Hiring a creative agency can feel like a shotgun wedding.

You hope you’ve made the right choice but only time will tell. While some level of risk is inevitable, here are 5 questions to ask yourself before saying I do.

1. Do I like the person/people I’m hiring?

What’s like got to do with it? Well, everything.

No matter how big or small a client is, we find branding and website projects get intimate real quick. Because to do a good job, a client has to let us peek under their hood. And this can make the most seasoned of us feel vulnerable.

There is truth to the adage “we hire people we trust and we trust people we like.” Don’t hire someone you don’t like.

2. Do I like their work?

This may seem obvious, but it’s not always. When you resonate with someone (or a team), it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of a new relationship and forget your due diligence.

If you don’t like what you’re seeing in their portfolio, we recommend showing examples of what you do like and asking if they can deliver something similar. This applies to copy, design, development, the overall experience, etc. And if your gut tells you they can’t, keep searching.

3. Do they have a process for getting me from A to Z?

It’s easy to believe the narrative that creatives can’t stick to a process. With the Roger Brand Sprint™, we’ve found the exact opposite to be true—within the constraints of time and process, we unleash talent and creativity.

A simple yet effective question is, “Tell me about your process.”

Having a process increases the likelihood the agency will meet #4.

4. Do they do what they say they’re going to do when they say they’ll do it?

And if not—because life does happen—do they communicate promptly, let you know when they’re going to do it, and acknowledge the impact their slip has on you? In other words, do they take care of their relationship with you?

5. Do they spell out what’s included and excluded in their scope of work?

Without providing some level of detail about what’s included and excluded, key information gets left in the background of obviousness. For example, Business X got a proposal from Agency Y to redesign its website, including its blog, which had 200 blog posts.

Business X reviewed the proposal, saw it included a blog, and assumed their existing blog posts would be imported and formatted.

The project moved along without a hitch until Business X was sent a link to their staging site and saw the blog had been set up with a few dummy blog posts—none of their 200 blog posts had been imported.

When Business X asked Agency Y where the blog posts were, they were told that importing and formatting them was not part of the scope. Agency Y was happy, though, to import them as a change order.

Lack of clarity impacts budgets, schedules, final deliverables, and satisfaction.

In Summary

Choosing the right creative partner can turn a process that often feels intimidating and overwhelming into one that is fun, motivating and empowering—and gets you real results.