HubSpot Diamond Agency Partner sure has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Are you a new or aspiring HubSpot agency? Then, you might assume the Diamond tier; the highest agency partner tier offered, is only for large agencies. In fact, there are HubSpot agencies that succeed with very small internal teams.
How do they do it?
Put simply, they have learned the value of outsourcing and scaling their team to fit their needs. Becoming a HubSpot Diamond agency requires you to deliver a tremendous amount of value to your clients. But that value doesn’t all have to come from your small team.
Here is how to start small and build a HubSpot Diamond agency that can compete with the major agencies.
Benefits and Requirements of HubSpot Diamond Agency
Before you set off on your goal to become a HubSpot Diamond Agency, ask yourself, why do you want it?
Do you need to be a Diamond Agency to be successful? Certainly not. First, set goals for how you want to grow and serve your clients. Then determine if becoming a Diamond Partner will help you achieve those goals.
You can check out all of the benefits of each HubSpot Agency Partner Tier here. The main benefits of the partner program are your:
- channel account manager
- channel consultant
- listing in the Partner Directory
- the commissions on sales of HubSpot solutions
Higher tiers receive more benefits. Examples include event support, social amplification, access to the Agency Growth Fund, and access to additional planning and support resources.
If you’ve looked the benefits over and decided they’ll help your agency, you’ll need to set goals based on HubSpot’s thresholds. Diamond Partners must have $10,000 of sold monthly recurring revenue, clients you brought onto the HubSpot platform, and $50,000 of managed MRR, HubSpot clients you provide services to. In addition to these metrics, HubSpot takes into account retention, software engagement, and actual inbound marketing success.
Structuring a Scalable Team as a HubSpot Diamond Agency
Achieving these revenue goals doesn’t require a large team, but it does require one built for very intentional goals.
Focus on Customer Success
Diamond Agency Partner, Penguin Strategies, has an internal team that is made up primarily of Account Managers rather than writers, graphic designers, or developers. The services your agency offers can be easily outsourced, but the ability to manage client projects, nurture relationships and offer strategic guidance can not.
Penguin Strategies was able to become a Diamond agency by outsourcing deliverables and using its internal team to create marketing strategies for its clients and make sure those strategies were being followed through. Remember that retention, engagement, and inbound success are all factors in partner tiers. Your internal team should be built to maximize those metrics.
Focus on Scalability
The first-ever Diamond partner, Square 2 Marketing, grew to a team of 62 members in 2018. They weren’t always that big, though. When the agency’s two co-founders, Mike Lieberman and Eric Keiles, first started bringing on additional employees, they built an organizational structure to handle rapid growth. Their “hive structure” involves a number of smaller core teams that can service all needs of a client. When the hive can’t take on any additional clients, one member is promoted to form a new hive.
No matter what organizational structure you use for your agency, make sure it can handle sudden increases and decreases in client demand. Yes, unfortunately, for growing marketing agencies, the truth is that, at some points, the growth will reverse.
While your internal team must prepare themselves to handle these fluctuations, the best solution for a small agency looking to grow and serve a large number of clients is outsourcing.
Outsourcing Content to Freelance Writers as a HubSpot Diamon Agency
Freelancers are becoming a major part of agencies as more and more of the talent pool moves to the gig economy. According to Freelance Forward: 2021, nearly 60 million Americans completed freelance work within the last year. That statistic represents over one-third of the entire U.S. workforce.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when building your agency with freelancers:
Consider Freelancers Part of Your Team
One of the unfortunate stigmas around freelance writers is the idea of using an online service to pay some anonymous person a few cents a word to write content for you. In fact, freelancers can be a much larger part of your agency services.
Penguin Strategies uses freelance writers as an extension of their team. The writers they’ve formed a relationship with pitch them ideas specific to their clients, engage directly with clients during strategy calls and generally own the work they perform.
With 16% of companies already working completely remotely, it should be a stretch for any agency to consider freelancers a part of their remote workforce.
Create Long-term Freelance Relationships
7th Sight focuses on building partnerships with writers, designers, and content creators before they need their services. This allows the agency to offer marketing services they know they can deliver on and build the price of freelancers into their pricing structure. This is especially valuable if you are approaching a new industry you’ve never created content for before.
Look for Subject Matter Experts
Since they have access to a large community of expert writers, HubSpot Platinum Agency Optimize 3.0 is able to sell itself as an expert content creator in a variety of industries and then follow through on those promises with excellent content. While having a few generalist writers in your stable can be useful, having a large team of specialists will result in much higher-quality marketing content for your clients. When building out your freelance team, look for experts in your client’s fields and for industries you may need help with in the future.
Make Your Freelance Team Scalable
According to Matt Sunshine, Managing Partner of the HubSpot Platinum Partner Agency LeadG2, their agency had a problem early on with overexpansion. By using freelancers to fill talent gaps, they prevented the costly mistake of hiring new employees only to see demand decrease and eventually let the team member go a few months later.
Use contract workers for as many client services as possible. Then, you can rapidly scale your team without the normal growing pains that agencies go through. You can approach new clients confidently. In other words, without worrying that if you win their business, you’ll have to scramble to hire a new employee for their account. Instead, you’ll have a pool of freelancers to draw from that have the specific experience that clients’ work requires.
Provide Value Through Processes and Strategy
Giving up total ownership of all client deliverables is a difficult hurdle for many agencies is overcome. This requires an important mindset shift. As a HubSpot agency, the greatest value you can provide your clients is an inbound strategy. That also includes the carefully organized processes you develop over working with many clients over time.
Marketing services such as content creation will be a major part of making sure your strategy is successful, and your clients are happy, but they also require a large investment of time and resources. By outsourcing these services, you free your internal team up to make the larger strategy moves. As a result, that will keep your clients happy and lead to more sales.
HubSpot Diamond Agency: Final Thoughts
The HubSpot Diamond Agencies may seem impossible to compete with or join, but they don’t need to be. The size of your team doesn’t matter. You can reach the same revenue and success if you organize your agency intentionally. Then, outsource services to capable, expert freelancers, and focus on delivering the best customer experience possible.
This post was written by Tim Ludy, one of the top marketing/tech writers in the nDash community. To learn more about Tim — and to have him write for your company — be sure to create a free account on nDash.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated in August 2022 to reflect current statistics.