- The client-agency relationship is a partnership that deserves to be nurtured and maintained.
- Although much of that burden falls on the shoulders of the agency, there are things a client can do to improve the relationship and make our jobs easier.
- Those things include a collaborative spirit, having clear goals, trusting us, sharing any insider knowledge with us, and being as responsive to us as we are to you.
- Ultimately, the better the agency-client relationship is, the smoother the campaign will go.
At Redefine, we believe the agency-client relationship is a partnership. For us, that’s not just some lofty goal, but a reality that we’re lucky to live out every day. Sure – marketing expertise and a great product or service go a long way in this field. But at the end of the day, it’s the people who make the job, and we really love the people we work with. Want to know why?
The simple answer is that our clients show up and give it their all, just like we aim to do in return. But what exactly does this look like? If you’re starting out with a new agency or hoping to take things to the next level with one you already work with, here’s how you can make your agency partners want to shout your praises from the rooftops.
Five things a client can bring to an SEO agency partnership:
1. A collaborative spirit
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Digital marketing is fundamentally a collaborative effort. At Redefine, our close-knit team works together across departments every day to create tightly aligned digital marketing campaigns.
That closeness extends to our client-partners, too. At the end of the day, our job is to show audiences how awesome our clients are. That becomes infinitely easier when our clients are prepared to sit down together to brainstorm, compromise, and share their insights.
Tips for taking your collaboration up a notch:
- Invite us into your world. One of our clients brings their customer service rep to every content meeting. Her insights into their audience’s concerns are absolutely vital to making content relevant to the people who need it.
- Treat every project as a team effort. Every digital marketing campaign, from a site migration to the launch of a new blog series, requires both marketing expertise and brand expertise. Plus, in such a dynamic field where creative problem solving is key, two heads are always better than one.
This one might seem obvious, but there are more layers to this concept than you might think. Let’s break it down.
An enthusiasm for collaboration lays a great foundation, but to really set your agency partnership up for success, it helps to play a little show and tell. As a client, you bring something to the table your agency never could: firsthand knowledge of your brand, products or services, and audience. If you can walk us through this knowledge with documents and data, even better. Help us see your brand from your perspective so we can market it as if it were our own.
Tips for sharing brand knowledge with your agency:
- Develop a style guide. Share the style guide with your agency during the onboarding process so that all content projects are aligned with your brand’s look and voice from day one. If your brand is new or you feel out of your depth, ask your agency to help you develop a style guide.
- Share data. Are you sitting on sales data, customer surveys, or even a random social media poll that an intern from last summer took? We want to see it! The more information we have about how customers interact with your brand, the better.
3. Clear goals
Don’t get us wrong – sometimes this is precisely the thing our clients need the most help figuring out, and that’s okay! We’re happy to meet you where you are. The most important thing is that from the outset, you communicate what you need – or at least, what you think you need – from us. Maybe it’s help answering the question, “What should my digital marketing goals be?” Then at least we know where to start.
But in general, the more specific and clear, the better. Do you want to increase blog traffic? Raise conversions? Improve social media engagement? It’s not unusual to have several goals that may span SEO, content, link building, and/or social.
Why is this so important? Goals give us a roadmap. They help us figure out how we’re going to help you. Most importantly, they give us something by which to measure success. Not having the same goals, or not knowing a client’s goals, makes it pretty difficult to give our clients what they want, and that’s a recipe for disappointment and disaster.
We trust our clients to be the experts on their brand and audience, and we ask that they do the same for us. While there’s always room for us to learn and we’re committed to increasing our knowledge, we pride ourselves on being digital marketing experts.
That’s not to say you should blindly trust an agency. Like all professional agencies, we’re always prepared to show the receipts. We keep our clients firmly in the loop about our plans, rationales, and results.
That said, in the absence of red flags such as over-promising, lack of communication, or unethical practices, clients can make the relationship that much sweeter by trusting their agency to have their best interests at heart.
Tips for building trust with your agency:
- Know the red flags and green flags. When you have an idea of what makes a good agency vs. an unprofessional one, you can trust your agency’s processes without knowing how every little detail works.
- Ask questions and be curious. At the same time, a good agency should be willing to help you learn about how and why they’re doing what they’re doing. The key is approaching your agency with genuine interest rather than the assumption that they’re failing.
There’s probably nothing you hate more than sending an email to your agency about a pressing project and then not hearing back for days. Well, we feel the same way!
We work hard to deliver top-notch goods to our clients, and we take pride in that work. Not only is it disappointing to have it disappear into the ether, but it’s also a shame for the client when a delay in response keeps our work from actually being implemented and getting the results our clients are paying good money for. A great partner treats our work with the same urgency we do.
Spreading the love
If this article sounds like a lecture, that couldn’t be further from our intention. If anything, we see it as a description of what our own awesome clients bring to the table. After all, how would we know what makes a great client-agency relationship if we didn’t have so many of them? We hope these tips will help you feel just as warm and fuzzy about your own agency partnerships so you can keep creating great work together.
If you’re in the market for a digital marketing agency, the RMG family always has room for more members. Reach out to us today!