As a company, sooner or later, you’ll have to start collaborating with other agencies, either through partnerships, outsourcing deals or some other arrangements. The problem is that most of these companies have different values, internal structures and overall business model. This isn’t that strange, seeing as how they belong to industries in which a different work model might be mandatory. So, here are some tips on how you can better coordinate with the agency or individual, form better agency relationships and get the most out of this bond.
1. Be transparent
The first thing you need to do is try to be as transparent as possible. When hiring someone you intend to work with, you need to keep them informed in order to let them do their job. Think about hiring a marketing agency. It would be incredibly easy for them to land you in a lawsuit by falsely advertising if they don’t understand your product or service that well. Moreover, they need to market your corporate values to the public and this becomes much harder if they don’t understand what you’re all about.
2. Outline expectations
Another thing you need to do is clearly outline and state is your expectations since having unrealistic expectations is the easiest way to get disappointed. Aside from this, by outlining your expectations early on, you’re giving your partners a chance to back down gracefully. If they see that they can’t do what you ask, they can just tell you so or outright refuse. If not, you’re definitely not at fault when the job doesn’t get delivered. Furthermore, by being as specific as possible, you’re maximizing the chance that the work will be done exactly as you’ve intended it to be.
3. Show examples
In most cases, it’s better to show what you want rather than to state it verbally. The reason behind this is a pretty straightforward one. First of all, if something was already done, this means that it isn’t unrealistic (you would be surprised at just how many client demands are). This is even more accurate if the feat was pulled off by a company from the same niche or the same size. Lastly, not everyone is as good with words, especially when it comes to the technical part of the explanation. Showing it instead gives experts in your employ an opportunity to figure out their own way around this.
4. Learn about their niche
While most agencies try to give you a report or a rundown you can understand, sometimes you have to learn a technical term or two on your own. Sure, you don’t have to go in depth, yet, understanding conversion rates, page length duration and on-site optimization a bit better may help you better understand SEO reports delivered by your digital marketing agency. This doesn’t take much time and helps you run a much more efficient operation. Furthermore, if you want this process to be automated, there are numerous tools for SEO reports online you might want to take a closer look at.
5. Ask someone else for an opinion
Sometimes you’ll be too involved (both emotionally and administratively) to make an accurate estimate on the situation you are in. In that case, it might be for the best to bring in an outsider and ask them for an opinion on this topic. Of course, it can’t be a complete outsider, seeing as how you need someone who understands the circumstances in both organizations. In other words, you need a skilled mediator to help you coordinate between agencies (especially in a case of a conflict). This is the main reason why the position of a corporate liaison exists in the first place.
6. Try establishing an informal communication
Finally, while being formal is often considered a matter of etiquette, keep in mind that this might get in the way of clear information exchange in more ways than one. First of all, just the fact that you have to choose words carefully is quite restricting and might, even by accident, end up concealing an important piece of information. Sure, courtesy is important, yet, it should never get in the way of efficiency. As partners, you need to learn how to talk clearly and openly.
Without proper communication, there’s no collaboration and the sooner you realize this, the better your odds are at making it in the business world.
Of course, things can go wrong for whatever reason, yet, the problem with these mistakes lies in just how easily preventable they are. Sometimes, in order to prevent a disaster, you just have to speak plainly and clearly against it, yet, this is a skill that many in the corporate world tend to underestimate.