The rise of women as influential leaders across industries worldwide is nothing short of inspirational. And though the digital and technological space has long been decried as a boys’ club, women have increasingly taken it upon themselves to shift those dynamics as they prove their mettle.
In this piece, I look at 11 women who have overcome challenges in their journey through hard work, dedication, and resilience to run their own successful digital agencies. In doing so, they close the gender gap in tech and make it a more inclusive and diverse space.
These strong women are currently helping many businesses expand their digital footprint. They’re sharing their stories with aspiring female entrepreneurs looking for some meaningful inspiration to start their own agencies and rise in the tech space.
- 11 Most Successful Women Owned Agencies
- Bet Hannon Business Websites – Bet Hannon
- Adcock Creative – Melanie G. Adcock
- Ladybugz Interactive Agency – Lysa Miller
- Oracle Tree – Marama Carmichael
- Wunderstars – Nicole Osborne
- Glass Cliff Divas Inc – Caitlin Cooke
- Happily Hafsa Websites – Hafsa Rana
- Marr Media Group – Tessa May Marr
- Elevate My Brand, Inc – Laurel Mintz
- South Street & Co. – Kaitlyn Study
- The Email Marketers – Melanie Balke
1. Bet Hannon Business Websites – Bet Hannon
Bet Hannon, founder and owner of Bet Hannon Business Websites, started her career with a non-profit organization and stayed there for 15 years. In 2008, the company was downsized because of the financial crisis and she had to leave.
But Bet wasn’t one to give up easily. She stepped into freelancing with email newsletters and websites and gradually grew that into an agency. Bet Hannon Business Websites is a full-service WordPress website agency that offers design, development, managed hosting, and content management services.
How Bet Started and Her Challenges in Pricing Her Services Right
“Early on, I found the iThemes training webinars that not only helped me with some technical learning but also with some good business advice – like focusing on recurring revenue.”
When she first started, Bet didn’t understand how to price her services correctly, and that meant that she didn’t make the profit margins with her agency that she should have.
“My biggest challenge as an agency owner has been learning how to set pricing in ways that reflect the value of the services that we provide. I think this is a problem for lots of agency owners, but in particular, I think women tend to undervalue the value that their services can provide. It took me a while to realize that we were losing some leads because our pricing was so low that the prospective clients thought we must not have the skills to bring to their project – even when we did.”
At Bet’s agency, there are now three people working full-time, including her, and six part-time contractors.
What Sets Bet’s Agency Apart?
“One of the things that sets us apart is specialization in website accessibility, so we also offer accessibility audits and do some work with remediation as well as develop new projects with accessibility compliance. We also have some members of our team who specialize in platform integrations with WordPress using APIs.”
Tools That Facilitate Bet Hannon’s Agency Processes
Bet Hannon Business Websites use the following tools to manage their agency processes:
- Basecamp for project management. This allows them to keep everything together in one place for the project;
- FreshDesk for support ticketing outside of more focused projects – their clients can initiate a support ticket by emailing their support address;
- They have taken on larger site projects, and started using Slickplan for site map planning;
- They have over 150 client sites under management. To keep track of updates, they want to make it easy for their staff to log in and set up scheduled updates with off-site storage. They use Infinite WordPress – a self-hosted management dashboard that they host on their own server at Cloudways.
Bet’s Biggest Challenge At Her Agency
“One of the biggest problems in hosting client sites has been troubleshooting server performance issues when there are multiple clients on one server. This is one of the reasons that we love the advanced support from Cloudways, since we now have access to support that not only knows the Cloudways system, but has wide experience with WordPress websites.”
What’s the Major Factor That Let Bet Scale Her Agency to Where it Is?
“One of the big factors for scaling our agency has been actively participating in the wider WordPress community. Members of our team have helped organize local meetups and WordCamps, as well as serving as speakers. We also have team members who participate regularly in online groups where they seek to genuinely be helpful and participate as community members – sharing our knowledge and experience with others in other agencies.
I think this kind of connection and networking helps to make people aware of the agency and build trust in a way that no traditional advertising can.”
What Was a Moment of Pride for Bet As A Female Agency Owner?
“It sounds a little corny, but one of my proudest moments as an agency owner was when our first employee was able to buy a home. I’m really proud that we created an agency that supports people and helps them accomplish their personal goals.”
Three Strategies that Help Bet Tackle Day to Day Challenges
Bet cites these three strategies:
- Learning to trust her team
- Building community with other agency owners where she can ask questions
- Learning to prioritize what to take care of first
What Advice Does Bet Have for Female Entrepreneurs Starting Their Own Agency?
“Connect early and often with other agency owners. Not just women agency owners, but do make sure that there are some women in the mix. Other agency owners can help you sort out answers to questions (hire employees or contractors?), and learning about their experiences can help you understand the wide range of choices you can make about your own agency. We all need connection and encouragement, and it can be just as important to give connection and encouragement to others.’’
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2. Adcock Creative – Melanie G. Adcock
Melanie G. Adcock, founder and owner of Adcock Creative, was doing freelance work on websites alongside a full-time job as IT tech for a large church. She was laid off in the fall of 2009 along with her husband. It was the perfect opportunity for her to try going full-time into web design.
Melanie picked two large churches as clients along with the church that just laid her off. That was her humble beginning with Adcock Creative.
“The best thing about churches is it is like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I get referrals constantly. With my husband as the graphic artist we can offer both print and web. With his experience, we do vehicle wraps, signage, and more.”
How Did Melanie Start, Selected Her Niche, and What Was a Major Challenge for Her?
Melanie started with a team of three people. Early on, when she didn’t have enough experience, she undercharged for her services, did not have a good contract, and didn’t focus on recurring revenue.
“I don’t really feel like I have a challenge as a woman but more for my age. Since I am not a 20-something, my opinion may not be valued as much as someone who knows less than half of what I do simply because of my age. Web is far less gender-skewed than IT work.”
Melanie works with a lot of churches, ministries, and non-profits for the most part. She really likes the retirement communities because she believes they know the value of marketing. Currently, she manages about 100 websites.
Tools Melanie Uses At Her Agency to Make Workflows Smoother
Melanie G. Adcock uses the following tools to streamline the processes at her agency:
- Creative Cloud
- Screaming Frog
What Hosting Challenges Did Melanie Face, and How Did She Scale Adcock Creative?
“Security. I am a security/backup freak. I have backups via Cloudways, Blogvault, and BackupBuddy to Dropbox. I love Cloudways’ easy-to-use dashboard, one-click staging, website firewall, and great support. I know that comes at a price. I left WP Engine because of cost.”
