Recently, in the interest of pinning down what makes an agency/client partnership likely to flourish long term, we’ve taken a look at some of our most effective partnerships [like our current portfolio of superstars], and some historical partnerships that weren’t so effective.
We’ve worked out from a strategic perspective what those great relationships have in common [and what those not-so great relationships historically have had in common] and ultimately – we’ve found it mostly comes down to the readiness of a potential client to work collaboratively with an agency partner.
We’ve penned a guide for some of the things you need below, in the hope that we can help you answer the age-old question- am I ready to outsource my social media?
Willingness to collaborate, participate and learn
All the best ongoing partnerships we have are deeply collaborative. The client has ultimate creative control but trusts us to deliver within a clear, retainer-based framework we’ve mapped out together. Social Media success isn’t set and forget, folks- it’s just outsourcing a part of your evolution. Our role is to reduce your mental load and make sure your community is in the best possible hands so you as a business owner can focus on innovation and growth.
The businesses we’ve worked with who’ve grown most rapidly have been the ones who have thrived on collaboration and been receptive to our ideas for improvements, tweaks, and different ways to invest to ensure their marketing dollars are performing. Approach outsourcing with an open mind and an ability to trust us [the literal experts you have hired] to get the best bang for your buck. Conversely, if you’re hanging out in Google docs, reading and critiquing copy as we write it? You’re never going to get the best results out of the people you’re paying. If you need to manage every minute detail yourself, you’re not ready.
A clear idea of how you want your business to look and sound.
This doesn’t mean you need a word-perfect tone of voice guide or a multi-page branding document [although those are fabulously helpful!] It just means you’re able to articulate what you’re hoping to achieve with the look and feel of your content, and can provide feedback in a way that helps us get that little bit closer each time. We’re hungry to learn, we want your business content to sound ‘like you’. If you don’t like something, no problem! You just need to be able to let us know clearly how you’d prefer to convey it. The ability to provide clear feedback is our number one favourite thing about the superstars in our current portfolio, because that clarity not only allows us to do a great job – it also allows us to keep our hours within what’s been agreed for our retainer, and ensures that working on those accounts remains profitable [remember – we’re running a business too!]
Willingness [and/or capacity] to invest in great assets
Good quality images are one of the best investments you can make for your business in any phase of growth. Having a visual presence that ensures you’ve got your best foot forward will allow us to tell the best possible story about you. Uninspiring or non-existent assets make delivering awesome content that much harder, even for a really gifted team. We’ve got real-world experience of the difference that professionally shot assets make to your content and your advertising campaigns, and it is BIG. If you haven’t got good assets or a pipeline for developing them, start there. Lots of photographers have package options that make it cheaper to schedule regular shoots, and payment plans to help you manage the expense.
A strong brand presence or product, or one that’s evolving that way
There’s no easy way to say this- if your product, service, or customer experience doesn’t walk the walk, it doesn’t matter how good your Social Media is. As a business owner, your first port of call should be perfecting the offering that you’re presenting to the world. We can lead the horses to water [and we do it bloody WELL] but ultimately the customer experience YOU provide will determine whether or not they drink. No amount of advertising dollars or word-perfect copywriting will make up for a shitty customer experience.
An understanding that we really, truly want what’s best for you
No agency team sets out to do a poor job. As digital marketing professionals, our purpose is to drive the best possible results for you and your business. Your wins are our wins. We’re invested. If your campaigns aren’t performing, we lose sleep over it. If we make strategic recommendations, it’s not because we want you to spend more money [in fact, many of the things we recommend investing in aren’t even services we offer] it’s because we think they’ll genuinely make a positive impact on your digital presence, and ultimately your bottom line. We’ll make strategic recommendations every time we send a monthly report, and in our experience the clients who commit to action on those points almost always experience faster growth and better results.
Of course, getting all these ducks in a row is a bit of a process – sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start, and sometimes business owners find it difficult to be subjective when it comes to their business baby. Our Social Media health check is a really good jumping off point if you’re feeling a bit uncertain- we’ll cast an eye over your existing socials and offer some strategic insight as to where we’d love to see you improve – and, when you’re ready – we’d love to see you grace our portfolio, you tiger, you!