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ONE-PERSON AGENCY model revealed

Building a Successful One-Person Agency

Learn how to build a successful one-person agency, manage client relationships, handle difficult clients, and exceed client expectations. Discover strategies for negotiating contracts and delighting clients in this comprehensive guide.

 ONE-PERSON AGENCY model revealed

In the digital age, starting a one-person agency can be a lucrative venture, potentially earning you over $500,000 per year. This business model doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. Instead, it’s about running an ultra-efficient business with minimal overhead, automating tasks with no-code tools, and having a fluid team that you can scale up or down as needed.

Choosing Your Niche

The first step in building your one-person agency is deciding what type of agency you want to have. There are countless options available, and the best choice will be something you’re passionate about and willing to invest time in to become an expert.

Here are some categories and services you might consider:

Sales and Marketing

Offering services like SEO, Google ads, social media marketing, or email marketing can be highly profitable. These services help clients see a return on their investment, making this a great niche for your agency.


While it might be more challenging, design can also be a profitable niche. Services could include graphic design, web design, UX/UI design, and more. With a plethora of tools available, these services can be easily delivered via the Internet or email.

Coaching and Consulting

Coaching and consulting are popular right now. Offering courses, coaching, consulting, or other forms of information or motivation to help clients accomplish specific goals can be a great addition to your agency’s services. Just ensure that whatever you offer provides value to your clients.

Managing Workload

Even as a one-person agency, you can’t do everything on your own, especially when it comes to logistical tasks or busy work. It’s essential to identify all the tasks that need to be done and determine which can be automated through tools and tech, and which need to be handled by a human.

Remember, starting a one-person agency is about more than just doing the work. It’s about building a business that can scale and adapt as needed, providing valuable services to your clients, and managing your time and resources effectively. With the right approach, your one-person agency can be a successful and profitable venture.

Automating Your One-Person Agency

Automation is a key aspect of running a successful one-person agency. There are numerous affordable tools available that can automate tasks such as invoicing, billing, customer outreach, and content creation. These tools can be more cost-effective and efficient than hiring a human to do the same tasks.

Human vs. Automated Tasks

It’s crucial to distinguish between tasks that need to be handled by humans and those that can be automated. Tasks that involve interacting with your clients or users, require a personal touch, or involve research, vision, and forward-thinking are best handled by humans. Once you’ve identified which tasks fall into each category, you can set up a well-oiled machine with you at the helm.

Building Your Team

Even in a one-person agency, you’ll need to bring people onto your team for certain tasks. Here are some key points to consider:


First and foremost, you need to be a good leader. While there are many resources available on leadership, the best way to become a good leader is through experience. As you hire your first team member, you’ll learn a lot from the mistakes you make. Don’t hesitate to dive in and learn as you go.


Effective communication with your team is crucial. Tools like Slack can facilitate this communication.


Finding team members can be done in various ways. For example, you might find team members through Facebook groups or other social platforms. You could ask potential team members to send a quick screen recording or audio introduction explaining why they would be a good fit for the role.


Paying your team members can be done through various platforms like PayPal, Venmo, or Wise. The process doesn’t have to be overly formal or official.

Remember, not everyone has to work for you every day. The beauty of a one-person agency is that you can bring people in as needed and build your network over time. Don’t feel overwhelmed if you’re not yet a seasoned business owner. Just bootstrap your agency, meet people, bring them in, and start building your network. You’ll learn and grow along the way.

Building a Fluid Team and Finding Clients

One of the most critical aspects of running a successful one-person agency is building a fluid team. You don’t need full-time employees all the time. Instead, you can have a network of connections that work with you on and off based on the project or the month. This approach allows you to scale up or down depending on your workload.

However, having an agency is worthless if you don’t have any clients. As the agency owner, you should always be your agency’s number one salesperson. This responsibility will always fall on you, especially in the first few years. Your team members and all your expenses with your tools will rely heavily on you bringing in business and paying for those things while also making a profit.

There are various ways to find clients, and you need to explore these to ensure the lifeblood of your agency. Remember, as long as you can find ways to find clients, you’ll never struggle, even during times of economic crisis. You can easily scale up or scale down, and worst-case scenario, you could technically remove everyone from your team and do everything on your own.

The Benefits of Running a One-Person Agency

Running a one-person agency comes with several benefits. Firstly, you don’t have to do it all alone because you have awesome team members working with you. Secondly, it’s a bulletproof system. As long as you can find clients, you’re never going to struggle. You can easily scale up or scale down, and in the worst-case scenario, you could survive through the worst of the worst.