For Melanie, recurring revenue has helped her scale Adcock Creative to where it is now.
What Was a Moment of Pride for Melanie at Adcock Creative?
For Melanie, something that defined her success for her was her first $20K+ project.
Three Strategies That Helped Melanie Tackle Day-to-Day Challenges
“I use the zero inbox strategy using GTD framework – delete it, defer it, delegate it, or do it. The second strategy is to let it out of your head and into a system, and the third strategy involves time blocking my calendar.”
What Advice Does Melanie Have for Other Female Entrepreneurs Starting Their Own Agency?
“What really helped me was not having debt. Other than my house and car (and I sold that), I had six months of salary in the bank before I started. I didn’t feel the financial pressure that some do.”
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3. Ladybugz Interactive Agency – Lysa Miller
Ladybugz Interactive Agency is a full-service agency owned by its founder and CEO, Lysa Miller. The agency mostly focuses on web design for early growth companies. In addition, they provide digital marketing, support, and hosting.
Ladybugz serves biotech companies, B2Bs, women-owned companies, nonprofits, and what they like to call “local legacy brands.” The key characteristic of each is that they are at some stage of early growth, or need to make a big shift in their brand and marketing.
LadyBugz’s Humble Beginnings and Pursuit of Finding Her Identity As An Agency
Lysa Miller’s whole career has entailed agency life, mainly in the capacity of a web designer, SEO expert, writer, and PR practitioner. She believes this is what made her stand out when she started and worked in agencies.
“I left my corporate job at CBS Interactive when I had my second child. That forced me into gig life, which I loved for a long time and I continued to grow my family. As my kids grew, so did my Ladybugz Agency. I ended up merging that with another agency and put my brand on hiatus for five years. During Covid, I left that behind.”
It took Lysa some soul searching to decide if she wanted to go down that road again. Finally, she went back to what she loved: gig work. She started with a digital growth project for a woman-minority-owned company. There she found her passion again and her drive – how she wanted to help more people like her.
How Lysa Picked Herself Up Again As a Brand
“I made a plan about how I wanted to grow, and who I wanted to serve. I just took on one new client after the other and in just a few months I was paying myself a full-time salary. I just kept landing one project after another and brought on freelancers to help until I was able to hire some full-time team members.
We introduced Agile for our design and development projects and growth engagements. We created our own processes based on what we were seeing clients needed and how we could support them better. We are always adjusting, adding, changing, improving, and learning with the goal of every project being “fun.””
At Ladybugz Interactive Agency, Lysa and her team bring their clients along for the process and work in deep collaboration. She believes she has the happiest customers she has ever worked with in her career in agency life.
“We adopted a life-first philosophy. When our kids are sick, or home life needs us, it’s not stressful, we cover for each other and embrace it for what it is. Some team members are digital nomads, and we support that also. We want people to do their best work, and we believe that happens when they live their best lives. We practice this in true honesty, ask anyone who works here. This has overall served us really well.”
What Challenges Did Lysa Face When She Started Her Agency?
“I have to say, growing two agencies previous to this, I knew what I was doing. I had that to my advantage. I wanted to take all the things I have done at other places and do it completely differently, that’s what you get to do with a new company, so it was risky. I did an almost 100% turnaround of what I had done or learned before.”
For Lysa, the biggest challenge was not falling into traps she’d fallen into before: underpricing, over-delivering, and undervaluing services. So she had to learn to say no to many people; the alternative was setting herself up for failure.
Saying no to smaller clients was not hard for her, because she made it her mission to find the right freelancer to help with their projects. Along the way, she helped other people grow their agencies, and some of those people are now her biggest partners, supporters, and team members.
“Another challenge I took on was that I did not want an hourly pricing model. So I had to figure out how to offer pricing based on products and value vs. hourly billing. We really worked on ironing it out, perfecting our proposals and pitches, and teaching the team how to do value-based work, vs. hourly-based work. It’s a whole different mindset. This is the last time I will grow an agency, so my time is limited, and I want to do it faster, more efficiently, and be able to respond much faster to what the market throws at us.”
What Is the Current Size of Lysa’s Team?
At Ladybugs Interactive, Lysa has a team of 20 people that are a mix of full-time, full-time freelancers, and part-time experts.
What Was Lysa’s Biggest Challenge As a Women Agency Owner?
“As a woman digital agency owner, I thought my challenge would be attracting clients in male-dominated fields, like biotech and B2B, but that has not been the case actually. We feel like those fields really support us because they lack women and we bring balance to the table. I feel that actually has been an advantage but I can’t speak for people who have not hired us.”
Lysa further adds that most of the women at her agency do a lot of juggling with kids. Not a day goes by that there is not a child in their meetings, or an emergency pick-up, or even helping their parents.
“So juggling, shifting meetings, and covering for each other is the dynamic here. It’s hard, but we embrace it with positivity since we are a team and we all contribute equally.We’d love to build a more diverse team including more men, and making the workforce balanced has been something to continue to work on. We have, however, achieved a harmonious diversity balance on the client-side. And we are super proud of that.”
Lysa Miller’s Client Profile and Annual Revenue
The average client for Ladybugz has annual revenues in the $10-200M revenue base range. The clients are mostly early growth companies, about half from biotechnology. Other clients the agency serves include woman-owned businesses, non-profits, B2B companies, and growing local companies all in that revenue range.
“We make a 20% exception for smaller, startup, and mission-based projects that are under our price points because we want to. We started in 2020 so we are still small. In 2022, our current revenue is $680K so far this year in signed contracts. We expect to sign 1-1.2 million in contracts in 2022. In our first year, our revenue was $500K.”
What Makes Lysa’s Offerings Unique?
“Our core services are web design and development for early growth companies. We also offer digital growth services. But most of our business is web design and development, even though the growth services are expanding.
We’ve created our Agile process, which is unique and collaborative. Our motto is that we are a “do it with you” company, not a “do it for you” company. We custom design all of our projects.
Discovery is a massive part of what we do, and we lead our clients to where they want to be digital. We’ve coined it “discovering your digital voice.”
We use full transparency with our clients and they truly learn along the way. We know many of our clients will want to be hands-on and so we teach them the skills they need to grow, and we support them with our expert-level skills as they move forward. It gives them ownership and although it is scary not having them depend on us, they still do for that growth.
We aim to turn projects around in shorter time periods on average 8-12 weeks. Perfect means it is never done, so we offer a growth sprint post-launch as our clients’ needs are ever-changing.”
What Tools Does Ladybugz Use to Improve Workflows?
