An Honest Review of Jason Swenk’s Agency Playbook

First, a disclaimer:

I don’t know Jason, we’re not buddies, we’ve never hung out. I’ve seen him speak a couple of times and we’ve shared an email or two as I’ve wandered through is funnel. That’s the extent of our relationship. I’m not an affiliate, reseller or strategic partner. I make this disclaimer because I think it’s important context and should influence the trust you’re able to put into my review.

I purchased Jason’s Agency Playbook after seeing him speak at the Digital Marketer Agency event in Austin this year. The Digital Marketer crew does an excellent job of vetting what they put in front of their customers, prospects and partners. Their reputation is based almost solely on the quality of the content they push so it’s imperative that they don’t promote anything but the best of the best.

I had seen Jason speak before. I think I even received a few of his emails in the past. However, seeing Jason on stage at the Digital Marketer event put him on a higher plane in my mind. Obviously, that was his desired effect. I was still a little trepidatious. Digital Marketer needs to make a buck just like everyone else and I figured that Jason might have been a pay-to-play speaker (I have no proof of this one way or the other – if either Jason or DM wants to clarify I’m happy to make an update / correction).

[Update: 3/14/2017 – Jason reached out to let me know that he has never been paid to speak and that the relationship between his brand and Digital Marketer is not a pay-to-play arrangement. Thanks for the clarification Jason!]

Part of my skepticism stems from the fact that I’m really good at this. I’ve owned my agency for ten years. We have a portfolio of work and a book of business that other agencies would kill for. I didn’t doubt that the quality of his content was “good enough.” The reviews online made it obvious that he has definitely helped some people. I just wasn’t convinced that he was going to be able to help me. You know, because I’m such a grizzled veteran and I know everything there is to know. Hopefully my sarcasm signals how wrong I was.

For folks that have owned their agencies for at least a few years: Jason isn’t going to tell you much that you don’t already know. Get the magic bullet out of your mind right now. What he is going to do is put you through a collection of really valuable exercises that force you to do all of the stuff you know you should have done a long time ago and never got around to doing. Even better, Jason’s format, flow and worksheets makes tackling some of these tasks so much easier than I ever thought possible.

There are 8 modules in the training as of this writing. I truly mean it when I say that each individual module was easily worth the cost of admission. If you already own an agency the benefit that you have is any improvement he’s able to make in your business is going to cascade across an already functional model. You could literally see financial impact within the first week of using his tool. If you have the time, I recommend it.

For folks that just started their agency or are about to start their agency: You can’t afford not to buy this thing. If I had this when I started I would have been where I am now five years ago. The building blocks for a successful agency are being handed to you on a silver platter. This stuff is drawn out in crayon and you just have to follow the dotted lines to see the pretty picture. I’m actually a little jealous of you if I’m being honest.

Realize that the training isn’t perfect. Jason could use a proofreader / editor as the copy tends to have some errors here and there. You can tell he’s a tried and true veteran because he tends to fly by concepts that newbies might need a little more time with. The timeline to complete each module ranges from a half hour to half of the day so it makes it hard to really schedule your time appropriately. He also throws a massive amount of action items at you. If you’re not ready to drink from a firehose you’ll feel a little overwhelmed.

I hope this is helpful in your decision-making process. It isn’t often that someone is able to build a “business in a box” training module like this and actually pull it off. I’m excited enough about it that I wrote a review which isn’t something I do a ton of. Good luck!