Winning Partnership

Episode 51: Winning Partnership, with Brian Gerstner

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Winning partnership, Brian Gerstner. Take your agency’s success to new heights with strategic collaborations. Seize the chance for a winning partnership!

I’m excited for you to meet our special guest expert today — Brian Gerstner.

If you’re meeting Brian for the first time — Brian is the founder and president of White Label IQ, which provides white-labeled digital services and skill sets in design, development, and paid media for agencies across the country. Brian is also an expert at building, creating, and nurturing strategic partnerships. 

You may have already met Brian when he was our guest expert during our open-mic Q&A on February 8th — and our topic was strategic agency partnerships.

We focused on how the right agency partnerships can grow your top-line revenue — how the right partners can grow your bottom-line profit — and how to find the right partners.

You can find the full recording inside our free Facebook group here

And holy bananas — the insights Brian shared during the Q&A sparked a bunch of great questions from everyone in the room. So much so — after the Q&A — I asked Brian if he would be game to join me today on the podcast so we could take more time and peel back the layers around how agency partnerships work and why he’s so keen on them as the fuel to move further, faster.

Winning partnership? In my opinion — Brian is uniquely suited for the agency partnership discussion because of his staunch beliefs around abundance — instead of scarcity — and — that success comes not from successfully competing against and beating others but by successfully collaborating for the benefit of the client.

That’s a true agency partnership. 

So today’s conversation will be about “how” to build the right agency partnerships that will help you move your agency to that next level.

And I will tell you — as you build your authority position and fervently claim the ground you want to own — finding and developing right-fit agency partnerships becomes easier because you have clarity around “WHO” you want your agency to serve. And candidly — who your agency serves best — that clarity becomes evident to your prospective partners just like it does with your prospective clients.

Here’s the reality — your authority position makes it easier for prospects and partners to say yes to you.

So buckle up — you’re about to get an in-the-trenches, practical, and tactical master class on winning partnership. 

Brian and I share how to find them, build them, nurture them, and drive your top and bottom-line growth so you and your team can move further faster.


Here’s what you’ll learn from this episode about winning partnership:

  • What is an agency partnership, and how might the right one help you move further faster
  • How can the right partnership help you do what you do better
  • Why the best partnerships are built on a foundation of both clarity and trust
  • How you can take Brian’s agency partnership model — flip the script — and use it as part of your business development strategy
  • Why agency partnerships must always create a win/win scenario and never lose/win or win/lose
  • Establishing a winning partnership strategy — key to accelerating your agency’s growth, fostering collaboration, and achieving mutual success with your strategic allies.

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Winning Partnership: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI, and my team and I created this podcast specifically for you. So if you’re an agency owner, a business coach, or a strategic consultant, and you’re looking to fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of right-fit prospects and get the at-bats that you need in order to build and scale, well, then you’re in the right place if you want proven strategies for becoming the known expert in your niche, in attracting all the clients you need. Yep. We’re gonna cover that. You wanna learn how to step away from the sea of sameness so you actually stand out and own the ground that you’re standing on. Yep. We’re gonna cover that too. Do you want to future-proof your business so you can successfully navigate the next challenge that comes your way?


Well, absolutely will help you there as well. I promise you each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights, tangible examples, and best practices, never theory, from thought leaders, experts, and owners who have done exactly what you’re working hard to do. So, I want you to think practical and tactical. Never any fluff. Each of our guests has built a position of authority and then monetized that position by growing their audience, nurturing leads, and, yes, converting sales. But all the while, they did it by being helpful. So every time someone from their audience turned around there, they were with a helpful answer to an important question. So their RightFit prospects never, ever, ever felt like they were a prospect. I also promise you every strategy that we discuss and every tool we recommend will be shared in full transparency in each episode so you can become a known expert in your niche.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by navigating this website by Brian Gerster — You can find it here


Winning Partnership: Brian Gerstner’s Introduction


So you can fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of RightFit clients who are never, ever made to feel like one of your prospects. Okay. So, I am excited for you to meet our very special guest expert today, Brian Gerstner. If you’re meeting Brian for the first time, he’s the founder and president of White Label IQ, which provides white label digital services and skillsets and design development and paid media for agencies across the country. Brian is also an expert at building, creating, and nurturing strategic partnerships. Now, you may have already met Brian when he was our guest expert during our open mic q and on February 8th, and our topic was Strategic agency partnerships. How can the right agency partnerships grow your top line revenue, how can the right partners grow your bottom line profit, how can the right partners be found, and actually, how can you find the right fit partners?