The tools that have helped Lysa Miller manage Ladybugz Interactive the right way are:
- Slack and Zoom for communication
- Trello and Asana, the former for planning and note keeping, and the latter for project management, Freshdesk support tickets, and timekeeping with Clockify integrations to Asana
- Zapier to connect what it needs to if there is no other solution
- Photoshop, Illustrator, and XD for design
- Evrybo lets them share their designs with clients and they architect with GlooMaps which their clients love
- They build semi-custom sites on WordPress using an Elementor and Advanced Custom Fields hybrid
- Usersnap helps them work together on QA
- Google Docs, Canva, Photoshop, Grammarly, Yoast SEO, Ahrefs, Spyfu, Google Analytics, and Leadfeeder for marketing
- Coschedule for social media
Ladybugz runs lean ops for accounting. For this, they use Profit First and Quickbooks.
What’s Lysa’s Greatest Challenge When Hosting Her Clients’ Websites?
“Hosting speed is always the most significant concern, along with security. We have had no issues since we have processes around it, but it is always a fear. We have and continue to build on great hosting partners.
Helping clients understand the hosting features and differences is always a challenge, clients don’t always love talking tech and it feels foreign to them. It is a conversation you have to make feel safe, and I don’t know if it always feels safe to the client.”
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Lysa’s Moment of Pride As An Agency Owner
“We recently received a dream lead from a women’s organization of scale. That feels like my proudest moment because part of our mission is to make change for women. So getting to work with a women’s movement advocacy is a dream come true. If we win it that will be great, but the fact we spoke to the organization and they heard us, is a huge achievement. Not just for me but for all of us in the agency. It says “you are making a difference with your business.”
What Are Three Strategies That Help Lysa Tackle Day to Day Challenges?
“Time blocking for projects, tasks, and strategic work and using our tech stack to support that.
Using a coach as I continue to grow and face challenges.
Always trying to learn from mistakes and turn negatives into positives for the team. We call those growth opportunities.”
What Advice Does Lysa For Female Entrepreneurs Starting Their Own Agency?
“Find yourself a community. Never lose who you are; it is your unique identifier as an agency. Serve an audience and do work you are passionate about. Always give back. Disrupt always, not settle for status quo.”
3 Lessons Learned From Working at Home for 6+ Years
4. Oracle Tree – Marama Carmichael
Marama Carmichael is the founder and CEO of a virtual agency called Oracle Tree in Sydney, Australia.
“I first started my agency in 2009 after a house fire. Before that, I owned a natural therapies center. When I closed that down after the fire, I realized that it was supporting the various practitioners in their business growth that I really had a passion for. I got bored just doing the natural therapies and started doing little websites on the side.”
Marama started with a graphic designer she found on Upwork. That graphic designer still does work for her and she has kept teaching herself along the way.
What Were Marama’s Challenges As An Agency Owner?
When Marama started, she couldn’t figure out where she lacked knowledge.
“I really didnt know what I didnt know. And it was a LOT.”
Marama currently has a team of around 12 people working with her at Oracle Tree.
“I don’t see being a woman as a challenge. If anything it’s a point of difference to the “typical” agency owner.”
Marama’s Client Profile And Annual Revenue
“Our clients are typically SMEs with a small leadership team. Usually, in the $1- $10M range, we currently have about 20 clients on the books that we are doing continuous work for.”
What Sets Oracle Tree Apart?
“We offer marketing and digital strategy, branding, automation, web design/development, consulting, SEO, social media, Adwords, etc. The thing that sets us apart is how closely we work with our clients’ leadership team long-term. We take a very big picture holistic approach, do strategy first and gap analysis, and then support clients with their implementation.
Oracle Tree is all about the “ecosystem” and making sure that our clients are doing the things that will help them reach their goals. We are the experts in what we do, our clients are the experts in what THEY do. One issue I see a lot in our industry is agencies asking clients what they want and then just giving it to them, instead of consulting on what they NEED.”
Tools That Help Marama Manage Workflows At Her Agency
Marama and her team use Teamwork for project management and Teamwork Chat for team communications. They use Google Suite for process admin and email team collaboration. For social media posting they use Content Studio, and for high level and active campaigns they use CRM.
How Has Learning from Mentors Helped Marama Scale Her Agency?
“About 7 years ago, I met Brent Weaver and his company UGURUS. I went through his bootcamp back then and it changed my business. He literally handed over all of his processes. Without him I wouldn’t be where I am today. I joined the UGURUS mentor team once I’d finished the program and am still there – paying it forward to other agency owners.”
Marama’s Moment of Pride As An Agency Owner
Marama’s biggest achievement to date is publishing her book, “Fixing Frankenstein – How to Take the Monster out of Running Your Small Business.”
The Three Strategies That Help Marama Tackle Day to Day Challenges
For Marama, these strategies are:
- Looking at day to day challenges as opportunities, not problems. Every issue, frustration or bottleneck is an asset waiting to be created. So stay calm and think long term as well as short term.
- Having great people around you and listening to them. Knowing that the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts and that my way isn’t necessarily the best way.
- Having really strong core values in the team that can be used as guideposts to what the right course of action is. For example our top core value is “open and honest communication – we talk often and raise issues as and when they arise.”
Holding this value (and our others) means that issues usually don’t get too big. When they arise, we can talk about it and come up with good solutions that the team is empowered to implement.
What Advice Does Marama Have for Female Entrepreneurs Starting Their Own Agency?
“Surround yourself with good people and know your strengths and weaknesses. Play to your strengths, be true to yourself and hire people whose strengths complement yours. Don’t be afraid to get guidance from those that have gone before and remember that this is YOUR business and you can create it to serve you.”
5. Wunderstars – Nicole Osborne
At Wunderstars, Nicole Osborne is the owner, marketing coach, and social media trainer who helps digital agency owners land their best fit clients.
Nicole started her business just over 5 years ago. “My son was 2 at the time and I struggled to find a flexible role as senior marketer following a painful redundancy battle.”
She shared with us how her confidence had hit rock bottom but she still stood determined to find a role that would reward her years of training and experience as a marketing director, pay well, and offer her a little bit of flexibility.
She found that the number of senior marketing roles were so limited and she got fed up with what was on offer. That’s when she decided to create her own job.
Always ambitious, Nicole invested in her own training and worked with mentors. “A small part of me also wanted to be a good role model to my son. Showing him that women are equal and both parents can work and be there for the family.”
“My husband was super supportive. He was my rock as I took the scary step of saying no to a regular income and setting myself up for a new direction. Very early on I found a wonderful retainer client. My redundancy coach introduced me. And to give credit to myself, I gave the interview my all.
