How often have you heard about people wanting to sell their house, only to fix it up for market and find that they fell in love with all over again? We’ve heard of it happening. All it took were a couple of tweaks and fixes to find that their home was still the “one” for them.
Now, how often have you heard of business owners finding themselves in a similar situation with their content creation agencies? We’ve heard of a couple, too!
What’s Going Wrong?
According to this report, half of the businesses that outsource their content requirements have changed agencies twice in two years. But, just like with a home, it makes more sense to fix the current problems than take a risk on a different agency, and it’s easier than you think.
What we’re saying is you don’t have to fall out with your agency and move on to a new one only to start the process all over. You can fix your relationship and turn it into a killer-content-churning-productive partnership. Let’s look at what you can do to fix your relationship.
Managing Expectations: The Key to Success
If you’re one of those businesses who has changed content creation agencies recently, was it because you weren’t getting the results you expected? Did you know what you want?
Expectations are the key to a successful relationship with your agency. If your expectations are properly communicated and constructed, they will ensure you and the agency are on the same page. For your expectations to be good, they need to be concise, reachable and agreed upon.
One of the keys to real expectations is to be specific. If your brief to your agency is to make your marketing “work,” it’s going to be hard for them even to know where to begin and even more difficult for you to measure their success. That’s why your expectations need to be concise and clearly communicated.
No matter how concise and clear your expectations are, they can still fail. On paper, huge expectations are impractical, but you’d be surprised how regularly companies expect their content creation agencies to achieve these kinds of results.
Many businesses outsource their marketing and content creation because it’s not something that they can handle on their own. Their lack of familiarity with the field can result in confusion about what online content can and can’t achieve, and in turn, lots of frustration leads the business to go from one agency to another as each one fails to meet their impossibly high expectations.
Your agency is there to help you, and that means they can help you determine reachable expectations. Discuss your budget, timeline, and growth expectations with your agency and together you can come up with expectations that are achievable.
Agreeing on Those Expectations
If you’ve told your agency one thing and got another, it doesn’t mean you need to run off to a new agency. Instead, communicate your frustrations first. Let your agency know you aren’t happy with something they have or haven’t done and give them a chance to explain.
By communication clearly, you and your agency can develop a shared and agreed upon vision, and once you’re both on the same page, you’re sure to be on the path to success.
Remodeling Your Agency Relationship
Perhaps you think that personality conflicts are the cause of your gripes with your agency? That doesn’t mean you need to head for the hills. Instead, ask for a new account manager and remodel your working relationship. It may not be a sure-fire way to fix things, but it’s worth a try and is much easier than looking for new content creation agencies.
Maybe It Is Time to Change?
We realize there can be problems that reach beyond personality conflicts. If you find that your agency regularly exhibits any of the following red flags, then it could be time to shop around for a new agency:
- Do they make promises that are impossible to keep?
- Have they lost your money through poor choices?
- Do they fail to provide regular updates or offer misleading information?
- Do they refuse to adhere to the needs of your company?
How to Deal with Change
Business is volatile. There are budget cuts, mergers, varying markets, and constant changes in executive priorities, and with all those come a myriad of reasons why your content agency may not work for your business any longer.
But, it might!
Just as with our earlier house scenario, there are ways to deal with outside problems before putting your beloved family home on the market. The same goes for businesses that have gone through changes that affect their agencies. Your first point of call should always be to talk to your agency.
Flexible content creation agencies are happy to adapt to you and your changing needs.
“Business is volatile. There are budget cuts, mergers, varying markets, and constant changes in executive priorities, and with all those come a myriad of reasons why your content agency may not work for your business any longer.”
Is It Time to Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?
If your gripes with your current agency are poor communication, personality conflicts, and unachievable expectations, these can easily be fixed with proper communication.
If you are willing to do even a little bit of remodeling, a content creation agency can work for you. The trick is to find one that is adaptable to your needs and happy to tailor content according to your clearly set expectations.
If you truly think it’s time to leave your agency, talk to Iris Content. We are flexible, amicable, and only prepared to work with your needs!
Content Happiness Advisor
Annie has 18 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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