The number one reason agencies can’t scale

By Catherine Howell | Jan 21, 2021 | Blog

The number one reason budding agency owners and freelancers struggle to scale is probably something you’re all too familiar with. 


Working crazy hours trying to please the handful of clients on hand, with little time left at the end of the day to work on building the business up. 

Processes and systems get neglected so too do lead generation efforts – both critical for scale.

But here’s where the time crunch really starts to hurt. 

Without a consistent way of bringing leads into the business, you end up relying on word-of-mouth referrals – and while these are a great source of future business – when you’re in start-up mode, referrals are usually few and far between. 

Because of this, there is almost an underlying desperation happening when a lead DOES come through to close – this is detrimental to your business for two reasons: 

  1. Sales calls are all about energy and your leads will always pick up on desperation, which leads to a poor close rate and wastes even more time
  2. Overpromising or underpricing of services to leads tends to happen – making it impossible to have the margins for scale…

Clients are brought in under unsustainable retainers (no margins for growth, to hire or delegate), and you end up even more burned out, with even less money at the end of the month. 

At this stage, there is just too much to do and not enough time in the day. 

Your quality of work begins to drop and clients begin to churn, killing any confidence you had in yourself, to begin with. 

When this happens, the business is doomed. 

And so this cycle continues on and on until the agency owner decides to either throw in the towel or file for bankruptcy. 

This is exactly where Cat Howell found herself back in 2015.  

She thought she was in the wrong business, that she was failing.

And as a one-man band only managing 4 clients, Cat was completely over scope, underpaid, burned out, and her bank account a zero-sum game at the end of each month.

What she discovered is this: 

a) You cannot have a successful business without marketing – and a consistent, reliable way of bringing in quality leads and clients… 

b) When you are a one-man band, time is the most valuable resource, therefore, the lead generation approach you use must be time and effort efficient to help you launch and get momentum… 

Essentially, when you’re shifting from being solo or having 1-2 people on your team to scaling into an operation where you are financially stable, have delegated the tasks you no longer wish to do, and have freedom in your personal life – marketing your business in a way that doesn’t suck up all of your time is key! 

So while strategies like content marketing, creating a podcast, writing press releases, or cold outreach are all of effective ways of generating leads, they are extremely time-consuming and should only be done once you have that time viable to do it properly WITHOUT it compromising the work output for clients. 

So what strategy takes minimal time with maximum output? 

What marketing approach will allow you to generate consistent leads into your business?

>> An automated lead generation system.

Essentially, this is an online lead generation funnel (a series of landing pages) that you drive traffic to. 

Leads give you their information, your funnel automatically qualifies or disqualifies them (to protect your time), and if qualified, they book a strategy call straight into your calendar – eager and ready to speak with you about your services. 

The beauty in this system is that, once it’s set up, it’s automated and requires very little management from your end. 

All you need to focus on is taking the calls and following up with your leads (and even this can be automated). 

If you have too much work on, you can pause or stop your funnel. 

If you need more clients, you can turn your funnel back on and scale up. 


It’s like a lead tap for your business. 

And when Cat first discovered this system for her agency, Eight Loop Social, it changed her life forever.  

She went from doing $5K/mth to $100K/mth in three months and going from being a one-man band to a team of eight in that timeframe!  

Through the years, peers started asking Cat how and what she was doing to grow so quickly and she later began to consult and teach them.

The demand for her knowledge grew so much that she repositioned my agency to completely cater to freelancers and budding agencies.

Since then we’ve worked with over 1,000 agency owners helping them to implement the very same system shared above.  

Our most recent successes include: 

  • Amanda Perry: grew a seven-figure agency in eighteen months using a funnel 
  • Brandon Smits and Justin Sharpe: scaled from 0 to $200K/mth in a year 
  • Milo McMahon: scaled from Facebook freelancer and zero revenue (lost clients due to COVID) to agency owner generating $30K/mth in six months

Scaling your business, attaining financial security, and freedom is not only possible, but you’re in a booming and in-demand industry if, right now, you are offering services to clients. 

Don’t miss this boom time, don’t miss the bus. 

If you’d like to learn more about the system above and implement it in your business then get in touch with us today to see if you’re a good fit.