If only finding your perfect creative agency in Sheffield was as easy as finding your next date. Nowadays, it’s all about swiping left or right. But, when it comes to shortlisting partners for your next creative project, the old-fashioned rules of dating apply.
What’s your type?
Like businesses, agencies come in all shapes and sizes. There are the smaller general practitioners and there are medium-sized integrated marketing agencies, like Grey Matter, offering a full range of creative services, from copy writing and website development, to SEO and catalogue design. Both tend to service the local SME community. You also have the large media-rich agencies, often with national focus, leaning more towards consumer advertising. Consider whether this is a standalone project, or are you likely to expand upon it, perhaps across different mediums such as print or digital? Do you want a creative agency in Sheffield that knows the region like the back of its hand? Or is it more important to have a little black book of national advertising contacts?
What are their vital stats?
Do your research. Ask around for recommendations and visit agency websites to establish what clients and experience they have. Look at agency social networking sites such as Instagram and Twitter, this will give you a more informal insight into the company’s culture.
Your place or mine?
Once you have a shortlist, it’s time to set up some first dates. Most agencies will be happy to come to your office. Or, you could use this initial no-strings-attached meeting to suss out a bit more about the agency, in their own environment. It shows that you are serious about finding the right agency. It is also a great opportunity to meet the team, see examples of work and get a good ‘feel’ for the agency’s culture.
Is there a spark?
This is so often the deal breaker in romantic and professional liaisons alike. Is there any chemistry between you? Did you laugh at the same jokes, finish off each other’s sentences and find yourself agreeing with everything they said? OK, so we aren’t talking about gazing into each other’s eyes – that’s weird – but we are talking about feeling relaxed, knowing that they ‘get’ you and that you are on the same wave length.
Are we moving too fast?
The age-old ‘free pitch approach’ very rarely gives a potential client the best insight into what an agency can really do for them. Chances are, this will only be the second time of meeting and there’s still an awful lot to find out about each other. A hurriedly put together attempt to impress won’t make either party happy. That’s why we don’t pitch at Grey Matter. We know that real success requires investment from both sides, and our clients know that too.
Do we want the same things?
Nobody wants to get months down the line only to realise that the two of you are operating under different expectations. Conversations about money and budgets might seem awkward in those early stages. In reality, they aren’t. Being clear about your budget from the onset will help an agency to plan your project, setting clear and honest expectations.
So, when’s the big day?
Working with a creative agency means putting your company’s brand in their hands. You have to trust them, share professional values and have a mutual understanding of working methods and culture. Once you find all this, you’ve probably found the one.
We’re game if you are.
Grey Matter has built and maintained strong relationships with more than 500 businesses in and around Sheffield. Many clients have even taken us with them when they move on to new companies. What can we say? We’re just no good at breaking up.
If you are looking for a creative agency in Sheffield and you’re tired of playing the field, get in touch. We could be the one for you.