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7 Things To Consider Before Hiring An Advertising Agency

7 Things To Consider Before Hiring An Advertising Agency

When running a business, you may find that you want to engage the services of an advertising agency to manage some, or even all, of the marketing for your business. Hiring an agency is a big step, as once you have done so, you will be better able to track your costs. All your marketing and advertising will be managed as an entirety, and you can consolidate your costs in those areas. Choosing the right agency for your company requires some careful thought, so here are a few things for you to consider before making the decision.

1. Your budget

Affordability is the biggest component of in making marketing plans. Your big dreams are only feasible if you have the funds available to make them come true. Having a well-developed marketing plan, along with knowledgeable advisers for your company, should help you determine your budget for promoting your business. The fine line between too much and too little is a crucial razor’s edge.

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2. The type of service

Your budget will determine whether you should engage a full-service agency or take advantage of the less costly option of freelance professionals in advertising. While agencies that manage advertising and web development typically expect to take care of a wide spectrum of promotional material for a business, you can find those who are willing to work only on specific activities that you designate, such as only creating brochures or handling marketing activities. It’s an accepted fact that by working with a full-service agency, your costs will be higher but without a guarantee that you’ll be getting higher quality work. A lot of freelancers are veterans of agencies, the best freelancers will also be more willing to limit their efforts to your specific needs at a given time. Keep in mind, though, that if you need a variety of different services that require coordination, you may be more satisfied in going with an agency.

3. Industry expertise

Once you have made the decision to go with any agency, it is wise to seek out those organizations that have some familiarity with your type of business. Frequently, a small business will engage an agency based on the recommendation of other small businesses with little regard to the fact that none of those enterprises have anything in common with their own operation. Be careful, however, in choosing the agency with experience in your field.

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4. The tasks

Going in with a plan is always a good idea. Prepare for your meeting with representatives from the ad agency by doing these specific things within your own business:

  • Set up an interview team if you want others to participate in selecting an agency
  • With the team, outline the specific marketing needs you have
  • Review budgets
  • Agree on a schedule and deadline for choosing an agency
  • Give one team member the responsibility of seeking out candidate agencies and discussing desired services and budgets.

5. Size of people involved

Selecting from a variety of sources, including colleagues’ references, personal experiences, and local telephone directories, decide on agencies to interview. Of course, the bigger your budget, the more agencies you should interview.

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Before meeting with the agency representatives, request the following information from each candidate:

  • Those agency employees to be assigned to your projects
  • Samples of work previously performed for companies in your type of business
  • Anticipated fees, per job or on an hourly basis

It’s also important to get a sense of how each agency operates by asking for a personal tour of each of their offices before meeting with your committee for the formal interview. Request client references so that you can speak with them regarding the efficiency, timeliness, and flexibility of the agency. Ask these references if they believe that the work of the agency has been instrumental in establishing or improving the client’s business image.[1]

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6. What to conduct during interview

While you are interviewing each agency, delve into the following areas:

  • Their experience with your type of business and accounts of this size
  • Actual examples of work they’ve done with prior clients
  • Their level of innovative, creative suggestions for types of advertising campaigns
  • How available key representatives will be for your projects
  • The “vibes” between both parties

Ask these kinds of questions:

  • What will make you successful at promoting our type of business?
  • Tell us about your relevant strengths and weaknesses.
  • What are your views about the ease of working with our media choices?
  • Do you see our expectations as being in line with our budget?
  • Can you offer additional/alternative marketing ideas?

7. Before signing any contracts

Once you have selected the best agency for your needs, make a written agreement of all specifics, including financial agreements, ad creation timelines, property insurance options, the specific division of responsibilities, and ownership of the creative product. Make sure you should include your business advisor and your attorney in all phases of the process.

Reference

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

Let me explain:

A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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What’s the bottom line?

Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

You might be wondering how you can get started:

  • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
  • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
  • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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Learn how to delegate in my other article:

How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

Here’s the deal:

Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

Here’s what I mean by process over people:

Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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