Running a Paid Ads Agency: The Good, the Bad, and the WTF

Marketing is one of the biggest industries out there, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Of course, there are many types of marketing, but one of the most popular trends in recent years has been paid advertising. 

This makes sense since things that cost money often tend to have better results. Therefore, more and more people are considering starting their own paid ads agencies. I was one of those people, and I did just that. You can check out my paid ads agency here

And while it’s been great, it’s also had its challenges. So, whether you want to see whether starting a paid ads agency is the right move for you, or you’re simply wondering what the behind-the-scenes of managing a paid ads agency looks like, you’ve come to the right place. Unless you’re not a blog person, in which case “the right place” is this video, where I cover the same topic.

The shit sandwich: a carb-free delight

You may think that, as a paid ads agency owner, I’m going to tell you all about how great my life is and why you should also open a paid ads agency. Or maybe you’re a sceptic, and you think I’m going to scare you off because I’m afraid of a little competition. 

Well, to put you at ease, I’m going to share all of it. The good, and the bad. I’m going to be using what I like to call the shit sandwich method. It may not sound very appetising, but it works. Essentially, I’ll share the bad, and then the good. 

The bad

I did promise to start with the bad stuff, right? So here we go. But don’t let this put you off, because for dessert, we have some really good stuff!

Bad thing #1: epic ads aren’t always enough

When you first start your paid ad agency journey, it’s easy to think that all you need to succeed are great ads. After all, if you have a solid marketing and advertising strategy in place, what could go wrong, right? Oh, you sweet, naive child. 

Sure, in theory, that makes sense. In reality though, having amazing ads doesn’t guarantee your success. Your clients may have issues on their end that just can’t be fixed, no matter how great your ads are. Whether you’re managing Facebook or Google Ads campaigns, your marketing agency will have challenges.

Bad thing #2: scaling isn’t easy

You also need to keep in mind that scaling an ad agency isn’t easy. Paid ads = the Mount Everest of the business world. 

With certain niches like SaaS or e-commerce, algorithms do a lot of the heavy lifting. And don’t get me wrong – technology makes life a lot easier for us ads managers. That being said, ad agencies do rely rather heavily on human expertise and that personal touch, especially when it comes to the client-facing side of things. What I’m trying to tell is there aren’t a whole lot of shortcuts; you need to put in the work.

Bad thing #3: there’s a lack of control

We all need to accept that there are certain things beyond our control, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

After all, it’s one thing to know that life is out of your control, but generally, in business, you do have a certain level of control. If you put in the work, your results will reflect that. But that’s not the case with advertising agencies. You can have the perfect marketing and advertising strategy for your paid advertising campaigns, and still be blocked by things like boring creatives or budget constraints.

The good stuff

By now, you’re probably thinking that running an ad agency sounds like a living hell, but as with all things, there’s a balance of good and bad. We’ve covered the bad, now let’s get to the good!

Good thing #1: it’s fun!

There’s no way of getting around it: running advertising agencies is fun. I like to think of it as a game. You’re constantly playing a puzzle, trying to figure out the next best thing. Who needs fiction when you can be your own Sherlock Holmes at your day job? 

Figuring out how to make your paid ad campaigns do well is challenging, but it’s also a a hell of a fun time!

Good thing #2: ads are timeless

While the ad landscape and all its nuances are always changing, ads themselves aren’t. Advertising agencies have been around forever, and they will be around for many years to come. Like many other marketing companies, their services are always in need. And with more and more people leaning into the paid ads trend, having a reliable Google Ads agency account can benefit you greatly!

Think about ads like fashion – the trends may change, but it’s always popular. This means that you have the fun balance of always adapting while still knowing what works.

Good thing #3: your life will be amazing

Running a successful Google Ads agency has helped me curate my dream life, and it can do the same for you. If you’re willing to really work hard when you need to work, you’ll have plenty of time to play as well. 

Being in the paid ads world means that you can work remotely and you can even work flexible hours. It’s the digital nomad’s dream, because you can manage advertising agencies from anywhere, at any time.


We’ve reached the end of this chapter! The point of this post wasn’t to convince you that you should start a paid ads agency (nor was it to convince you that you shouldn’t). The point of this post was simply to show you what the paid ads industry has to offer, and what it’s really like to be a business owner in this industry. 

I feel like paid ads are often shrouded in mystery, so hopefully, this glimpse beyond the veil gives you all the info you need on what happens behind the scenes. And if this got you thinking about how a paid ads agency can help your business, fill in the form below and let’s chat!

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