The insights Brian shared during the meeting sparked a bunch of great questions from everyone in the room. So it was like, okay, we seriously need to continue this conversation. So, I asked Brian if he would be game to join me here today on the podcast so we could take more time, peel back more of the layers around how agency partnerships work, and explain why he’s so keen on them as the fuel to move further faster. So, quick aside here, we’re gonna put the link in today’s show notes, the link to the q, and from February 8th. We’re gonna put the link to that recording in today’s show notes so that you and your team can watch it. Okay. So, in my opinion, Brian is uniquely suited for this agency partnership discussion. Why? Because of, as you’ll hear, because of his staunch beliefs around abundance instead of scarcity.


In fact, we’ll probably toss the word dichotomy in there ’cause he is a bit of one, uh, into this conversation too. However, his belief is that success doesn’t necessarily come from successfully competing against and beating others; it comes from successfully collaborating for the benefit of the client. That’s a true agency partnership. So today’s conversation is going to be about how to build the right agency partnerships that will make you move your agency onward to that next level. Make that possible. And I will tell you, as you build your authority position and you fervently claim that ground that you wanna own, I promise you that finding and developing RightFit agency partnerships will become easier because you have total clarity around who you want your agency to serve, and candidly, who your agency serves best. And that clarity becomes super attractive and very obvious to prospective partners, just like it does with your prospective clients.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Insights from Both Sides of the Coin


Your authority position makes it easier for prospects and partners to say yes to you. So buckle up because you’re about to get in, in the trenches, a practical and tactical masterclass on agency partnerships. Brian and I are going to share how to find them, how to build them, how to nurture them, and how to drive your top and bottom-line growth so you and your team can move further faster because of agency partnerships. Okay. So, without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. Brian. Thank you, Stephen; I appreciate the intro. You are very welcome. So, you know, in that sort of introduction, if you will, kind of setting up the conversation around agency partnerships, but there’s a lot in your context, your path and journey that obviously I didn’t share that I think would be helpful context.


What is a winning partnership? In fact, you and I, in the green room before I hit record, were talking about how your belief is, that you’re a bit of a dichotomy, which I thought was kind of a fun conversation. So, before we dive in, take us behind the curtain for a couple of minutes and give us some more context around your path and journey and why you use the word dichotomy, which is interesting. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard them, heard anyone else ever say, you know, I’m a bit of a dichotomy. So, share a little bit more about why you believe that to be true.


Well, I say that because I’ve had experiences on both sides of the coin in a couple of circumstances, particularly because I’ve been a client for over 20 years. In an integrated agency, the marketing in white label IQ, we serve agencies as a strategic partner in that way. So kind of looking at being inside of an agency, having the needs, experiencing all the pain points in, in painful ways at times. But also, being able to really look at the white label as we’ve kind of formed the company and, and identified who we are, who we serve, and everything you speak to, how do we address those points? Okay. Um, and even then, in my own background, you know, I started off just a graphic production designer working my way up, you know, and from there, I’ve worn the hats off, you know, go doing, being a developer, you know, getting into sales, you know, working with a lot of them, just a lot of the positions within an agency where you really need help.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: The Power of Strategic Agency Partnerships


And then also being on that side of the coin where I’m the one offering the services, offering the help. And then, you know, having that epiphany that goes is like, okay, wow. Just like our clients, just like our, you know, consumer-facing clients, they’re facing that same experience. Seeking a strategic partner, seeking someone to help, you know, and having, you know, hundreds and hundreds of meetings with different clients and listening to them talk about their pain points, the level of transparency they’re comfortable with. I just feel I’ve had that kind of exposure to a lot of different places in working my way up and being in that agency life for so long.


Winning partnership? Yeah. Well, you absolutely have no doubt over the last several decades, in fact, before we dive in with how to find them, your partners, in how to move an agency further, faster, because of partnerships. Let’s, let’s also maybe set a foundation here, because I wanna make, because the, the term agency partnerships could, could mean, uh, a variety of different things. Mm-Hmm. when, when somebody hears that is like, well, are you suggesting that I sell off a piece of my agency? Or like, is it a strategic transaction? Is it like the M and I activity? Is it helping me get more things done faster for maybe less cost? So when you think of the term agency partnerships, how are you defining that?


