Most companies, at one point or another, will hire a creative agency. Whether it is to produce a spectacular event or collaborate on an advertising campaign, a creative agency will help you push your brand forward while also meeting initiatives.
You may find yourself in need of a creative agency when you’re seeking results driven strategy, lack the bandwidth to produce internally or need a partner with the expertise to drive your ideas further.
Agencies are great because they offer a fresh perspective, provide innovative strategy, have robust communities and network connections, and oftentimes have a breadth of knowledge when it comes to producing high-quality creative solutions.
Finding the perfect creative partner is a lot like dating, you might need to engage with a few agencies before you find the right one. Once you find the perfect match, the rewards will far outweigh the effort.
The first step in finding the perfect creative partner is building a creative brief. Gather all the known information about your project. Each detail, no matter how small, will provide the clarity needed to educate your potential partner. Some things to consider include background information, purpose, messaging, objectives, scope of work, target audience, timelines, budget, deliverable expectations, desired outcomes and additional requirements.
Once these key items have been determined, assess your team’s skill set by identifying internal resources and the facets of the project they can manage. When you have a creative brief prepared and an understanding of internal bandwidth, build out a list of expectations for your creative partner. Don’t forget, transparency is key! Providing clear objectives and outlining your needs will make the creative process much smoother, which in turn will build a stronger partnership.
Seeking Your Match
Now is the exciting part, searching for a creative partner! Remember to look for someone whose vision will align with yours, someone you can trust and be honest with and someone that will challenge you, in a good way. A great creative partner will not only understand and meet your goals, but they will also push the boundaries of what can be achieved.
To find your match, access your personal network for recommendations, and then do some research. A great place to start is on the agency’s website, here you can get a better understanding of their services and experience. Evaluate core values, see if their previous work has demonstrated results, check if they have experience within your industry, assess the narrative they are telling and see if it fits in within your own goals.
Be on the lookout for these three things when you meet with potential partners:
- Chemistry: Your relationship with the perfect creative partner will feel good and interacting with them is natural. You’ll always look forward to your next meeting with them. You’ll be confident in the partnership and wouldn’t imagine doing it without them.
- Clarity: They are upfront and honest. You both feel comfortable setting clear expectations with one another and there is no confusion around the work you are doing together.
- Comfort: You’ll have comfort in knowing what comes next and knowing that they are there with you throughout the whole process, to lead, to inspire and to grow together.
Working Together Harmoniously
Now that you’ve found your creative soulmate it’s time to start working out all the details. It is important to be as upfront about your needs, expectations, deadlines and expected deliverables as possible in the beginning. It’s also extremely important to be in constant contact with them by keeping the lines of communication open.
Once expectations are in place, have a conversation about the frequency of creative check-ins. These meetings are the prime time for collaboration. They will not only help push ideas forward, but are important to keeping all involved parties up to date with the ever evolving landscape of the creative project. This also provides the opportunity to give creative feedback, which in our opinion is one of the most important aspects to the creative process.
One thing to note is that creativity is an ongoing, collaborative journey. Once you and your creative partner are comfortable engaging and collaborating with each other, it will be a beautiful experience that’ll set you both up for success.
Whether you’re seeking new creative talent, thinking about switching creative partners or just planning ahead, know that there is someone out there for you! Through diligent preparation, thorough research, creative vetting and clear communication, you too can build a lasting relationship with your own creative partner.