“Done For You, Not Without You”: a collaborative approach to web design, content creation and marketing
by John Kelleher on 22 January 2020
If we were to conjure up a mental image of the kind of client we’d most like to avoid at ESM Inbound, it would be someone who comes to us with a plea: “Just take this completely off my hands. I don’t want to think about it. I just want to see the results when you’re done.”
Some other agencies would welcome this imaginary client, seeing it as the ideal opportunity to take the money and run. If it’s a standalone project, such as a website, they may quell any concerns about potential problems further down the line, thinking they’ll just charge extra for that, crossing that bridge when it comes. At ESM Inbound we work in a more collaborative way. We have evolved our processes to build in a healthy amount of consultation with clients, to ensure we are all on the same page.
This way of working is so integral to our approach, we’ve come up with a strapline to describe it: “Done For You, But Not Without You.”
We expect you to do your own due diligence to work out if we are the right agency for you. Running through a list of questions such as the ones our HubSpot partner friends over at Spitfire Inbound suggest, is a good way to ensure that the agency you pick is experienced, trustworthy, and expert.
No agency can take the sketchiest of briefs and most uncollaborative client and come up with a miracle design or strategy that hits the nail on the head. Anyone who implies otherwise is lying. In the past, where we’ve worked with a couple of ultra hands-off clients who said to us: “We don’t want to hear from you until it’s done…”, the client invariably ended up disappointed with what we delivered. This was a sobering reminder that, at ESM Inbound, that’s just not the kind of relationship we’re looking for. We wish you every happiness in the future and all that, but it won’t be with us.
We’ve learnt from experience that working in partnership with our clients is the only way to deliver results that delight, taking the aspirations and vision of a client and translating it into the site, strategy and content that does the best possible job of marketing their business.
Once you have decided to work with us, the clarity of the initial brief relies on good two-way communication early on. We advise clients to do plenty of thinking before embarking on a big marketing project such as a website redesign. We recommend gathering insight from key players in your business, and creating a wishlist for what you want.
For the 90% of clients out there who don’t want a totally hands-off relationship with their HubSpot agency, within our ‘Done For You, But Not Without You’ approach, there is a lot of flexibility. We’re happy to work in a from-scratch way, helping to devise the strategy and build up a marketing plan in full as part of the scope of work. Or we can work with existing strategy and collateral to create a site redesign, content plan, email campaign, or long-form pillar page content. We can run you through a wide list of options.
Our pricing structure, which we recently reconceived, reflects this flexibility. There’s no need to ‘buy’ a set package of specific assets. We can use the hours you pay for to deliver whatever it is you need most in a given month. We find this approach goes down well with clients, whether they have opted for Growth Driven Design, a standard site build, or a content retainer.
For the duration of a project, we will schedule weekly check-in calls with one of our specialist HubSpot consultants to ensure regular contact, helping us understand your priorities as they evolve. So, say three months in, you want to focus our attention on delivering a strong email campaign, rather than the pillar page and blog post we had budgeted for, we can simply switch the time allocation over to support that.
The weekly calls mean we can constantly gather feedback on how well you feel our work is going. It ensures we have a good sense of our clients’ priorities, pain-points, successes and frustrations. When our team of designers, writers and builders is hard at work creating your assets, we can use interactive tools to show you work in progress as it’s being created, helping to avoid unexpected surprises down the line.
If you’d like to find out more about working with ESM Inbound, book in a call to have a chat with one of our team.