Well, I think agency partnerships really thrive when, as an agency, you know what you do well and you really want to be in that position of authority. You really want to be an expert in a very certain area. And strategic partnerships become a lot more important at that point, because you have a focus, you have a lane that you’re defining within your agency. Mm-Hmm. And then, so it’s easier to identify the compliments that you need to bring to the table. Got it. You know, the compliments, you know, the, you know, you might look and say, Hey, my clients need, you know, I’m able to serve them here. And if I could build a much more robust offering, then, I could be of greater service to them. Well, a lot of times for agency owners, that means you, you, you become distracted.


You’re trying to do 1, 2, 3, 4 things better. Mm-Hmm. And I find when we talk about, you know, what is an agency partner, it is someone who helps you do what you do better. It, it, it’ll, it brings focus to your agency because you have somebody who has a very clear lane riding with you beside you. Um, you have people who you can trust, so you don’t feel that you need to be, you know, uh, spending a tremendous amount of time, uh, focusing in all the kinds of areas that really distract you. Um, I mean, don’t get me wrong, as an agency, on an agency, chasing shiny objects is part of the job description sometimes, and it’s, sometimes it’s the funniest thing. But when you can bring someone to the table that helps you really focus, calls you out when you’re not, you know, doing what you do best and really being a, a waypoint, it, it’s more than a partnership. It’s a relationship, you know, and I think those are the ones that really excel, and within any kind of relationship, clarity and trust are important. I don’t care if it’s a business relationship or a personal relationship; it’s still the same. The building blocks are still very much the same.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Leveraging Strategic Partnerships for Growth


Okay. That is great. As I was listening to you. I literally wrote in my notes, okay, partners help fill in the gaps, but then, and then, and then, and then, right underneath it, I wrote core competencies. But then I think that you added something, two points. There’s so much better than that. And here’s what I mean by that. You went on to say, partners compliment, or a partner compliments, uh, what you need to bring to the table. I’m like, Mm-Hmm, okay. That’s really great. And then you went on to say that an agency partnership is something that helps you do what you do better. I’m like, ah, that’s hitting the nail right on the head.


No. And that’s crazy important in like, running any kind of company. I mean, for two reasons. The first one is, you know, I’ve been in small agencies, and as we’ve grown, you go from a situation where people are wearing multiple hats. Mm-Hmm. And then all of a sudden, you have to specialize Mm-Hmm. You know, so the clarity of the agency has a lot to do with the clarity of the roles within your agency as you grow. People aren’t don’t always wanna give up those hats. Mm-Hmm. We learned by going through traction, establishing that EOS management system, and how to create lanes within, inside the agency that internally gave us a lot of focus. But then even as an agency, finding our niche, finding that position of authority, what could we really talk about in a really strong way?


And, um, that, you know, that that’s the whole concept of, you know, focusing inward and then being able to express outward and having that confidence and being able, once, if you’re doing that, you have more confidence, you can be more transparent, you can really come to the table in a really authentic way. And another area that I feel that that kind of focus is tremendously important is, I very much believe that, you know, we as agencies have always been afraid of our competition. You know, we come to the table, and you know, there’s another design company. The old agency and the new director came on, and they have another relationship with another agency. And we’ve always been very fearful of that competition. Hmm. But nowadays, although the whole agency of record still exists, it is way more common for me to see an SEO agency, a development agency, a social media agency, and multiple people at the table.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: The Key to Successful Agency Partnerships


Why winning a partnership is important? I really feel that agencies should be more afraid of losing talent and thus losing their position of authority than they really should be about competition. Hmm. If you come to the table and you have that authority, and you are very conscious about the talent that you have in your agency, you, you’re gonna be confident, you’re gonna be authentic, you’re gonna be transparent, and people are gonna appreciate that they’re gonna be able to build those better relationships with you. You’re gonna be more honest, and you’re gonna find that rightfully client better because you’re not because you’re just being transparent. You’re telling them what you’re great at, what you do at, you know, the talent that you recognize, and the clarity you bring inside of your company. Mm-Hmm. I think that means a lot. You know, there was a recent book, you know, Renee Brown, you know? Mm-Hmm. The quotes I use a lot, you know, clarity is kindness. And it’s such a truth because it makes everybody’s job easier and you are more valuable.


