We love working with clients that are excited to work with us.It makes every day an absolute dream and it makes an exciting and creative atmosphere. However, sometimes it can be clear early on that we aren’t such a good fit, and although we like to think we can win everyone over, that’s not always the case.
Ten years down the road, we’ve learned that we can’t, shouldn’t and won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s fantastic! Want to know why? Because teaming up with a business to develop their brand, means that we must have trust, and to have trust, WE MUST LIKE AND RESPECT EACH OTHER. It’s the only route to a successful collaboration. After all, why would you want to work with an agency that you don’t like or trust?
The agency you choose will (hopefully) be helping you bring your brand to life, and you really want to put that into some very skilled hands, but also hands you can trust! It’s important to do your research, but what should you consider when choosing the right creative agency?
Energy & Passion
Make sure that it’s obvious that they LOVE WHAT THEY DO! You’d assume that anyone running a creative agency would, but it’s not a given. Don’t assume! (It makes an ASS out of U & ME!) When you’re speaking with them, express your interest and share your ideas, make sure they’re bouncing off the walls with the enthusiasm and energy of a Duracell bunny. The more passionate they are about the possibilities of working with you, the more impactful and creative the end results will be. There could well be the beginnings of a creative idea that could change everything, so listen and ask lots of questions. Of course, they should be doing the same. The more interested they are in your story and the ins and outs of the business, the better! If you’re sat there watching the clock, or trying to decipher the jargon, it might be time to move on.
Being upfront about budgets
Yes, we know, no one likes talking about money. But it’s important to BE UPFRONT AND TRANSPARENT ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU HAVE AND WANT TO INVEST IN A PROJECT OR WHAT YOUR MARKETING BUDGET LOOKS LIKE FOR THE YEAR. In turn, you want the agency to be open and transparent about their costs so that you both know where you stand and to make sure you’re a good fit!
There’s no ‘one-size-fits all’ approach to creative campaigns so, in all likelihood, the agency will be able to tailor to a budget. But if they don’t know what’s realistic for you in terms of budget, they can’t create a tailor-made package for you to fit. Sharing is caring after all. If one of the first questions they ask is around budget, it’s not because their evil salespeople are on a mission to empty your pockets. It’s because they need to know what resources they have to work with to create something epic that delivers the results you need.
Size doesn’t matter
Well, strictly speaking, it doesn’t but it might matter to you. However, DON’T CONFUSE THE SIZE OF THE AGENCY WITH WHETHER THEY’LL BE BETTER. A larger agency gives the feeling of gravitas and success, and you may have access to a larger pool of creatives for fresh ideas and approaches. Quantity doesn’t always mean quality though, does it? A smaller agency may mean that the founders have just been really picky with the quality of those team members so you may have a smaller creative pool, but in reality, you might have the best in the business. Instead of focussing on size, focus on their work! Focus on the clients they’ve worked with, the campaigns they’ve published and get reading those case studies and testimonials.
Culture & team
Who are they anyway? If you’re planning to work with an agency, whether it’s for a one-off project or for a long-term contract, you’ve got to like each other! It may sound like it should be low on the list but KNOWING AND LIKING, LEADS TO TRUST. And trust is non-negotiable. You need to trust who you’re working with to curate the best possible paths for you, design the best content, create the best campaigns. You also need to trust that they’ll tell you the truth if they think your ideas are terrible and that you should be doing something differently. (If you want to work with ‘yes-men/women’ you need to re-evaluate your mission) That agency also needs to trust you to be upfront and forthright with your feedback and thoughts. There’s no point keeping quiet and then declaring at launch that you don’t agree with the approach. Get to know who you’ll be working with, the entire team if you can and make sure they’re a cultural fit. COLLABORATION IS KEY, and to collaborate effectively, we all need to get on like a house on fire!
Reviews make the world go ’round
A great agency will be only too willing to share case studies and testimonials from happy clients. But of course (if you’re a cynical Sally) any business is unlikely to share a bad reference with you so it’s on you to do some digging if you’re not convinced. It won’t be difficult to find the clients they’ve worked with so REACH OUT ON SOCIAL OR VIA EMAIL AND GET SOME RELIABLE FEEDBACK from people that have worked with them and ask questions. What was the process like? Did they deliver on time? Will you be working with them again? Of course, it’ll be a bonus if you can get feedback from businesses in the same industry as yours and roughly the same size but business is business, so don’t let that be your determining factor. Top tip: A GREAT AGENCY WON’T SHY AWAY FROM PROVIDING YOU WITH CONTACT DETAILS FOR REFERENCES. If they have nothing to hide, why would they?
Remember, behind the titles and job descriptions, WE’RE ALL JUST PEOPLE. So in our opinion, the only way to really get to know if you’re choosing the right agency is to sit down and have a chat. (Although there’s nothing like love at first sight!) If you’re still looking for some inspiration, Instagram is fast becoming the go-to place for agencies to showcase their work. So dig in and enjoy the content and IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THEIR CULTURE. If you like what you see, simply reach out and start the conversation. It could take you to magical places!
Whether you’re intrigued about working with us wizards, have any questions about our services and culture, get in touch
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01873 739 279