Real You: Are you looking for an advertising agency?

Finding the right agency is like hiring a new employee. You need to be selective. The firm needs to fit in with your brand/culture—get your brand/culture. Think of your agency as an extension of your team. Because if you and your agency aren’t collaborative and creative together, you’re better off apart!  Try these agency hunting tips to ensure a stellar team for your business’ growth.

  • Ask for recommendations. Talk to your friends, and find out what kinds of experiences they’ve had with different firms in town or across the country.
  • Check out each agency’s past work and client list. Anyone in your space?
  • Have a brainstorming meeting with their team—the ones who will actually work on your account.
  • See what kinds of ideas they have. Are they fun, innovative? Do they get your brand?
  • Learn how their processes and communication work. Will you be talking to them once a week? Will you receive documentation on what they’re working on and when items are due? Will you have a dedicated account person?
  • Be specific about what you want and when you want it. If they can do it, get it in writing. Have them clearly define their role and the scope.
  • Make sure your contract has an out. Not all relationships were meant to be, and you don’t want to be stuck paying for terrible work or service.
  • Ask if they will work with you on a project-basis or if they will be on retainer. Most all beginning relationships begin best as project work.
  • Don’t be fooled by a big name, big client firm. Sometimes—but not always—that means you’re the small fish, and they may be more worried about their big accounts. Make sure you know they’re committed to you.
  • Look for agencies with specialties. Some firms will tell you they can handle anything; while others focus on a niche, like book marketing. Take a look at what you need and find a great complement.  

Remember, these are the folks that will help build and grow your brand. So be selective, and make sure they’re the right fit for your needs. That way you, and your agency, will grow together and experience real results.