I’m a huge fan of Brene Brown’s work. She is wicked smart and brilliant. Okay. So let’s build on this block of clarity and trust that you shared with us a couple of minutes ago because it sounds like without clarity and, really, the desire to build a trust-based relationship, but without the clarity, it’s gonna be difficult to find the right partners. Right. Because you’re not gonna really know, like, like, because if you’re not clear on what compliments you or what helps you do what you do better, I mean, that’s really the first step in finding a partner, right? Understanding the gaps that need to be filled in would be different.


How to gain a winning partnership? It definitely a lot easier. No, it definitely makes it a lot easier. Okay. Because you know what you’re looking for. Hmm. You know who you’re looking for and what kind of qualities, right? And when you start working with a partner over time you start to find that you kind of grow together, and I shouldn’t say together, but you start to identify those lanes and, and you can make your partner even stronger in that regard. So knowing what you’re good at is definitely hard. I mean, for any agency, and even when you’re good at it, you know, developing a position of authority takes so much time that, you know, you just have to be patient and persistent, and you will develop that reputation, but you will also grow in that, that pursuit. You know?


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Finding the Right Partners


And then, as you do that, it’s not just finding a partner. You can, there’s gonna be many partners. This is not a marriage; this is a dating process. in many ways. If you are able to communicate, you’re able to express that position of authority, and a lot of times, those partners will find you. Right. That partner will come to you. And it just kind of starts to naturally happen from the nature of being, you know, persistent, focused, transparent, and just, you know, um, you know, a fair player, you know? Hmm. When I look at partnerships, you know, I ask two questions often: do I believe they have what it takes, you know, and are they a fair broker? Hmm. This means I can work with them and, you know, feel safe.


Winning partnership? Okay. Well, so let’s break that down a little bit. Uh, have what it takes, right? Mm-Hmm. So, the first ingredient in your two-ingredient recipe, if you will, what, what does somebody need to either share, show you, whatever, sort of the methodology is that in order to prove that they have what it takes? What are some of the proof points there for you? Mm-Hmm.


A lot of times, having what it takes just means identifying where you are and being able to know what you can bring to the table. So when you go there as you have clients, you know, being able to say, okay, here, here’s what I’m doing. Well, here’s what I can deliver. Here are the pieces I’m missing. Or being able to, um, you know, identify or even being willing to ask what they are. Hmm. So having what it takes requires a lot of just self-awareness. Um, it’s, it’s not, um, pretense, it’s not pump, it’s not building yourself up. It’s going, here’s what I bring to the table. Okay, here’s what I know I’m doing well, and here’s what I need. Hmm. So there, there’s clarity in that engagement, you know, and then they, you know, they’re able to work with clients. They can bring opportunities to the table.


We, we know how to serve, we know how to, to stand beside them in those types of situations because we’ve been able to have those conversations, and they can go out to the market, and then you can, you can attract opportunities. We know we’re not gonna win ’em all. Okay. Yeah. But it’s, having what it takes often means being able to cultivate those opportunities and bring them to the table on a regular enough basis that you can build a business off of it. And, um, a lot of people, a lot of agencies do it really well, you know, um, and a lot of, and don’t me wrong, agencies do pivot all the time. Mm-Hmm. But it has to do with communicating that clarity and being able to bring opportunity to the table.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Building Stronger Agencies


Yeah. So, it also sounds like is that an agency’s ability to do a candid self-assessment of what they need in order to better serve their clients is like a foundational first step no matter who, no, no matter what type of agency partnership they’re trying to create, they, they have to be able not to let pride get in the way, not let hubris get in the way. Not you, you had a better word for it. Um, get in the way of, so they can really do an assessment of, okay, if we’re going to be the best that we can possibly be mm-Hmm. for client X, we need to fill in these gaps or shore up these areas. So that, going back to one of your earlier points, it’ll, because if we can do that, it’s gonna help us do, uh, what we do better, right?


How does a winning partnership work? Yeah. In many ways, it’s having someone at that partner who can truly be a leader. Mm-Hmm. Okay. Because, you know, a key part of leadership is self-awareness. Mm-Hmm. , as a leader, you have to identify what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. And that takes self-awareness, and that takes humility. Mm-Hmm. . Um, and, you know, if you have someone at the partner agency who is a leader and can create a vision and express that with humility and self-awareness, I think there’s opportunity there. Hmm.


