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Hiring a Creative Team? Look for These 6 Must-Have Qualities

by Rachel Pluck

Choosing a creative team is a tough decision that can drastically change the outcome of your marketing endeavors.

You need to make sure that the team you select is the right team for the job at hand.

But how do you make up your mind when there are so many choices out there? From large legacy agencies to small shops to solopreneurs, use these guidelines to help you find your ideal creative team.

1. They offer the services you’re looking for

If you’re searching for a creative team, you should already have a project in mind that you’d like them to work on, or multiple projects in the case that you’re looking for a creative group to be your agency of record.

As you scour the Internet and search for referrals from your professional network, keep an eye out for the list of services each contender offers. Some agencies specialize in niche services where others cover a more general marketing umbrella.

If you absolutely know you want to produce high-quality video for a social media/vlogging series, or need to work in a particular content management system, look for a creative team or agency that has the capability of doing that.

2. They have an impressive portfolio

What’s the best way to determine the quality of work this creative team produces? By looking at their past work.

Most agencies will have a digital portfolio available right on their website that you can peruse. On the other hand, if you’re executing a full Request For Qualifications/Request For Proposal process to find the right team, you can request a portfolio of work be submitted.

If you’re not a fan of their past work, chances are this creative team isn’t the right fit for your business.

3. They’ve been around for a while

A great piece of criteria to consider when selecting a creative team is how long they’ve been in business and how long their average client relationships last.

If a creative team has weathered the years, chances are good they’re doing something right.

Likewise, if an agency has an average client relationship lasting several years depending on how long they’ve been around, that’s a good sign that they know how to meet and exceed expectations set before them.

Now, this does not mean that agencies that have been around for ages are always better than a new up-and-comer. It’s important to look at the parts that make up the whole: The actual people on the team.

Keep in mind the type of projects you have for them. Many newer digital agencies have employees with extensive experience from previous gigs that could prove invaluable to your business.

4. Their team dynamic meshes well with yours

Is their personality a good fit for your business?

Making sure to find a team with a creative energy that complements your business personality well is crucial as it will set the tone for all future communications.

Searching for a creative agency is a lot like online dating: You want to make sure you’re compatible as much as possible before taking the plunge. If you feel awkward or uncomfortable during an initial meeting, let that be a sign that this might not be the perfect fit. Similarly, if the conversation gels, and the vibe feels right, take that into consideration too.

Open up the lines of communication with contenders during the decision-making process so you can get a better idea of how you would actually work together after signing on the dotted line.

5. They know your industry

Finding a creative team with demonstrated knowledge and experience working in your field, especially when you’re not well-versed in design or marketing, can really improve your overall relationship.

Think of it this way: They can come to the table already understanding the nuances, regulations or overall challenges presented by your niche and have been able to perform within those confines already.

6. The price is right

If your project is small and you’re working with a tighter budget, it’s important to keep that in mind as you conduct your search.

Look for a creative team that will be able to produce the caliber of work you need at a budget that works for your bottom line.

Remember: a smaller budget does not mean you have to settle.

It also doesn’t mean that a firm requesting a higher budget for the task at hand is wrong. Everyone has different overhead costs and other that affect their pricing structure.

Take the time (and it may take some time) to find a creative team that can effectively drive your marketing at the right price.

Finding the right creative agency for the job is no easy task. But taking the time in the beginning to make sure you’re selecting the right team will make your job a lot easier in the future.

Ready to start your search? Let’s see how we can work together.

What do you look for in a creative team? Let us know on Twitter.

Photo by John Price on Unsplash

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About Rachel Pluck

Rachel Pluck is a communications specialist for Jessica Lawlor & Company (JL&Co), focusing on content and digital marketing. She previously spent four years in the marketing world, working in-house at a tourism bureau before joining a full-service marketing agency and is currently the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Clark Associates Inc. In addition to her 9-to-5 responsibilities, Rachel is a photographer specializing in landscapes and family portraits.

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