Having that super lovely digital agency client and helping them to grow into one of Europe’s fastest growing ad tech companies as ranked by the FT – that helped me set up my own business and build my marketing as I had revenue coming in from day one.”
Nicole’s Challenges in Figuring Out Her Personal Brand as an Agency Owner
Nicole is a solo business owner and she outsources to a team of freelancers. She opened up to us when we asked her what challenges she has faced and overcome as a female agency owner.
“I had worked in corporate for so long that I set brand directions and I championed some amazing brands. Suddenly having to market myself without the help of all the agencies I was used to working with was a huge challenge.
I had to develop a personal brand and figure out what the new version of me was all about – a massively huge learning curve.
We live in London and have no family close by. Child-care is really expensive. In the early days, I was often so tired. But I put in the hours and I was determined to charge my worth and build a sustainable and growing agency.
I figured out early on that investing in my own brand, training and marketing and stepping out of my comfort zone were essential for the journey from corporate marketer to being my own boss.”
“The agency world can seem pretty male-dominated. You go to events or you join communities and you can often feel in the minority as a woman.
How did I overcome this? Stepping up my own profile, making myself speak at events, working on my video confidence. Susan Jeffers’s Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway really inspired me.
Connecting with other female business owners for support and championing communities that I felt are more diverse: this also helped.
When you start out, you wear so many hats. I struggled with selling and marketing especially. Or finding a niche.
To overcome this, I hired some amazing coaches who pushed me and made me feel like I could do it. I threw myself into learning. One of the most alien things to me was sharing my story. In former Eastern Germany, we had to keep ‘stumm’ about a lot of things.
But once I took a cut-out of David Hasselhoff with me on stage at Cambridge Social Media Day and it opened my eyes how well story telling resonates with my ideal audience.”
What Services Does Wunderstars Offer?
Here are the services that Nicole offers at Wunderstars:
- Marketing coaching;
- LinkedIn training,
- Marketing training,
- Marketing consultancy,
- Agency leads generation consultancy.
She brings a refreshing combination of expertise, German logic, and a sense of fun.
The Tools Nicole Uses At Her Agency
These are the tools that Nicole uses at her agency:
- Google Drive
Nicole works with the productivity system that her clients prefer so that they are more likely to take action. She uses Zoom and Teams for online training and meetings.
Nicole’s Expectations From a Good Hosting Provider For Her Clients
“Fair pricing, amazing customer service, and championing the WordPress community is what I look for in a hosting provider.”
How Has Nicole Been Able to Scale Her Agency to Where It is Now?
“Investing in my own training. Surrounding myself with the right people. Lee Jackson, one of your amazing mavericks, and Jan Koch have been hugely inspirational to me. Also working on my processes, making my client experience better and better. Working on my leads generation and sales funnel. Being visible on my own marketing and producing consistent content for my dream clients: digital agency owners.”
What Was a Moment of Pride for Nicole At Her Agency?
“My YouTube channel was voted #1 marketing channel by the WordPress community at the WP Awards 2021. I was also voted one of 2022’s Top 30 Marketers that Inspire by MarketEd.Live for the second year in a row!
A moment that defined success was being in charge of my own destiny. Also working with amazing agency owners across the globe and seeing how they land their best clients to date. And getting to interview industry leaders for my Agency Growth Ebook – 30 interviews, 4 continents.”
The Three Strategies That Help Nicole Tackle Day to Day Challenges
Challenging myself to do things that make me step out of my comfort zone
Time for recharging my batteries.”
What Advice Does Nicole Have for Other Female Entrepreneurs Starting Their Own Agency?
“Do it. Find clients before you start. Know your numbers. Lean into your strengths and start outsourcing early on. You can’t be good at everything. Charge your worth.”
6. Glass Cliff Divas Inc. – Caitlin Cooke
Caitlin Cooke runs a full-service digital marketing agency that helps founders build their visual brand and raise their market vibration through incredible design and engaging communication. Her agency is called Glass Cliff Divas Inc and she calls herself the Director of Digital Sorcery. She currently works with a tight ship of 3 full-time staff and 2 part-time staff.
“I was managing another agency that went under unexpectedly, and I lost 6 months worth of salary. I figured I could make no money for myself, so I started my own agency. With my own connections, I was able to get the business up and running within weeks and haven’t looked back since. In the beginning stages of my business, my friends, family, and community were the ultimate keys to success.”
Caitlin Cooke’s Challenge In Changing the Status Quo As a Woman Agency Owner
“I owe a lot of my success to being a female business owner, but there is the inevitable struggle against the patriarchy. We called ourselves Glass Cliff Divas, making reference to the glass cliff phenomenon.
This is the phenomenon where women in business are put in positions of power when the likelihood of failure is highest. So, beyond the glass ceiling lives the glass cliff for our female role models to proverbially fall off of. Yet, when a woman is selected to lead during crisis or downturn, they are more likely to succeed over their male counterparts
Glass Cliff Divas Inc. speaks to that challenge and calls upon business leaders and owners to change the status quo and spark social impact in their model.”
Caitlin Cooke’s Client Profile and Annual Revenue
“We have worked with a wide range of businesses, from SMEs from local mom and pop shops to international brands. Over the last four and a half years, we have worked with over 60 brands. Our annual revenue is $300K.”
The Services That Set Caitlin’s Agency Apart
“As a full service agency, we offer everything from strategic planning to web design + dev, social media marketing, email marketing, digital advertising, copywriting & graphic design. What sets us apart is our ability to incorporate our knowledge in sales + marketing, analytics + creativity.”
Tools That Have Helped Ease Agency Processes for Caitlin
For Caitlin, the following tools help her with automating and streamlining processes. They allow her more time to be creative.
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- WPMU Dev
What Was Caitlin’s Biggest Challenge Regarding Hosting Her Clients’ Websites?
It was a challenge for Caitlin to get everyone on one platform. She believes a good hosting provider should offer “fast website speeds, easy access to support, and good security.”
Caitlin’s Moment of Pride as an Agency Owner
What has helped Caitlin scale her agency to its current state are her processes and her team!
Her moment of pride is every time her team finishes a campaign or project and gets amazing feedback from the client.
“All the long hours and hard work is worth it when we can look back and see the difference we’ve made. One moment that defined success for me was when we were running a fundraising campaign for a summer camp for children with neuro-biological disorders, and we helped them surpass their fundraising goal of $500K to bring in a total of $800K.”
Three Strategies That Help Caitlin Tackle Day to Day Challenges
The three strategies that help Caitlin are:
- Not reinventing the wheel
What Advice Does Caitlin Have for Female Entrepreneurs Starting Their Own Agency?