Okay. So, once they’ve done the candid self-assessment, they understand where the gaps are. Or, and, and I shouldn’t say a gap from the standpoint of, okay, we’re not doing this today, but we should be doing it. Although that might be part of it, to your, to your point about helping us do what we do, even better, there could be a, alright, we’re gonna give ourselves maybe a c in the service area, should we maybe strip that out, find a partner who can do that with excellence so we can double down on something that is already an A Yeah. Right. But once, so once they’ve done that, what’s then the next step to finding the right agency partnership?


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Building Agency Partnerships One Connection at a Time


Winning partnership — A lot of it’s just networking, calling people up, like randomly on LinkedIn. Actually, this has worked well for me, just like it has on LinkedIn. Um, Hey, I, I see you’re doing something. Your LinkedIn bio is really interesting. Okay. Would you mind just getting it in 15 or 20 minutes? I’d just love to share share notes and talking to other people. Hmm. And it’s, it’s amazing how then, like, it really opens up windows Mm-Hmm. And you start meeting people and that whole network effect just like evolves more and more. Yeah. So it is very much like, or even like we’ve done with, uh, being part of an MI, you know, Mm-Hmm. Having like a peer network, having people we can talk to, um, and that kind of,


Just having that kind of social circle and those opportunities. Yeah. You, you’re gonna find people that you like, you people are gonna like you at times. You know, you’re gonna, you’re gonna find those right people, and you’re not there to be a perfect fit for everybody. Mm-Hmm. , you know, and, but when you go in there, and you put yourself out there, and you become vulnerable, that’s when that’s when things start to grow. That, that, that’s when you can see the opportunity, right? Mm-Hmm. That’s where clarity and self-awareness start to come about. And, um, none of this happens overnight. It’s really just having that desire and persistence and just keeping going. And I think, as agency owners, we all have it. I mean, we wouldn’t be in the business for that long if you couldn’t persevere and persist and kind of manage the ups and downs that go through it, but just, you know, that whole humility of, I can’t do this alone. I, I don’t wanna be in an island, I don’t want to be in a bubble. And the world is really shifting that way, too. Mm-Hmm. , you know, the, the need to like to specialize in something, to be able to have a reputation, I, I believe is so much more important now because it’s only getting noisier, you know, and you know, it, it’s just hard to set yourself apart unless, you know, stand up and say something bold anymore.


Is winning a partnership important? Yeah. Well, uh, uh, 100%, which is, which is why, you know, having a really clear point of view, sometimes we call that a rant if you will. Mm-Hmm. Uh, it’s such a critical ingredient, uh, in order to to build an authority position in the first place, right? Yes. We have to have clarity around the niche, but then we also have to have clarity around like, what, why, or how you give a rip. You mentioned the Agency Management Institute. I mean, you guys have done some great things in, uh, how you’re the presenting sponsor of AAMIs podcast, uh, the Build a Better Agency podcast. You guys are the presenting sponsors and have been running for three years, um, for all three years, I guess I should say, of the builder bidder agency Summit. And, because you have clarity around the fact that you can be a great agency partner with agencies, and so you’re going to participate in that pond. And so now that’s, that’s a specific business development example, right? Because that obviously helps white label IQ from a biz dev perspective, but somebody could, you know, who’s listening right now could take that and reverse that model, uh, and, you know, for their own benefit of being able to either find agency partners to help them do what they do better Mm-Hmm. Or how they can then be the partner and by stepping into the right ponds Mm-Hmm. , uh, because they can be the right partner for someone else. Right.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Building Connections Without Selling


No, Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and even as an agency, if it’s industry-focused being as, you know, be a part of some of these trade associations Mm-Hmm. , you know, just being able to really in invest yourself, if, if it’s an industry you serve, you know, if it’s, uh, a special skill set you serve Mm-Hmm. You know, just being present in those areas. And I guess I’m not sure how it always works for everybody, but I hate selling. I shouldn’t hate a strong word.


It’s probably appropriate. That’s probably appropriate.


