Important Questions to Ask When Choosing an Agency

– The author believes that white papers, case studies, and client testimonials are not reliable indicators of an agency’s capabilities because they are often biased and only showcase successful projects.
– Instead, the author suggests evaluating an agency based on their content, unique creations, and the questions they ask about the client’s business goals, resources, and priorities.
– The author advises against working with agencies that make promises without providing clear timelines, prioritize quantity over quality in creatives, push for software installations without clear justifications, focus on a single discipline without considering other aspects, lack data analytics expertise, have disorganized processes, and rely on generic courses or publications for knowledge.When selecting an agency or consultant, focus on asking important questions about unit economics, goals, priorities, resources, and ownership. Avoid agencies that make promises without clear timelines or roadmaps, prioritize quantity over quality in creatives, push unnecessary software installations, lack a holistic approach, lack data analytics expertise, have a messy work product, or rely on self-branded courses or publications.Things that I’ve never really cared about while picking software or talking to agencies or consultants: a white paper, a case study, a client testimonial. These things don’t get published unless they are flattering. Most agencies that like to show off these things do so because they are “representative works” of things that did well. I can show you a highlight reel of my best golf from 2021 and you’d think I was a pro too. The truth is, you should read an agency’s content, but you should follow them on LinkedIn and look for qualities in their posts. You should look for something unique in what they create that they don’t share on their website. You should see if they ask you about things that matter:

1. What are your unit economics?
2. What is your goal of hiring us as an agency?
3. What are you currently prioritizing and how do we fit into the overall company structure?
4. What resources have you allocated to this endeavor?
5. Who currently owns this for you, and why are you looking for outside help?

These questions are more important than any promises they can make. You should run if an agency tells you:

1. It will take 90 days to learn but doesn’t provide a clear and articulate timeline and roadmap on that learning (smart people can spot issues in less than 10 minutes). As a brand, if you can articulate the answers to the above questions, they should be providing results in less than 14 days.
2. You need to be constantly testing more creatives (this is a lie, if they charge to create creatives, this is just a money grab). It’s a quality over quantity game here – most creatives are just not quality.
3. You should install x, y, z software without a clear understanding of why. Agencies are given kickbacks for choosing to use software and rarely disclose this during the process. Most people trained with the software lack awareness past “best practices.”
4. The agency only focuses on a single discipline (ads, email, etc.) or they don’t talk about the other things that play a role in what they do. It takes a village of people working together to create greatness.
5. They don’t have a background in data analytics or aren’t organized. You can just look at UTMs and email template naming conventions for this. Usually, they are a mess.
6. They have a ton of clients. Ask to see the

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