A New Advertising Book?

Should I Write Another Advertising Book?

Should you write your advertising (agency) book?

I’ve written and produced four books since I sold my Portland advertising agency in 2012. I am now thinking of “writing” a new advertising book based on a tight edit of the best thinking I’ve delivered on this blog. I currently have well over 300,000 words here. The blog posts have been viewed over 340,000 times.

I’ll discuss why to bother turning the blog into an advertising book a bit later in this post.

Some History. Books I’ve Written.

These include:

Boomercide: From Woodstock to Suicide. This was my training wheels book on the, dare I say it, interesting subject of using suicide as a financial planning tool. When I sold my agency, my accountant said there are two things we can control: how much money you have and how much you spend. However, there is another major factor we cannot control: how long your money has to last. I went, um, why can’t I control the length of my life. Buy Boomercide here.

The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches. I have read every book on pitching and presenting. This is without question the best book on this subject. Join thousands of other agency leaders and buy this book here. Or, pitch against the agencies that read my tome, and, dare I say it, possibly lose.

Potlandia and Jointlandia are two photo books I researched and shot about the early days of the burgeoning legal cannabis market. I shot these because I am an in investor in Portland’s cannabis industry and was fascinated by the early attempts (almost hippie-like attempts) at product and retail branding in what is now a billion-dollar marketplace. You can see these books right here. While you are at it, take a look at my other photographs. I am currently traveling around the world to photograph people on every continent.

Why Write A Business Book?

I think that there are four reasons to write a business book – an advertising book by me, a consultant, or your agency. Read More »

Google And Your Advertising Agency Podcast

Advertising agency podcast

Do you have an advertising agency podcast? Yes? Cool. If not, Google might give you a new reason to consider having one.

You know that Google wants to eat your advertising agency’s lunch. How? By moving their considerable power to a no click environment. That means in an ever-increasing search universe, many searchers, your Google target market, are getting all the information they need from the Google home page or directly from a Google service. Ever search for flights on Google? Chances are the first thing you did was to go to Google’s own flight search.

Big Time Google Advertising Agency Podcast SEO Benefits

Now Google wants to get on the podcast wagon. They’ll deliver podcast information directly in search results. Like, why search beyond Google on podcast platforms for podcasts. What do I mean? Here is some copy from Google itself.

“Starting today, when you’re searching for a podcast about a topic on Google – such as “podcasts about Awkwafina” or “Instant Pot recipe podcasts” – we’ll show you playable episodes in Search results alongside web pages, news, images and videos. We’ll surface these episodes based on Google’s understanding of what’s being talked about on a podcast, so you can find even more relevant information about a topic in audio form.”

And from SEO-Hacker:

With podcasts becoming present in Google search results, this makes promoting podcasts much easier, while making them more accessible to a wider audience thanks to the increased searchability. The increased convenience helps make the listening experience more efficient while making more users discover new podcasts without having to browse and search through hosting platforms.

I’ll keep it simple:

Google will highlight information about individual podcasts in related searches. Example: Do you want to own an advertising-related podcast about “Instagram video advertising”? Google will find you.

Google will also transcribe some podcasts into text. Yikes!

This can be good stuff for your advertising agency podcast.

Ready? Go.

Beat the agency down the street to podcast subject ownership.



Ad Age Small Agency Conference Podcast


The Ad Age Ad Lib podcast recently interviewed Sunday Dinner’s Lindsey Slaby just ahead of her appearance at the 2019 Ad Age Small Agency Conference. Since many of you did not attend the conference or religiously listen to the Ad Age podcast (sooo, much to do!), I thought I’d share a few of Lindsey’s insider gems to give her perspective on the advertising industry and what clients want.

From Lindsey’s Twitter account: Founder of Sunday Dinner. Helping brands navigate how to work with the best and brightest agencies through consulting, workshops & partnership search. … Made In Brooklyn Summit speaker, Lindsey Slaby @lasslaby, is the founder of groundbreaking brand consultancy firm, Sunday Dinner.

Lindsey works with a wide range of well-known clients including Diageo, Target, Union Pacific, NBCU, Microsoft, Nickelodeon, Kate Spade, & MassMutual and sits with dozens of advertising agencies a year (she mentions that she had sat through over thirty pitches in a recent month.) Her perspective offers a deep inside look at today’s advertising industry – what it gets right and wrong.

