Why Synergy Matters Most
Andrew Tuzson – Chief Executive Officer
In the early days of agency life, most creative organizations are forced to engage in projects that don’t exude passion. Let’s face it, you’re a young company, you need the revenue, and you want to expand the portfolio. I completely get it, but I’m here to tell you to do the opposite. While revenue is the lifeblood of your business, passion is just as important. A team that lacks passion is one that will quickly lose its drive to create the best possible deliverable for a project. A lack of passion will create a literal dumpster fire within your organization.
I was recently faced with a situation where I was forced to part ways with a client. To be honest, we should have applied our due diligence on the front end and identified the project wasn’t a good fit for the agency. The client had unrealistic expectations and our team found the project to be lackluster with respect to the space in which the client operated. This quickly became dangerous, as working on the project felt more like a job than the passion-fueled experience we create within the walls of Evol HQ. Instead of pointing the finger, I spent time reflecting on the situation and ended up pointing the thumb and claiming the blame for the project turning sideways.
As an organization, you must identify the types of projects you need to be working on. Do you have a resounding drive to develop badass healthcare websites? If so, you need to hyper-focus your efforts on that space and keep the blinders on. This laser precision will serve you to better solidify the space and deliverables you need to be operating within. It is perfectly ok to have multiple focuses, just identify them and get them on paper. That level of clarity is not only good for you as a leader but amazing for your team, as there is no ambiguity as to what you are seeking to achieve.
Once you have identified the space you are going to crush, you need to focus on which deliverables you are going to excel at. Too many agencies and freelancers spread themselves thin without the infrastructure to support a wide array of deliverable offerings – we are trying to be everything to everyone for the sake of the almighty dollar. This is another recipe for sucking the passion and life right out of your team. If you know you are going to focus on web development, SEO, SEM, and social media STOP PEDDLING EMAIL SUPPORT. Focus on what matters, what makes you happy, what you enjoy, and where you can make your best margin. If you can check these four off of the list regarding a deliverable, you have won.
Lastly, understand that relationship is everything. In our early meetings with prospective clients, not only are we working to identify the scope of a project, we are also interviewing the prospective client as if they were interviewing for a job. Will this project fit our culture? Will we have synergy with this client? What red flags do we see that are indicative of this becoming a tough relationship? These questions are imperative and allow us to better qualify the projects that will allow for client synergy. If your agency isn’t the point where you can be selective regarding the types of projects you work on, be selective with the types of relationships you foster. Trust me, working for great people is the easiest way to allow passion to thrive, even if the project isn’t super “sexy.”
To sum up, you are working to develop a business, a culture, a brand, a reputation, and a book of business. There are so many variables and factors that go into this being accomplished effectively and you must safeguard yourself and protect your team if you plan to scale out your organization. Failing to do so will yield lackluster deliverables, a sour culture, and relationships with clients that are problematic and negative.