Hub spot ebook_-_why_you_get_fired

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  • 1. 1[AGENCY EBOOK]WHY YOU GET FIREDThe most frequent breaking points in the client/agency relationship & how to avoid them.A Publication of HubSpot s Partner Program

2. 2ABOUT THE AUTHOR Julie Devaney is a Director with the HubSpot Services Team, managing a team in Cambridge, as well as the international services organization in Dublin, Ireland. Prior to management, she was an account manager for the HubSpot VAR channel, and has worked closely with hundreds of agencies. Before HubSpot, Julie was a Human Capital Consultant with Deloitte Consulting, working around the country with clients to lead strategic change and technology adoption projects. Julie is from the Greater Boston area and a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University Schreyer Honors College. @jalicedev 3. 3TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction / 4 Who Does What?/ 8 Dont Become an Order-Taker/ 13 Vet the Relationship/ 18 Close the Loop/ 21 Conclusion / 24 More Resources / 26 4. 4INTRODUCTIONTHE MARRIAGE BETWEEN AGENCY AND CLIENT 5. 5A MARRIAGE / INTRODUCTION The relationship between marketing agencies and their clients is a lot like a marriage. You meet, you court, you fall in love, you get married. Then, like all good marriages, you enjoy a honeymoon. It could be a few weeks or a few months. After that, like any marriage, you come to a fork in the road. You will either go on to live happily ever after or you will experience the business equivalent of a divorce you will get fired. Dumped. Canned. It all seemed so good, so promising. You signed a contract, they were paying their retainers (and on time, at that!). You were optimizing their SEO, ghostwriting their blogs, tweeting, posting fabulous things for them on Facebook, and doing the things their business needed done to generate more traffic and drive more leads.k 6. THE HONEYMOON IS OVER Then, one day, your normally hyper-responsive client doesnt return the emails or texts you sent. You left a voice mail, but that wasnt returned the same day as they usually are. When you finally do connect, that enthusiasm in their voice is gone. You werent feeling the love. You soon get that one-line email that says, Can you send me a copy of our contract? Your gut tells you those retainer checks wont be coming much longer.k k X 7. 7HINDSIGHT IS ALWAYS 20/20 You should have seen it coming, right? The last-minute canceled meetings, the questions about what it is that you do exactly, the way they no longer look you in the eye. Then, they pull the trigger. Youre not really providing any value, theyre not seeing the results they expected, they can do this themselves. Youre fired. Adios, amigo. So, where did you go wrong? You didnt hit Reply All when you thought you were just telling your co-worker you thought the outfit the client wore at lunch today was inappropriate. You didnt post a picture of them at the Christmas party on their Facebook page or yours. L 20/20After studying more than 500 of these breakup conversations, weve learned that its almost never a major screw-up that leads an agency to getting fired; its a lot of little things that add up over time. You know, just like a marriage leaving the toilet seat up, saying things like Youre not planning to wear that, are you? or answering Do I look fat in this? the wrong way (which, by the way, is a trick question; theres no right way to answer that one). This ebook discusses the most common mistakes weve made so that youre not on the receiving end of even the kinder, gentler version of getting fired Its not you, its us followed by, Send us your final invoice. 8. 8CHAPTER 1AFTER I DO, WHO DOES WHAT? 9. 9AFTER I DO, WHO DOES WHAT? Like a marriage, agency-client relationships often end because both parties arent clear about what to expect from the other. Like everything else in the Internet age, agencies need to be transparent with their clients if the relationship is to succeed. Its not enough to have a contract. Ask any lawyer and youll find out there are plenty of ways to interpret the exact same words in an agreement. You may think the contract means one thing while the client thinks it means something else. Or, they may place more emphasis on one aspect of the agreement than you think it deserves so you dont emphasize it when you execute the work for them. 10. 101. REVIEW THE AGREEMENTrSit down with the client and go over the agreement orally several times. Try to find different ways to repeat the terms of the contract and how you will execute it so that everyones expectations are the same. Some clients may say they dont care about such minutiae, but it bears asking them to hear you out. If they dont understand what youre doing, why youre doing it, and how you will get it done, they arent as vested in the relationship and ultimately, they dont find value in it.And, if they dont value in what you do, sooner or later you will get fired. Try to find little things they can do to be part of the process. Ask them for blog topics, enlist their help getting staff photos for Facebook posts, something that engages them in your work together. Even if they ask to be kept out of the loop, strive for at least a 30-minute monthly meeting to go over goals and what youve accomplished. If one partner doesnt understand whats it like to have to do the dishes every night and the other has no idea whats involved in keeping the yard presentable, neither has an appreciation of the effort it takes to do both. 11. 