“Manifest your dreams and they will come true! Put it on paper and map out what you want within the next 12 months, 3 years, and 5 years. Not only will it help you realize your goals, but it’s a tangible thing to look back on and see how far you’ve come.”
7. Happily Hafsa Websites – Hafsa Rana
At Happily Hafsa Websites, Hafsa and her team of 7 people build gorgeous websites for female academics, entrepreneurs, and private practice owners that reflect their excellence and passion in their chosen fields. Hafsa Rana is a web designer and owner of Happily Hafsa Websites, and has 2 team members who focus on custom development, one CSS expert, one SEO expert, a copywriter, an executive assistant and a graphic designer.
The core services she offers are WordPress website design and redesign. She also offers branding and logo design, SEO, copywriting and blog management for clients who are too busy to update and maintain their current blogs.
Hafsa Rana’s Beginnings As An Agency Owner
Hafsa has been an entrepreneur for over 10 years. “I built my first website for my photography business when I was a student trying to earn an extra income. I tried a number of other business ideas and none of them worked out for me but the part about each new business that I loved the most was setting up the branding and the tech stack. It made me realize that this is where my passion and my skills intersected.
I started building websites for clients around 7 years ago, charging a few hundred dollars each. Since then, I’ve scaled my business to a team of 7, offer a full suite of branding, website design, and SEO services and have worked with industry leaders, TV celebrities, lifestyle influencers with over 100,000 followers and so much more.”
The Game Changer For Hafsa
“One of the things that was a game-changer for me in my journey to building my business as it stands today was a belief that I could figure this out. I just had to keep trying and failing to find the thing that worked. That sense of perseverance, and the support from my husband is what has helped me get to where I am today.”
Hafsa’s Challenge Related to Building Her Own Portfolio and Winning Clients’ Trust
“It’s very hard to sign clients when you don’t have a portfolio and it’s very hard to build a portfolio when you don’t have clients. I built a lot of sites for free, or almost free just so I could have things to showcase.
Another challenge, and somewhat more significant, was that websites and tech are often seen as “guy” things. As a woman (and a minority at that), I found a lot of clients simply wouldn’t take me seriously when I tried to talk to them about the problems with their sites because they had a hard time believing a woman could be knowledgeable about these things and proficient in this industry.”
Hafsa’s Biggest Challenge As a Woman Agency Owner
“As I mentioned previously, one of the hardest things as a woman agency owner is being taken seriously- especially with clients who are used to more traditional interactions with tech people. We recently had a proposal conversation with a business owner who actually asked me who my tech person is since he didn’t want to bother my pretty head about it.
It’s one of the primary reasons why we love working with female entrepreneurs and professionals. Not only is there less of the gender bias, but it’s an amazing experience working with women who’ve traditionally been made to feel like tech is too hard and overwhelming, supporting and empowering them through the process of building an amazing website.
Another concern that we’ve had to contend with is that there are female agencies and designers (just like there are male led ones) who don’t actually deliver great products and that creates a lot of distrust and negativity on the part of the client when we onboard with them. It takes a lot more work to provide an amazing experience to a client who’s on high alert at the fear of being burned.”
Hafsa’s Client Profile At Her Agency
“We have 3 distinct client profiles at this time. Our biggest set of clients are female bloggers in all kind of different niches. We recently finished building a website for a MasterChef contestant who is also a food blogger.
Another niche is psychotherapy clinic owners who are looking for a website to highlight their services. It helps that with a background in psychology, I’m able to work with them to create a website that is both visually pleasing and functional to help reduce any stress and anxiety that may come with seeking therapy.
Our last client niche are entrepreneurs, coaches, and organizations who are looking to up-level their website and really show up as the thought leaders in their industry.”
Tools That Hafsa Uses At Her Agency
Some of the tools that help Hafsa as an agency owner are:
- Adobe XD for wireframes
- Trello for project management
- Google Workspace suite of products for emails and data
- Canva for collaborating on designs
- Nova for coding
Hafsa’s Challenges With Hosting Her Clients’ Websites
“Running out of space. Since we work with a number of bloggers whose sites tend to be heavy, we have run out of space and had to upgrade our client hosting accounts a number of times.”
What Hafsa Believes a Good Hosting Provider for Agencies Should Have In Its Arsenal
“Excellent customer support with regular backups and storage are the most important features to me. I find that clients who don’t opt for our care plans often end up needing to have their website restored from backup. And if their hosting provider doesn’t offer that service, it can be a really difficult and often disappointing process.
Even on the care and maintenance end, there are often situations where a client website is down due to hosting issues and having good support in those situations can help make a very frustrating situation easier.
The next most important things are fast server speeds, good UI, and little to no downtime for our client sites.”
Things That Have Helped Hafsa Scale Her Agency to Where It Stands Today
“Our focus has always been to give our customers the most amazing experience from the proposal to the delivery. Our biggest source of new clients are personal referrals from existing/past clients and that’s largely because of our focus on giving our clients a great experience alongside a fantastic product.
The other thing that has been a winning strategy for us is to constantly improve our skills. As an agency, I’m committed to supporting my team members to get better at their individual areas of expertise. As the owner, I’m always taking business, marketing, leadership, and website development courses to make sure that I’m current on what is the latest in our industry.”
Hafsa’s Moment of Pride At Her Agency
“We recently revamped the website for a food blogger who is a contestant on this season of MasterChef Back to Win. That was super exciting. We also signed a client who has over 100,000 followers on Instagram. Finally, one of our clients who is a stylist quadrupled her business following her website revamp with us.”
Three Strategies That Help Hafsa Tackle Day to Day Challenges
For Hafsa, the three strategies that work are the following:
- Processes: “We have very clear SOP for all aspects of our business and each team member has a very detailed onboarding that includes getting familiar with our procedures. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and we’re able to perform optimally for our clients. “
- Batching: “We focus on batching content for all our marketing materials and batching to-do’s for our clients that allow us to accomplish more work in less time.”
- Relationships: “We focus on nurturing warm relationships with our clients, both existing and past- to keep them in our ecosystem. This includes quarterly emails to touch base, complimentary annual maintenance for larger clients, handwritten holiday greetings etc. This is one of the reasons why referrals drive over 80% of new clients.”
What Advice Does Hafsa Have for Female Entrepreneurs Starting Their Own Agency?
“There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in this industry for female entrepreneurs to create a name and space for themselves. It can sometimes be hard to get started but it’s absolutely possible so don’t give up. Show up with confidence, continue to uplevel your skills with new courses and programs, and build your business with a focus on integrity and client experience. You got this!”
