Last reviewed: 02 March 2021Help us improve this content
Find out why groups and organisations often struggle to create a good working relationship with their digital agency or freelancer. If you’re about to build a new website or start a new digital service try this approach to get better results.
Before you recruit a digital agency or freelancer, it’s important to understand:
It shows a process that starts at arm's length can cause these problems.
Once an agency sees a brief they aren’t always allowed to ask questions verbally, which causes these problems.
This means at the next stage, the client and agency can set off talking at cross-purposes. And much time and budget is spent repairing the working relationship.
You can keep fairness in your process and choose a better way to recruit your digital partner.
Follow this format.
Break it up. Use shorter sentences, bullet points and section headers to make it readable.
Focus on user needs. The person you appoint needs to understand why you want the things you want, so they can ensure you’re asking for the right features. Tell them who you’re trying to help and how. Make it clear that you expect user-led design.
Explain what skills you want from them. You will usually want them to:
Be open about the process. Give concrete facts like project budget, number of other agencies you’re inviting to bid. Then agencies know where they stand.
Include conversations as part of the process. Build opportunities to talk into the change to respond. You don’t want to be trading big documents back and forth. Talking is the best way to communicate the essence of a project. If you need to follow procedure for fairness then you can share the important facts from these conversations with all bidding agencies.
You’ve got a good brief. Who are you going to send it to? How do you create a strong shortlist?
Consider allocating a portion of your project budget to pay two shortlisted agencies for a day of their time. This isn’t about asking them to pitch or present. It’s about testing their understanding of your brief and if you can work together.
Invite them to run a two-hour kick-off workshop with a brief to imagine they’ve won the project and how they’d start.
What can you expect from this?
Once you’ve chosen the right partner you need to keep the right conversations going to put together a contract. Read this guide on how to have great conversations with digital partners.
This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 02 March 2021
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