What are the best agencies doing?
I just had the pleasure of being one of 200 people who dialled in to listen to Peter Czapp’s Inside Track webinar based on the results of the Wow Company’s 2017 Agency Benchmarking Survey.
It was a really insightful presentation that looked into what the most successful UK creative agencies are doing, and I wanted to share some of my key take aways.
Brexit, what Brexit?
We know the future of the UK is somewhat uncertain but this doesn’t have to be a negative thing. UK creative talent has been respected for years and the current situation makes our services more cost effective for companies outside of the UK, so make the most of this opportunity!
1/4 of agencies asked in the survey said they are now looking for overseas clients, so why not consider a bit of diversification in your business and leverage any existing contacts you may have overseas?
Still feeling concerned about Brexit? Read Matt's article on how to survive and thrive after Brexit.
Show me the… Hourly Rate!
The average hourly rate for uk agencies is currently £86 per hour!
Ask yourself, do you want to be average? If you’re not doing average work, be brave and put your prices up!
Consider doing this every year or ideally every 6 months. You’re better than you were 6 months ago, you have more experience and more confidence (and almost certainly your costs will have gone up.)
Be Niche! Be the Best in the world at what you do!
Whether you have a specific in house technical expertise, sector expertise, or both, niching genuinely gives you more opportunities (even if it feels a bit scary!)
By really focusing on something specific, you are able to define your customers better, be clear about how to target them and be more confident in your understanding of their needs.
Consider what you currently do in your agency and see if there’s something you really excel at, and believe you could be better than anyone else at. If you’re considering a specific sector, probably best to choose one that you already have case studies in, however, if your team have a passion for a certain product or service, why not be brave and target that?
Have a talent pipeline!
Hiring the best possible talent is a key part of your growth - you can’t do what you do it without great people!
Change your mindset on recruitment from something you only do when you need it, to something that you regularly dedicate time to. In essence, treat recruitment as you would new business and aim to have a pipeline of both freelance and full time talent that you can review as and when you find yourself in need of additional resource.
Consider having regular interviews; it will help you understand the talent that is out there as well as provide the opportunity to refine your interview process.
Want sustainable growth?
Well obviously - of course you do!
The Benchmark survey highlighted some clear traits of agencies who had achieved this. Try and move towards putting some or all of these into action!
Invest in R&D
R&D Tax Credits are a great thing to explore if you’ve created something innovative within your agency. Get in touch with The Wow Company for more advice if you think you may have something that could be worth putting in a claim for.
Have a board
There’s no escaping it, it’s bloody hard to grow an agency on your own. The most successful agencies are getting help and advice from people who have the knowledge to advise and the incentive to help them succeed.
If you don’t feel like you’ve got people around you who you can ask for advice, then I would suggest getting involved in an agency community (see next point) as it will almost certainly give you access to people who could get involved on all sorts of levels.
Be part of an Agency Community (the Agency Collective!)
We’ve said this before a but it really is worthing considering. Being part of an agency community such as the Agency Collective, can give you access to super peer-to-peer conversations as well as advice from people who have been there and done it!
The conversations that happen and relationships that are regularly formed at these events are invaluable!
Try not to worry too much about what everyone else is doing or charging, and think about selling value not time. Focus your energy on improving your team’s abilities, refining your offer and defining your own path.
You, your team, your experience and your clients make your agency unique. Of course you may need to focus more to help people find you and understand what you can do but that’s a matter of confidence and refinement.
I love this little rhyme, apply it to your agency! Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
You can’t change things over night but you can make a conscious effort to do things daily. Consider what’s the one thing you can do today to make the biggest difference to the growth of your business?
Thanks again to Pete for the superb insights!