Important Things to Consider When Hiring a Design Agency
#1 Are the Agency’s Skills a Good Match for My Needs?
Not all agencies are created equal. They all have their strengths and their specialties. Some design agencies only handle graphic design while others can manage copywriting tasks as well. Make a list of all tasks that you need ongoing assistance with. Then, divide the list into two columns: ‘Must Have’ and ‘Would be Nice to Have’.
Oftentimes, you’ll find that the ‘Would be Nice to Have’ column is something that you can hire alternate vendors for on an as-needed basis. You might have infrequent one-off video production projects, for example—that shouldn’t dictate your agency selection if the bulk of your needs lie in design or copywriting. This approach will likely save you both time and money since 80% of your recurring tasks are in the ‘Must Have’ bucket. The other 20% are things that come up irregularly or are best suited as in-house work.
- Copywriting/editing support
- Graphic Design
- Powerpoint Presentations
- Case Studies
- Video Production
- Social Media Posting
- Social Media Monitoring
#2 Am I Prepared to Submit a Request for Quote (RFQ)?
- Make a Spreadsheet: Take a moment to zoom out from your daily routine. Create a spreadsheet that outlines all the deliverables you produce on a monthly basis and estimates the work that is usually involved with each. The more information you can provide, the better. This will assist the design agency in suggesting the best plan for you.
- Ask for Price Breaks: Be sure to ask the agency about what their price breaks are. Depending on how much work you need done per month, you may find that you can get a much better rate with a volume discount.
- Understand Quality Expectations: Ultimately, design agencies will vary in pricing and retainers will likely start around $500/mo. and up. The quality of deliverables and turnaround times will be reflected in the price. In other words, if you want a completely managed program, minimal revisions, quick onboarding, and experienced designers, then you can expect to pay more than hiring a freelancer online. Remember that hands-free retainers can and will save you and your business a significant amount of time and money in the long run.
|6 Per Month
|6 Per Month
|3 Per Month
|Two-Page Sell Sheets
|5 Per Month
|Copyediting and Design
|2 Per Month
#3 What’s Their Vibe?
Before you make your decision, dig a little deeper to see if it’s a good fit on a personal level. Actually meeting with the team, understanding their infrastructure, and interacting with them personally before your kick-off meeting is very important. Ask yourself:
- Do you like their energy? Connecting with the people that manage your materials is crucial in developing a long-term relationship that benefits both teams. Make sure they are comfortable getting on the phone with you and chatting over Zoom or video chat. You will be able to tell quickly if you will enjoy working with them and if they love what they do.
- Can they handle the workload? Ask if they are comfortable doing the type of work you outlined on your list. Ask for examples of other work they do that is similar.
- What are standard turnaround times? This is a hot topic that should be discussed upfront before entering any engagement. If your team has overnight turnarounds on every marketing piece then you want to know if there are any rush fees involved. Typically turnaround times vary depending on the bandwidth of each firm. Setting expectations ahead of time will avoid any surprises down the road.
Pick Your Partner
If you do just a little prep work and consider these three tips, you’ll be well on your way towards a match made in marketing heaven. Small Dog Creative paves the way for a small agency feel with big-time results. We can help you scale up your marketing initiatives without getting stuck in the mud. If you’ve been looking for a content marketing design agency to support your internal creative team, we’d love to meet you. Contact us for a complimentary demo today.