Always Be Learning: 3 Great Resources for Managing an Agency

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I love to learn. One of my mantras is “Always be learning.”

Every day I block scheduled to time to either read something new, watch something new (like a TED talk) or listen to something new (podcasts are my latest obsession). This keeps me fresh and energized and gives me new perspectives.  Added plus, it just makes me happy.

My business is a recruitment agency that specializes in finding the best talent across the globe to build the best teams for digital and creative agencies.  In both running an agency and working with agencies, I have found that there are more similarities than differences between me and my clients.

One of the biggest similarities is learning how to bring in new leads, manage relationships and run your business.  There are some amazing agency business consultants that I find are consistently insightful, helpful and really nice people on top of that.

Here are three such sharp people that I am learning from and I consider must reads/listens on a regular basis.

Karl Sakas, Sakas and Company, Owner



I have had the pleasure of meet Karl and hearing him speak to a jam-packed audience at an AMA ( event at my local Charleston chapter (  He shared how to create better client relationships and was full of strategies that could be put into play immediately.  My favorite perspective was the art of learning how to walk away and say “no”.

Karl owns Sakas and Company, an agency consulting and business coaching firm for agency owners worldwide.

The Sakas and Company’s blog is equally as packed with practical advice on running and growing an agency.  He also sends new articles out via his newsletter on a regular basis.

Ed Burgoyne, Makr Consulting, Owner




Ed owns Makr Consulting, an organizational development & operations consulting firm specializing in creative firms and brands.

Having followed Ed’s work online for some time, I had the opportunity to connect with him via phone, and he was just sharp in person as his work is online.  It was an honor to spend the time with someone of his caliber, getting fantastic intel and a greater understanding on what agencies are up against and the trends in the market.

His blog, Adsubculture, has been around since 2003 and it’s a treasure trove of information on agency organizational structure, roles, workflows and more.  He started it to share all the knowledge he has gained over years of experience with others who start out in the agency space with little training and a desire to learn.

It’s a site that I reference on a regular basis to get a take on people and jobs in the space, including the nuances that differ from company to company.

Drew McLellan, Agency Management Institute, Owner




New to my learning arsenal, I recently picked up listening to podcasts.  They’re great on my ride to take my son to and from school and for my (almost) daily walks.

In my podcast search, I came across the “Build a Better Agency” podcast by Drew McLellan.  He does a blend of shows where he provides his own insights as well as interviews other leaders in the industry.  On a recent show, he highlighted work that AMI completed with Susan Baier and Audience Audit, surveying over 900 agency professionals in the 2016 Agency Workforce Report (  They are both a great listen and read…I highly suggest taking the time to check it out!

Drew owns and runs Agency Management Institute (AMI), which offers agency management training, consulting and facilitates agency owner peer networks.  He also owns his own agency, McLellan Marketing Group, so he really talks the talk AND walks the walk.

The AMI blog speaks directly to agency owners and their specific challenges, from pricing to operations to content marketing and well beyond.

What are your favorite go-to learning spots?  Feel free to share in the comments below!

About the author

Lisa Barrow is the Founder and Managing Director for Kada Recruiting.  Kada helps build teams for growing creative and digital agencies globally.  Need help recruiting for your team? Schedule some time with Lisa to learn more today–