According to the Agency Spotter, there are over 560 thousand agencies worldwide. Each day, more and more of them provide digital services like website and software development, content creation and monitoring of social networks. One said agency is M. Lincoln Digital Communication, founded in 2013 by Technology Manager Mikael Lincoln. After acquiring experience in radio and marketing agencies, Mikael identified an opportunity: small and medium-sized businesses were increasingly seeking marketing agencies, not to advertise their brand, but to generate business opportunities. 

Armed with this knowledge, Mikael created M. Lincoln Digital Communication. The company started off offering marketing planning and social media monitoring, but customer interest quickly prompted it to add services such as website creation and maintenance, digital marketing strategy and content production, and distribution. In order to maintain the quality of M. Lincoln’s services and to set it apart from its competitors, Mikael personally tends to the work his customers’ require.

As many other growing agencies, Mikael eventually ran into a common problem: how to scale services without losing quality and essence?

5 Challenges Faced by Growing Online Agencies

To keep evolving, the business had to overcome some crucial obstacles. Here are some of the difficulties Mikael found:

  1. Scaling personal treatment without losing the agency’s essence;

  2. Decreasing the amount of time spent in operational and manual activities;

  3. Increasing efficiency of the team;

  4. Controlling tasks and deadlines;

  5. Centralizing and professionalizing communication between clients.

He started looking for solutions that could soften the problems and help his team keep up with the agency’s growth plans and customers’ demands. Some of the resources he tested were also used by a lot of other agencies:


  • Google Drive for content;

  • Google Calendar for organization;

  • Evernote;

  • WordPress plugins;

  • Spreadsheets;

  • White boards hanging on the walls.

Visually, Mikael’s routine looked a lot like this:

 

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On account of many customers using different processes, it was hard to find a tool that could respect previous specificities and adapt to them. This resulted in a combination of different platforms and tools that made his work even more complex and confusing. After asking for referrals, he concluded that what he needed was a single tool built specifically for content marketing. The tool would need to be customizable to attend to different processes and clients, and be capable of unifying all of his clients and stakeholders (writers, editors, designers and SEO managers) in the same workspace. Enter Contentools.

 

The Solution: Contentools Content Marketing Platform

After a long and frustrating process of trial and error using many different tools that required him to integrate more and more tools (none of which quite met client needs), Mikael found the answer. Contentools is a platform developed specifically for his needs and allows him to:

  • Map, organize and document all of his clients’ strategy into the same place;

  • Manage his stack of outside contractors (freelancers);

  • Schedule and publish content in different channels (blogs, websites, social media) in an automated and easy way;

  • Customize and automate the workflow between writers, editors, designers and clients;

  • Measure the results of each campaign;

  • Show results and communicate with clients with transparency.

At long last, Mikael’s agency could manage the entirety of its process on the same workspace. This allowed the agency to become a lot faster, practical and visual. It was not necessary to have multiple spreadsheets, countless open tabs with .doc files and a white board to manage his day-to-day routine. Mostly, he was able to keep track of all content with his team.

 

Achieving Practical Results

Having migrated all the agency’s clients and teams to Contentools CMP, M. Lincoln achieved outstanding results in the first month alone:

  • Time spent on production and distribution management decreased by 75%;

  • The number of tools used to provide services decreased by 100%;

  • The number of emails decreased by 50%;

  • The service capacity increased 357% – this means the same staff can triple the number of customer accounts they oversee;

  • Quality and essence of personalized customer service remained intact.

 
 
 
This has resulted in M. Lincoln exceeding the growth rate that had been planned for this year and, consequently, revenue has increased. Mikael already sees an improvement in quality of life as well, since he spends less time on manual tasks and is not stressed by mechanical workarounds. He also considers himself a lot more efficient, and the same applies to his agency, based on real feedback from clients. Besides automating most of his work, other benefits of the platform are:
 
  1. Ability to concentrate on the quality of the content, not just on deadlines;

  2. Improvement on the communication between clients and his teams;

  3. Customizable workflow that allows him to offer different projects to clients;

  4. Revenue increment because of the increasing number of clients and higher ticket projects;

  5. Focus on services based on content (with higher profitability rate);

  6. Better interaction and participation of the final client (increasing his value perception).

The significant increase on income was based, mainly, on the fact that I don’t need to focus
my work hours in tasks that aren’t directly related to what adds value to my customers,
such as centralizing emails between parts(agency -> client -> agency -> writer ->
agency -> editor -> agency -> designer -> agency -> client -> agency),
or looking for information that got lost along the way.
 
 – Mikael Lincoln, CEO of M. Lincoln Digital Communication