5 tips to get the most out of your agency relationship
Keep your design agency both on the right track and on-side.
They wear eye-wateringly bright trainers. They work exclusively on Macs, avoiding PCs like the plague. They possess a questionable haircut, or a questionable beard. Sometimes even both.
Design agencies may look or act a bit different to you, but despite this, they want exactly the same thing: to create the best quality design work to help meet your business goals.
Here are our five tips to getting the most out of your agency relationship.
Immerse them in your brand
When you start up a new agency relationship, they will be forever grateful if you help them help you. That means immersing them in your world the same way you would a new employee.
One way to look at it is: the more background info you provide, the better. However, pages of copy-and-pasted text or images hodpodged together in a non-sensical order is (surprisingly) not that helpful.
Think carefully about the important, relevant information that someone would need to write that article, or design that brochure. Brand guidelines are a must. And definitely include some examples of (high quality) previous work. This is an easy thing to do, and goes a long way.
Create the best brief
The quality of your brief can make or break a project. No pressure…
Agencies are not mind readers. The more detail in your brief, the quicker the work will be done, the better the outcome, and potentially the lower your quote will be. From budget to deadlines, make sure you iron everything out with your team before you begin the project, to avoid costly and timely issues later down the line.
For more tips on creating the best brief, check out our previous post.
Put communication at the forefront
You’re likely spending a pretty penny bringing an agency’s expertise into the mix. So, right from the very start, you need to nail your communication. Don’t waste time – and your budget – going back and forth on the little things.
The best way to do this is to make your expectations clear. Jump on a call to discuss the details, or even better, have a face-to-face meeting. This is especially important at the beginning, when outlining the brief.
Ideally, one person should take the lead, becoming the main port-of-call so that crucial emails don’t get missed. And make sure that those emails are responded to swiftly; remember, you are not your agency’s only client! They will have multiple projects on the go at once, so working on keeping your communication consistent means you build a reliable reputation and will help to keep the project on track.
Deliver constructive feedback
We understand that things don’t always go right first time. When that happens, it’s best to be straight-up with your agency, providing them with helpful comments that they can use to improve.
Granted, giving constructive and useful feedback is not easy. The best way to do it is to focus on using active verbs that the agency can take direction from, rather than throwaway comments.
I don’t like this photo.
This line isn’t exciting enough.
I wanted it to be more creative. (Please. No. This comment is the bugbear of any design agency!)
Use a different photo, featuring people with warmer expressions.
Focus this paragraph more around the product’s benefits.
Make the colour of the text on this banner darker.
Basically, be as specific as possible.
Build a partnership
Rather than treating your agency like a group of hired help, think of them like more like a trusted and equal partner. Forming a relationship based on mutual respect and the sharing of common goals is a sure-fire way to ensure the absolute best outcome all round.
Remember – your agency wants you to succeed just as much as you do! You’re in this together.
Here at Point 6, we take this idea one step further. We consider ourselves perceptive partners. That means we listen as much as we talk, think outside the box, and work hard to find the very best solutions at all times. We’re an agency that’s consulted, not just briefed.
Looking for a partner for your next project? Let’s talk!