112. DEFINE DEFINITION Famously (or infamously, your call), during his impeachment trial, former President Clinton said, That depends on what the definition of is is. That may be a bit of overparsing, but we were surprised to learn how many people who fired their agency did so because they didnt fully understand the terms of the contract and the definitions within them. Some of the more common terms, conditions, and arrangements frequently misunderstood or misinterpreted include:1 2Contract Length Go over what you expect the client to do, when, and for how long. If you signed a six-month agreement, payable on the 1st of the month, late on the 10th, be sure they understand they are liable for six months of payments due on the 1st of every month.Communication Establish up front how often the client will hear from you and, as appropriate, how often, you expect feedback from them. Will it be a daily call? Weekly? Monthly? Will it be one thing at the beginning of the relationship and something different down the line? Make sure everyone is clear about your communications arrangement. 12. 3 4Activity & Results Although you may not be able to promise specific results, you can identify the activities and services you will provide and the goals you will target on the clients behalf. An example might be: The agency will provide three blog posts per week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), between 500 and 600 words each with a goal of increasing readership by 100 percent within 120 days and lead generation by 15 percent within six months.Costs & Communications Nobody likes surprises on an invoice. Be clear from the start what charges your clients can expect. If there will be Web or application development charges, marketing software licenses (such as HubSpot), ad placement charges, or any other fees, let the client know what to expect and, as best you can, how much.w Good surprises sustain a relationship. Bad surprises are relationship killers. 13. 13CHAPTER 2DONT BECOME AN ORDER TAKER 14. 14DONT BECOME AN ORDER TAKER Even if the client understands the terms and definition of your contract, even if theyve bought in to why they need to be actively engaged with your agency, there is still the possibility of the relationship souring. It often starts with a simple request, for example, putting together an infographic or looking at a couple of paragraphs in an email blast the client intends to send on their own. Your gut reaction is to think, Cool, more money for us. The truth is, the client just niggled their way into taking control of the relationship in ways that can hurt you and them. Why? Not because these things may be outside the scope of the contract per se, but because they may be outside the scope of the strategy you and the client agreed on. If you help with an email, if you create an infographic, if tweak the keywords in SEO, you may start bringing the scope of your work out of alignment with the goals and strategies you agreed to. From there, its a slippery slope to the client questioning why theyre paying more but not seeing more or better results. And before you know it, you and your client are a couple no more.n n 15. 15SIDEBAR: WHY I FIRED MY AGENCY Look at Brian Signorellis blog post, Why I Fired My Marketing Agency. He offers the following three tips for agency owners and managers: 1. Don't Forget Why You Were Hired Keep sight of why you were hired. Keep sight of the goals, pursue them relentlessly. 2. Challenge (the Hell Out of) Your Clients Assumptions Chances are your clients have a good reason for wanting to figure this social media thing out or why they need a new website. But maybe not. Ask Why? and dont move forward until you understand why theyre needed and how they tie into the strategy and goals youve set. 3. Measure Your Impact on the Client's Business Measure Analyze. Repeat. If you want those retainer checks to keep coming, you need to demonstrate your impact on the bottom line. Solid, credible analytics are your best friend. Really. It all comes down to staying focused on the goals and the strategies behind them. When a new request comes in thats outside the parameters of your goals and strategies, try asking these questions: Why do you think doing this is necessary? What is our goal in doing this? How does this new goal align with our previous goals? What results are you expecting when we do this? Asking these questions demonstrates a genuine concern for your clie