We know your brand is important to you. The amount of work you’ve put into cultivating an image, an identity, and an audience makes it hard to trust someone else to get your message out there. But sometimes the responsibility of crafting a brand can take away from the important work your company or organization is doing. You may be so busy working IN the business that you can’t successfully complete work ON the business.
So how do you know when it’s time to take that brand manager hat off and entrust it to someone else? There are many factors to consider when deciding if it’s time to hire a creative agency, and we’re here to try to help. You might think a creative agency issuing this advice is biased, and, of course we are! But we’re also happy to admit when you maybe don’t need a creative agency and might be able to get away with a simpler solution that better fits your budget. Either way, check out our list below before you make a decision.
What Kind of Help Do You Need?
A big factor in whether you hire a creative agency is the kind of help you actually need. Are you wanting new business cards? A flyer for an event? A monthly blog?
Or are you looking for a website overhaul, a fundraising or educational video series, digital and physical ads, or maybe a complete rebranding.
The first list is something you might want to reach out to your network to get help with. While we’re happy to do these sorts of things, they generally come as part of a larger package you might not be looking for. Your local printer or marketing colleague should be able to knock out these simple layouts for you.
The second list, though, is right up our alley as a creative agency. We’re happy to partner with you to give your brand a shiny new coat of personality, including logo, website, business cards, ads as small as web banners and as large as billboards, and anything else you might want. And videos? We love to make videos for whatever you need. Our award winning team has brought recognition to many brands in and out of our studio.
But we’re not a cookie cutter agency. We’ll always talk to you about what you need, no matter the job. We don’t want to sell you anything you don’t need or want. That’s not a satisfying arrangement for either of us.
What’s Your Budget?
This is a big question–maybe the most important to your organization. But, to be honest, it doesn’t matter that much to us. We want to help you achieve your company or organization’s goals, no matter how big they are. We’re happy to create the best sand castle possible in whatever size sandbox you provide.
It might feel counterintuitive, but choosing to hire a creative agency might actually be cheaper than the alternative. That alternative? Hiring someone full time to take over the duties of managing your creative needs. That means you’ll have to take the time to search and interview, background check, add them to payroll, train them, and keep them flush with work to make it worth having them around. What if all you need is a seasonal push for recognition or a fundraising campaign? It feels wrong to hire someone for a short time and then have to set them free. It’s a lot of time and money sunk into something that’s only going to be temporary.
But we’re happy to step in and create that fundraising book, those commercials and print ads, and the landing page you need to collect donations or give people an idea of what you’re doing. We don’t have hard feelings about doing a project or two for you and then wishing you success. And we’re always here to support your efforts afterward if you need us for anything, since building relationships that last is one of our core values.
So really, in the long run, it might be more affordable to pay for what you need and move along rather than keep someone on your team who you may not have the time or budget to sustain at their required rate.
How Do You Choose a Creative Agency?
Alright. You’ve decided that the smart choice is to hire a creative agency. But how do you know who to hire? Well, we’d love to tell you to hire us and not to consider anyone else. Remember how we said we were biased? How could we not be? We think we’re great. Honestly, though, we’d rather you considered all the options. So what does that look like?
It might be nice to find an agency whose values align with yours. Are you a nonprofit looking for a partner who understands what you do and why you do it? Maybe take a look at their core values, if they have them public somewhere, to see if they might mesh well with your mission.
Check out the websites of agencies in the area. Many of them feature a place where they showcase designs they’re proud of and awards they may have won. Does their work make your brain light up with ideas of what they could do with your brand? Maybe that’s a match!
Ask around. If they’re local, chances are they’ve done work for other companies in the area. Drop in or send an email to businesses whose branding and message you admire. See who does their creative work. If they do it in house, they’ll be flattered that you noticed. If they work with an agency, they’ll more than likely want to share the experience with you.
Of course, even when you think you have a match, you should meet the team. Are they enthusiastic and friendly? Do they come to the table with ideas ready for you? Even if they’re a little more grand that you were planning on, it’s important that the agency you choose is excited to work with you. That enthusiasm comes through in their work, no matter what they create.
And don’t forget to ask them about the people who will be working on your project. Some agencies outsource various parts of their process to someone outside the company, someone who might not have the passion for your project that you expect. We’re not saying outsourcing is inherently bad, obviously, since we’re asking you to consider outsourcing your creative work to an agency, but make sure you know their process.
Due Diligence Makes Dandy Decisions
Basically, what it boils down to is that there is a lot to consider in whether or not it’s time to hire a creative agency. Hopefully this makes the decision a little easier. Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball to give you the right answer, otherwise we’d be in the fortune telling business and not the creative field. But given the above points for consideration, you should be able to make a more informed decision. And if you still don’t know, we’re happy to talk you through it, whether or not we’re the agency for you. We just want to leave your brand better off in the end, whatever that takes.