Expert support for Agency Leaders

Running your own agency can be incredibly rewarding, but  is rarely easy. Many of us start agency businesses in order improve our work-life balance, gain control over our lives and increase our earnings. All to often we then find ourselves in a reality missing one, two or even sometimes all three of those things. I try to help agency founder change that.

I work with the founders and directors of small and micro agencies (usually up to 12 people), lending them the benefit of my 25 years of agency leadership experience. My focus is owner-run agencies where those that own the business are very much involved with the running of the business; tackling the challenges that are unique that type of agency.

The core of what I do is regularly scheduled remote calls that combine the elements of Coaching, Mentorship and Non-Exec oversight. The mix of the three is very dependent on the needs of each agency and leader I work with and often changes as the needs of the business and its leader change too.

One advisor, three hats:

Mentor

n. An experienced and trusted advisor

Benefit from the lessons I learned from 25 years I spent building, growing and selling an agency. It’s hard not to have learned a few things in that time both through what worked and, just as importantly, what didn’t. Working with an experienced Agency Mentor gives you the value of those lessons without the risk or cost of learning them first hand. More on Mentoring

Coach

n. One who teaches others to improve

Whilst the mentoring element of my service is about giving answers, the coaching part is about asking the right questions. I use executive coaching techniques to help the agency leaders that I work with find clarity in their goals, realism in their plans and bring accountability to ensure those plans come to life – helping them to become more effective at leading their company. More on Coaching

Non-exec

n. Board member without management responsibility

Whether you hold formal board meetings or not, having an experienced and impartial Non-exec on your team provides valuable oversight and critical perspective. This means looking after you as a shareholder, despite the conflicting priorities of you as CEO and the demands of the business. I am here to ensure a balanced approach that aligns with long-term strategic goals. More on NED

“Mat is smart, kind and has serious agency experience. His innate ability to distil complex situations into actionable steps has significantly improved our sales processes. Regular check-ins keep us supported and accountable in equal measure. It’s nice having someone in our corner that speaks the same language.”

-Polly Buckland, The Typeface Group

Why work with me?

My expertise is grounded in 25 years of digital agency leadership, culminating in the successful sale of my own agency in 2021. I’ve learned a lot along the way, both through successes and through failures. Since my exit I’ve had time to reflect on both and also to learn more from others than I ever could whilst running my own agency.

Many founders come to me having previously worked with coaches and advisors. I often hear feedback from them that my approach is more pragmatic and that we achieve more together as a result. Much of that probably comes from me being a generalist with broad experience across many areas of agency leadership (I was never an owner focused in just one area like biz dev, operations or finance). Having that broad competency over specialism was often a frustration in my agency life, but turns out to be a great asset now I have moved to supporting others!

How it works

Engaging me as your Agency Advisor give you another experienced agency leader on your team to help navigate whatever the business world throws your way. We’ll begin with two Foundation Sessions helping me understand your plans, challenges and to begin the work of identifying the gaps between where your business is now and where you need it to be.  These sessions will inform how we’ll focus and priority work going forward.

With the foundation work done we settle into a regular pattern of scheduled calls. For most of the Agency Leaders I work with, this means a fortnightly sessions , tailored to your needs – whether that’s discussing current issues with guided conversations to uncover your best solutions or seeking my direct advice on specific challenges.

My aim is always to make the calls feel easy and sometimes even fun, but to get serious work done. We’ll focus on prioritizing your business issues, cutting through the noise to clarify action steps, and ensuring accountability to achieve your goals. All sessions are 1:1 and usually held online via Zoom/Meet/Teams (although it’s great to include occasional in-person sessions when possible).

“Mat is extremely knowledgeable and made our sessions feel like we were collaborating and not just being told what to do. I would recommend other agency leaders to consult with Mat should they be needing some guidance, support or just to sound things out with someone with industry expertise.”

– Collette Masso del Llano, Context Marketing Consultancy

What it costs

My pricing is simple. I charge £475 per month plus a one-off kick-off fee of £250. There is no minimum commitment or tie-in. VAT applies

I also offer a discount of 10% on these fees for any agency that meets at least one of the following criteria: Has a team of 3 FTE or fewer, is a registered charity or CIC, is a Certified BCorp or participates in 1% for the planet.

Interested?

If you’d like to learn more, let’s chat! I usually have a waiting list of new clients waiting to start, so it’s good to have a quick call early and to see if we are a fit. Just click the button to see my availability.

Occasionally asked questions

I won’t over-exaggerate and claim that any of these questions are frequent, but here are some hopefully-helpful answers to additional questions you might have. If I’ve missed something, just ask.

Do you offer scaled group sessions? Not at this time and I don’t have immediate plans to do so.

How does it work if there are two or more leaders? For agencies with two co-founders I will can usually offer the same service but with both leaders on each call. Unless additional one on one support is needed, no additional charge applies. Where there are three or more leaders wanting to be part of the process I will tailor an approach specific to that organisation.

Do you offer one-off sessions / pay by the hour coaching? No. My approach is based on trying to truly understand the leaders and agencies I work with rather than providing the same answers to all. For this reason I don’t think I can be as effective as a “drop-in solution” and do not take on such work.

Are you able to offer more hands-on support? I’m happy to get more hands on with particular initiatives, when availability allows. This will typically be operational initiatives or marketing work.

What types of agency do you work with? The range is broad and growing, covering many specialisms under the umbrella of digital agencies: Development, Product, SEO, Branding, Communications, Paid Media, Content, Creative, Full Service Marketing and a number of amazing niche offerings.

What is your availability? I occasionally have availability for immediate start, but more usually maintain a short wait-list. If you are considering us working together I advise booking a call with me to assess fit and we can discuss possible windows then.