How to Work with an Agency

Many small business owners have taken a DIY approach to their marketing at one point or another. Does this sound familiar? Maybe you’re tired of doing it yourself, or perhaps your brand is outgrowing the freelancer you hired to help you out. Whatever the case may be, if you’re considering partnering with a marketing agency, but aren’t sure exactly how it works, this is the blog post for you!

Find the right marketing partner

Deciding who you want to work with is an important first step. You want to end up with a group of people you’re excited to work with—and who are excited to work with you. Find a team you trust with a portfolio of great work that matches your needs.

Invest in the partnership

It’s absolutely crucial you invest time and energy into your marketing efforts—especially at the start of the relationship.

When you hire an agency, you’ll go through an onboarding process wherein they’ll get to know your business, objectives, challenges, competitors, past initiatives, big ideas and so much more. Don’t take this step for granted or pawn it off on someone who isn’t as invested in your company’s success as you are. The better your agency understands exactly what you do and how you do it, the more successful they’ll be in helping you meet your goals.

Adjust your expectations

Never forget that a marketing agency isn’t a miracle worker. If you expect an agency to swoop in and deliver a huge ROI within a few weeks or even months, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Marketing is both an art and a science. It takes strategy and creative problem solving, but most of all, it takes time. The key is to keep an open line of communication with your agency partners. They should help you understand exactly what to expect from your initiatives.

Now the money stuff

All agencies have their own pricing structure and invoicing policies, so while we can’t tell you exactly what to expect in terms of costs, we can give you an idea of how some agency partnerships structure payments.

  • Retainer – This typically refers to an ongoing agreement that covers a specific scope of work, for a set price, month over month.
  • % up front or incrimental– For project-based or ongoing work, agencies may require a portion of the project fee up front, then incremental payments throughout the project and/or the remaining portion upon completion.
  • Actuals – While less common, agencies sometimes simply charge an hourly rate for services rendered.

Some agencies, like Propel, use a combination of all three payment structures—depending on the scope of work and our client’s needs. Getting paid is important, and so is making sure we do right by our clients.

This is certainly not a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about working with an agency, but the good news is that probably doesn’t exist (and if it does, BORING). The point is, every agency-client relationship is unique, and Propel loves nothing more than helping our clients navigate the sometimes overwhelming world of marketing and advertising.

Ready to take the first step to working with an agency? Let us know how we can help.