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MYOB 2012 Speaker Summaries: takeaways for your creative agency

MYOB 2012 Speaker Summaries – Key takeaways for your creative agency

After spending 3 days in Nashville for the MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) conference (#MYOB2012) it is time to go back to Vancouver and start applying new concepts learned into not only our own business, but also helping our clients with their business strategies. MYOB 2012 reunited the best of business management training for creative firm owners. The ability to interact and share ideas with thought-leaders and ad agency principals added a special flavor to the conference.

Function Point was proud to be a sponsor of such a great event, and below is a summary of the various keynote speakers and what was presented.

Speaker Summaries

During the first day, Julien Smith @julien, spoke about the ability of ad agencies to build their own tribes through the creation of tight communities. Building your own community around your field of expertise is a great way to create trust with your clients and prospects. People today expect you to give something for them and this is how you start building trust. Be the thought leader in your industry.

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We started the second day with roundtables, where we discussed different topics that keep ad agency owners awake at night. I sat at the roundtable with Hamid Ghanada where he discussed “Scheduling and managing jobs to be on budget”. A group of about ten agency owners and principals exchanged information on how they ensure their jobs are on time and more importantly on budget. Hamid shared his experience implementing business processes so he could understand key metrics such as job costing and project profitability. We spoke about utilization rates, agency management software, and challenges around execution and engagement from his team.

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After the roundtables, Bill Baker @StorytellerBill, came on-stage to give a presentation on how your firm’s story will allow you to stand out from the competition. Bill gave some useful insights on how to use storytelling to improve leadership in your creative agency. The importance of having a group story is crucial to lead, engage and position your agency. What is the meaning of what you do? Find a collective meaning. People will feel more connected and part of a movement.

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Martin Kamenski @rockstarcpa, the president of Rockstar CPA came after Bill Baker to talk about the tax game and how agency owners can keep more of their money in their own pocket. Martin shared some useful tips on LLCs x S-corps.

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After the lunch break Sandy Styer @sandystyer spoke about how to become a trusted advisor. Sandy discussed the benefits of being a trusted advisor including, but not limited to, making your work enjoyable, and how doing this will help make your relationships more rewarding and business more extraordinary. Not to mention an interesting conversation on the trust equation: T=(C+R+I)/S. T for trustworthiness, C for credibility, r for Reliability, I for intimacy and S for self-orientation.

Mark O’Brien @NewfangledMark, the president of Newfangled and the author of A Website That Works came after to share his experience on planning an agency website that works. Mark showed a 9 step process that provides a framework for creating website strategies. I particularly love content strategy and Mark spoke about how to generate leads, nurture leads and close businesses. One of Mark’s takeaways from the presentation was the importance of selling strategy work to your clients as opposed to selling design. You can add way more value by helping your clients with the overall strategy and not just doing design work.

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David Baker, the principal at ReCourses and the organizer of #MYOB2012, finished the second day of the conference with a live agency review: an example of an ad agency that has been very successful after applying his ideas and industry best practices. David reviewed the agency financials, marketing plan, day-to-day business practices, to name a few. It was a very inspiring discussion because David touched on key financial metrics and reminded everyone of the importance of looking at the balance sheet, income statement and also digging deeper into AGI (agency gross income), COGS (cost of good sold) and average hourly rates.

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On Friday morning, Jodi Glickman @greatonthejob, the author of Great on the Job and also a blogger for Harvard Business Review #HBR facilitated a great conversation on “Attracting, retaining, managing and wowing Gen Y employees”. Jodi started saying that the rules of engagement are changing. Gen Y’ers are not only looking for money, they are looking for a greater purpose! The generation is a different kind of professional; they work to live and don’t live to work. They are socially conscious, digital natives and need constant feedback and praise.

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Last but not least, Todd Henry @Toddhenry, the CEO of Accidental Creative, provided clear directions on how to Focus on effectiveness, not just efficiency. Todd mentioned that 75% of people feel like they are not working to their full potential and how important it is to establish boundaries as leaders, manage your energy properly and take calculated risks.

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Please feel free to add your own key takeaways and stay tuned for more insights about the MYOB 2012 conference.

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