Carl Smith | Pivoting from Digital Agency to Building a Community of Digital Leaders
Carl Smith

Carl Smith is the owner of Bureau of Digital, a community made up of a diverse mix of digital professionals. Carl spent about a decade and a half in advertising before launching his first digital agency, nGen Works. He ran nGen Works for 12 years, constantly experimenting with different models of management and team structure. 

Towards the end of the run, Carl attended his first Bureau of Digital event and loved the concept of building a community in the web industry. A few years later, he closed his agency and took over the Bureau of Digital in 2016. He now spends every day connecting with digital professionals to give them the support they need.

Carl Smith, the owner of Bureau of Digital, is John Corcoran’s guest in this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where he talks about his entrepreneurial journey in the digital space. Carl explains why company owners should be transparent with their employees, how they can teach their employees to make independent decisions, and how he has been building a support community for digital professionals.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Carl Smith shares his experience in starting a digital agency and the challenges that came with running this type of agency
  • The business model Carl and his team uses to choose the clients to work for
  • The first Bureau of Digital event Carl took part in
  • Why Carl took a 9-month break from his agency and how his team handled his absence
  • Why it’s important for employers to be transparent with their employees
  • Carl talks about taking over Bureau of Digital, how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the agency, and what Carl did to turn things around and adapt to the situation
  • The plans that Bureau of Digital has in the pipeline for 2021
  • How members of Carl’s community were impacted by the pandemic and how they’ve been supporting each other
  • The people Carl admires in his industry and those he acknowledges for his achievements and success
  • Where to learn more about Carl Smith and Bureau of Digital

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14 

Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome, everyone. John Corcoran here. I’m the host of this show. You know my story. I’m a recovering political hack and a recovering lawyer two wonderful things right. Having spent years working in politics, including as a speechwriter with stints in the Clinton White House for California Governor, spent years practicing law in Silicon Valley in San Francisco and 10 years ago, I discovered this medium of podcasting, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I get to talk to really cool smart people on a weekly basis. Who doesn’t like that? Then for over 10 years of hosting this show, I’ve had the privilege of talking with so many great CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs from all kinds of companies and organizations ranging from YPO to EO, Activision Blizzard, FreshBooks, Lending Tree, Open Table and many more. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where we help b2b businesses with the strategy and production they need to create a podcast and content marketing that produces tremendous ROI and connects them with their ideal prospects and referral partners. 

And before I introduce today’s guest, I want to give a big thank you to Mike McDerment. He’s the CEO and co-founder of FreshBooks and a past guest on this show. And he said, ‘You know what, you need to talk to Carl Smith, you got to talk to Carl Smith’. And so I’m excited that he’s my guest today. He was a theater major who decided to act like he understood a thing or two about business, and spent about a decade and a half in advertising, before launching his first digital agency, nGen Works. And maybe I’m butchering how you pronounce that there, Carl.

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