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Jack Redley

6 essential tips for growing a multi-million dollar award winning agency in just 3 years

February 25, 2024

I have interviewed over 80 successful Webflowers and all of them have fascinating twists and turns in their stories of navigating the turbulent world of entrepreneurship as a freelancer or agency owner.

However, one of my guests, Silvia Li Sam, has one of the wildest stories of anyone who has come on the podcast. During the pandemic, she started her Webflow and SEO agency Slam Media Lab. Three years later, she’s scaled to a multi-million dollar company, working with tech companies, VC funds, nonprofits, and universities and closing 50K deals. Her agency is an Upwork Enterprise Top Rated agency, one of Clutch’s top 100 agencies, and her work has been featured in major outlets. I was so impressed by this that I decided to ask her what she did to get all those clients and deals in the first place.

Silvia Li Sam - CEO and co-founder of Slam Media Lab

But what steps has she taken to get her first clients and then scale her agency? And what advice would she give to aspiring agency owners in the Webflow space?

Here are 6 essential tips for growing a multi-million dollar agency that she spoke about in our interview:

  1. Reach out to your existing network
  2. Recognize why people buy
  3. Work out what you want to be known for
  4. Focus on industry specific portfolio results in pitches
  5. Turn your disadvantages to your advantages
  6. Pitches matter

Reach out to existing network

Silvia Li Sam's tenacity made 100 calls to her existing network before she started the agency. Though she didn't intend to get clients in these calls, it revealed a fundamental truth: your existing network is a goldmine of potential opportunities. By making over a hundred calls in a month, she got five new clients but also an income surpassing her previous job. Her experience underscores the importance of leveraging personal connections to secure initial clients. Recognise that perseverance pays off and the power of direct outreach cannot be underestimated! This hustle is important to realise - at the start, your efforts in networking directly correlates with the likelihood of early success. So what I'm trying to emphasize is that you don't necessarily need new clients - maybe you need work from people that like you, know you and trust you!

"So I spent every single day calling people and a lot of people wanted to hire me at their companies [...] and so from those literally probably over a hundred calls that I had that month, I basically had like five clients landed that already paid me more than what I had in the previous job after three months. And I was like, oh my God, this is amazing."

Recognise why people buy

Note the copy - Silvia focusses on the painpoint that brands have which is having a marketing team that moves as fast as they do. She is positioning herself as a partner rather than a one and done agency. Long term results driven projects. Smart!

Understanding what drives clients to make a purchase is crucial — it's not just about aesthetics but functionality as well. As Silvia mentioned in the interview, websites must not only captivate visually but also perform efficiently, particularly in search engine optimization (SEO), to ensure they serve the business's growth objectives. Remember - you are getting paid to help a business reach business objectives. It isn't necessarily from speaking about Webflow as a platform all the time that work will come. People want to be found on Google so displaying that skillset with a killer article section may be savvy. In fact, check out Slam Media Lab's articles to see how much effort they put in to establish themselves as thought leaders. Basically, conversions and growth key - not just beautiful flowing designs!

"I think that actually a lot of what other webflowers fail to do is actually create sites that are not optimized for search. They look pretty and it's awesome, but it matters. It matters especially for winning deals... And right, like, yes, people want to have beautiful websites, but they also want to have functional websites, especially if they're building a site for conversion for growth."

Work out what you want to be known for

Silvia's experience highlights the importance of specialization in winning business deals. At the start of Slam Media Labs, Silvia offered a wide range of services, from SEO to web design and branding. Initially this seemed advantageous, but clients were unsure. Instead of looking like experts in all these different skillsets, it instead looked like the agency lacked focus. Clients perceived Slam Media Lab as a business that was "all over the place." This was despite Silvia and her partner putting together killer pitches! The key takeaway from Silvia's reflection is that excelling and specializing in specific services is often more effective than trying to master all domains - especially when attempting to secure larger and more competitive deals. People want to work with experts rather than generalists so think about your positioning!

"I was offering a wide range of services, SEO, web design, branding.[...] The feedback was "You don't seem like you're good at one thing," right? Whether it's branding or design or SEO, it seems like you're doing a lot of things and you're just two people. How do you how do you do that?" Over time I realized I like I'm having a really hard time winning, especially these bigger deals."

