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Why all agencies should treat themselves like a top client

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All agencies should treat themselves like a top client / rawpixel.com

We’ve all been there. The rebrand that’s been planned for over a year, the website that desperately needs updating or the discarded awards submission – all stretching far beyond their assigned deadlines as client work continues to come in and take precedence.

After all, as agencies, our clients are our business. We get paid for the work that we do and therefore it’s understandable to regard any internal work as taking precious hours away from billable time. Yet, our business is our most important asset; we should be using the skills and experience we and our team already have from working with our clients to keep on top of internal work.

Here are five top tips for redressing the balance:

Schedule your time alongside client work

If you don’t meet client deadlines, it’s a real problem. Internal deadlines are easier to push back as you’re only answerable to yourselves, but that’s a mindset you should avoid. Ensure you have the resource to do the work needed as well as all your client work and if not, consider whether you should bring somebody else onto the team.

Treat your tasks as you would a client brief

The problem with doing internal work is that often it’s done on an ad hoc basis and then when urgent client work comes in, it gets left to be picked up whenever. If you treat yourself like a client and set up a work schedule, editorial calendar etc, it’s much easier to get stuff done.

Similarly, make sure you’re aware of what the value is of what you’re working on internally. Price up your projects based on what you would charge if you were doing the same work for a client. This makes it much easier to work out the ROI of what you’re doing, and therefore show the value of it.

Invest in outsourcing if you need to

If you needed something specific when working on a content campaign, such as illustrations, you wouldn’t get someone in your team with no experience to work on it. You’d find a freelancer to work with. Similarly, if nobody in your business has experience with branding, don’t try and get that done in-house.

Monitor and report on wins that you can attribute to your work

It’s easier to justify the work that you’re putting into your own brand if you can measure and report on successes like you do for clients. Ensure that you’re aware of increases in leads coming in from award wins or additional visits to a new website.

Put yourself on retainer

Schedule time on an ongoing basis to cover necessary updates. For example, new case studies, problems with website, awards suabmissions etc. This ensures that there won’t be a rush to fit things in during a particularly busy month.

Lauren MacRae is PR and marketing manager at Yard Digital.

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