To help isolate Lindsey’s golden nuggets, I transcribed the podcast interview and pulled out a few of the shiny bits. I’ve edited some of the copy for clarity and brevity. I also offer some of my own thoughts… Of course.

Lindsey Slaby’s Ad Age Golden Nuggets

Small Agencies Are Doing Well, But

Lindsey: There’s so much appeal right now to work with the smaller agencies. They’re incredibly busy, incredibly busy.They’re building these businesses. My fear is sometimes that they are, they started, they got a client, they got going, they got a lot of momentum, they have relationships, and they’re just going to keep driving towards revenue, versus actually figuring out, what’s the business model we want to have internally? How are we attracting and retaining great talent?

How do you scale the right way? And how do you make sure you really deliver for those clients? Because one of the things I guess I say a lot is, if you get an A in client service, you’re going to keep my business and earn my business, even if you get a C in creative. If we’re hiring, especially if you’re a brand that’s taking a risk to hire a new agency, which is essentially working with a startup, you need them to deliver for you, keep you informed, and have amazing client service.

Read More »

More Advertising Agency Resources

Even More Advertising Agency Resources – August 2019

Its Friday 30 August, the ‘end‘ of summer, so I thought I’d shoot y’all some new advertising agency resources that could help you grow your agency. Or, at least, provide some much-needed efficiency. I’ll list these here and then add them to my The Big Advertising Agency Resource List.

Side note, thanks to all of the people that send me their favorite resources that I can have my huge staff of resource-munchkins review and pass on.

Go Ahead Play With These

Awesome Screenshot. Awesome Screenshot captures images, the whole image or a selected area, and records my screen so I can put the images on this very blog or use in my white papers and recommendations. For convenience, it sits on my Chrome bar.

Bulk.ly. I use Buffer to schedule and send out (as in LinkedIn and Twitter) my current and best-of past blog posts. But, I have to admit that it can be a pain in the ass to remember to do it on a regular basis. Bulky helps to automate the system and keeps a Buffer queue full-up.

Checkbot. Checkbot check’s your site (or others) to see and fix SEO, speed and security issues. Are you doing better than your competition? How are your clients doing?

ContactOut. I’ll use ContactOut’s words: “Find anyone’s personal email and phone number.” And, “ContacOut is used by recruiters at 30% of the Fortune 500.”

FormSwift. FormSwift has forty or so forms on their website that you can use to create and edit important documents. Documents include employee handbooks; employment contracts, non-competes, lease agreements, balance sheets, and my favorite: a resignation letter.

No Mas Verano

That’s it for summer, well soon. And for today.

Seasonality is interesting. I know from my years of working with advertising agencies on their growth and profitability strategies, that my incoming lead email will light up a bit once the summer passes. While I know that we’ve moved beyond the days when ad agencies got real quiet in the summer, there is still a deep-seated sense that September means that we all should get our business development acts in order. So, go ahead… give me a shout.

A New Advertising Award

Actually, A New Advertising Award And A Pat On My Back

I’m about to digress before I get to the new (to me) advertising award.

I’ve had zillions of conversations with advertising agencies about why their agency blogs get little to no traffic. I have lots of reasons. However, a key one is that essentially, in many cases, nobody wants to read their shit – see what I mean here.

But… There is simply no good reason that agencies should write stuff that either nobody wants to read or is simply a kind of a rehash of what other agencies have already written. Therefore, my award, listed below, is for demonstrating that if you write about things that your target market/audience wants to read, they will actually read your shit.

End of digression.

Award Number One: Ad Stars

I’ve added a new award to my award list. Go check out Ad Stars on my master award list at Top Advertising and Design Awards.

Thanks to my friend Bobby McGill and his must-read branding in asia magazine for alerting me to Ad Stars. As the article says, “Ad Stars wraps up its 12th year with winners chosen from 20,645 entries submitted from 60 countries.”

Here’s the winner’s list.

Go win this award next year. Put it on you ad award list. You have one, right?

Award Number Two: Me

I am giving this award to myself for writing about a subject that appears to be rather dear to the hearts of advertising agencies. The subject is the desire to win an advertising award. I know this because my 2019 blog post, Top Advertising and Design Awards has + 7,400 views as of today.

My point? I deliver valuable information to my prospective clients. I know that you can “own” a subject that matters to your readership. The readership (as in new clients) you really want.