Focus on industry specific portfolio results in pitches

Silvia's approach to industry specific pitching as well as skillset specific niching was a game-changer for Slam Media Lab, particularly in mastering the education sector. By concentrating their pitches on this niche, the team could build a killer narrative that demonstrated their deep industry knowledge and results-driven design capabilities. Instead of being seen as one of many, they were seen as thought leaders in that particular industry with specific skillsets to tackle problems that this industry faced. They crafted websites that not only stood out from the competition but were also conversion-optimized, showcasing the unique value of specialization in securing larger deals.

"So all the pitches that we started doing were just focused on those industries, whether they were for-profit or nonprofit. And then on top of that, right? Like we build out a lot of narrative content around these - we show we extensively write around education, extensively designed for brands around education. We know how to make the sites convert. We know how to make the sites stand out from other people because we have designed those sites. We want you to be different from other folks. And so that actually led to us just closing those bigger deals that I was sharing."

Turn your disadvantages to your advantages

Leveraging perceived weaknesses as strengths became a compelling strategy in Slam Media Lab's pitching process. Silvia recognized that the intimacy and direct contact offered by a smaller agency was actually a competitive advantage — being a smaller team meant clients had direct access to the designers and decision-makers, which large firms couldn't match. This close-knit collaboration not only streamlined communication but also meant quick turnarounds and adjustments, thus making the design process more efficient and personalized. Ooosha imagine how larger agencies looked slow and sluggish when Slam Media Labs pitched in! By reframing their size as an advantage, they conveyed their unique value proposition, assuring potential clients of both speed and quality — a winning combination that helped secure more business.

When you start out, you will not have the depth of teams but that doesn't mean you can't compete for jobs! Just think about re-framing this when it comes to pitches

"When you work with a big agency like Pentagram or those big agencies, you are basically three steps removed from the actual designers, right? You have accounts people, you have project managers, but working with SLAM, you're going to actually save time. You're going to get this done faster with the same high level quality because I know exactly how they work. And so a lot of it again is positioning and being able to talk about how you're going to make their job easier."

Pitches matter

Silvia explains that to get 50K+ jobs, you need to learn how to pitch and some of the key things Silvia has learned is:

Attention to client's pain points

  • Understanding the client's needs and addressing them in a pitch is vital for conversion.


  • The use of a tool like Loom to add a visual and personal touch to each proposal can make a substantial impact. It shows prospective clients that you are invested and attentive to their specific concerns, and it can break down complex points into digestible content.

Attention to detail and craftsmanship!

  • Creating an attractive and poignant document demonstrates professionalism and care, implying that the same level of attention will be applied to their project. A visually stunning presentation will help you stand out in the competitive market.

"Proposals do matter so much, so much, especially when you're starting out, make something nice, make something nice, talk about the pain points. I even make a loom every single time I send a proposal, if I've never met that person, to make sure that I, like the things that I can say visually on that PDF."


Interested in learning how to grow your own agency?

Slam Media Lab has just launched a How To Grow An Agency course and it's the best course I've done so far about starting and scaling your own agency.

The team have meticulously designed this course to cover everything from A to Z in creating an agency. With 10+ hours of video content, 20+ templates, and assignments designed to translate knowledge into action, you’re set up for success.

10+ modules cover:

  • The behind the scenes of how I decided to start my own agency during the pandemic and, in 2023, have earned over $2 million.
  • How to pinpoint your niche, perform research for it, and where to start your client search.
  • What you need to consider when setting up your prices.
  • Everything you need to know about legal and operational setup, from business registration to banking solutions.
  • How to craft winning, high-conversion proposals.
  • How to market your agency with branding, SEO, and social media strategies.
  • How to hire employees and manage onboarding processes.
  • How to leverage ChatGPT to streamline your processes…and more!

As a big thank you to Slam, they’re offering 75% to the first 10 people from the Webflail community who sign up by March 10th using code JACK75 - Click here to see the How to Start an Agency course now!

As a big thank you to Slam, they’re offering 75% to the first 10 people from the Webflail community who sign up by March 10th using code JACK75

Still unsure? Get to know Silvia and more about the course here:

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