8. Marr Media Group – Tessa May Marr
Tessa May Marr is the CEO and founder of a social media marketing agency that goes by the name Marr Media Group. She has around 15 people in her team now.
How Tessa Conceived the Idea of Establishing Her Agency and Didn’t Wait to Start
The idea of establishing her own agency crossed her mind in 2012 on a Saturday morning.
“I was sitting on the patio of my favorite Calgary pub, sipping a Caesar and making fanciful plans for the coming evening out with my girlfriends.
We were trying to decide where to go and I decided to take to Twitter to pose that very question, strategically tagging eight local hotspots. *ding ding* One of them responded within minutes and offered us a glass of bubbly upon arrival. SOLD.
We, of course, made that freebie offer well worth their while, spending all evening buying drinks in their establishment and posting all about it on social media. Big win for them.
That got me thinking: how easy was that for that business to respond to a single tweet? Look at the ROI that was delivered for them. How powerful would it be for other businesses to do that actively, on purpose?
And the rest is history, as they say.
Before I started the agency, and for the first few years as well, I was a flight attendant. The flexible schedule gave me the time I needed to dedicate to getting this agency off the ground; I was able to work on the agency during the days and fly evenings and weekends, and pull out my laptop on nights wherever in the world I was.”
The Challenges Tessa Faced When She First Started Her Agency
“Probably the biggest challenge I faced, which is not unique to me I know, was imposter syndrome.
Without a “degree in social media” (which still doesn’t exist) or a boss telling me I was ready for this next step, it was hard to feel self-assured.
I’m not great with just “trusting my gut” – I need data to tell me I’m making the right call usually. So I booked myself tickets to a social media conference, flew out and walked in the door, attending session after session, to see how I felt amongst my possible peers.
By the end of that I realized that while I did learn a lot, I knew a lot as well. I was definitely capable of this–at least to get started.”
Tessa’s Biggest Challenge As a Female Agency Owner
“As much as try to pretend that gender bias no longer exists, that’s simply not true. I certainly had clients in the beginning who, I think, treated me differently because of being a woman–a young woman at that. But I stood my ground.
I am also a very emotional woman, and care deeply about my work and the people I work with. I made a conscious decision to make space for that and to create a culture where emotion is welcomed and encouraged.
My perspective is, if someone cares enough to cry, whether it’s a positive or negative emotion, that shows how much they care and that flatters me.”
Tessa’s Client Profile and Annual Revenue
“Our ideal client profile is usually a brand with some defined marketing function – whether that’s a person or a team – that we can plug into.
Our clients are a mix of B2B and B2C, a variety of verticals, which ensures we have no conflicts of interest and gives us a well-rounded understanding of social media tactics and best practices that we can creatively apply for various clients in unique ways.
We usually manage a roster of about 25-30 ongoing clients, plus projects, but over the years have served nearly 100 clients total. Our annual revenue last year was 650k but this year we’ll increase that by about 55% and drive more than 1 million in revenue.”
Services That Tessa Offers At Her Agency
“We offer an array of social media marketing services including copywriting, design, video editing, paid advertising, influencer marketing, custom audits and strategies as well as our core offering which is fully outsourced social media marketing that plugs right into your overall marketing execution. What sets us apart I would say is three-fold:
- We offer a multi-functional collaborative creative team – that’s a lot of ‘brains for your buck’.
- We are laser-focused on social, and only social, which makes us the best at what we do. It’s not an after-thought for us.
- We have that Give AF factor. We’re responsive, thorough and passionate about both results and relationships. It’s not just about business, it’s about connection.
That’s what our clients tell us.”
Tools That Help Tessa Run Her Agency Processes
The tools that make Tessa’s remote agency structure successful are the following:
- Slack – “Our primary communication tool for everything from water cooler talk to company announcements to how we often talk to clients directly as well”
- Zoom – “We believe communication should be video wherever possible to break down those barriers and Zoom is our go to for meetings of all sizes (I even keep my Zoom room open all day so people can “pop into my office” if they ever feel like it giving it that real office vibe)”
- Asana – “Our project management tool houses all our checklists and tasks so we can have clear visibility into what our team is working on and manage collaborative deliverables effectively.”
- Toggl – “How we track our time and what also gives the leadership team visibility into how time is being utilized so we can easily resource plan.”
- Google Suite – “Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar and more all provide us with very user friendly tools that allow us to share.”
- Loomly – “Our preferred social media scheduling software that allows for clear and easy scheduling of social media content, auto publishing, and offers a great workflow functionality to allow clients to approve or request edits to content before it goes out.”
Three Things That Have Helped Tessa Scale Her Agency
1) The Entrepreneurial Operating System – “We self-implemented about 2.5 years ago and it has done wonders to keep us on track with our goals and objectives. I attribute a ton of our forward motion to our commitment to following these proven processes.”
2) COVID – “COVID sped up what was going to happen anyway, which is the world moving even more into digital. When we were forced to, our “phone was ringing off the hook” (more like email or Instagram but you get it) with people that needed to learn how to use social media to support their business needs, and we expanded to support that growing demand.”
3) Culture – “The way we treat people–with a whole human approach–does wonders for our team engagement. When our team is engaged and feels valued, they treat our clients like partners and even friends and deliver above and beyond work. And when our clients are treated that way, they reward our business with longevity and referrals!”
Tessa’s Moment of Pride As An Agency Owner
“Honestly, it was last week at our annual team retreat. The first retreat we’ve been able to host in over two years.
The last time we did, we had a team of five. This time 15 people gathered from all across the country, some meeting for the first time, and I stood back and watched as they all exchanged hugs and warm remarks–not unlike a family.
It was incredible to watch the culture I created come to life before my very eyes. Without me saying a word. That was the proudest moment I’ve ever experienced.
My biggest achievement would have to be 3X’ing our growth in 2021. It was so much fun.”
Three Strategies That Help Tessa Tackle Day to Day Challenges
For Tessa, the following three strategies help her fight her everyday battles:
“1. Emotional regulation is challenging for me and I can often take things on too quickly or too heavily. Rewiring my brain to stay in “sage” rather than jumping to negative conclusions, often not even based on reality. I have a sticky note on my desk that says “15 breaths” and before and after any hard conversation or decision, I sit, eyes closed and just breathe.
2. Delegation is everything. Not only does it free up your time and lighten your load, but it empowers the people you work with to step into their power and realize what they’re capable of. A true win-win!
3. Over-communicate. I thrive on talking things through and connection, so I ensure I’m constantly on Slack, setting up Zoom chats and phone calls, and have an arsenal of people I can lean on. Sometimes those are people on my team, sometimes not. But it’s invaluable to have in your tool box as an entrepreneur. Maybe more-so for women–definitely for me”.
