Recently, on my way home from work, I’ve noticed a sign on one of the traffic lights as I turn off the freeway. It says, ‘Websites from $99. Call 04xxxxxxx’ and nothing else.
What I find most strange about this sign – among many strange things – is there is no web address to show what sort of websites this person is offering. It might be the case that if you call up they supply a link, but the important word in that sentence is ‘if’.
To get to the point of picking up the phone you would either need to have the kind of memory that can store phone numbers, or risk a fine for using your phone in the car to either call the number or take a picture of it.
Part of me wants to ring the number and ask them just how much work has come via this sign, but personally I can’t imagine why anyone would even call when the sign offers no link to a website for a web design business.
Surely a web designer would be happy to share examples of their work. And I would have thought it was industry standard to have your own page on any form of advertising – no matter how simple – to show what you can do.
I don’t think this is too unreasonable a request and something anyone should consider when looking for a Content Marketing or Video Production agency. Saying you do something and actually doing it are sometimes completely different. Don’t be afraid to ask to see examples of a company’s work before you make up your mind.
Here are three things to consider when choosing whom you want to work with:
Can they supply you examples of their work?
Content marketing, in particular, has become something of a buzzword around the agency world over the last 12-18months. From relatively humble beginnings it now seems everyone worth their salt is a content producer/content marketer. If you are thinking of going down the content route don’t be afraid to ask for examples from the prospective agencies you are dealing with, from both in-house and external projects.
Are they writing their own blog? Creating a podcast or video series? Are they up-to-date with the latest industry goings-on and can they demonstrate an understanding of the thinking as well as the doing.
Video production is no different. Ask to see examples of a variety of things to make sure you are not dealing with a one-trick pony. It’s easy for companies to default to the same position each time, but if you want something different ask questions to see if they are capable of doing it.
How much of the work is done in-house?
Understanding the company’s capabilities is also an important thing to consider. Are they able to deliver what you need when you need it and what resources do they have in-house?
When it comes to anything video related, do they have their own in-house team of camera operators or editors? Have they got their own motion graphics gurus or animators? Do they have producers who understand what you’re trying to achieve and will work with you across the project at every stage?
Make time for a meeting
We are all human and as much as we may like to think we leave our emotions in check, it’s almost certain we are more likely to do business with people we like.
If you get to the stage where you are looking to work with an agency or organisation, you have probably taken a bit of time to get to that point, and you will most likely have ideas you feel passionate about. You want the people you choose to work with to feel the same.
If a company is willing to come out and meet you, or have you over to talk things through, you can see in their eyes how they feel about things and ultimately determine whether you like them.
It’s easy to hide behind emails but nothing beats a face-to-face chat to really get to know a person and their business.
There may be a lot to be said of a $99 website, but sourcing companies who aren’t prepared to show you their capabilities may end up costing you a lot more in the long run.