Relationship Advice: Finding an Agency You Love

Have you heard that quote, “If it’s not a ‘hell yes,’ it’s a ‘no’”? That’s the way you should feel about your content marketing agency. If you don’t love them and feel like they’re meeting your business’s goals, it’s probably not a good relationship. So how do you go about finding an agency you love? This post will help.

Understanding Shadency

I hosted a recent webinar about shady agencies, or what I call “shadencies.” Most of Content Journey’s clients come to us after a negative experience with another agency. Those negative experiences can be anything from being overcharged to not having access to data that belongs to them. It’s essential to understand how to know if you’re working with a shady agency and then to be able to break up with them appropriately, legally, and professionally.

But what’s next after that? After a tough breakup, the last thing you want to do is get out there again. But that’s precisely what you have to do. Once you break up with your shadency, it’s time to find an agency you love. 

The Content Journey team hard at work discussing marketing strategy and content planning

Finding an Agency You Love 

It’s difficult to even think about choosing another agency after you’ve been through a tough breakup. But you still need those services (or the services you thought you were getting) for your company. It’s not easy to put yourself back out there after getting burned, but you must. Here’s my advice for finding an agency you love.

Beware of Promises

Run away if you’re meeting with an agency rep and they start making a bunch of promises about how much traffic you’ll get or when you’ll get it. When done correctly and consistently, SEO should always increase your traffic over time. But anyone who guarantees a certain amount of increased traffic within a specific timeframe is misleading you. SEO just doesn’t work that way.

Focus on Care

At Content Journey, we celebrate when our clients hit their milestones. That’s the type of agency you want. Find an agency that cares more about your success than its own. In fact, find an agency of people who put your success in front of theirs. If they really care about your business’s success, it will be their focus, not signing you and moving on to get another client. Nobody wants someone who just wants to seal the deal.

Choose Knowledgeable Partners

Choose an agency with people who know what they’re doing. This knowledge means explaining everything to you in terms you understand. If they use a bunch of industry jargon to sound smart, but they can’t really explain what they’ll do for your company, that’s a problem. 

Marketing seems like magic, but it isn’t. If they’re not willing to pull back the curtain to show you what’s happening behind the scenes, then they’re not being honest. 

We show true expertise when we can simplify something so anyone can understand. A good agency rep can explain their work and processes, so you can understand them. “Just trust us” probably isn’t the message of someone who you want to do business with.

Seek Transparency

It’s difficult to tell a client that things didn’t work out the way you expected. When looking for a new agency, ask specifically about this experience. If they pretend it’s never happened to them, that’s a problem. Being transparent when things don’t work out is just as important as celebrating wins. Their response to a question about a time when things didn’t work out for a client should be super telling.

Find Goal Alignment

When you’re interviewing reps from a new agency, they should ask you a ton of questions about your business goals. They should want to know your goals and what reaching them looks like to you. Then they should work to help you accomplish those goals. The last thing you want is to hire an agency, and they tell you that your business goals aren’t correct, or you aren’t going about them correctly. An agency shouldn’t try to talk you out of your goals.

Look for Consistency

I’m amazed at how many times our clients marvel that we do what we say we’ll do. All agencies should do what they say they will. Heck, all businesses should do what they say they will. It shouldn’t be a surprise when your marketing agency fulfills its promises. Consistency and reliability should be the norm, not a novel concept.

Consider Pricing

Whether you can afford an agency or it will push your budget too far matters. Choose an agency with pricing that agrees with your budget. If you’re pushing the limits of your budget, it’s challenging to let the process work. There are no overnight successes in SEO. There may not even be 30- to 60-day successes. You can’t push your budget so much that you need results quickly. Be sure you find an agency with a price point that agrees with your budget.

Sign a Contract

Get a contract once you choose an agency you think you may love. I get that contracts aren’t sexy. But having a contract protects both sides in the relationship. It creates clear expectations of deliverables. Also, a contract will tell you how to break up, if necessary.

Spend Time Up Front

Just like you want to spend all of your time with a new romantic interest, you should spend significant time with your agency rep on the front end. Make sure that the first deliverables are exactly what you want. They set the tone for the rest of your relationship. If you don’t spend the time up front, you won’t be happy as things continue. 

Fall in Love with Content Journey

Content Journey is a lovable content marketing agency. We check off all the boxes above for many businesses. But we’re also not the perfect partner for everyone. I want you to find an agency you love. Book a call, and let’s talk about whether Content Journey is right for you.

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