Ruben Aguirre 8 Signal DigitalMarketer
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Case Study: The #1 Difference Between Marketing Agencies That Make It (And Those That Fail)

Company8 Signal
OwnerRuben Aguirre
TypeDigital Marketing Agency for Non-Profits, Healthcare, Real Estate, and Service Based Businesses.
Company SummaryWork can be consuming, but you can still make a difference.  With 8 SIGNAL your marketing can be laser-focused, giving you the time to be the influence your community needs.

You’ve probably heard the seemingly, age-old phrase that entrepreneurship is lonely.

But hearing it is a lot different than feeling it. Entrepreneurs tell you to prepare for challenges, hardships that make you question why you started and not feeling like you relate to the people you used to. It’s not until you’re in the thick of things that you realize—this is a lonely path.

A million-dollar marketing agency is all fun and games until you hit a speed pump (or a tire popping flat hole) that leaves you stress eating Chips A’Hoy cookies at 9 am. Getting yourself back to the fun and games takes patience, strategy, and time.

And that can be the hardest thing to come by. It feels like all the hard work you’ve put in might not get you to your goal. Like many agency owners in the past year, Ruben Aguirre felt the pressure of agency life. As the founder and CEO of 8 Signal, a digital marketing agency for nonprofits, healthcare, and real estate, Ruben experienced the highs and lows of being an agency owner. 

As a Certified Partner, Ruben worked his way to only taking on strategy clients. He uses the Customer Avatar Worksheet, Customer Value Journey, and Before and After States to show his clients how they can get the best results possible from their campaigns by cultivating the right message for their audience. While the ability to use these strategic materials for his business has helped him grow his agency, it wasn’t the only reason he’s still a Certified Partner. Ruben explains,

“I joined the Certified Partner Program for the training. My background is not in digital marketing or agencies. I just like to tinker on things and ended up working with web stuff. I didn’t have a lot of experience from behind the scenes or formal training. I joined to get access to the certifications, templates, quick start guides.

What’s kept me in the program for so long is the community.

Entrepreneurship is a High-Pressure Gig

Anyone bravely taking on the title of entrepreneur knows that it’s not for the faint of heart. You can’t decide to start a business, snap your fingers to have a product-market fit, and snap them again to find the perfect team. It takes hard work, lots of mistakes, and plenty of moments that make you wonder why *you* chose to be the boss. Ruben’s experience in construction taught him how to run a business, a skill set that he used to start 8 Signal.

He hired writers, brought on clients, and did what all agency owners do—build their plane as it’s flying. As Ryan Deiss reminds Certified Partners, you’ll take off long before you finish creating your business. You need to figure out lots while you’re in the air, which is where loneliness comes in.

As Ruben experienced, “There were two times when I was ready to throw in the towel. We lost our biggest client, and I didn’t have enough to cover the team’s payroll. The second time was when my business partner decided to leave, and again I seriously considered throwing in the towel.”

The pressure of owning an agency comes in many forms:

  • How are you generating leads?
  • Are you creating special packages for each client?
  • Can you find quality people to hire?
  • Is your business profitable?
  • Will you be able to pay yourself this month?

It’s these questions that can make an agency owner, like Ruben, consider throwing in the towel and finding an easier way to make money. But he, like you, has already come so far. To throw in the towel now doesn’t seem like the right move.

Instead, Ruben reached out to the Certified Partner community.

Community isn’t a nice-to-have—It’s a need-to-have

The difference between the entrepreneurs who make it and those who quit is their resilience during tough times. When it feels easier to throw in the towel and walk away, will you actually do it? Or will you be like Ruben, knowing that there’s a way to fix this…he just needs to find the answer?

Ruben reached out to the Certified Partner community for guidance, inspiration, and people who could relate to his challenges. The response surprised him.

“There’s a negative connotation to digital marketing of people trying to take your money. That made it a double shock to see the support I got from the Certified Partners because it was the last place I was expecting to get that support.”

By reaching out to the Certified Partner community, Ruben was able to learn 3 important lessons. “A couple of people shared their own war stories and there’s something about having that access to the community that helps you realize you’re not alone, you’re not the first one that has gone through this, and (this helped me tremendously) there are people out there who have been through way worse.”

As Ruben realized, “Community can help you get out of your own head. That’s more valuable than handing over clients to you that can pay you really well. It’s the perfect example of the give a man a fish, teach a man to fish parable.”

By leaning on community, Ruben didn’t get what would serve him for the short term. He got what helped his business in the long term.

“Cash flow is better than it was before the pandemic by 15-20% more. A huge chunk of that is now coming from recurring services that we provide. That came from those moments when I realized I couldn’t be dependent on one-time clients. The Certified Partner community helped me think through how to get better revenue and clients. During COVID, when I lost 8 clients, I replaced them with 2-3 clients who covered all of that lost revenue AND gave them better focus and attention.”

With Ruben’s increased cash flow thanks to suggestions from the Certified Partner community, and his ability to lean on new friends who can relate to the struggle of owning an agency, he’s continuing to improve his strategy. “I want to grow my revenue and double my client base without doubling the size of my team.”

Increasing Cash Flow And Doubling Your Client Base With A Lean Team

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Ruben’s experience inside the Certified Partner Program has taken this lesson and built a more enjoyable, less stressful agency on it. He’s been able to use his 8 Signal’s Marketing Blueprint to onboard new clients and tap into his agency-minded community to talk with people who have been in his shoes before, getting advice to solve his problems quickly.

And that’s only one part of the Certified Partner Program. As a Certified Partner, you’ll join the best marketing coaches & consultants in the world as they use DigitalMarketers trainings, products, and resources to build the marketing career of their dreams.

You’ll apply DigitalMarketers resources and strategies, like the ones Ruben uses with his agency clients, to grow your own business—without needing to invest the time in creating the materials from scratch.

Here’s what you get as a partner:

  • Access to the Certified Partner Master Class
  • License to Consult on and Deliver 15+ Proprietary Tools & Frameworks Including the CVJ™ Framework
  • Access to our Digital Marketing Mastery Certification
  • 9 Copy-and-Paste Email/Promo Campaigns That Fill Your Prospect Pipeline
  • Listing in the Partner Directory on
  • Training and License to Deliver the Client-Converting Double Your Sales Discovery Session
  • 7 Turnkey & Editable Content Presentations to Attract Your Ideal Prospects
  • Invitation to Monthly Partner ONLY Trainings at DM HQ (live or virtual)
  • Personalized 90-Day Kickstart …and so much more!

The Certified Partner Program is for established coaches and consultants, sales and marketing executives, and full suite marketing agencies.

Join the Certified Partner community today.



The lovely content team here at DigitalMarketer works hard to make sure you have the best blog posts to read. But some posts require a group effort, and we decided to stop the rock-paper-scissors tournaments that decided the byline so that we had more time to write. Besides, we all graduated from kindergarten: we can share.

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