Five things to consider before hiring your next agency
So you’re thinking about hiring an agency?
Great choice! If you can admit when you are in need of assistance you have a better chance of adapting to change, ultimately helping your company thrive. Now before you go running outside to chase down the nearest agency, I have a few things you need to hear…
Not all agencies are right for you.
Now I’m just being honest, and sometimes the truth hurts. But never fear! Connor is here to give you five things to consider before you roll the dice.
What do you want?
The first thing you want to consider, is what do you actually want from an agency? I’m being serious; you wouldn’t hire an electrician to fix your sink would you? Some agencies are seriously talented across multiple areas. Others are out and out specialists in specific areas and even sectors.This is why you should always consider what success really looks like, as this will help you identify what type of agency is going to best suit your needs.. The concept of writing a brief on your companies wants, needs and goals might seem trivial and better left to someone else but that is why companies that take the time to get this right are flying ahead. .
Take the initiative! Will the few hours spent writing a brief go to waste when you have the best product your budget can afford you?
The second thing you should be thinking about is your time frame.
I’m saying this because it goes both ways, if you have a good understanding of your deadline then you can convey that to the agency. This is a two way street however; you can’t be expecting miracles and you’ve got to realise quality takes time. So if you’re up against a tight deadline and unrealistic with deliverables, s you’re going to either:
- Back your agency into a corner where they won’t be able to provide a complete product which then sets you even further behind
- Force a substantial loss in quality which probably means money wasted.
- Panic the agency into agreeing out of fear you will back out of the deal. This will lead to a lot of ignored emails, missed calls and an overall bad experience.
The smart thing to do would be when selecting an agency, focus in on any feedback from previous clients regarding their punctuality and timekeeping. This will save you a potential headache later on when you miss your deadline and everything is set behind.
Structure is King. Communication is key
Structure is everywhere, it’s unavoidable so we all get used to it. For some reason everyone forgets this fact when they’re choosing an agency to work with. When you select an agency you should look at the structure of the company, who’s your point of contact? When will you have access to them? Who will actually be working on your account? Is the agency you’re thinking of going with structured in a way that best suits you?
Another thing to consider. Who is working on your brand ? If you pay top prices for top talent you don’t want an underpaid, overworked intern literally doing all the work. The whole point I’m making is that structure is key to having a successful working relationship with your agency as well as being a main point to consider during the selection process.
Something to watch out for… If top brass arrive to pitch and tell you they’ll personally treat you like royalty, will be involved in every area of your account and personally deliver the reporting… well let’s just say they might also be selling an ocean view property in Arizona.
Try and assess how realistic the structure is. How often can you speak with them and when? Who is your day-to-day contact? Is that person at the level you’d expect for an account of your size? TL;DR When you’re picking an agency don’t be caught wearing rose tinted glasses, find an agency that aims to constantly communicate and will be open and clear with you.
Commitment, It’s a funny little word, isn’t it?
Just like any relationship, working with an agency requires commitment. You will sign a contract and this can typically last from six to twelve months as a starting point.
Take this into consideration because if you meet an agency offering exceptionally low fees and promising you everything under the sun, but then have a sneaky 24-hour get out clause or none at all, I think we can both agree they are probably not as invested as they might want you to believe.
Finally pick an agency that can grow alongside your company. Sure it seems like a good idea to pick a fully functioning agency for a one off use but what happens when your needs grow? If you pick an agency which you grow alongside then it not only builds a relationship and inspires loyalty but it also helps them develop their skills in fields which directly relate to your company and industry. This can be transferred in recommendations to others which in turn help build professional relationships which are usually more beneficial down the line. In reality, you don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t make an effort to get to know you and your company.
Now you’re ready, so go and get ‘em.