Gaining new contracts can sometimes be problematic when you can’t speak about who your last client was, or what you did for them. Yet this is a situation I often find myself in. I’m not exactly meeting new clients down dark alleyways, but it can sometimes feel a little like that.
“Come alone, no cops… or other agencies.”
I am talking about the work that I do for (often) agencies who have made a name for themselves doing the kind of work I do for them. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?
TL;dr, I do creative work where creative agencies are the client, PR work for PR agencies and re-branding work for branding agencies. It may sound crazy, or even that the agencies in question may be struggling in some way. But it is simply a relationship that makes sense. The client is too close to the work. They can’t see the wood for the trees. They need someone with an outside perspective to come in, take a fresh look and sort it all out. Fast.
This relationship also bypasses office and organisational politics. Yes, someone has to make the decision to hire me (usually the CEO/founder/owner), but I have no interest in the power struggles that can happen when a company needs to change. No dog in the fight, other than what I perceive as the best way to solve a problem or boost performance.
I have helped branding agencies – who are excellent at helping big brands on design, storytelling and marketing – to look at themselves and what their brand is today. I have also re-booted communications agencies who are feeling a little tired or out of touch. I regularly come up with new ideas for creative agencies when they are stuck.
But these names don’t appear on portfolios, CVs or websites, as both they and I know the value of a relationship that works on trust, privacy and value. Yes it can be frustrating, or even look like I could be making half of this up. But the honest application of expertise that comes with working in the dark offers value that few can offer.