Drew McLellan is a marketing veteran. He has worked in advertising for over 25 years and started his agency, McLellan Marketing Group, in 1995. He also owns and runs the Agency Management Institute (AMI), a consultancy that’s been helping agency owners grow since the early ‘90s. Before Drew acquired AMI, his agency was a member of the organization for years.

Drew’s first book, 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing, was published in 2003, and his most recent book, Sell with Authority: Own and Monetize Your Agency’s Authority Position, came out in March of 2020. He has been interviewed and quoted by multiple news sources and magazines, including Entrepreneur Magazine, The New York Times, CNN, and Businessweek. Drew is also the host of the Build a Better Agency podcast.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Drew McLellan describes what B2B marketing was like in 1995 and how it’s evolved
  • What agency marketing looks like today
  • Drew discusses how to differentiate your brand
  • Why the idea of finding a niche shouldn’t make you worry about missing out on other markets
  • How the Agency Management Institute (AMI) helped a client grow its profit from 8% to 22%
  • The biggest challenges agency owners face
  • Leaders in the agency space you should follow

In this episode…

Are you an independent agency owner who’s taking great care of your clients but can’t figure out why you’re not making more money? Drew McLellan of Agency Management Institute (AMI) has some ideas that will help you out.

If you want to become a highly sought-after agency, Drew recommends differentiating your brand. A part of that process involves finding your niche without necessarily missing out on the other markets you serve well. So how do you do both effectively?

Catch all the details of building a better agency on this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz and Drew McLellan of Agency Management Institute (AMI). Drew explains how agency marketing has evolved since the ‘90s and what’s working today. Drew also shares his criteria for finding your niche, his framework for getting more money from your existing clients, and his advice for agency owners who want to avoid making costly mistakes. Stay tuned!

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz 0:19

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of InspiredInsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. And you know, Drew, I always like to think back of some of the interesting episodes people should look at. And it’s it’s about the journey. I remember talking to Nolan Bushnell is the Founder of Atari. And he talked about the ups and downs of that journey. And there was one point in the journey people see him as a Founder of Atari and Chuck E Cheese. He was Steve Jobs as mentor. So he talked about that. But he talked about how there was a point in the company that it was struggling and he had to basically move out of his house and they went on a worldwide trip with his family and they stay with different families, the kids thought it was amazing. But they didn’t realize they were doing that out of necessity, right. And so it’s often the behind the scenes stuff that we don’t see because there’s a lot of sacrifice that goes on and for for founders that we don’t realize, which we’ll discuss on this. And before I introduce Drew McLellan of the Agency Management Institute, I This episode is brought to you by Rise25 and Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships by helping you run your podcast. And I have found you know, the most important thing for me Drew is relationships. And I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships, I found no better way over the past over a decade, to have the people I admire the companies I admire and profiling them and learning from them on my podcast, so others can too. So if you’ve thought about starting a podcast the right way, you can go to Rise25.com And check out more we are an easy button. We handle everything, the strategy, all the implementation, all the execution. So check it out. I am excited. We have Drew McLellan and I followed his work for a long time. He’s worked in advertising for over 25 years. And he started his own agency McLellan Marketing Group in 1995. I want to know what the landscape was like in 1995. He also owns and runs the Agency Management Institute, which is a consultancy, helping agency owners grow. And they’ve been doing that since the early 90s. And Drew’s agency was a member of this organization, and Drew took it over. And his first book, also 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing was published in 2003. And he runs build a better agency podcast. He’s been interviewed quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine, New York Times, CNN Business Week, and many others. So Drew, thanks for joining me

Drew McLellan 2:47

Now. Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to the conversation.

Jeremy Weisz 2:50

You know, I’m I want to go back to 1995 compare about the landscape, then, compared to now and you have a really interesting, the, you know, vantage point, because you see so many agency owners with the Agency Management Institute. Yeah.

Drew McLellan 3:08

Yeah. I mean, certainly, I mean, it was a it was a completely different world. I mean, we didn’t have social media. I can remember early conversations with businesses, should they have a web page? I mean, you know, it was just, when I say these kind of things, I makes me sound like I’m 97. And I’ve lived in a cave. But that’s how quickly the landscaping the landscape of marketing and advertising has changed. And one of the things I love about the business is we have to keep up. And so if you are somebody who likes to be challenged, and keep learning and doesn’t like to do the same thing every day, it’s a great vertical for you. Because, you know, it doesn’t matter what you knew five days ago, because that’s all hat. And so we’re constantly pushing ourselves to learn new things. But yeah, it was a completely different world.