How Wil Reynolds went from teaching economics to building a world-renowned marketing agency

Posted on May 14, 2019

What we cover in episode 40

How many of us get knock backs in our careers? How many of us let those knockbacks hurt our success?

Wil Reynolds is the founder of Seer Interactive, a globally renowned marketing agency with over 150 employees. He decided to start Seer after he spent 18 months looking for a role in marketing but didn’t get a single interview.

Fast forward to Seer’s success, and two of the companies who turned Wil down for interviews recently asked him to buy them out.

We talk to Wil about:

– How he prioritizes adding value to a clients business vs. their happiness
– Why he doesn’t incentivize his sales team via commission
– The reason all teams in Seer are motivated to push in the same direction
– What still excites Wil about the search industry

Happy Growing


Time Stamped Notes:

[3:00] We try to get Wil to buy crazy expensive shit 🙂

[8:00] As a founder Wil is motivated by doing great work. He didn’t monitor how much each client was making the agency; he focused on adding value to their business.

[9.45] Wil looks at how many of their leads come from referrals as a measure of great work.

[10:00] Retention isn’t a clear cut number to look at. They’re a lot of things that can affect it for an agency. You can outgrow a client, or they could outgrow you, or you might need to let a client go because the relationship isn’t working out. Wil also talks about how it can cause a company to become stagnant and stop them from getting better at what they do.

[12:30] Wil doesn’t want any of his clients to be worth more than 12% of his companies revenue

[14:30] You should have a high bar on how clients treat your employees and be prepared to part ways if they don’t treat them with respect.

[17:20] The sales team at SeerInteractive don’t get a commission, that helps to keep a high bar for client quality.

[18:50] Wil’s speaking brings in less than 15% of SeerInteractives leads. Their sales team are mostly working inbound leads. They’ll prospect a couple of high-value clients who they can add value to.

[20:40] Having a sales team that doesn’t earn a commission helps Wil to sleep at night and not fall into the trap of growing for the sake of growing.

[22:00] Wil talks about how he gets the team at SeerInteractive to pull in the same direction.

[25:35] Wil isn’t a fan of creating competition between teams through incentive programs. He talks about how the different bonus programs work at Seer.

[28:50] Wil founded SeerInteractive because he spent 18 months looking for a role in marketing but couldn’t get a single interview. Two of the companies that turned Wil down have since asked him to buy them out.

[33:05] Seer are building custom tools using Power BI, Tableau and BigQuery to use on their client accounts. Wil gives examples of what they can do using these tools.

[36:10] Wil doesn’t have any ambition to release a product as you can’t customize them to your needs. It’s the custom tools that help Seer to provide unique value for their clients.

[40:35] Wil talks about the rules and values he follows when building his company.

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