You know, I, I’ve been in marketing, you know, for so long, and sometimes marketing gets a really bad rep, you know, with smoke and mirrors. But, um, that’s why the demonstration of an authority approach for me has been really strong because I don’t have to sell. I just, I have to show up and have to tell people what I’m good at, what I’m not good at. And, um, those, those RightFit people kind of start to find me, and I start to find them. And so that, that also comes from like, you know, Jim Hener Mm-Hmm. from Hener where every, all this began, you know, he has a very strong philosophy on giving and it, it, it’s giving of yourself, it’s giving of what you know, and it is, is showing up. And if you give things, just start to grow from that, it just creates a lot of fertile ground. And you, you, you don’t, and also, um, I, if you give of yourself there, there’s less selling because people see a more authentic cue.


Does winning partnership matter? Yeah. And, and so this, this is where I would encourage our, uh, listeners to dissect his sounds a little gross, but to essentially analyze how I think that white label has done this really masterfully well, when you said, you know, just have to show up that you don’t like to sell. Well, candidly, lots, lots of agency owners don’t like to sell. And I, and I get it, we’re not, we’re not just because we have the sell with authority methodology, we’re not big on, you know, closing and making your, your prospects feel yucky that they just got closed. That feels gross. Nobody likes, nobody likes that. But I think that they can absolutely take and sort of flip the script on how you guys have successfully done that without selling because of the position of authority that you’re talking about. And somebody listening here can take that and say, okay, wait a minute. I wanna be able to serve this community. Maybe our agency could be the partner to help serve that community by helping members of that community do what they do even better. And we will then fill in those gaps and bring that to the table. So like, they could essentially follow the white label IQ kind of marketing script, if you will. Um, I mean, what you’ve mapped out herein, in full transparency, is a great business development strategy.


Mm-Hmm. And as I said, I think that for, for me, a lot of this came naturally with that dichotomy we talked about. Like, I’ve been on the agency side, you know, client-facing for a long time. 


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Building Value Through Trusted Networks


Hmm. And as I said, I have, I have learned a lot of lessons the really hard way. You know, from that, I really, you know, white Label IQ was a way to solve a lot of those problem points that I just experienced. So it was sort of like I saw the, I just started solving them, and it just kind of evolved into an agency. Hmm. And part of that too is, you know, um, from the client side, we have, um, you know, we couldn’t do it all. We presented ourselves as a fully integrated agency. So we did the video, we did, you know, we did mul, you know, production, quality levels of video, different types.


Winning partnership — Okay. Um, radio commercials, print ads, web, you know, influencers across the board. Yep. You know, there’s no way we, we know how to do all that around. You know, you have to have partners, you have to have agency partners you can reach out to to find people to work with and gain that instant credibility. Yeah. Through referrals, you know? Um, and it just kind of evolved, like as I was doing that on the creative side and running the creative department, it was like the, the true value and ability for me to deliver was based upon the relationships that I had, you know, and how trustworthy they were, and that I knew who to go to and how to go to quickly, and that I could assess pricing. And that I, and not only that, but like, after time, some of these people, instead of having to meet, have a couple of meetings, go over review notes, I was like, Hey, Mark, okay, I’ve got another one.


Remember that past job we did, it’s like that, but a little different. Here’s how different it is. And in like 20 minutes, we’ve, we kind of know what we’re gonna do. We know how we work, you know, and we were able to like, move things along a lot faster. You know, we were, you know, stand on, stand on the shoulders of all of our past encounters. And, and that, that, as I talked earlier about getting out on LinkedIn, you know, AMI, the associations, um, it’s just sort of, you know, the whole aspect of, of reputation and having that working experience with people. Um, I mean, I don’t want sound, but a lot of times, you are the value of your network. And, you know, that shouldn’t be understated because, you know, coming from a creative field and producing something, there was so much about value on what I produced, you know, and that shift from what I produced and the value I created in the creative that I did, and how I participated in that into a position where I, I don’t necessarily care what, what I contributed.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Unlocking Profit Through Strategic Agency Partnerships


I’m working more towards the larger, you know, success of the project in a whole Mm-Hmm. , it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re not ego-driven into what your contribution is. You know, so I, I, I bring that back to the idea of the network and partners and being able to bring people in where you often don’t feel comfortable because you want to control that. If you can let go a little bit, take the risk, take that first step, and be vulnerable. Mm-Hmm. And it gives you those opportunities to grow, not just in your projects, but in how pe other people show up.


