journey and one that is a significant step in the right direction.

I’ve identified a content creation process that helps small to large businesses across many different industries make sense of short-term content tasks (i.e. blogging, videos, etc.) that have the ability to grow into long-term content goals (i.e. business-aligned content that completes a successful buyer’s journey experience for your buyer persona(s)).

How do I know this? Well, I’ve been working with businesses that span many different industries – I even put my lifestyle brand, Wild We Wander, through the process. If you produce or manage content, then this process can bring value to your business. 

In an effort to educate and inspire the world to create more effective content, I’m heading out on the road with my wife, Ariele, in our Airstream and DIY truck camper to travel 7,000+ miles over the next 100 days to perform a series of transformation workshops at various HubSpot User Groups across America. I’ll also be meeting up with content marketers along the travel path to continue developing a solution for creating an effective content strategy (#neversettle #alwaysbelearning), which is the subject of my INBOUND Training Day on September 25, 2017. 

Click here to learn more about and register for the content creation workshop.

If you’re curious and want a tour of our full-time adventure fleet, then check out the video below.

I’ll be documenting the journey on twitter using #unboundinbounder. Why this hashtag? Content and I share the same passion – being unbound and without limit. If you have any content advice, questions, inspiration, etc., then please join the conversation using the hashtag – we’re all in this together.

Ramble on!

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Apr

13

2017

Why Motivation Doesn’t Last

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve felt empowered when you learn something new about the way you think, or the way the Universe operates. That feeling can come from an article, a book, a workshop, an encounter with a mentor or leader, or even a good movie. But do you ever feel frustrated that the empowerment just doesn’t last? Some people discredit … Continue reading Why Motivation Doesn’t Last

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Apr

7

2017

Does your CPA understand the principles?

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When your CPA speaks the Rare Faith language, you’ve found a rare treasure. Can you imagine what it could be like to have a CPA who doesn’t just count “what is,” but who also inspires, and shows you how to create a better picture for next year? That’s the kind of CPA we’ve enjoyed for the last ten years. … Continue reading Does your CPA understand the principles?

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Apr

7

2017

How to Survive the Downs

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Life is like a roller coaster. When things go downhill, throw your hands in the air and smile! Have you ever met someone whose life seems to be falling apart and they’re happy anyway? Have you ever thought, “Wait a minute, you’re supposed to be miserable and depressed!” It’s true. There are some who are simply in denial, … Continue reading How to Survive the Downs

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Mar

29

2017

Goal Achievement as Easy as Breathing

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Are you ready for a fresh start? Could you use a shift in your life? There are a lot of people who are enthusiastic about making life changes, and so they work really hard to discipline themselves into new habits. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s HARD! There’s a better way. Your mind does … Continue reading Goal Achievement as Easy as Breathing

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Mar

28

2017

#21: The Power of your Thoughts

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In this episode, Leslie Householder speaks to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, taped at a women’s retreat. (Includes kitchen noises and sounds of children.) If you’ve ever needed the Lord to intervene and send help for a problem that was bigger than you, listen to this podcast. You’ve heard the promise, “Ask and … Continue reading #21: The Power of your Thoughts

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