Embarrassed. Ashamed. Frustrated. You might feel this way if you’re a marketing agency owner struggling to keep up with their own marketing. But there’s a way out.

I’ll never forget the call. I’d been hired to help with the content strategy and writing for an agency client.

Like many agencies, they have a stable of writers, consultants, and the like to help them work on projects. I was just one more freelancer on the menu.

It was a fast-paced meeting with lots of ideas being thrown up and direction being handed down from the agency owner. Fast, efficient, and effective.

After the meeting, I stayed on until it was only the agency owner and me. I asked her about their own marketing strategy.

Abrupt silence. Then, she smiled nervously.

“You know how it is. The cobbler’s kids have no shoes.”

As I’ve continued through the years working as a content strategist, that was not the last time I heard that expression.

It’s a common thing that happens to firms and agencies.

For their clients, they knock it out of the park. But for themselves, they don’t have the time… or the money.

Cobbler's kids have no shoes. Marketers don't market their own agency.

That’s the funny thing that happens to experts sometimes — they don’t always do for themselves what they do for so many other people.

Plumbers with leaky faucets. Financial planners with no will. Doctors who don’t follow their doctor’s advice.

Maybe it’s human nature, but I think there’s more to it.

Client Priority

Agency owners put their clients first. That’s how you got to where you are now as a professional marketer. You take care of your clients.

But if you don’t put in time during the week for your own marketing efforts, you’ll end up doing your clients a disservice.

If your marketing agency isn't #marketing itself well, you’ll end up doing your clients a disservice. They need a strong, stable partner – not a desperate one. Click To Tweet

When you’re not marketing your firm, your sales pipeline diminishes to a trickle.

Then you begin to panic. And that’s when your stress can show during your interactions with your clients.

If you don’t have new sales opportunities, you may not be doing what’s in the best interest of your current clients because you’re dependent on them to keep you afloat.

More than anything your current clients need a strong, sustainable agency to work with. That will only happen as you stay focus on marketing your own brand as well as your clients.

Budgeting Mishaps

An agency owner is a business owner, and like all business owners, they should be investing money right back into their company. But that doesn’t always happen.

It’s tempting to take in the revenues that are coming in when times are good and spend it on luxuries that don’t increase profit margins. It’s also just as easy to take that money home in profit distributions.

One highly successful marketing agency owner up north once told me…

Don’t eat all the grain you bring in. Save some of it to sow for your next harvest. If you don’t, you’ll eat away all your future earning potential.

Invest back into your firm by planning in advance to invest in your own marketing.

Do exactly what you’re hoping your clients will do. Make a plan. Hire professionals. Get ‘er done.

Winging It

When it comes to client work, agency owners go by the book and give it 100%.

They check the data and segment. They do the focus groups and surveys. They spend hours in brand discovery meetings.

For themselves, though? Many just wing it.

But you can’t wing it with your own marketing, even if you’re a master marketer!

You’ve got to approach your own marketing with the same tenacity, scrutiny, and strategic thinking.

You also need objective, professional outsiders to come alongside you and help you. You need someone on the outside to help you see the forest for the trees.

Psychologists need psychologists. Doctors need doctors. Pastors need pastors.

The good part is that you know what to look for in a marketing consultant. You know when they’re doing a good job, and when they’re truly making a difference for you.

Imposter Syndrome

Agency owners can trumpet the brands of their clients all day long, but for some reason, when they begin advocating their own brand, imposter syndrome tries to paralyze them.

“People who suffer from Imposter Syndrome struggle to recognise their own achievements, and when they do acknowledge some success, they typically put this down to either luck or sheer effort, assuming that others succeed through genuine talent.” – Kathering Hawley, Ph. D.

To market a brand well, you have to believe in it.

You have to know down to your core the value you bring to potential clients.

Too often, agency owners sabotage their own marketing and sales efforts as imposter syndrome tries to convince them that they just don’t measure up.

You offer enormous value to your clients! Don't let imposter syndrome sabotage your #marketing and sales efforts for your agency. Click To Tweet

But you’ve got enormous value to offer! Your clients experience it every day, and your marketing is not bragging — it’s getting the word out so you can serve more people in their mission.

Creativity Exhaustion

After a full day helping clients work out the challenges in their marketing, you might just be so mentally exhausted that you don’t have any creative energy left to work through your own marketing challenges.

Because they’re giving 100% of themselves to their clients, agency owners can lose their creative drive to implement their own marketing strategies.

Many leaders out there are busy solving problems, and when they got back to their office, they don’t have any fresh ideas left.

Marketing for marketers. We make the cobbler's shoes.

That’s why we’re here.

We’re here to serve up fresh ideas for your business after you’ve given your last creative spark to the clients you’re committed to. In a way, we make the shoes for the cobbler’s kids.