As I write this, I realize that I’ve been co-running this agency with Tammy for about a decade now. It doesn’t seem that long at all, and to be honest, I think that’s because we’ve been lucky. I can truthfully say that about 99% of our clients have been great – some of whom have even become our close friends.
With a necessity to work with a wide variety of personalities and individuals with various job titles, it’s become important for us to whittle down not only how we can foster a great relationship with our clients, but how clients can help improve it as well. Here is what I believe to be a very concise list to help clients get prepared to work with an agency like ours.
1. Be prepared to work too
So, you’ve hired an agency – and it wasn’t easy at all. Investing in an agency is a huge leap of faith that takes a lot of work. So much so, that sometimes once you’ve made the commitment, there’s a huge collective sigh of relief from you and your team. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the work is only getting started. If you want to succeed (and help us to help you), be prepared to invest your time. You are experts in your field and industry, and we are experts in marketing. We need to know everything we can about your product or service. Let us test, try, tour and experience what you’re selling. It takes time, but it’s vital. Be ready to answer questions, provide specific, clear and thoughtful feedback – and most importantly, be on time, or we can’t either.
2. Never forget why you hired us
If you just wanted something to look pretty, you could have hired a freelancer or your niece who has a copy of Photoshop. We eat, sleep, live and breathe this work. We’re not like you. And you like that. Knowing trends, platforms, proven methods and so on, this is what you pay us for. Although it seems subjective, more often than not, it isn’t. Trust us. And if you lose trust in us, give us a real opportunity to gain it back. Anything else is a waste of your time and money.
3. Know that your business goals are our business goals
If you succeed, we succeed. Simple as that. A majority of our own business comes from returning clients from years back. It’s no secret – and other agencies are similar. No one benefits if you hide your business goals from us. If you treat us like a partner rather than a vendor, you’ll have a much better chance of achieving your business goals. We’re not doing what’s easy; we’re doing what we think will work best within the parameters given. After all, why would we lie? If what we recommend doesn’t work, you’re probably not going to hire us again.
4. Be ready to ignore the shiny objects
Things come up. All. The. Time. It is inevitable because marketing is especially fickle. There’s always a new trend, platform or opportunity that pops up in our industry. And sometimes things happen that require us to act fast. However, we lay out the initial plan and strategy for a reason. Remember the plan? The strategy? The thing we spent months working on and that we had all agreed upon? It’s there to keep us on track and focused on the original goal. We can’t let shiny objects get in our way.
5. Be friendly
This one seems odd, but it’s the most important one. As mentioned, this is an in-depth collaboration involving various types of people ranging from Copywriters, Designers, Analysts, Specialists, Account Managers and more. Each and every one of them plays a vital role in your business’ success, and we’re all here to provide you with our expertise. Having said all that, we’re all just people too. So when conflicts arise, try to provide commentary as you would one-on-one with your colleague. Be kind. Be fair. Don’t intimidate. Good work doesn’t happen if someone is pointing a gun to your head. Creating an environment of teamwork and friendship will open doors that lead to better, more effective work. But like we’re taught in grade school, friendship isn’t a one-way street. We’re friendly from start to finish; you just have to be open to it too.
Now that you have an idea of how it might be working with an agency like ours, why don’t you get to know a little bit about who you might be working with?
If you want to learn more about specific key elements of an effective marketing plan, read our 50+ page booklet on How to Write A Strategic Marketing Plan That Yields ROI – complete with explanations