My specialty is the business side of marketing. My INBOUND 2015 breakout “sold out” at 600 audience members (see the photo above), leading to an encore presentation for overflow attendees.
Haven’t seen me speak before? Check out the videos below. I consistently get 95-100% audience satisfaction ratings, and organizers love that I’m easy to work with.
As a marketing association President, former Conference Director, and former VP of Programming, I’ve booked keynote speakers like Ann Handley, Jay Baer, and Joe Pulizzi. I know what it takes to produce a great event—and I’m committed to helping you succeed when you hire me as a speaker.
I speak 30-35 times a year to audiences at marketing conferences, association meetings, and universities. Past events include AAF, AIGA, AMA, BOLO, Digital PM Summit, High Five, INBOUND, and more.
As a down-to-business speaker, I’m on a mission to help marketers grow without the usual growing pains. This includes:
- making life easier (and more profitable) for agency owners,
- making agencies a more-stable place to work, and
- helping in-house marketers benefit from agency best practices.
Contact me to check availability for your event.
What to Expect
Want to see everything on a single doc? Download my speaking two-pager to get an all-in-one PDF summary.
As a speaker, I can share insights with your audience on what works (and what doesn’t), including actionable advice for improving management practices related to project management, client service, accounting, marketing, or recruiting.
As the President, Conference Director, and former VP of Programming for the 700-member AMA Triangle chapter, I’ve booked speakers like Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, and Peter Shankman. I understand what you’re going through as you plan your event—I’m easy to work with and glad to customize around your needs.
Karl delivered a fantastic presentation to our American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter in Virginia Beach, VA. Throughout the presentation I looked around the room and saw almost every attendee nodding his or her head… I would recommend Karl’s presentation, “Don’t Make the Logo Bigger!” to any organization or corporation; you will walk away with actionable items that will not break your budget!
Karl Sakas from [Sakas & Company] captivated the audience with an excellent presentation filled with practical advice. His “Don’t Just Make the Logo Bigger!” client service talk drew our second-highest attendance in the past year, second only to “Mad Women” author Jane Maas. Karl was easy to work with, and the keynote content appealed to everyone in the audience, including people from agencies, corporate marketing departments, media, and education.
Karl was a great speaker for AIGA’s program, “Taking Care of Business: Procedures, Paperwork & Project Management.” Not only is Karl a great speaker, but he has tons of experience and insights from his multitudes of clients throughout his career. His presentation left no question unanswered, and he didn’t hesitate to provide extra resources to attendees. [Our] programming would not have been as informative or helpful without Karl’s presentation.
Topics: Popular Talks from Karl Sakas
While I’m happy to tailor a talk to a specific event, I have several topics that I’ve been asked to present on again and again. These popular presentations include:
Don’t Just Make the Logo Bigger: How to Give Your Marketing Clients What They REALLY Want
What if every client respected your advice and happily paid on time? Agency consultant Karl Sakas from Sakas & Company will share how you can get the best results, whether you work with external or internal clients. His engaging talk includes Q&A to answer your top questions, so you can start making your life easier immediately. Karl’s advice is based on working with hundreds of clients over the past 20 years.
— Caroline C. Blaker (@carolinecblaker) April 15, 2016
Warmth & Competence: Magic Words to Grow Your Business
Once you invest in marketing and sales to get customers, how do you keep them? According to Bain & Company, increasing customer retention by just 5% can boost your profits 25-85%. Successful, profitable retention comes down to a simple yet powerful concept: “Warmth & Competence.” You magnetically retain customers, by giving your team a framework for making better short- and long-term decisions. This comes from The HUMAN Brand, by CMO Chris Malone and Princeton psychologist Susan Fiske. Warmth & Competence has worked at companies across the world, and it can work for you, too!
Scale to Win: How to Grow Your Agency Without Breaking
Wish you could grow your digital agency without the usual growing pains? Get advice to make smarter decisions, including team structure, services, and time management, and a key question to answer first. Agency consultant Karl Sakas will share advice based on helping agencies in 23 countries. Karl’s interactive talk includes Q&A to help you overcome current challenges, so you can start seeing results as soon as you get back to work.
Other topics I speak on include:
- Business operations
- Client service
- Project management
- Team management
No Sales Pitches: Actionable Information Marketers Need
Going to a marketing conference or monthly meeting shouldn’t be like listening to a used-car salesperson. Don’t you hate it when speakers come in and spend the whole time talking about how great they are? Me too!
When I speak, I’d rather share concrete, useful info that 90% of the audience implements on their own; then I’m happy to stick around to hear from other the 10% that wants custom help solving their unique problems.
Want a no-sales-pitch speaker with industry expertise? Contact me today.
When considering speakers for an event, I want to know three things: 1) Are they an expert in the industry? 2) Will they share useful information with the audience, instead of a self-promotional sales pitch? 3) Will they be easy to work with?
Karl succeeded in all three of these areas—with a presentation that was engaging from start to finish, and even included several laughs. He shared useful information that our audience could apply immediately back at work, and helped us create one of our largest events this year. We’d be thrilled to host him again.
How Much Will it Cost?
My speaking fee ranges from $3,000 to $5,000, plus reasonable travel expenses. The cost depends on the specific situation, including the topic(s), date, location, and presentation length.
Let me know what you’d like me to cover and I’m glad to provide a free estimate, including travel costs from the Raleigh-Durham, NC, area.
Are you with an AAF, AIGA, AMA, IABC, IMA, or PRSA chapter? I frequently reduce (or even waive) my speaking fee when presenting to non-profit marketing trade associations.
If you want to reduce your costs and can handle the technology logistics, I’m open to training and presenting via Google Hangout or Skype videoconference.
Check My Availability for Your Event
Although I’m occasionally available with less advance notice, I typically book 4-12 months in advance.
Interested in learning more? Contact me to learn how I can help your audience.
Karl has a remarkable talent for capturing the attention of marketing industry professionals from the word “GO.” His interactive presentation was more than just a lecture—he led us through fun improv scenarios on how to handle difficult clients, and he shared useful advice on how to say “no” without burning bridges.
Speaker Kit — Photos, Bio, Logo
I’ll send your custom Marketing Promo Package separately. In the meantime, here are frequently-requested items, including headshot photos, a bio, logos, and how to pronounce my last name.
Headshots of Karl Sakas
- High-res photo of Karl Sakas [1200×1200 pixels, 400KB]
- Low-res photo of Karl Sakas [500×500 pixels, 250 KB]
Bio for Karl Sakas (~100 words)
Karl Sakas, Agency Consultant
Karl Sakas (@KarlSakas) helps digital marketing agencies grow profitably, without the usual growing pains. He founded and runs an online community with 1,700+ agencies in 50 countries. As president of global consulting firm Sakas & Company, Karl has advised agencies on 6 continents about operations, strategy, and leadership. He is the author of Made to Lead, The In-Demand Marketing Agency, and 200+ articles on agency management. When he’s not helping clients, Karl serves as President of AMA Triangle and volunteers as a bartender on a 1930s railroad car. Get a free copy of his eBook Don’t Just Make the Logo Bigger: Taking Clients from Painful to Profitable when you sign up for his email newsletter.
How to Pronounce “Sakas”
Not sure how to pronounce my last name? You’re not the only one! “Sakas” tends to throw people off—I pronounce it “say-kiss.”