Selecting a digital agency for your next project is kind of like buying a car through the dealership. You want to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck by ensuring that the brand is credible, the car is in good condition and most importantly, it will take you the distance.
This process of selection can be very taxing, and many clients simply do not know where to start. They want to trust an agency to take dreams circling their brain neuronal network while sleeping and bring them to life.
But, how do you choose an agency that delivers results and vibes with your business? Let's find out 👇
Step One: Use a search engine
The first port of call is using your search engine to get this process underway. Tailor your search to your specific location or industry, looking a little something like this – “digital agency Brisbane or "eCommerce digital agency".
Alternatively, you can utilize an amazing service like Clutch; a website designed to find the right business partner for you. Simply fill in the fields like below and you’re good to go.
The idea during this step is to narrow down your selection criteria. Open a wide range of digital agencies in separate web tabs, because these will be the ones you want to review.
Once you’ve selected all agencies that peak your interest, it's time to start checking out their sites. What you’re looking for is evidence of a sleek, functional, professional website. This is for obvious and non-obvious reasons. If you encounter a website that is slow, not mobile responsive or has many broken buttons - this could be a red flag.
A digital agency's website should be their pride and joy. And while the agency’s website is not the be-all or end all, our thought process is that if an agency cannot create or maintain their own website, then what hope is there for yours? Their website is an opportunity to showcase their talent and expertise, to convince you (the client) to use them. Do not underestimate this crucial step.
While you are scrolling the site, read some of the content and ask yourself; “does this resonate with me?”. Choosing a digital partner is a very personal decision, you want to feel aligned with their story which in turn is far more likely to render a successful working relationship in the future.
Step Two: The Power of Social Proof
The power of word of mouth is seriously underrated.
Repuso conducted a survey and found that 97% of consumers state that online reviews impact their purchases, and testimonials can increase sales page conversions by over 30%. Nearly the entire consumer market is influenced to a certain degree by the opinions of others and thus is a variable that you want to tap into. Here are a few things to mark off the checklist during this step.
Firstly, find evidence of previous work completed with case studies. This is a great opportunity for you to take a read, head over to the client's site for a quick peep, and most importantly, read what the client had to say about the digital agency they worked with. A good agency will put you in touch with previous clients, giving you the chance to discuss their experience in a more detailed manner.
Secondly, pay close attention to the quality of the work produced by the agency and ask yourself, “am I impressed?”. If it's a yes, it's a clear sign to proceed and contact the agency for further information. Remember they will have their own personal flair, make sure this aligns with your overall goals.
Step Three: Choose the Experts
You wouldn’t go to a mechanic for a broken bone, would you? No. That’s because you want, and frankly need the expertise of a doctor to diagnose and treat you appropriately. Similar can be said for self-diagnosing, a principle that can be applied across various professional fields. Simply put, if you don’t have the experience or knowledge to back self-diagnosis, then you probably should seek some help.
Most digital agencies will have an ‘about’ or ‘meet the team’ section. It’s here you’ll be able to gather some information about the employees and their level of experience. Remember, freelancers and contractors likely won't be included, so just keep in mind that what’s displayed online is not entirely indicative of the whole team.
Ensure you select the right digital agency for your needs. If you are after a redesign of your website, seek those services. If you are requiring some search engine optimization, or you’re having issues with your conversion rates, look for an agency that specializes in SEO and CRO.
During the initial consults, the agency should be able to diagnose your brand issues without you telling them so - they are the experts after all. The best way to truly gauge the knowledge base and expertise of a prospective agency, is to explore their blog posts (hint: check ours). The old saying “see one, do one, teach one” certainly applies here. If the agency can teach you something new via blog posts, then it's quite clear that they have the knowledge base to back themselves.
Step Four: Communication, Communication
Good communication is a key factor that influences all relationships, those in business being no exception. Imagine communicating your needs to a business, only for them to completely ignore you. How would that feel? You’d feel extremely frustrated and likely invisible in the business transaction. What’s more, you’d leave feeling dissatisfied.
A good agency will understand the vital importance of communication, and use it to their advantage. They will be easy to contact, encourage two-way dialogue, discuss critical issues in a timely manner and build trust with you.
As an addition, they will be transparent throughout the whole process. If you find yourself questioning things or feeling like you have been left in the dark, it might be a sign you’re being taken for a row. Ensure you stand your ground, you are here for your business venture/company; you need to speak up on behalf of it.
So there you have it, selecting your next digital agency is a simple process if you follow our four-step guide.