I recently sat down with Cloudways and discussed everything to do with growing a sustainable agency....
With more than 30 years of experience working with commercial businesses, it’s safe to say Rob Da Costa knows his way around the marketing game. In 1991, he set up his own marketing, PR and design agency, which he grew into an award-winning business before selling it to become a coach and mentor in 2007.
Since then, he’s been helping business owners grow and achieve organizational success. And he’s also authored The Self-Running Agency for agency owners looking to balance profitability with sustainable growth and some personal free time.
We’re thrilled to have Rob with us today as he shares his journey with us, talks through what it means to sell customers what they want, and more.
Cloudways: Thanks for joining us, Rob! Can you start by telling us a bit about your journey to become an agency coach?
Rob: Back in 1992, I decided to leave my marketing job and start my own tech PR agency (I had naïve youth on my side!).
Over the next 11 years, I grew the agency into a full service marketing agency with 25 staff, turning over about £1.5 million.
I then got approached by a large US firm to buy the agency so sold up and after a two-year earn-out left to retrain to become a coach.
I started out trying to be a generalist coach working, in theory with large corporates or small start-ups but found it very difficult to be successful. So, I decided to niche my business to focus on supporting SME marketing agencies and over the past 14 years have worked with over 250 agency owners to help them grow in a profitable, sustainable and enjoyable way.
Today I do private coaching as well as running an agency group coaching programme.
Cloudways: You’ve talked about the difference between selling customers what they want versus what they need. What do agency owners need to understand about this distinction?