My Brother’s Friend’s Aunt’s Son Knows How to Do That…
Whether it’s developing a website, creating a new logo, or writing copy and designing your sell sheets, we all know someone with some basic skills. “Our neighbor’s high school daughter is a whiz and good with computers.” In the age of DIY everything and solutions like WIX, Squarespace, and Fiverr, it’s easy to think that creating your own marketing (or having your cousin’s neighbor’s nephew do it) is an OK idea.
Fact: OK ideas generate OK results.
As an agency, we’re usually the ones who get the phone calls and frantic emails when clients realize OK isn’t good enough, and the results aren’t what they need to be successful. In many of these cases, the amount of money a client was going to save gets washed away, and they end up spending more than if they had simply gone to a professional first.
Not only is this applicable to design and creative services, it’s the same across all service industries – your accountant, mechanic, attorney, personal trainer, and your lawn care company – the list never ends. The reality is this… you get what you pay for.
So, when you bring an agency onboard, what are you really paying for beyond great creative?
Expertise and Knowledge
First, you’re gaining access to their team’s expertise and knowledge. Your brother’s friend’s aunt’s son probably works alone, and likely has a limited bank of professional experience to draw from. When you engage with an agency, you’re able to leverage the insights, and past wins and losses, of that team. You’re able to take advantage of their best practices and insider tips-and-tricks at a much higher level, and the results will show.
Accountability and Momentum
Next, you’re getting some outside accountability. Any solid professional, no matter the industry, will push you a bit outside your comfort zone to help you achieve your full potential. Your agency should do the same, advising you on the best paths to generate growth and success, and applying just the right amount of pressure to help keep you moving forward. They should be the partner that keeps you from getting stuck, removes the distractions, and guides you toward better connections with your customers.
An Extension of Your Team
The best agencies feel like part of your team, and they act like it as well. One of our clients, who works in the corporate IT space, refers to this as “acting and working like a W-2 employee.” Your agency, and all the vendors you partner with for your external needs, should feel like part of the team, not a vendor. This requires both teams (yours and theirs) to go all-in with one another, and a level of trust to make the relationship thrive. When that exists, the results and breakthroughs can be amazing.
Something Bright and Shiny
No, this isn’t one of the benefits to working with an agency. Instead, it’s one of the greatest dangers and can undermine all of the momentum and progress a good agency can deliver. Marketing requires a long-term perspective, and when impatience and the desire for a silver bullet creep in, it can derail a lot of hard work. There will always be someone in your ear or on the internet saying, “Don’t do that. I have something better.” You might hear that, but it may not always be true, so being willing to trust your agency as a partner and building a long-term relationship with them is a main key to creating success. There will always be something bright and shiny to chase – but it is most likely just a distraction from the real strategies that will get you where you’re trying to go.
We always end with a call-to-action, so here it is. If the things you read above in this post are true, now what? For us, we know that great marketing is a financial investment, but also an investment of time and trust. Our encouragement to you is to continue finding those strong partners for your business or organization that will grow with you, push you, and guide you. That may be your brother’s friend’s aunt’s son… or it might not. Either way, today is a great day to take inventory and make sure you’re traveling with the right people beside you on your own journey.