When it comes to branding and visual identity, most startups need some help. And one of the keys to success in this area is hiring a creative agency that’s properly tailored to your needs and expectations. Do you know what to look for?
Why Hire a Creative Agency?
With a suite of easy drag and drop design tools and online resources, most small businesses and brands have the opportunity to keep all design and creative work in-house. But just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should.
A creative agency – which is basically a fancy name for a company hired to help you design and develop any type of content or visual work for your brand – does more than save you time. They also free you up to focus on the things that matter most in your business.
Whether it’s a social media strategy, content strategy, photography, graphic design, website design, animated video, infographics, eBooks, branding, or something in between, a good creative agency ensures consistency and cohesiveness across all brand touchpoints.
By leveraging a creative agency’s skill and scalability, you’re able to jumpstart your brand and reach people with the right message – one that reflects your brand’s identity and focus.
4 Things to Look For in a Creative Agency
Most upstart brands understand the importance of hiring a creative agency. The biggest issue is determining which agency to partner with. There are so many different options out there that zeroing in on a specific one can feel like an uphill battle. But if you focus on evaluating the following features and characteristics, you’ll have an easier go at it.
- Service Offerings
If you’re just looking for some basic design work, you’re probably better off working with a freelance designer. But if you have a range of needs, then a creative agency is your best fit.
A creative agency should wear as many hats as you’d like them to wear. Keep both current and future needs in mind when selecting an agency. Think in terms of adaptability. By hiring a creative agency with skilled developers on the team, you can adapt to these future needs with ease. Whether it’s mobile apps, desktop apps, websites, or software, you can trust that your creative partner will be able to handle it all.
Skill is important, but it’s useless without availability and scalability. In other words, you need an agency that’s able to deliver a quick turnaround for your most pressing needs. Whether it’s a simple graphic you need for a blog post or a fully functional mobile application as part of a new product launch, on-demand availability is a must.
In this same vein, you need scalability so that you can continue to have your design and development needs met as your business grows and your demand for service increases.
There’s nothing wrong with a new creative agency, but you never want someone else to cut their teeth at your expense. The actual design and development work might be good, but there’s a lot more to running an agency and keeping clients happy than just providing good work. Customer service, efficiency, and communication are all important. And, for the most part, you’ll find that newer agencies lack proficiency in these areas.
By partnering with a seasoned agency, you don’t have to be anyone’s lab rat. You benefit from years of work and experience. (In other words, there’s one less thing to worry about.)
Finally, cost is going to be a factor. While you probably shouldn’t proactively seek out the cheapest agency on the internet, there is something to be said for being smart about how much you’re spending. After all, any money you save partnering with a creative agency is money that you can pour back into growing your brand.
Making the Best Choice
Stop thinking about the search for a creative agency in terms of making the “right” choice. There’s no single agency that’s right for your brand. (There are, however, plenty of options that are a bad fit.) Instead, think about the selection in terms of making the best choice.
The best choice of a creative agency is a partner that understands your brand, believes in your mission, and is able to help clarify and articulate what it is that you stand for in such a way that your message resonates with your audience and moves them to action.
Do your due diligence and make a decision! The hire slow and fire fast mentality will serve you well here.