Advice for Successful Young Agency Owners: Avoiding Common Painful Mistakes

The Mentor Advantage: Shortcut to Success

Launching your own agency is an enticing idea. But turning into a successful young agency owner? That’s a whole other game. It’s not just about dreaming big. You’re going to need a solid base of clients, the right tools for the job, and knowledge in several key areas. 

Partnering with a mentor who has been there, done that can dramatically flatten your learning curve and help you avoid serious mistakes.

Imagine you’re eyeing the real estate market. It’s not enough to just get agents on board; you’ve got to deliver what you’ve promised.

Drop the ball here, and you’ll see those clients disappear faster than you can say “listings”. 

Suddenly, you’re not the hot new agency on the block; you’re back to being a nobody.

Building a Strong Foundation: The Importance of Support

Whether you aspire to be an agency owner, an account manager, or a client-facing salesperson, remember the importance of support. 

You can’t be everywhere at once—selling to clients and also managing the backend.

That’s where virtual assistants or VAs come in handy. They’re crucial for handling the operations that keep your agency running smoothly, so you can focus on expansion and keeping those client relationships strong.

  • The Role of VAs in Agency Success

If you’re looking to become a VA, whether you’re from the Philippines, Pakistan, Kosovo, Central America, or Brazil – understand that your role is very important.

VAs are like cooks in a restaurant, while account managers are the waiters, managing client relationships and ensuring everything looks perfect to the customers. Both roles are vital for the place to thrive. 

  • Bridging the Gap with Stellar Communication and Teamwork

In any field, but especially if you’re a digital entrepreneur, agency owner, account manager, or a virtual assistant: clear communication and teamwork aren’t just nice-to-haves; they’re must-haves. 

Asking questions, reaching out for help, and ensuring everyone is on the same page can transform potential chaos into a well-oiled machine. It’s about creating a culture where everyone feels valued and heard.

Got a question or feeling swamped? Speak up. It’s better to ask for help or clarification than to stay silent and struggle alone. 

If your goal is to earn more and land a fantastic job, it’s not just about mastering one or two skills. 

It’s about how you fit into the bigger picture, how you communicate, organize, and collaborate with your teammates. This is a common stumbling block for many. 

The Common Pitfalls in Job Seeking

I’ve seen it time and time again—the most talented individuals missing out on great opportunities because they didn’t take that extra step to stand out. 

A generic LinkedIn message?

“Hey, I love what you’re doing. Are there any job openings? Is there any way I can find additional resources?” 

That won’t cut it. Dive deep, research thoroughly, and approach with something that shows you’ve not just looked at the “About Us” page but understand the heartbeat of the company.

What puts you 99% ahead of the other candidates when it comes to landing a job at a well-known company?

You show love of that company. For instance, writing a tailored note to a potential boss or manager, referencing their recent LinkedIn posts, or discussing their contributions to a podcast or book reveals your dedication and makes your interaction memorable. 

“Hey Sam, I saw that you were with Warren Whitlock a couple days ago in Las Vegas, and you guys recorded a podcast about how aging is now a disease. I thought that was really interesting.”

This level of personalization and effort not only displays your keen interest in the company but also your proactive nature and attention to detail, significantly enhancing your chances of being noticed and appreciated. 

If we hire you and you stumble upon a problem, we want to know you’ll be proactive in seeking solutions, not waiting for us to spoon-feed you information. 

  • Unlocking the Treasure Trove of Resources

In today’s digital age, not leveraging available resources is akin to walking through a desert, ignoring the oasis right beside you. The Content Factory Academy, with its 135 courses, is that oasis. 

content fact

Whether you’re polishing existing skills or diving into new territories, the willingness to learn is what sets the achievers apart.

  • Working with the Best 

We partner with industry leaders, so when you join our team, you’re working with people who are already well-known.

They already offer an exceptional product or service – and it’s much easier to drive results for someone who’s doing well.

Aligning with industry leaders is more than a privilege; it’s a fast track to exponential growth. But here’s the catch—you’ve got to match up by being a team player, an A-lister who brings more to the table than just technical skills. 

The question then becomes, are you coachable? Success in this environment relies on blending your expertise with an inquisitive mind and a knack for exceeding expectations.

  • The Power of Mentorship: Beyond Tasks to Career Transformation

Choosing between a boss fixated on results and a mentor invested in your growth is a game-changer for your career.

While a boss dictates tasks with strict deadlines, a mentor guides you through every step, addressing challenges together and ensuring you grasp the process thoroughly.