What Advice Does Tessa Have for Female Entrepreneurs Starting Their Own Agency?
“Do not wait until you feel ready. Because you may never.
Start. Iterate. Learn. Grow. But don’t wait. Fake it until you make it… and also realize you may never feel like you’ve “made it” either–and that’s part of what makes us women great and always pushing ourselves to go outside of our comfort zones and be better. Embrace that.
Also don’t forget to look in the mirror and acknowledge the bad ass that you already are, no matter where you are in your journey.”
9. Elevate My Brand, Inc. – Laurel Mintz
Laurel Mintz is the CEO and owner of a digital and experiential agency called Elevate My Brand, Inc. She currently has a team of nine people whom she relies on. She believes in being inspired by creative but driven by data.
Laurel’s journey started by accident. She was a practicing attorney when her dad got sick and she had to step in to take over his company at 26.
“It was an industry I never had any interest in but what it taught me was that I was an entrepreneur. When he got healthy and was able to step back in, I started schmoozing with other entrepreneurs and I saw that all of their pain points were around digital which was just becoming a thing.
I took on 1 client, then 2, then 5, and realized after a year that if I was going to do this, I needed to play a bigger game. That’s when Elevate My Brand was born and now over 13 years and 200+ clients later, we’re still leading the digital and experiential marketing charge for blue chip clients like Meta and Verizon, to startups and everything in between.”
The Challenges That Laurel Faced When She First Started Her Agency
“Total imposter syndrome. I had no idea what I was doing and so I was faking it until I made it. I now realize that pretty much everyone is doing that all the time and that’s what it takes to continue elevating your brand.
Also, it’s always a challenge to evolve and grow as a founder. The business changes so dramatically especially in the first few years of a brand. My biggest challenge is to stay aligned and keep company culture and quality of work aligned as we scale.”
Laurel’s Client Profile and Annual Revenue
“We work with startups up to blue chip global brands like Meta, Verizon, Zendesk, and PAWPatrol. We’ve worked with over 250 brands in the last 13 years.”
The Services Laurel Offers At Her Agency and Things That Set Her Apart
Digital & Experiential Marketing: we call ourselves a center-brained agency which means we are inspired by creative but truly driven by data. That approach along with being truly full-service is what sets up apart.
Tools That Help Laurel Manage Her Agency Processes
Laurel uses the following tools that help her with her agency workflows and operations:
For Laurel, each of these tools offer her their own unique thing ranging from project management to listening to creative.
Hosting Challenges That Laurel Has Had to Face As An Agency Owner
For Laurel, it was a challenge to align creative with the technical needs of a brand. When it comes to hosting for agencies, Laurel desires speed, and service.
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Laurel’s Moment of Pride At Her Agency and How She Has Been Able to Scale It
Laurel believes strongly in having proper processes for everything. She also ensures that the processes are documented and training is given for executing those processes smoothly.
Her biggest success has been hiring a completely diverse and incredibly talented team. “I couldn’t do this without them every single day. I’m proud of the company culture and I was beyond proud to hit our 10 year mark!”
Three Strategies That Help Laurel Tackle Day to Day Challenges
For Laurel, the following strategies work when it comes to everyday battles and challenges:
- Chunking email
- Starting every day with a routine to get started on the right track
- Do the hardest thing first. You’ll find it wasn’t really that hard and then you get to check something off your list and the rest of the day will come more easily.
What Advice Does Laurel Have for Female Entrepreneurs Starting Their Own Agency?
“Build a community, build your operational process and always ask for feedback. No one does it perfectly the first time. You will fall down and get back up.”
10. South Street & Co. – Kaitlyn Study
Kaitlyn Study is the Owner and Creative Director of South Street & Co. This is her digital marketing agency that helps businesses grow their reach online through SEO, social media, website design, blogging, email marketing, and coaching. Currently, she has a team of 10 people who help her with her agency workflows and processes.
Kaitlyn’s Beginnings With a Side Hustle
“I started this agency as a side-hustle while working full-time for a local dermatology group. When I started they had 10 offices, and when I left after 2.5 years they had 20; 17 in Central Florida and 3 out of state.
During my time there, I was in charge of their in-person marketing doing health fairs, meeting with other practices who did refer or who could refer.
The other part of my job was the digital marketing portion. In the first 6 months, I helped them rebrand the company with a new logo, colors and website, and then added SEO, social media marketing, blogging and some email marketing.
After being there for a year and a half and helping them continue to grow, I felt I could do this for other businesses and that’s when the side-hustle was born!
My parents and friends were all big advocates of me and I learned quickly to surround myself with people who believed in me and who could coach me along the way. I still have coaches and mentors today and wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
Challenges That Kaitlyn Faced When She Started Her Agency
“The constant challenge was for people to get to know me and trust me enough to hire me. I didn’t have a reputation yet and I was just starting out, so getting new clients was a challenge.
Another challenge for me was knowing when to add more people and scale vs. when we don’t need to. It’s a constant harmony of looking at the pipeline, considering when to bring someone on vs. when we can continue to utilize the team we have.”
Kaitlyn’s Client Profile and the Services She Offers At Her Agency
Kaitlyn provides SEO, social media, blogging, local SEO, email marketing, website design and updates, Google Business Profile management, and review marketing when it comes to her services.
She helps service-based companies like doctors, tree trimmers, attorneys, and more. Up till now, she has served well over 200 clients.
“What sets us apart is we walk the walk and talk the talk. We’re ranking #1 for some of our main keywords and I feel that if you view our social media you can see that what we do for ourselves is what we do for our clients.”
Tools That Kaitlyn Uses to Streamline Her Agency Processes
Kaitlyn uses a ton of different tools, and some of them are:
“The purpose is to run the company better and smoother. All of these tools enable us to focus on one thing – great results for our clients!”
Kaitlyn’s Challenges With Website Updates At Her Agency
“Our challenge with updating websites is making sure everything is working and that the themes are updated.”
Kaitlyn’s Moment of Pride As An Agency Owner
“I think it’s ongoing. I have an amazing team and I am thankful that I was able to grow this business over the last 7 years to what it is today: from a desk I found on the side of the road in my spare bedroom apartment to being a fully remote agency with amazing team members all over the nation.”
Three Strategies That Help Kaitlyn Tackle Day to Day Challenges
Kaitlyn follows these strategies when it comes to tackling everyday hurdles and challenges:
- Setting goals
- Getting organized and having a list
- Time management
An Advice Kaitlyn Wants to Give to Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Start Their Own Agency
“Do it. It’s never going to be ‘the right time’ but surround yourself with people you admire and who can help you and then start slowly and scale.”
