Spending hard-earned money to hire a creative or public relations agency is a big decision for many small business or franchise owners. If you are paying someone else to help you build your business (especially when you might not be paying yourself) you need to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
Here are five ways to ensure you are getting the most out of your agency spend.
1) Get your agency to manage the liaisons and marketing collateral with designers. There are some good designers out there but there are also many who will chew up your precious time and consistently fail to deliver. Agencies only use designers they can rely on as their livelihood depends upon it. Agencies are also skilled at handling erratic creative types, so give them the brief, then hand over the responsibility to save time and money. Don’t attempt to do your own logo unless you are a graphic designer.
2) Let your agency be creative. You hired an agency to help you build your brand, obtain publicity and to generate awareness. Agency staff know what they are talking about and are results and service orientated. Trust them to do their job to help deliver you the best outcome. If you aren’t going to let them have any creative reign, don’t hire them in the first place.
3) Attend agency functions and events. If your agency puts on an event to show gratitude for your business make sure you turn up with an open-mind and ample business cards. Agency events, whether social or educational, provide excellent opportunities to network with other results-orientated businesses and can be a great way to expand your network. It can also be a great opportunity to learn something new and enhance your skills.
4) Be open to new ideas. What’s the point in hiring people to help you grow your brand if you are going to shut down everything they say? Some of the best ideas have come out of agencies. Listen and give them a chance to prove their worth.
5) Get your agency to negotiate media buying and advertising for you. As well as having strong relationships with designers, most agencies will also have excellent relationships with advertising representatives. This means they have more power when negotiating deals and know how much they can push ad reps to obtain maximum value.