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Your individual requirements and needs will determine the right agency for your business but it is important to take a few things into consideration when you are considering hiring a digital agency.
1. Background and Age
The age of the agency and the background of its employees are very important considerations. Digital agencies are always coming up all the time, which means that many of them can be classified as fairly ‘new’. If this is the case, you need to consider the experience and background of the agency’s key senior staff members along with how they will use the experience to make sure that your business meets its goals.
Location is yet another important consideration since you will have to meet with the agency’s representatives face to face at one point. It is thus important to consider the journey that will be involved. It is true that it is now possible do most things over the phone or via email, but physical meetings are sometimes essential. So, if you are based in Edinburgh but the agency is based in London, one party will have to do much travelling if the relationship has any chance of working. However, this does not necessarily mean that it will not work but it is just more complicated than dealing with an agency that is situated 20 minutes down the road.
3. Client Base
The client base of the agency is possibly one of the most important considerations. Big name clients will obviously be impressive but it is important not to discount the smaller ones too. Agencies will generally have more freedom and control over the work done for less-known and smaller clients, so make sure that you check the work they have done for them and the results they have achieved. When you are checking the client base, it is also important to check the kinds of clients they deal with and whether any of them can relate to your business. If none of the clients are relatable, this is not a problem but if they are it suggests that the agency understands your industry and market well, which might be of great benefit to you should you decide to hire them.
4. Variety, Quality, & Results of Work
The type, quality, and variety of work that the agency has delivered for its clients in the past is another important consideration. Besides considering the quality and look of the work, you also need to take into consideration the results achieved through the work according to Jaimyn Chang. For instance, the agency might have redesigned a website that ended up looking great but if it is not easily navigable resulting in a drop in the conversion rate, it is not delivering a good ROI. Similarly, the agency could have created some amazing infographics or other kinds of content but if it has a very low share rate and has not had a significant impact, it might be important to consider the strategy that the agency is using.
When people buy things such as technology, car, or clothes, the brand is always an important consideration along with its attitude and this should also apply when you are choosing an agency. Check the agency’s website to find out whether the content makes sense or it is full of agency or industry jargon that does not mean anything. Take note of the agency’s response when you reach out to them. Have they been personable and friendly or they have been a little abrupt and stand-offish? Keep in mind that the agency you are hiring will be representing your brand and you should be able to relate to them having the confidence that they can effectively represent your brand.
No agency will ever be completely transparent about the tactics it will be employing to avoid giving its secrets away. However, a good agency should be willing to share some the techniques it uses about the work it is proposing to do for your business and you need to keep your ears open for this. Does the techniques that the agency is describing relevant and are they best practice and up to date? If the agency proposes to do link building and promises 500 directory submissions, 1000 blog comments, and 500 article links, it is not the right one for you.
7. Core Services
The core services that the agency offers and whether they relate to your needs is yet another important consideration. For instance, if you would like the agency to do 3D animations but they focus exclusively on web design, it is definitely not the right one for your needs. When looking at those core services, you also need to find out for how long the agency has offered them by confirming via phone call. The reason is that an agency that has only started offering social media recently might not have its strategies and processes set up and this could translate to your project and business being used as a guinea pig.
When it comes to choosing the right agency for your business, price will always be an important consideration. However, in addition to the overall price, you also need to consider how the payments and billing will work. Are you required to commit to a 1 year project? Will you be paying on a quarterly or monthly basis? How does the agency prove its pricing? When you are looking at pricing, you need to find out whether the agency is willing to do some barter. Agencies often put a massive mark-up on the work that they deliver, and it means that there should be some wriggle-room there. However, whether they are ready to go down that road is a different story.
A good sign that a particular agency is highly regarded and successful is if it has won any industry awards or has been named in any of the coveted lists but you should not allow just the awards to woo you. Look at the reason the agency won the award as well as how judging for the award was done. For instance, if a team of industry experts were involved it is going to be more significant than if it is just a local small business award. It is important to note that just because a particular agency has not won any awards it is not successful. It can be expensive to enter awards and businesses thus prefer to invest the money back into the businesses as opposed to gambling it away by entering expensive awards that it has no guarantee of winning.
10. Suggestions For The Business
Finally, it is also important to take into consideration what the suggestions for your business are from the agency and why. Do the proposed solutions meet and exceed expectations? Has the agency taken time to get to know the business before coming up with a proposal? If the agency hasn’t taken time to understand your business, it could imply that it is simply offering a standard solution that is unlikely to meet expectations or even help you in achieving your goals. A good agency needs to take time to get to know you, your aims, and your business before it ever comes up with a solution proposal.
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