Whether you’re looking to start your own brand, or simply rake in a larger amount of leads per month, working with a digital marketing agency is a great way to make this a reality.
Digital agencies allow for even some of the most successful brands to receive a significant boost in sales, engagement, and web traffic. Through ambitious projects like custom brand and website development, digital marketing agencies attempt to move mountains for their clients.
But not everything works out as planned. Whether it's a hectic schedule or a way an agency conducts business, certain aspects can muddy the waters of a good working relationship.
But as digital marketers, you need to take the focus off of yourselves. In short, agency timelines don't depend on the agency; they depend on the client. Let's explore.
The Problem With Charging Upfront
When working with a digital marketing agency, you want there to be a healthy working relationship, a healthy back and forth where creative goals and ideas receive implementation. Most importantly, the client is satisfied with the end product.
The problem with charging a client upfront is that it can result in a massive digital marketing red flag: your customer isn’t satisfied with the end product. Further problems arise from this alone. If the client feels that their site or SEO efforts need an overhaul after a project’s completion, they’ll need to hire a digital marketing agency again to change things. This backtracking to fix the mistakes of a previous agency puts the client in a challenging and unpleasant situation. And frankly, it doesn’t do anyone any favors.
The old adage ‘no news is good news’ is the antithesis of digital marketing. It simply does not apply. And if you’re working with an agency or client that sincerely believes that, you’ll be running into issues.
You will always want to hear about your project. Even if it’s something as simple as a font change, you want to be in contact, looking for feedback. So that’s where the waiting game comes in.
The Waiting Game
When hiring any specialist, be it an SEO specialist or custom website designer, giving and receiving feedback makes the project run more smoothly.
For example, there should be an overview of completed tasks, tasks your team plans to do, and spending.
And with clients, agencies are (and should always be) waiting on crucial feedback from their clients. Feedback is everything. Just because you personally love a color scheme on the landing page or the string of keywords in some ad copy doesn’t mean the client feels the same.
As such, digital marketers are constantly waiting on the valuable feedback from their clients. The problem? Not all clients have the same idea of healthy feedback. And it’s not their fault; they may be swamped in other projects at the time. That’s why it’s absolutely critical that you and the client develop a working rapport and ground rules to move forward and make everyone’s lives easier.
Let’s look at practical ways to mitigate any miscommunications, unfavorable scenarios and establish how you and your client can ideally work together toward finishing an ambitious project.
Ways To Keep Things Organized (and the Customer Happy)
Here are some simple ways in which to make things run smoothly with your clients.
A Good Onboarding Form
When onboarding clients for the first time, it’s a fantastic opportunity to outline business goals, pain points and overall understand what the client wants.
For example, before beginning, create a comprehensive onboarding form that helps outline services and further understand what the client wants and needs. It’s a good idea to include this information in the initial digital marketing consultation. Sincerely seeing and treating your client as a full-fledged digital marketing team member has many benefits. This transparency and respect lend themselves to more fruitful conversations, goals, and more.
This transparent communication leads to setting realistic expectations.
Setting Schedule Expectations
As with any project, setting realistic expectations and goals is vital. What does the client want? Is it realistic? When does the client want to meet? Some of these questions are well worth your time to explore and present to the client.
Setting expectations keeps everything organized, people on track, and aware of what’s to come. Setting goals and expectations also allow for more transparent feedback. After all, you don’t want to be working on a massive project, and your client ends up going radio silent for weeks. That scenario helps no one, especially not your client.
By setting concrete meeting goals, whether daily, weekly, or monthly, you’re putting both the client and yourself in a fantastic position for brand growth and more comprehensive feedback.
And feedback is easily the most important aspect of serving your clients.
Clear Feedback System
Remember the importance of feedback? Unsurprisingly, communication is critical. Whether it’s big picture ideas, or merely a color scheme change during the branding design process, keeping in contact with the client is your secret to success.
With many services, the creator needs valuable feedback and constructive criticism if they hope to complete the project to the customer’s satisfaction.
For example, maybe holding a weekly meeting regarding the project’s goals, or perhaps a monthly call to debrief on specific phases of the project. Whichever method works best for you and your client, go with it. Remember to set expectations about meetings and feedback.
Final Thoughts on Agency Timelines
Whether this is your first client or one hundred and first, agency timelines don’t depend on the agency. They rely on the client. Time is critical for everything, and whether it’s edits, revisions, new ideas, or more, the client needs ample time to make crucial decisions.
And it all comes down to one thing: it’s about the client’s happiness first and foremost.