An Agency Is Not One Person

In many ways I am a one trick pony. I actually think most executives are.

You will see a CEO come into a company, do great things, move on and then be terrible. It happens because they are great in a certain scenario but aren’t able to adapt to a new scenario.

I’m a guy who can brand by personality. It’s what I did for my company and it’s what I recommend to others.

I’m not the first (or best, by far) person who has done this:

Donald Trump
Richard Branson
Every major sports star
Steve Jobs
Bill Gates

They do this because it adds dimension and life to an inanimate entity. It’s much easier and cheaper to brand by putting a person in front of a company than trying to turn the company into something that has a real feeling of life.

There are many pitfalls with this approach.

The one that comes to mind recently is that I think people often believe I’m the person who is expert at everything. I’ve had several people want to only work with me. They don’t want to talk with my team.

There couldn’t be a worse person to solely run your online campaigns.

While I have been a detail person in the past. I used to easily practice my cello working on a single measure 6-8 hours a day for days on end. But today I am a big picture person. In fact, I continually try to get bigger in my perspective. I do everything in my power to move away from details.

I’m the vision of my company. I am not the product.

I was reminded of this last week when I presented an SEO and paid search review to a client.

I had done the paid search portion of the review.

He specifically mentioned that the paid search portion seemed high level and not specific. He was worried we wouldn’t bring anything new to his paid search. He didn’t see specifically what we would do for his paid search.

He caught me.

I’m the guy with a sledge hammer or axe. I come in to bust things up brutally. I’m not the guy who you want to make things pretty.

But that’s where the team comes in. Everyone else I work with at SageRock is a detail person. I’m surrounded with detail people.

SageRock would be nothing without these people. I believe a little Sage goes a long way. I’m not the turkey. You just sprinkle a little of me on the turkey to give it a little zest.

That interaction during the site review had a big impact on me. It made me realize that my value is not in implementing things. It’s setting up the vision for where things need to go. It’s for inspiring and motivating to move everything forward. I am the person who develops things. I’m simply not the person you want hashing out the details of your account.

With that I’ve made a very conscious decision to stay in the world of helping people with things like the Friday Internet Marketing Show, Digital Akron, writing this blog, speaking.

I want to dedicate my time to being as helpful to the business community as I can. But me running and implementing accounts is definitely not my best use. In fact, it probably is a detriment to my clients.

One of the great values of working with an agency, versus doing everything internally is that you get access to a team. While you don’t get everyone’s time all the time, you get the value of a collective group that together has decades of experience. That’s almost impossible to recreate in a non-agency setting.

SageRock has always been about being honest, straight-forward and the best Web marketing company on the market. The SageRock team, as a whole, achieves those objectives. I, alone, come nowhere close to that.

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