[Live Training] 9 Strategies to Build Recurring Revenue in your Digital Agency

Episode 284

A Successful Change From Freelancer to Growing Agency

With Jack Shepler

Jack Shepler has been a member of UACADEMY for many years. 

He runs a digital agency called AYOKAY. He grew it from a small, creative, freelance practice into an amazing 7-figure agency that’s working with healthcare, nonprofits, and various other businesses, both national and international.

Episode highlights with Jack Shepler

  • Where the journey started (at age 14!)
  • How Jack got into music festival photography (at age 16!)
  • The (nice!) transition from working at an agency to running his own business
  • The biggest change from freelancing to running Ayokay
  • How marketing changed over time, as Ayokay grew
  • Do nonprofits have any money? Jack breaks it down for us

Lightning Round with Jack Shepler

  • Best advice: Listen
  • Habit that contributes to success: DJ’ing and getting involved locally
  • Recommended tool: Hubspot
  • Recommended book: E-Myth by Michael Gerber

Connect with Jack Shepler, plus resources

Quotes from Jack Shepler’s episode

  • “I was that 16-year-old, emailing LiveNation, asking for press passes.”
  • “Sixteen, in the photo booth, networking with Rolling Stone!”
  • “I definitely did a few websites that were $200.”
  • “Delegating! You can’t grow an agency to the extent I wanted to with just you.”
  • “We didn’t make time for our own marketing. Our website was the same in 2018 as it was in 2011.”
  • “It was a strategic choice, really…why don’t I focus on something I’m passionate about?”

Takeaways from Jack Shepler’s episode

  • Growth doesn’t happen alone. Your time, income… it’s dependent on bringing in more people and moving yourself to focus ON the business
  • It’s important to include some smart strategic thinking, but when choosing a niche you also need to be passionate about it

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Jack Shepler



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