Here’s more about Winning partnership. As I’m hearing you say this or share this, um, I’m thinking of, you know, the, the kind of the metaphor or visual that, that we often talk about here at predictive is, you know, once you have clarity around the who you wanna serve, then you can step into the right pond, right? Mm-Hmm. You can step into the right pond to find prospects that are the right fit because they’re probably swimming in that pond. Um, as I’m thinking about that sort of scenario, uh, kind of, again, flipping the script, it’s like, okay, if that works, then for finding right fit prospects, it also then works for finding right fit partners, right? If you, again, have clarity around this candid self-assessment and where you need to fill in some gaps or shore up some strengths or weaknesses, or however you wanna call that, if you step them into the right pond, uh, you’re gonna be able to find then the right partners, because they’re probably congregating just like your prospects would.


Um, so, so that’s incredibly helpful for finding the piece. I want, I wanna see if we can maybe address what might be a misnomer, maybe a misbelief or misunderstanding or, uh, maybe belief is the right word. So if I work with a partner to do X so that we can focus on what we do and do that better, there’s not gonna be any profit in it. So let’s talk about that a little bit. We’d love to get your perspective on that because I don’t think you’re suggesting, Hey, you ought to start doing some agency partnerships because it’s a great way to lose money.


So, address the profit piece because that would be helpful for our audience to better understand maybe how this could be helpful, uh, to their bottom line by finding the right agency partnership.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Maximizing Profitability Through Mutually Beneficial Agency Partnerships


So, the profit can be structured in a lot of different ways depending upon how you’re going forward. Okay? One of the key elements is if you are, let’s say, you’re an SEO agency and you need web development, you bring in the best of a class of both of those by having a partner. Mm-Hmm. Okay. And then even if you need a third partner to come into the, the arrangement o often the benefit is you’re going after a lot bigger fish at this point. You’re, you’re not, you’re, you’re going after accounts that demand that you have best-in-class SEO, you have best-in-class development, you have best-in-class video production, etc. So when it comes to profit, just, you know, also look at who you’re approaching and know that you can start going after, you know, bigger accounts when you have larger, when you have greater trust in your partners, you have greater authority in what going forward, forward. And you can demonstrate that.


Because you have the ability to deliver for a larger client, you may have more scalable resources or some skill sets that you wouldn’t have had. And so now you have a better capability to punch above your weight.


Exactly. In an agency business, this is very relationship-based. Okay. You know, your part, your partner has to, um, understand that you have to be profitable on it. And even like account execs, who landed the opportunity, who earned the opportunity, who brought it to the table. Um, there’s a lot of situations where, um, if I’m working with somebody and we’re revealed, we’re not, you know, white labeled behind the scenes. Okay. There are situations where we’re running it directly through the agency; that’s the majority of the situation. But there are times when the agency just wants to be more on the side and at the table doing what they do. You know, we recognize that. So, you know, uh, as a partner, you know, we have commission agreements in place for any kind of situation that comes forward like that because just gotta respect where it came from, respect the people who brought it to you, and know that they’re hat that if you can’t create opportunity for other people in those situations Mm-Hmm.


But these partnerships are not one-sided, and for white label particularly a lot of our thing is how we work. We have hybrid offshoring, so I’m able to de-deliver production costs and wholesale to agencies. And that that’s how we work exclusively with agencies in that realm. So we really strive to be more efficient, more effective in what we do, and get the scope down so we know how we’re doing it. So internally, because we’re subject matter experts at what we do, can I drive the price down more? You know, I still need margins. I still need to do everything, but I’m not gonna build a business off of a project or one client. You know, I need to build a relationship, and that means that my partners have to be profitable in this, and I have to understand that they are profitable, and they have to be transparent with me and tell me, you know, you know what the situation is really. Because if only one person’s getting their needs met. The relationship doesn’t work. As I said earlier, business relationships, personal relationships, et cetera, across the board are the same. So you have to look at the people you’re talking with. And that’s where I talk about being a fair broker. You have to come to the table being fair in the relationship, knowing that everybody’s needs need to be met.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: The Power of Clarity, Trust, and Transparency


