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How to Staff an Inbound Marketing Agency

Posted by Tracy Lewis on August 29, 2011

PR 20/20 TeamI’m impressed on a daily basis with the caliber of talent my colleagues possess, and their commitment to the agency and each other. In addition, over the past two years, I've grown and learned so much professionally—just by being part of the PR 20/20 team.

Wondering how we created such a strong agency culture?

Last Thursday, PR 20/20 CEO Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) participated in a webinar for the HubSpot VAR network with Patrick Shea (@mpatrickshea) on how to staff an inbound marketing agency. In it, he offers personal experiences and insight into how he built our team.

Below are my notes from the session. Watch the full video below for additional questions and responses directly from Paul.

How Do You Determine When to Hire?

The trick in determining when to hire is being able to predict how much work will come in each month, and knowing where your capacity benchmarks are. For example, each consultant at PR 20/20 has a capacity of 120-140 client hours each month. From there, you can figure out if you are going to exceed capacity levels in the foreseeable future, and whether you need to hire.

Accurate forecasting requires predictable workflow. Over time, it becomes incredibly difficult to scale an agency on project work since you don’t have a recurring revenue stream. Campaign based work gives you a more stable flow of business, not only from a revenue standpoint, but also for forecasting purposes, both of which help with hiring decisions.

What’s Your Advice for Working with Contractors?

If you’re going to outsource services to contractors, the key is building a provider network of trusted partners that excel in areas your agency doesn’t have core competencies. For example, we work with partners for graphic and web design, and don’t support these areas in-house.

Look for financially stable organizations with similar processes and philosophies on business and customer service.

What are the Key Traits of Top Talent?

Inbound marketing requires hybrid professionals that can plan and execute integrated plans. These individuals are trained to deliver services across search, mobile, social, content, analytics, web, PR and email marketing. They provide complete solutions that used to require multiple agencies and consultants.

Specific traits desired include: passionate, analytical, strategic, intrinsically motivated and tech savvy. Regarding skills, writing is a top priority.

What’s the Division of Labor at PR 20/20 Look Like?

Consultants at PR 20/20 plan and activate entire campaigns, managing each piece along the way. These consultants typically run one to two accounts and support an additional one to two.

Client campaigns are staffed by a minimum of two people, including an account manager who acts as the main client contact and lead strategist, and support person to assist in production and tactical delivery. Depending on the campaign scope, the core account team may be larger.

Learn More…

Watch the complete video from HubSpot below for additional questions from attendees, and more tips and suggestions from Paul on staffing an inbound marketing agency.

Also, check out chapter three—Talent and Team—of Paul’s upcoming book, The Marketing Agency Blueprint, for more in-depth information on the above topics.

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