Introducing our 7th member spotlight of 2021… Please feed back to us if there are any questions you would like to be added to future interviews, or indeed if you would like to go under the spotlight yourself!

Lots of you will know a familiar face around the industry – Mark Kelly. Mark’s experience speaks for itself, … but what is he up to these days? Have a read below and connect through the LinkedIn link above.

Agency / Business name

Mark Kelly Consultancy

What do you do?

My proposition is “I help small and mid-sized UK agencies to grow and thrive, stress-free, through a proven approach and industry veteran support“. TLDR: I’m an agency growth coach. I’ve worked in / for or supported agencies from the outside for 25 years, the last 9 as an independent coach and consultant.

‘Growth Coach’ is a bit of catch-all title but covers helping agency owners or senior teams build or reframe their digital and wider services, devise a solid proposition, build the agency profile, implement profitable operations and processes, build out teams and generally hold people accountable once I/we have devised a plan of action. Friendly but critical friend or grumpy coach – making you finish all the things we agreed you needed to do – depending on your progress.

As well as working with my own agency clients, I’m the author of many of the guides on the Smart Insights ‘Agency Growth Hub’. I also train agency teams across account growth, pitching, pricing and more. And I produce the Agency Thinking podcast.

Last but not least I run the “ReBoot Walk and Workshop” days for agencies and creative freelancers. These are aimed at owners or senior teams in creative services businesses and marketing agencies re-energise and plan for success. It’s not a netwalking thing (I love those though): only one agency team / owner takes part on the day so the focus is all on them.

Who do you do it for?

I have mentored freelancers, coached start-up agencies, helped small agencies with their growing pains, consulted on some big issues for large corporate  / network agencies and worked with in-house client teams (e.g on agency selection panels). That said I work primarily with small to medium (up 40 or so staff) agencies.

I’ve supported a handful of international agencies but most of my work is (or was, before COVID) face-to-face with UK agencies. The face-to-face bit is usually at the early stages of the engagement and then online with a shared dashboard/progress tracker as recommendations are implemented (or not – see that bit above about the grumpy coach holding you accountable).

Who / what kind of businesses would you like to do more with?

Pretty much the client mix I’ve had to date: freelancers moving to a start-up agency model, early stage / micro agencies, small to medium sized independent agency owners and Account Directors looking for external mentoring or training support for their teams. Those are the buyer personas stuck on my office wall.

How would your best client describe you?

Here’s a bit of a (weird, 3rd person) mash up of a few testimonials I’ve garnered on LinkedIn:

“Mark was invaluable in coaching us across the areas that he identified were thwarting our ambitions. It’s not just his support on strategy that has made the difference but his approach to accountability has been really motivating too. Mark is pragmatic in his approach and was a great ‘critical friend’ and sounding board for us, a big part of us hitting our growth targets.”

If you would like to be next under the spotlight, just contact

MPA team