Relationships that Last: Transforming the Relationship with Your Agency into a Lasting, Rewarding Partnership
In the spirit of the month of February and Valentine's Day...
Can we be sappy?
Will you be our Valentine?
We want you to love us and we want to love you. More importantly though, as an agency, we want a lasting and rewarding relationship for your business and for our business.
In our lives, we’ve all had some good relationships and some not so good relationships. You may have had some bad experiences with a digital marketing agency partner. You need someone who can be there for you in the good times and in the challenging times. It’s time for a good relationship!
First, are you ok alone?
Most of us jump into relationships, and choosing an agency partner is no exception — we need a website, we need to increase sales, we need someone to fix our website — the list goes on and on. This is normal. We all need someone.
But wait … are you ready for a relationship with a Digital Marketing Agency?
Do you have a goal for your new website?
Do you have an internal approval process for this type of project?
Do you have a healthy communication process inside your organization?
Do you have a budget set aside to accomplish your goals?
It is ok if you don’t have everything worked out. It is acceptable to work out internal issues with your new partner as long as you have the motivation to improve and the humility to know we are all a work in progress.
So, take a good look in the mirror. Are you ready for an agency partner?
Ensure you have the right partner
Success needs consistency as a foundation. You need a partner who is compatible with you. If you only need a website and don’t plan to maintain the relationship after it is complete, consider that you will find it challenging to find long-term success.
To find the right agency partner, remember you will need to work with this partner like they are a coworker. You will talk to this partner a lot over the relationship. When checking out prospective partners, here two things to check out:
Ensure you have compatible communication styles.
This one is difficult to measure, but do you click? Do you like to joke around before getting to business? Do you like a logical thought process? There is no right answer—there is only your answer. Does this partner feel like a good cultural fit?
Do you like their work?
Check if their previous work has a range that includes what you think your audience will like. Expect to be challenged a bit on this one. The agency should push you to try new things, to explore what might work best for your audience … after all, you are hiring them to advise you from their expertise. On this topic, it is just good to make certain you respect their work and don’t find that it has poor quality.
Work at it
Once you are in the relationship, you need to put in the work. No one wants to dread talking to someone, especially not someone you depend on.
Keep the relationship alive. Here are 4 tips to keep the relationship with your agency partner healthy.
Keep money conversations healthy
Establish trust and then allow your partner to feel trusted. If expenses are regularly challenged, it leaves people feeling untrusted or frustrated. Try to maintain a healthy flow of how much is in the budget and expect your partner to maintain a healthy flow of how much work has been performed.
Stay on the same team
An agency partnership is just that—a partnership. Both sides need to keep a “we’re on the same team” mindset. It can be very helpful and create positive results; while the opposite, adversarial thoughts, can slowly corrode the relationship.
Bad things happen, keep lines of communication open
Things happen. Keep your partner informed when problems occur and expect them to do the same. Stay engaged in the partnership, feed it and keep it healthy. The partnership can yield a long-term benefit to both parties.
Discuss hard topics
Keep lines of communication open. When something comes along that is challenging to discuss … the best course of action is to discuss it. Here are two tips to discussing hard topics: 1. Wait a day (sometimes a good night’s sleep can eliminate an issue), 2. Be direct, specific and balanced in your discussion. Open lines of communication keep the relationship productive and successful.
So, there you have it. Ensure you are ready for a relationship, make certain you have the right partner along for the ride and then keep working at the relationship.
A long-term relationship with an agency partner can be rewarding for both your business and your partner.
Digett thoroughly enjoys our long-term clients. We enjoy the ability to forge a deeper relationship and trust with our clients. We enjoy talking to our clients, but we must admit to an extra spring of excitement when one of our long-term partners calls. It just feels good to talk to a trusted partner and work through projects.