In brief

Running an agency is high-pressured. It can also feel like a lonely place at times. Connecting and reflecting with peers who uniquely understand these pressures can be a support 'life-line'.

Ian Harris, set up Agency Hackers, as an 'agency head' membership organisation with regular events, talks, peer-support and networking.

It is a vibrant, friendly membership community of digital, advertising, e-commerce, communications, PR and creative agency leaders.

Ian wanted to support the community with a private, ad-free online environment where members could have open and honest discussions about agency challenges.

Ian rejected Facebook and LinkedIn and briefly considered Slack, but opted for Guild for its simplicity, elegance and mobile-first design.

Today, Agency Hackers on Guild is a carefully curated private community of 300+ agency heads. Discussions within the group are 100% tailored to the needs of the community.

The Opportunity

Agency Hackers was set up as an 'agency head' membership organisation with regular events, talks, peer-support and networking.

Founder Ian Harris explains why curated, online private networks are so important for membership organisations like Agency Hackers:

"Information sharing and relevancy is really important at this time, but there is so much information on the internet.

The Agency Hackers community are very busy senior leaders who want information and discussions that are highly relevant to their business needs.

Why not choose other online community platforms?

"Guild provides an extremely high quality environment for my high quality community and is free from noise and ads."

Ian explains why he chose Guild over 'free' social media 'community' platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn Groups.

"I know a lot of businesses that host communities on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook but, for me, there are a lot of distractions, ads and notifications. Community members can often miss crucial information and things just get lost in the 'noise'.

Guild provides an extremely high quality environment for my high quality community and is free from noise and ads."

Ian also recognised the risks of using ad-funded social media platforms for online communities. He highlights the advantages of using Guild:

"Guild gives me more control and I don’t fear my community getting shut down, I have control of the data and information.

I pay for a service which I'm happy to do, as it gives me the security and confidence that I am in control".

Ian considered Slack and other community platforms but felt that the technology needed to be intuitive, mobile and message based for time-pressured agency leads.

"Platforms like Slack just don’t feel as special."

Agency Hackers online community is hosted on Guild

How Guild has helped Agency Hackers?

Ian explains the importance of providing the right kind of online community environment. One where members feel comfortable enough to discuss, help each other and share their experiences:

"Guild has provided a forum for my members to connect with each other without me bottlenecking these connections. They can happen organically.

Guild has been a great way for my community to continue the conversations and maintain connections they get from the events that we run."

The Agency Hackers Guild group was set up just ahead of Covid19 lockdown measures. Ian saw quickly how much it helped the community through difficult times:

"I'm really happy about how my community are responding to Guild, it feels like I have set up something that has genuinely helped my community, especially through this period, one of my members said: "Guild has been a lifesaver for me for the past few weeks."

The Agency Hackers community has been so successful, that Ian is expanding the proposition and creating new, communities on Guild:

"I intend to start another offering called We Transform, working with larger agencies.

I want to introduce larger agencies to smaller agencies. It will be interesting for larger organisations to learn about the innovative things smaller companies are doing."

Ian signs off with this highly tweetable comment 😎:

"Guild is probably the best investment I've made in my business so far."

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