Three Lessons Learned After a Year Running an Agency

February 28, 2024
Three Lessons Learned After a Year Running an Agency

The Courtside Group launched just over one year ago, and the past year of serving clients has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Below are three key lessons I have learned this past year running my own agency.

1. Clients Can Feel Your Confidence Levels

Clients and prospects notice levels of confidence (or lack thereof) when agencies are pitching their products and services. If you don't believe in what you are saying, then neither will customers.

On the flipside, passionate and authentic conviction is highly contagious. Clients want to know that you believe in the work you are pursuing. If you don’t believe in it, don’t try to sell it. But if you do believe in it, speak with confidence and conviction!

2. The Best Client Experience Wins

Creatives often believe that this means the best video wins, but this is not the case. While I encourage our team to pursue perfection in all phases from storyboarding to post-production, the client’s big takeaway is often not the quality of our product, but rather how we made them feel. They may not notice that one underexposed shot in a 3-minute video, but they will notice if we didn’t take their business goals into account while crafting a storyline. Their experience throughout the process of delivering them a high-quality product is what truly matters.

These are some questions we have learned to ask ourselves in order to ensure a positive and memorable client experience:

  • Do they feel like we added value?
  • Were their ideas understood and heard?
  • Do they feel like we understand their business model as well as the CEO does? 
  • Did we meet or beat timeline expectations?
  • How was our communication with them throughout the project?

The final deliverables are extremely important for the experience, but they are just one piece of the puzzle. What sets the best companies apart is how they make their customers feel.

3. Give Before You Ask

Standing out in any business is a difficult task. An added layer to this is having your own marketing agency and trying to stand out against the thousands of other marketing agencies.

So, I've learned that our team sometimes has to pivot away from conventional tactics. On sales calls, we'll divulge valuable content strategies right away. We will also be upfront with prospects and clients by communicating to them if they can accomplish their goals without leveraging our services. Then, when we know we can deliver a solution better than anyone else, we will passionately sell.

By delivering value at every chance we get, we may miss out on short-term revenue, but we make it up in spades with long term relationships and trust. A great book on this topic is Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni.

I am certain that I have much more to figure out, but I know that the best way to learn is to get in the game and get started. If you're interested in starting an agency, I'd encourage you to take what you can from the lessons I’ve learned, and apply it to your own journey. If you're a business owner or marketer who wants to chat about how to use video content to grow your business, let’s set up a meeting and see if there is a good fit!

-Kyle Fenner, Founder of The Courtside Group

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