Let’s say you’re looking for a meaningful, long-term relationship. How would you go about finding it?
Like just about anything these days, you’d probably start online.
You’d sign-up for a dating website, scroll through profiles, and Google the names of interesting candidates. You’d search social media for local, single hangouts and events.
Everyone has an online presence. And with your busy schedule, internet browsing is a quick and convenient way to find contenders for your affection.
But while finding anyone online is easy, identifying a long-term partner takes precision. It also requires mutual interest and intent—both notoriously hard to find.
The same is true when it comes to finding a web agency partnership. There are certainly plenty of options. But it can be hard to eliminate agencies that are superficial and lack ulterior motives.
Without anything else to go on, your initial qualifications for a date are usually based solely on appearances. There are plenty of digital marketing companies that look appealing. They have a great website, a heavy following, catchy slogans, and glitzy, compelling reviews.
Let’s just call them your Tinder Top Picks.
But, when you meet for a precursor dinner, your date is nothing as advertised. She’s so late she almost stands you up. Then, while dodging your questions about her client history, she boasts belligerently about her ability to outsmart Google and Search Engine Optimization.
You’re sorely disappointed.
Give or take a few weeks, you’re dating a new candidate. You enjoy a few outings before reaching your first disagreement. She begrudges your old-fashioned branding while omitting her own shortcomings in web design and innovation. She refuses to reach a compromise, says she has other clients to attend to, and slams the door on her way out.
Suddenly, you feel like you’re in college again, aimlessly being played. You feel empty, let down, and two-timed.
Yet again, your business has been sidetracked by an empty, meaningless fling.
The truth is, many web and digital marketing agencies love nothing more than to take your initial time and investment, perform poor web servicing, and ghost you. They’re in the business solely to cut corners and take the easy way out.
Maybe these companies fear an inability to succeed. Maybe they’re unwilling to put in hard work for something phenomenal. Or, maybe, they’re just not that into you.
In any case, despite your integrity and earnestness, you’re the one hurt and back to the drawing board.
Finally, a month later, you’re out to dinner with an agency that asks you a lot of questions, for once. The representative focuses on understanding your organization and your top strategic goals. She is polite and straightforward.
Things are already feeling promising.
By the time the entrées are served, you realize your date hasn’t once acted pretentiously. She isn’t bragging about unrealistic marketing strategies—she just mentions her interests, specialized skills, and company platforms. And while humble about her strengths, she’s also been upfront enough to admit her weaknesses.
After dessert and some laughs, she happily divulges what types of partnership are her best fit. She knows she can’t be everything to everybody. But she does want to make a big impact on the clients she’s qualified to help.
Moreover, she’s not intimidated to discuss the future of your relationship.
At the end of the date, after all you’ve had to share, he’s still focused. He’s taking your number, brainstorming plans, and scheduling the next meeting.
And you’re not left questioning where things stand.
This time, he’s into you.
Like all our #relationshipgoals, effective web agencies are looking for that special someone, too. They know that successful business partners embrace open communication and commitment. They take time to sit with clients and mull over their web and digital marketing concerns while constantly remaining transparent about their own goals and services.
Likewise, they understand the delicate balance between give and take. And they want to be there for your company while continually proving their worth.
If you’re sold on the idea of a shortcut to SEO, or caught up in a simplified, preconceived notion of what digital marketing and web design entails, you’ll fall for false pretenses time and time again. You’ll miss crucial details and overlook red flags—likes requests to own your data and outdated case studies—that leave you cheated.
And in the meantime, you’ll pass up amazing opportunities and alliances.
Now is your chance to take a deeper, more proactive approach to your business partnerships. It’s time to ensure they’re a good fit.