Many of the frustrations of owning and running agencies come from trying to run them in the same way as other types of business.

Nowhere is that clearer than in the area of career progression.

In the generic business world, promotions and pay rises take you up out of frontline work and into management. Worse, promotions are often done based on length of service.

In an agency, we often copy-paste this approach as 'common sense' — but that's madness.

Imagine it in other creative industries: "Well, young Brad Pitt, you've been with us for three years and got a couple of movies under your belt now. We've got some good news for you. It's time for a promotion and a pay rise — so you're going to move up from the studio floor into the offices, managing a team of junior actors. Here's a spreadsheet with your targets for this quarter."

In the creative world we sell knowledge and talent — but clients buy it from us packaged up in people.

More people are prepared to buy, and pay more for, famous people.

But we rarely do enough to develop the 'celebrity' status of our team.

In the agency world, that celebrity comes from mastery of their discipline, and then showing and sharing that mastery.

So, one of the key areas of the Knowledge section of the SPARK AgencyOps framework is in supporting the professional development and public platform of our best team members.

That's about spotting talent in your team, helping them focus on an area they can become the best at, nurturing their expertise, and encouraging them to make some noise about it.

By becoming a mini-celebrity in their field, they'll be able to gain promotion and pay-rises from you because you'll be able to charge them out at much higher rates, and generate more business from having them on your team.

So create a career progression route based on mastery, and recruit and develop managers separately.

Who can you make famous in your team?