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Hiring a Digital Agency: 6 Red Flags to Watch Out For

Oct 26

If you're looking for a digital agency, you presumably already know the benefits they can provide for your company. Working with a reputable digital agency is great for keeping up with the most recent technological developments and assisting you in expanding your online customer base. However, how can you know which one is best for you when there are so many options available?

One of the ways to make sure that you're making the right is decision is by being aware of the various red flags indicating an agency isn't the right fit for you. So for this blog post, we'll go through six cautionary signs that you should avoid at all times when hiring a digital agency. 

1. Their Portfolio is Filled with Subpar Work

Any reputable digital agency will have a portfolio that features examples of their best work. After all, one of the first things you'll look at when deciding whether or not to recruit someone is their portfolio. If their portfolio is jam-packed with subpar work, that is a huge warning sign that they are not the agency for you.

Work that is of low quality may include shoddy branding, shoddy design, or poor functioning. A solid sign that an agency won't be able to provide high-quality work for you is if they can't even be bothered to present their best work in their own portfolio.

Additionally, avoid companies who only have a small number of projects in their portfolio. They can be new to the field or just haven't had a lot of opportunity to work with clients yet. Although this can't possibly be a bad thing, you should be careful and ensure that their work is of a high caliber.

2. They Don't Provide Transparency Regarding Their Pricing or Process

An agency that is secretive about its procedures or costs is another major cautionary sign. They might be trying to hide something if they are unwilling to share information with you.

Working with a digital agency requires understanding what is involved. This entails being aware of how they operate, how they set their prices, and what kind of schedule they aim for. It is preferable to move on and look for a more transparent agency if one is reluctant or unable to provide you with this information.

A good agency should be willing to discuss with you a number of processes, including:

  • How they proceed from discovery to delivery
  • How they'll collaborate with your group
  • How their project management methodology looks
  • How frequently they will contact you
  • The many tactics they will employ
  • What kind of analytics and data they'll offer

It is preferable to avoid engaging business if they're not open about any of these information.

Additionally, navigating pricing can be challenging. Some agencies offer a flat fee for their services, while others charge by the hour. It's critical to understand what you're paying for and the hourly rate of the agency. If they won't reveal their pricing, it's either because it's too expensive or they're trying to con you.

3. They Lack Case Studies or Testimonials from Previous Clients

An other indication of a quality digital agency is the presence of client testimonials and case studies. It's a warning sign that an agency may not have much experience working with clients if they are unable to provide any references or case studies.

Because they provide an account from actual clients of what it was like to work with the agency, testimonials are crucial. They can provide you with information on the caliber of the job, the effectiveness of their communication, and their ability to fulfill deadlines. Case studies are useful because they provide samples of the work done by the agency and how it was carried out.

It is preferable to go on and locate another agency if one cannot furnish any references or case studies.

4. They Refuse to Offer an Estimate or Proposal Up Front

Another indication of a quality digital agency is the provision of an estimate or proposal up front. If an agency declines to do this, it is probably either because they lack confidence in their talents or they want to defraud you.

The purpose of proposals is to provide you with an estimate of the cost and duration of the project. Estimates are also useful since they demonstrate the amount of labor the agency believes is required for the project. It is preferable to go on and locate an agency that is more honest about their services if one of these is requested but not offered.

The following information should be included in any proposal or estimate that a reputable digital agency can offer:

  • The project's size and scope
  • The anticipated time frame for completion
  • The budgetary plan is
  • Any unexpected expenses that could occur
  • How the agency intends to produce the intended results

Before making a decision, it's crucial to obtain estimates and proposals from several different agencies. This can help you determine the going fee for the services you require. Additionally, it will assist you in eliminating firms who are pricey or lacking in expertise. It's wise to find another agency if the one you're working with won't give you a proposal or estimate.

5. The Agency Lacks a Clearly Defined Vision for What It Wants to Do With Your Business

An agency's lack of self-assurance is evident if they are unable to articulate their plans for your company. The goals and strategies of a strong digital agency will be crystal obvious to them. They must to be able to give you a road map outlining the actions they will take during the entire process.

They should be able to explain to you up front what kind of outcomes you may anticipate and how long it will take to get there. Finding an agency with greater business-related experience is preferable if the first one is unable to accomplish this.

Additionally, keep an eye out for agencies who over promise to their clients. An agency should be able to provide statistics and outcomes to support any claims that you will see a specific type of return on your investment within a specific time frame. If they are unable to, it is most probable that they are fabricating information in order to gain your business.

In order to assist you accomplish your objectives, a competent digital agency will also be able to collaborate with your staff. They ought to have a procedure set up that enables frequent communication and teamwork. If an agency won't collaborate with you or your team, it generally isn't the ideal fit.

6. Their Response Times to Your Questions are Excessively Long

It's a red flag that an agency is uninterested in working with you if it takes them a long time to answer to your questions. Your enquiries should receive a response from a reputable digital marketing agency within 24 hours. If there is a delay, it is most likely due to their workload or a lack of resources to take on additional clients.

If an agency is unable to match this demand, it is better to look for one that can do so. Keep in mind that you want an agency that can respond quickly to your needs. It's not worth your time to work with an agency that can't even achieve the minimum standards. Even though the time zone differences can be taken into account, a significant delay is not a desirable thing.

What Should You Do If an Agency Raise Any of These Red Flags?

If an agency exhibits any of the red flags, it is preferable to look elsewhere for one with more business-related experience. Working with an agency that is unskilled or unable to meet your needs is not time-efficient. There are several agencies out there that can offer top-notch services.