This isn’t just about ticking off tasks; it’s about equipping you with the skills, resources, and support necessary for success.

For me, finding a mentor has been pivotal, significantly enhancing both my immediate performance and long-term development.

If you’re applying for jobs the traditional way, chances are it’s not the perfect fit. It might meet some criteria—skills, salary, or general interest—but remember, this route only suits a small fraction of people.

If you’re proactive, people will create jobs for you, or you are going to find out about jobs that are not being publicly advertised. 

My first job was created for me by my mentor, the CEO of American airlines

Some see this as an unfair edge, but success ultimately depends on your effort, not just the opportunities you’re given.

Combining mentorship with personal dedication to your projects and team is the recipe for success.

By exploring these broader career aspects, you’re already ahead of the curve, setting yourself up for a fulfilling and successful journey.

  • The Digital Work Life: Embracing Flexibility and Responsibility

Whether you’re a virtual assistant or a digital agency owner, you have the ability to manage your time and work from anywhere. 

This level of freedom can be exhilarating. 

However, it’s important to note that this freedom differs from the traditional 9-5 grind. It’s not about being physically present in a call center or a store during business hours; it’s about delivering results, regardless of location or time. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re working on an ad campaign at 8 AM or 4 PM, as long as the job is done well.

The real challenge in this scenario is managing distractions and maintaining discipline, instead of getting sidetracked by daily life or giving in to temptations such as watching a movie when there’s work to be done. 

The key takeaway here is that great freedom comes with great responsibility.

  • Beyond Skills: The Art of Demonstrating Value

To earn more, you need to provide clear, provable value to your clients. 

Whether your skill is in video editing, Facebook ads, or website building, showing how your work directly boosts sales or leads can lead to higher pay. 

Consider this: some video editors barely scrape by with $500 a month, while others rake in over $20,000. What sets the high earners apart? It boils down to strategic approaches and engaging with clients effectively. 

It’s not just about technical skills; it’s about mastering soft skills, understanding client desires, and even surprising them with personalized gifts to truly stand out.

Furthermore, excelling in content creation, or any field, demands understanding the business goals behind it. Simply creating top-notch ads isn’t sufficient; you must know why and how they benefit the business.

This level of insight is often lacking, even among seasoned internet marketers, yet it’s paramount for sustained success.

Starting Strong: Your First Steps as a New Level 1 VA

Moving on to advice for new hires – Welcome aboard! 

As you step into this new journey, remember, curiosity is your best companion. Dive into every learning opportunity, ask the hard questions, and never settle for the status quo. It’s not about filling a seat; it’s about carving a path that others will aspire to follow.

Here are some crucial tips:

  • Take responsibility: If you notice a teammate lagging, offer to help but also ensure accountability. Taking initiative is key.
  • Be personable but knowledgeable: Don’t overstate your abilities. It’s important to know your limits and express a willingness to learn.
  • Give it your all: Dive in, be eager to learn, and don’t wait for information to come to you. Seek out what you need to know.
  • Embracing the Learning Curve 

Don’t be intimidated by the length of the Level One Training guide. See it as your shortcut to sidestepping mistakes and fast-tracking your success. 


Dive in, apply what you learn, and you’ll quickly become key to the team. Master the essentials, like Basecamp, logging time, and invoicing.

People who don’t get far often start off thinking, “Hey, I’m making $3 an hour. Why should I even try?” or “I’ll step up my game when they’re paying me $10 an hour.” But here’s the thing—you might end up waiting forever for that promotion with that mindset. 

Trust me, we always go the extra mile to make sure all our employees and co-workers feel supported and valued. 

Our culture is built on mutual respect and recognition of hard work, aiming to uplift everyone involved.

Conclusion: The Path to Agency Success

Starting and growing a successful agency is a multifaceted challenge that encompasses client management, team collaboration, and personal development. By seeking mentorship, embracing continuous learning, and demonstrating value to clients, you can navigate the digital landscape more effectively and stand out in your field.

  • Seek a mentor for accelerated learning and guidance.
  • Embrace the role of VAs for operational efficiency.
  • Show initiative and conduct thorough research when job seeking.
  • Utilize all available resources for continuous learning.
  • Understand the importance of providing provable value to clients.

What strategies will you implement to ensure your agency’s success and growth in the digital era?

If you’re a young adult thinking of starting your own agency, don’t miss Landon Bates on the Coach Yu Show. With five years of experience since he started at 18, he’s packed with invaluable insights on the challenges and failures you need to know. Watch now to save yourself from making costly mistakes.

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.