8 out of 10 clients come to me because they were burned by an agency 😔. I have been on both sides of this. When I was working in house, I hired MANY agencies and they all seemed to follow the same structure:
- Start out amazing. Get the best account managers and the best designers.
- First quarter - show great results!
- Second quarter - get a new account manager and new designer.
- Third quarter - results and creative are not so great.
- Fourth quarter - Complain or leave agency.
- First quarter - Get a new agency.
When I started freelancing I swore up and down that I would never work with agencies (except for whitelabel) - I had the same bad experiences that my clients had and I didn't want my name to be associated with that sus agency vibe.
But then I met Andriy from <h1-link>Flowium<h1-link>.
He was a freelance email marketing expert with a lot of clients. I think he was managing over 20 clients on his own 🤯. He asked me to do some design projects and I really enjoyed working with his accounts. What I didn't realize was that in addition to managing all these clients, he was building an agency behind the scenes (plus a bunch of other stuff, I'm not sure how he sleeps). Over the next year or so the amount of clients was growing, a slack channel was born, and the team quickly grew. All of a sudden I was not just a freelancer, I was part of the Flowium team.
So why did I stay?
The difference with Flowium is how it's run. Every team member has complete autonomy. They make their own schedule, they pick and choose their projects and they can say no to anything they don't want to work on. That means that the design doesn't suffer, because designers can switch projects. Plus, all of the designers are vetted (.....mostly by me 😆) so the clients are always happy.
How do I balance <h1-link>Flowium<h1-link> + direct clients?
I'm still working on this tbh. I have arrived at a point in my freelancing career where I am able to pick and choose the clients I want to work with vs needing to take every single lead. But even with the flexibility I have, I am still working how how to best balance everything. The tools I use have been critical to managing this, in addition to hiring other freelancers to help me with ops tasks like running my website (👋🏾 Hi Bernice)
I hope this helps your potentially negative view of marketing agencies. And if you're a designer looking for an amazing place to work, reach out anytime :)