Agency Journey – Topics

Agency Journey is a monthly series that details the happenings at my agency Barrel, founded in 2006. I also share what’s happening at our other agency businesses under the Barrel Holdings umbrella.

Below are past episodes along with the topics covered in each.

Agency Journey Episode 27 (Y16M6), November 2022

  • Black+Decker Website Launch
  • Delays on the New Business Front & Learning From Lost Deals
  • New Barrel Holdings Website
  • Takeaways from Breaking Down Our Finances
  • Leveling Up Performance & Making Fearless Decisions

Agency Journey Episode 26 (Y16M5), October 2022

  • Q4 Barrel Partners All-Day and Barrel Holdings Meeting + Dinner
  • Barrel Retreat in NYC is a Success
  • Shopify Unite and SoDA GMM
  • New Business Wins and a Critical Launch
  • Tightening the Screws on Our Processes

Agency Journey Episode 25 (Y16M4), September 2022

  • Getting into Rhythm as an Agency
  • DTC Patterns, 1 Year Later
  • Progress in Marketing the Agency
  • Analyzing New Business Wins
  • Finishing the Year Strong

Agency Journey Episode 24 (Y16M3), August 2022

  • Gearing Up for Team-wide Retreat in October
  • Vaulted Oak Celebrates 1 Year of Being in Business
  • Continued Momentum with New Client Wins & Sales Efficiency
  • New Client Website Launches
  • Going on the Offensive with Talent
  • Focusing on the Basics: Revisiting and Reframing Our 2022 Theme

Agency Journey Episode 23 (Y16M2), July 2022

  • A Key Structural Change That’s Had Big Impact
  • Launching Projects & Winning New Work Boosts Morale
  • Quarterly Meetings with Team Leads, Partners, and Barrel Holdings Portfolio Companies
  • Responding to a Client Project Crisis and Doing Some Hands-on Work

Agency Journey Episode 22 (Y16M1), June 2022

  • Leveraging Audits as a New Business Tool
  • Testing Out Discipline Team Retreats
  • The System of Accountability
  • Twelve Months from Now

Agency Journey Episode 21 (Y15M12), May 2022

  • Re-onboarding 1-on-1s with the Team
  • Town Hall and a Tough Question About Layoffs
  • Patience and Enabling Execution

Agency Journey Episode 20 (Y15M11), April 2022

  • A Professional Liability Case
  • Our First Ever Barrel Holdings Quarterly Review Meeting
  • A Longtime Client Gives Notice
  • Shifting C-Suite Responsibilities
  • Performance and Standards in Managing Employees

Agency Journey Episode 19 (Y15M10), March 2022

  • A Couple of Launches
  • Boomerang Hire, Our New Director of Software Engineering
  • Staying Tight on Costs

Agency Journey Episode 18 (Y15M9), February 2022

  • Hard Realities and Tough Decisions
  • Heads Down Execution

Agency Journey Episode 17 (Y15M8), January 2022

  • New Business Wins & Outbound Action
  • Team Attrition Setbacks & Q12 Worries
  • Annual Planning Meetings
  • Simplifying the Business with Key Metrics
  • We Launched a New Portfolio Company

Agency Journey Episode 16 (Y15M7), December 2021

  • Working in New Team Members
  • New Launches & New Wins
  • Keeping It Simple in 2022

Agency Journey Episode 15 (Y15M6), November 2021

  • Containing and Putting Out Fires
  • New Launches & New Wins
  • Achieving Hiring Goals
  • Sharpening My Focus in Key Areas

Agency Journey Episode 14 (Y15M5), October 2021

  • Missing the office vibe
  • Quarterly Partner Meeting in person
  • Choppy Waters: Business Struggles & Team Turnover
  • Sports Analogy: Taking Our Eyes Off the Games

Agency Journey Episode 13 (Y15M4), September 2021

  • The unstoppable force of human adaptation
  • DTC Patterns
  • Barrel Manager Growth Framework
  • The need to refocus on client outcomes

Agency Journey Episode 12 (Y15M3), August 2021

  • Building a Talent Acquisition Discipline
  • Modernizing Our Financial Systems
  • Launching Vaulted Oak, a New Agency Business
  • Staying Disciplined on the New Business Front

Agency Journey Episode 11 (Y15M2), July 2021

  • In-Person Partner Planning Meeting
  • Mid-Year Reflections
  • Barrel Maxims
  • All Feedback is Information (How we responded to negative Glassdoor review)

Agency Journey Episode 10 (Y15M1), June 2021

  • Celebrating 15 Years
  • New Talent Acquisition Manager
  • No More Fighting Fires
  • Agency Business Model

Agency Journey Episode 9 (Y14M12), May 2021

  • Launches & New Business Wins
  • Immunity to Change Map
  • New Org Structure
  • Prioritizing Talent Acquisition

Agency Journey Episode 8 (Y14M11), April 2021

  • Wes Celebrates 10 Years at Barrel
  • Quarterly Town Hall
  • Initiatives Across the Board (Impact of coaching)
  • Leadership (Making hard decisions)
  • The Downstream Impact of Business Development

Agency Journey Episode 7 (Y14M10), March 2021

  • Leveling Up on HubSpot
  • Agency One-Pager
  • Novus Global Training
  • Busting Through the Intuitive Fence
  • Systematizing Lead Generation

Agency Journey Episode 6 (Y14M9), February 2021

  • Making Meetings Effective
  • Sei-Wook Becomes a Dad
  • Tightening Up Our Services Offering
  • Reimagining the Way We Work (Moving to Asana)

Agency Journey Episode 5 (Y14M8), January 2021

  • A Week of Looking Ahead (Annual planning meetings recap)
  • Our Director of Client Services Starts
  • Profit Share Goes Out
  • A Few of Sizable Investments (Professional services membership org and coaching)
  • Project Delays and Their Impact
  • Team Structure, Utilization, and Leverage

Agency Journey, Episode 4 (Y14M7), December 2020

  • New Business Wins Just in Time
  • Director of Client Services Hired
  • Sales Schema Outbound Campaigns
  • Thinking About Business Structure (Pod-based model and accounts)
  • Writing Down Thoughts, Visualizing Ideas

Agency Journey, Episode 3 (Y14M6), November 2020

  • Director of Business Development (Dan’s promotion)
  • Director of Client Services Hiring Continues
  • Taking Time Off
  • 80/20 Principle and Managing My Time & Priorities
  • Vision, Intentions, and Questions

Agency Journey, Episode 2 (Y14M5), October 2020

  • Diversity Hiring
  • Promotions
  • Hiring for Director of Client Services
  • Initiatives to Make the Business Stronger (Leveraging software for the business)

Agency Journey, Episode 1 (Y14M4), September 2020

  • New Business (Wins)
  • Improving the Barrel Team Experience
  • Feedback (Team workshop and debriefs)
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Recruiting and Org Structure
  • New Business Leads (Marketing to drive more)