The Hardest Thing About Running a Creative Agency that Nobody Talks About

“It’s week three and we still haven’t gotten any sign-ups to our app from your activities.” – the client almost shouts into the phone.

“If we work with an expert we expect results.” – he stresses.

“But we’re only managing your Instagram with the goal of sending traffic to your blog. See that traffic went up by 50%?!” – I contest.

“I don’t care about traffic if people don’t sign up to my app.” – the client reveals.

“Well …. but that’s what you told me that you wanted and that’s what you bought…” – I think to myself.



This dialog is the PERFECT example of why it is hard to work with clients – especially in the marketing industry.


Defining the scope of work and clearly defining the goal outcome is essential. Otherwise, the client will always resent you.

You kind of have to be one step ahead of the client. Sometimes they will tell you all they want is growth in followers – don’t believe them. Most of them will want results (sales). So make it clear that the brand will not immediately drive sales unless they execute other strategies like paid ads themselves.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hired for a low budget startup client to “just manage their Social Media and grow the community”.

Weeks later I have to deal with their anger about how their shop hasn’t been blowing up.

Of course it didn’t – we are just growing the community. We haven’t once right-hooked the community to buy nor have we been running ads. That’s not what they hired me to do.

Lesson learned: OVERCOMMUNICATE. DEFINE THE KPIs that they can hold you accountable to. STICK TO THE SCOPE OF WORK.

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