Digital

The dos and don’ts of working with a creative agency

So, you need some web work? Perhaps you’re thinking about a new website, online shop or piece of software? You decide to go ahead, hire a creative agency and job done! It isn’t as simple as that though (sorry).

Creative work is a collaborative process between agency and client, so you need to be aware of what to do (and what not to do) for it to work. Don’t let this daunt you though, the more you get involved the better the eventual outcome will be.

We’re really keen on working with our clients rather than just for them. With this in mind, here’s what we think you should and shouldn’t do when working with us, or any other creative agency.

Do your background research

Before you approach or choose your agency, do some background research to prepare for the project, whether you’re looking for a whole rebrand or a new set of landing pages. This includes looking at competitors and brainstorming ideas – either to guide look and feel or to establish goals for the project.

Talk to customers and reflect on feedback to help you prepare and make the best decisions. For example, have your customers said they want better search function on your site? Note this down as a key element for your new design. If you’re a retailer, you may receive a lot of enquiries about the checkout process – how can you improve?

Pens colours creative work agency

Establish goals

Why do you want a new website? What is the reason for you developing this piece of software? Why are you creating new landing pages?

Define what your goals are. Do you want to attract more high-profile clients with a rebrand? Does your website need to convert more sales? Will a new piece of software help you to manage stock more effectively?

Keep your goals at the forefront when you come to talk to us. This will help us build something amazing for your business.

Be flexible

Advance planning is crucial to the success of the project because it helps you define what you want and need, but be prepared for changes along the way.

A fresh set of eyes (the agency) may see something differently, which is a good thing – you might find new opportunities and innovations.

Be prepared to be flexible and challenge your ideas about your business. You might be surprised.

Give constructive feedback

We love constructive feedback. We’d rather you explain to us what specifically you like and don’t like, such as a particular colour scheme, layout or system. This helps us to improve and keep the project moving in the right direction.

Don’t get too many people involved

Having one or two points of contact is most efficient for any project, rather than feedback coming from lots of different members of staff. Talk internally and consolidate your thoughts into a batch of feedback, then you can communicate with your agency faster and more efficiently.

Creative office

Don’t just hand it over and forget about it

We’re going to keep saying it, but any creative project is a collaborative process, so keep in touch. Be available for frequent chats with your web agency; any good agency will want to keep you in the loop to make sure you get what you want. A good agency won’t take a brief and then disappear until deadline day. Regular communication means you get what you want.

Don’t be afraid to make changes

As you go through the process of building a new site or working on a set of graphics, things may change. You may find that you want to explore a new angle or include different messaging. Don’t be afraid to ask. Talk through it with your agency and see what can be done, and how it affects deadlines.

Don’t lose focus

It can be easy to get bogged down with little details and niggles if you aren’t guided in the right way by your agency. It’s their job to focus the project and highlight key points in the process to you. Ask your agency to let you know what’s being done and when, so you don’t get lost along the way.

Want to know more about working with a web agency? Check out our post on planning a rebrand or swot up on what a creative agency is.

Paul Wright.
Author:
Kelly Molson Managing Director

Kelly Molson is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Rubber Cheese, an award-winning web development agency that partners with global brands such as Pernod Ricard and Chivas Brothers, alongside ambitious visitor attractions like Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Plymouth Gin Distillery and The Glenlivet Whisky distilleries.

She’s a champion of women in digital and is passionate about increasing the number of women agency owners in the UK. She founded Mob Happy, which is a series of not-for-profit events for women agency owners and runs intimate mastermind groups that support existing founders and inspire future leaders.

A keen public speaker, she has delivered workshops and presentations at various conferences and lectured at Nottingham Trent University.

Read more about me

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