Rock Your First Meeting with an Agency

Blog post 5.3.18_prepare mtg agency 280300
May 3, 2018

So, you’re meeting with a digital marketing agency. Here’s what to bring.

Are you meeting with a digital marketing agency soon? Have you considered meeting with one? Whether this is your first time meeting with a digital marketing agency or you’ve met with one before, preparing for the first meeting can be the first step to a game-changing product.

As an award-winning agency, we’ve sat through countless hours of initial meetings with clients across all types of industries. We’ve been in productive client meetings where we come to an understanding with the client from the get-go. But, we’ve also sat through pointless meetings where the idea mill continually churns on to no end.

After sitting through hundreds of both, we’ve learned that preparation on both sides is the key to a great initial meeting. Since, Red Olive does custom digital work and aren’t a template-based agency, everything we produce is specific to your uniqueness and your product. As a potential new client for an agency like ours, there are a few things to have in-hand before the first meeting that’ll be highly beneficial to your (and our) success.

Map Out Your Idea

In order for a digital marketing agency to accurately bid your project, we need two essential things: a well-thought-out idea and a defined scope of work. While many people have good ideas, not everyone has a well-defined idea that they’ve properly thought-out. That’s where the scope of work comes in.

FLOWCHART

The scope of work can be discovered in multiple ways, but the best we’ve found is by using a documented flowchart. These flowcharts detail the specifics of the product and ultimately shows the flow and timeline of your software. By understanding how you want your site to flow, the first meeting will be a lot more seamless, more efficient, and will allow us to deliver a quote, timeline, and budget a lot quicker.

FUNCTION > DESIGN

However, the documented flowchart doesn’t need to be a finalized draft of your site. In fact, more than likely, it won’t be. Rather than worrying about the site’s specific design, color or typography, a documented flowchart shows how your product will flow and how it’ll function. It’s actually the extra mile every digital marketing agency hopes their potential client brings to the table.

THIRD-PARTY PRODUCTS

Along with detailing the core functionality of your product, the documented flowchart also lists the third-parties your project will need to integrate with. These third-parties are all the Application Programming Interface (API) software your product will ultimately interact with. These include: customer portals, logins, QuickBooks, accounting software, inventory tracking programs, and more.

While Red Olive can put together a flowchart for you, this requires additional project time and also increases the risk of out-of-scope work later on.  In order for us to bid your project, we need to know all that your project entails. From idea to completion, the documented flowchart makes a project a lot more seamless and a lot more efficient by helping us bid a lot more accurately.

Do Your Research

From products already on the market to industry competitors, it’s critical you do your research before the first agency meeting. This is especially helpful when it comes to marketing. You’ll have a better understanding of the market, how your product can improve what’s already out there, and what you want your product to accomplish.

STYLE

Other than knowing your competitors, research also allows you to also see the design styles you like. These styles don’t have to come from within your industry, in fact, they can be a completely different industry entirely. But, by having anywhere from 3-5 design styles in mind you’ll help us better understand your aesthetic and how we can include that in your project.

RESEARCH YOUR MVP

Along with researching your competitors and finding your design inspiration, research your MVP. An MVP is a minimal viable product. This research will ultimately help you understand what you want your project to accomplish in the first phase. Then you can envision phase two and three, and what complementary features you’ll want to include later on. This will keep us all on the same page and steered towards the same target during each phase of your project.

Create a List of Questions

For your first meeting with an agency, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the agency beforehand. If your meeting with Red Olive, check out our marketing portfolio and create a list of questions to ask us. From our past projects to likely timelines and necessary budget, there’s nothing that you can’t ask. Even without knowing all the details through your research, you can start planning out which questions you’ll need answered.

DON’T BE
AFRAID TO ASK.

  • What is the timeline?
  • Do you want to stay within a specific budget?
  • Are you looking for specific services?
  • If so, will your budget allow for them?
  • What happens with my current site?
  • Who manages my new product?

These questions can be about our process, how we handle our projects or the specifics of what we plan on creating for you. But, to get the most of your first meeting, have a goal in mind for the first meeting. Do you want to stay within a specific budget? If so, ask if that budget is reasonable. Are you looking for specific services? If so, will your budget allow for them? Make sure your questions cover all the areas you’re concerned about.

More importantly, don’t be afraid to ask. We’d rather you ask us than leave the meeting wondering. Our goal during the first meeting is to get a clear vision from the beginning. By you asking all your questions first, it’ll reduce time and headaches later on for both of us.

Keep in mind that all of these steps can be a rough draft. What you bring to the meeting will, most likely, not be what you take out of it. We’re here to help you understand, refine, and, ultimately, develop your idea. Although the first meeting is about getting to know each other and how will help bring your idea to life, the entire Red Olive process is about improving upon that idea and increasing your conversion rate.

Come to the first meeting prepared. Have a documented flowchart in-hand. Know your MVP. Do your research. Ask questions. But, most importantly, keep an open mind. The first meeting will be all about your idea and our suggestions. Come with an open mind, prepared to discuss your idea and the initial meeting will be the first of many.

Transform your idea into a digital masterpiece, contact our team to get started today.