At the end of the day, it all falls on your shoulders. If you put in the time, work, and effort to learn how to set up your agency the right way, you’re going to be extremely profitable and be able to live a great life.

Additional Resources

For more detailed information on how to build a web design agency and how to build an SEO agency, consider watching the two useful videos I’ve put together. These videos will give you a ton of useful details on the structure, the process, and everything you need to know.

Remember, if you enjoyed this video, be sure to hit the like button, subscribe, and hit the bell if you want to be notified every time I post a video just like this one. Catch you in the next blog!

How can I effectively manage client relationships in a one-person agency?

Managing client relationships effectively is crucial in a one-person agency. Here are some strategies you can use:

  1. Clear Communication: Keep your clients informed about the progress of their projects. Regular updates and prompt responses to queries can build trust and satisfaction.
  2. Set Expectations: At the start of a project, clarify what the client can expect in terms of deliverables, timelines, and costs. This can prevent misunderstandings later on.
  3. Use a CRM System: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can help you keep track of client information, project status, and communication history. This can be especially helpful if you have many clients.
  4. Provide Excellent Service: Deliver quality work on time, be professional in all interactions, and go the extra mile when you can. Happy clients are more likely to give you repeat business and refer you to others.
  5. Ask for Feedback: Regularly ask your clients for feedback. This can help you understand what you’re doing well and where you can improve.
  6. Maintain a Personal Touch: Even though you’re running a business, don’t forget the human element. Personalized messages, remembering important details, and showing genuine interest in your clients can go a long way in building strong relationships.

Remember, every client interaction shapes their opinion of your agency. By managing these relationships effectively, you can build a strong reputation and a successful business.

How do I handle difficult clients in a one-person agency?

Handling Difficult Clients: Dealing with difficult clients can be challenging, but here are some strategies:

    • Patience and Understanding: Try to understand the client’s perspective and show empathy. They might be under pressure or have high expectations.
    • Clear Communication: Ensure you’re clear about what you can deliver and by when. Misunderstandings often lead to dissatisfaction.
    • Set Boundaries: Make sure your clients understand your working hours and how and when they can contact you.
    • Stay Professional: Even if a client is being difficult, maintain your professionalism at all times.

Can you share any client success stories from solo entrepreneurs?

  1. Client Success Stories: While I don’t have specific stories to share, many solo entrepreneurs have found success by delivering excellent service, building strong relationships with their clients, and continuously improving their skills and offerings. They’ve grown their businesses by getting referrals from satisfied clients and by effectively marketing their services.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when managing client relationships?

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

    • Overpromising: Don’t promise more than you can deliver. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver.
    • Poor Communication: Regularly update your clients about the progress of their projects. If there are delays, let them know as soon as possible.
    • Not Setting Boundaries: Without set boundaries, clients might contact you at all hours or expect immediate responses. Make sure they know your availability.
    • Ignoring Feedback: Client feedback is a valuable resource for improving your services. Don’t ignore it, even if it’s negative. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

How can I effectively manage client expectations in a one-person agency?

Managing Client Expectations:

    • Transparency: Be clear about what you can and cannot do, and be honest about your capabilities.
    • Set Clear Goals: Define what success looks like for each project. Make sure these goals are measurable and agreed upon by both parties.
    • Regular Updates: Keep your clients informed about the progress of their projects. This helps them understand where things stand and manage their expectations accordingly

What are some creative ways to delight clients and exceed their expectations?

Delighting Clients:

    • Overdeliver: Whenever possible, give clients more than they expect. This could be finishing a project ahead of schedule, adding an extra feature, or providing additional insights.
    • Personalize Your Service: Show that you understand and care about your client’s business. This could be as simple as remembering important details about their business or industry.
    • Surprise Gifts: Consider sending clients occasional gifts or thank-you notes. This can make clients feel valued and appreciated.

Can you share any tips for negotiating contracts with clients as a solo entrepreneur?

Negotiating Contracts:

    • Know Your Worth: Understand the value you provide and don’t undersell your services. Research market rates to ensure you’re pricing your services appropriately.
    • Be Flexible, But Firm: Be willing to negotiate, but know your limits. Don’t agree to terms that could harm your business or lead to burnout.
    • Put Everything in Writing: Make sure all agreements are documented in the contract. This includes the scope of work, payment terms, and what happens if the contract is terminated.
    • Seek Legal Advice: If you’re unsure about a contract, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice. It’s essential to understand all the terms before you sign.
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