Agency team looking at designs

5 things to consider when hiring an agency or content creator

Save yourself time, money, and a ton of stress when hiring an agency by reviewing these 5 things before you sign on the dotted line.

Do you like their portfolio?

This one is a little bit more focused on the creative aspects of working with an agency or creative, but, designers, photographers, illustrators, and all other creatives develop a style. Does the agency you’re considering have a portfolio of work that resonates with you? Is the style of work that they display the style of work that you want and need? Its possible that they can do the work in the style you want, but, it may not be their forte, and as such, may not be a good match for your needs.

Another aspect of checking their portfolio, is looking at the clients they’ve worked with in the past. Do they already work with your direct competition? Does their industry experience match with your needs? Do they have a long list of happy clients? This segues into the next topic.

What is their online reputation?

No one admits it, but everyone will check online footprints of potential partners, business or personal, before meeting up with them. You should do the same with potential agency partners. Do they provide you with some client testimonials, or do other online reviews exist? What does the content of their social media feeds look like? Google Reviews? Don’t be afraid to reach out to past clients and ask for honest feedback. Understanding who you are partnering with before any money changes hands will protect you from disapointment, or worse, in the future.

Who are the key team members?

The direct benefit for small businesses of hiring an agency, is the instant access to a team of professionals. Unlike hiring a consultant, or internal hire, hiring an agency provides you with expertise in a variety of areas. Qualified agencies will look at your marketing plan from a holistic, or integrated approach. An agency will ensure that your messaging is on brand across all channels, and will build an SEO-friendly website from the ground up. Having the right team, with experience using an integrated strategy to market to your audience across social media, public relations, print media, and digital channels will ensure that you leverage your dollars, and see a stronger return on your investment.

Understand the tools they use.

You don’t need to understand how to use the tools, but like seeing who their past clients are, its good to understand if the tools they use will meet your needs. If their past client roster are large businesses, they are likely using enterprise level tools that are over-kill for your small or medium sized business. If, on the other hand, their previous clients are similar sized to yours, they understand your specific requirements, and using the best tools to deliver you results.

Compare their pricing

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. If you ask for a variety of quotes, be wary of the lowest cost options, especially if they are making exceptional claims on results. As a ballpark estimate, based on years of experience and research, you should be budgeting between 10-15% of your gross revenue to marketing. Saving some pennies on choosing the lowest cost option for an agency partner may end up costing you serious dollars in missed revenue opportunities well into the future.

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