That, that’s so great. I mean, as, as you were saying that, uh, I, I’m literally right now thinking of out of, um, seven habits of highly effective People, when Dr. Stephen Covey wrote that brilliant work back in 1985 and, and talked about how, you know, the there that there are lose-win, there are win-lose Mm-Hmm. And then there are win-win relationships. And it’s about creating that synergy. And when you said that, Brian, when there’s only one person getting their needs met in the relationship, that’s not a true agency partnership. Right. And I love how you’re using the word transparent and because when you said transparent, and actually this piece of getting this piece, one of the only one person getting their needs met, that that took me back to the beginning of the conversation when you gave us two ingredients. You mentioned clarity, and you mentioned trust. Mm-Hmm. Well, when only one person’s getting their needs met in a relationship, there’s going to be a lack of trust.


Right? Right. Yeah, absolutely.


This, this has been such a, uh, a, a great, uh, dissection, if you will, of how, how to create a partnership both from the, the needs assessment being super candid and transparent about this is how, uh, or this is what we need in order to do what we do even better. And then, you know, actually how to, to build and nurture the relationship, uh, or the partnership through the process or through the length of that relationship, which is gotta have clarity, gotta have trust can’t just be one winner. It has to be a win-win. So I, I know that our time is quickly coming to an end here, uh, but before we go and before we close out and say goodbye, um, in addition to, for our audience being able to reach out and connect with you, maybe that’s LinkedIn or a different way, we’ll get to that in just a second. But any final advice that you wanna share, anything you think we might have missed? And then, we’ll make sure that our audience can connect with you.


Yeah, I think the past last part too is, um, you know, this is business in, in many ways. So things pivot, things change. Hmm. A strategic partnership is not a marriage. Okay? Um, this is not till death do us part type situation. So both people have to recognize the elephant in the room and that we’re seeking win-win situations. And you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re really pushing towards that. But there are times where an agency has to grow in another direction, and sometimes those things part ways, but if you’re part of that network and you’re honest and you’re transparent, um, it, it’s not a surprise. It’s not a thing. You’re talking about how things are pivoting and working on both sides. There is also a lot of opportunity for both of those agencies to learn from each other in a partnership.


Learn more about Winning Partnership by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Winning Partnership: Embracing Growth Through Win-Win Agency Partnerships


You know, I, I, when I go to the table, I tell people, I know I’m here. I know I’m here today. You might want to bring your own web developers in-house. I get it. You know, like, tell you what, let me help you, you know, build the business. Let me help you get, you know, a steady, you know, intake of this type of work so that you can stabilize it. And when you don’t need me, you don’t need me. But guess what, I’m still there. We’re still gonna, like, there are times you’re gonna have more work than you can handle if you’re successful, and if you’re successful, even if you build that in your house, um, you’re still gonna bring me along when you need me. There’s still gonna be more opportunities. Your growth is my growth. Like, so you just gotta, you know, recognize that aspect of it where no one’s putting a ring on here.


Well, I love that. Um, your growth is my growth. What that shows is when you step into a new partnership with the mindset that if you win, you win. So let’s win together. That’s, that’s great. Nobody feels swarms; nobody feels sold. Nobody feels any of that stuff that your intent is pure, and it’s all based on trust. That is just awesome.


We’re going to add to that. It’s also a great case study for the website when you get there because, honestly, it’s a beautiful case study showing how you build that authority. So Right.


Best way to reach out and connect with you, Brian,


Through our website. Absolutely. We also encourage you to follow us on LinkedIn. We’re generating content every single day and getting it out there. If you want to follow us, I think you’ll really like a lot of what we’re saying. And contact me through the website. It’s a perfect place to reach out to me.


Well, thanks. And, and we’ll be sure to put that in the show notes, uh, as well, Brian. So thank you for that. Uh, o Okay, everyone, no matter how many notes you took, and I took a bunch, uh, the key is you have to take what Brian so generously shared with you. You have to take it and apply it because when you do, you’ll accelerate your results. And why, because you started with the candid self-assessment. You’re able to find the right partners who are going to not only help you do better what it is that you do but also create a wonderful win-win type of relationship. And then you’re gonna have the conversations of you win. I win, I win. You win. And that’s amazing when that happens. And Brian, we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day, and I am grateful, my friend, that you said yes to come onto the show to help us, uh, move our businesses onward to the next level through partnerships. Thank you so much, my friend.


Thank you, Stephen.

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Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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