11. The Email Marketers – Melanie Balke
Melanie Balke is CEO and founder of The Email Marketers, an outsourced team of email experts working predominantly with ecommerce brands. Currently, Melanie has a team of 23 people.
“We focus on long term relationships both between us and our brands as well as between them and their subscribers. Our goal is to build deeper relationships with subscribers and increase the share of revenue coming from email.”
“I started working in traditional marketing consulting in Germany where I was born and raised. After a few projects, I fell in love with the digital world and eventually moved to the US.
Here, I joined Apt2B which we always say was, if not the first, one of the first e-commerce companies to sell made-to-order sofas online. I joined as their first marketing hire and stayed with them till acquisition.
After that, I joined one of the fastest-growing agencies in LA in a generalist role but later took over the email marketing department as head of email.”
Melanie’s Struggles When She First Started and How She Wanted to Keep Her Team Happy
“One of the things that I struggled with was that the fast growth of the agency meant there was a compromise on quality. After one of the founders left, I realized my viewpoints and values were not in alignment with the remaining founder and so I left.
I never wanted to start an agency. The business model just didn’t make sense to me and I felt like clients were being shortchanged while employees were being burnt-out. The churn-and-burn model did not seem appealing to me at all.”
What Made Melanie Change Her Mind?
“Life had other plans and after a few years of freelancing and a consistently growing client list, I started hiring help. Having been burned before by the agency world (both working with and in agencies) I decided that I would do things differently. Our mission is to build a team of outsourced email experts that feel like an in-house department and not an outside agency.
We do this by keeping our focus on email marketing so that we can provide the highest quality of service. Our team is well-rested given generous PTO, a 4-day work week, flexible work times, and extensive professional development opportunities. This ensures that our clients get the best quality work.
The thing that helped me the most in the beginning stages was to surround myself with people who have done what I wanted to do before. I joined a mastermind called Baby Bathwater and the people I met there were instrumental in my success.”
The Challenges Melanie Faced When She Started Her Agency
There were several challenges that Melanie had to face when she first started:
1) Figuring out the right client
“In the beginning, you want to accept every client because you need the money. However, you need to figure out what your ideal client is and say “no” to the others. This will allow you to deliver your service at the highest quality, streamline processes, and build a repeatable service model.
This will also make it much easier for your team and ultimately reduce client churn.”
“Being an entrepreneur is like riding a roller coaster, but no one put the safety belt down. It’s up and down up and down up and down and you’re the one holding on for dear life. You have to keep your mindset and vision for your goals strong. Otherwise, you’ll give up. I cannot tell you how many times I have thought of giving up, quitting, starting a job, etc. You have to be able to ride those moments out.”
“The first hires you make are the most crucial because they are the ones helping you lay the foundation of your company. You’re splitting work 50/50 and not across 20-30+ people. Make sure you find someone who you can trust, who is a self-starter, and who can add value without you having to micro-manage.”
“As you grow, you won’t be able to train every single person. You need to build repeatable processes, document how to do things etc. so that you can hire and train faster.”
Melanie’s Biggest Challenge As a Woman Agency Owner
“I think women struggle significantly more with things like imposter syndrome and questioning yourself. Someone once told me: “Whether you realize it or not you’re being discriminated against as a woman.
For the imposter syndrome, I think it’s crucial to surround yourself with people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish because it makes you realize you’re not so different from them.
For the discrimination part what worked for me is to just ignore it. That statement above may or may not be true. I don’t think being hyper-focused on it helps me. But I do think doing extra work to make sure that my gender doesn’t matter in my success is impactful.”
Melanie’s Client Profile and Annual Revenue
“We work with e-commerce companies that make $2 million in revenue on average. We also have a strong niche in VC/aggregator clients, brands in the food & beverage and health & wellness space. We have served over 65 clients by now and make approximately $1.6 million in revenue per year.”
The Services That Melanie Offers At Her Agency
“We offer SMS and email marketing. What sets us apart is that this is our sole focus. This allows us to be at the forefront of the industry, and to innovate in the space.
We also believe in being an agency that you can trust. If we mess up, we’ll tell you. If you’re not a good fit as a client, we’ll tell you. Our goal is to make sure that you get the best service in the first place, not to grow our revenue.”
The Tools That Help Melanie Run Her Agency Processes
Melanie predominantly works with the following tools at her agency:
- Klaviyo for her clients
- Click Up for project management
- Figma for designs
- Lucidchart for charts
- Slack for communication
- Zoom for calls
- The Google Suite
What Has Helped Melanie Scale Her Agency to Where It Is Now
“Our relentless dedication to being a humble servant and good partner to our clients vs. just wanting to grow our business. We scaled slowly for a reason. That reason was that we want to be the Ogilvy of email marketing and provide the best service first and foremost.”
Melanie’s Moment of Pride At Her Agency
“The fact that my team loves to work at this company is my proudest moment. Yes, of course, when clients are happy that makes me incredibly proud too. However, I have worked in an agency space and it’s not very common that people love where they work. 80% of people are unhappy in their jobs. It makes me proud that the 20% who aren’t are part of our company.
I also love seeing that our “new age” ideas such as 4-day work week, remote work, flexible work times, 30 days PTO, etc. are making a positive impact on our team members despite so many people not believing in them.”
Three Strategies That Help Melanie Tackle Day to Day Challenges
Melanie has the following things to say when it comes to tackling everyday challenges:
1) Stay focused: What’s the most important thing that needs to get done today? What’s the one thing that if I got only that thing done today would still make me feel accomplished?
2) Stay positive: Stay focused on the goal, not the things that could go wrong. Surround yourself with as much motivational and positive stuff as possible. It may sound silly, but the biggest pitfall of entrepreneurship is your mindset.
3) Keep your own work-life balance: I slipped a disc because I was working 60+ hours per week. Take care of your health and your work-life balance first. Only if you are 100% healthy in body and mind are you able to accomplish work in an efficient and high-quality manner.
An Advice Melanie Wants to Give to Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Start Their Own Agency
“Do it. Believe in yourself. Surround yourself with people who have accomplished what you are trying to do.”
We hope you have gathered enough inspiration and motivation for your agency journey. Let us know the challenges that you face being a female entrepreneur. We wish you all the best for your journey towards success, and hope this read gives you a lot of tips, valuable lessons, and ideas for you to kickstart your own digital agency!
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Arsalan, a Digital Marketer by profession, works as a Startups and Digital Agencies Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves all things entrepreneurial and wakes up every day with the desire to enable the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs through his work!