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Productivity - 8 min READ

Our top five tips to managing a creative agency

Discover how to run a creative agency like a pro, from picking the right tools to juggling client and vendor relationships with ease.

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Copper Staff

Contributors from members of the Copper team

Managing a creative agency is a lot of fun… until it’s not.

Running a creative agency is incredibly rewarding, filled with innovative ideas and vibrant personalities. However, it can also be challenging when deadlines are missed and productivity drops. The good news is, there are several ways to make in-house changes that can help get your creative team back on track.

Here are some friendly tips and tools — like Copper CRM — to help you manage your creative agency effectively and get the most out of your creative team.

1. Make teamwork the priority.

As much as it is a cliché, team work really does make the dream work. So if you’re looking to find success within your agency, it’s important to create an environment that fosters collaboration.

Encourage your creatives to provide constructive feedback collectively. Doing it this way turns feedback into a positive experience, motivating everyone to contribute their best ideas.

Instead of singling out individual pieces of work for criticism, focus on how the team can collectively make it better.

This way, feedback becomes a rallying point rather than a source of negativity. Sharing both successes and failures as a team strengthens your creative team's ability to deliver outstanding results. Plus, the happier they are, the more productive they are.

When everyone feels they have a voice, the end result is always more positive.

In fact, your creatives really want to hear what you have to say.

2. Celebrate your team's achievements

While teamwork is super important, giving individual shout-outs is just as key. Everyone on your team responds differently to praise, so it's worth finding out how each person likes to be recognized. A personalized "well done" from you or a client can often mean more to a creative person than a group round of applause.

Even in bigger agencies, it’s important to ask your creatives how they like to be praised. Even this little step will go a long way with building a better relationship with your creative.

So, take a moment to celebrate each person's unique contributions! The only way to keep this consistent (no matter how far your company scales) is to make it a priority for your agency management to address from the start.

The result? You’ll end up with creatives who are more likely to thrive and respond to any feedback or praise.

See how this creative agency collaborates and gets projects done.

3. Scope out each of your creatives' unique skills

When’s the last time you checked in to see what unique skills your creatives have? Is anyone harboring a secret talent that you aren’t using? Once again, the best way to scope out these skills is simple: ask your creatives what their hidden talents are.

When you’ve got all these skills and sub-skills written down in black and white, it’s a lot easier to designate tasks when a project comes in. Having an assessment of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses will allow you to line up the right skills for the right project.

4. Set clear goals and expectations

Ambiguity can be a productivity killer. That’s why it’s key to make sure each team member knows what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the overall project.

Set clear, achievable goals and break down larger projects into manageable tasks.
Something as simple as a timeline on a spreadsheet that you update as you go through a project will hopefully keep everyone on track. Or, try scheduling weekly updates with your creatives to check in with their progress and re-adjust expectations if you need to.

Need more tips on how to schedule meetings effectively? Check out these ones here.

5. Invest in the right tools and nail your workflow.

Speaking of setting goals and expectations… when you’re just starting out and trying to get your agency off the ground, spreadsheets might be alright just to get by. But as you scale and build your team, you’ll notice that they become more of a hindrance than a help.

Thankfully, technology has come a long way, especially for managing your creatives and their workflows.

Whether you want your team to collaborate on a project, track their hours or have a way to manage leads, equip your team with the tools they need to succeed.

The most important benefit of these tools: they’ll give your team more time in their days to brainstorm and come up with ideas instead of doing tedious tasks like data entry and tracking client interactions.

Here are four of the best agency management tools to keep the creative juices flowing and your workflow on track.

Workflow management: Asana

Few tools are better built with creatives in mind than Asana. This platform allows you to collaborate with teams from different departments on a single project. You can communicate within the dashboard to keep your inbox clean and make sure everyone stays in the loop.

Setting up entire projects, sub-tasks and deadlines in the system is easy. You can then leave notes for any team member and move the task along until it’s been completed. Boosting efficiency across the board has never been easier.

Digital toolkit: Google Workspace

Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) has become the go-to toolkit for any team looking for ease and efficiency.

It lets you take your whole office with you, wherever you are. Google Sheets, Google Analytics, Google Docs (learn how to be a Docs wiz) and Calendars can all be synced and used to supercharge team collaboration.

Tools like Google Meet have also made it a million times easier for teams to coordinate video meetings (no matter where in the world they are).

Team communication: Slack

Slack may be one of the most useful tools for team collaboration that’s ever been built.

Whether you’ve got a team of 10 or 1,000, Slack’s Channels are the easiest way for everybody to know what’s going on with every project.

Want to quickly communicate agency updates or see who’s up for beers on Friday? All you have to do is let your team know through a dedicated channel.

It syncs up with Google Docs, Dropbox and Asana, just to name a few, so everyone will be on the same page at all times.

CRM: Copper

Think you don’t need a customer relationship management platform? Think again.

A CRM is the ultimate agency management tool for your creative agency that can boost your team’s collaboration on deals by 43%. And your prospects and clients? They’ll get a 36% faster response time from your creatives, too.

But the best part of a CRM is its ability to automate the mundane, low-value tasks your team has to do every single day.

For example, Copper is made to work with Google Workspace. It automatically captures data for every relationship your team is managing (freelancers, vendors, clients, you name it) and tracks it automatically, so data entry becomes a thing of the past.

Copper CRM is your ultimate tool for not just project management but also stellar customer relationship management. Imagine having all your customer data and project tasks seamlessly integrated in one place, without the headache of juggling multiple platforms. With Copper, everything stays centralized and automatically updated, which means no more endless data imports and exports.

This makes it easier to build and maintain strong customer relationships while keeping your projects on track. Similarly, features like Copper’s Pipelines act like a visual roadmap, helping you track tasks, collaborate with your team, and customize processes, all while keeping customer data at your fingertips. With features like pre-built templates, easy collaboration tools, and flexible workflows, Copper is designed to boost productivity, enhance customer relationships, and help you meet deadlines with ease.

The best part? It’s integrated with all of the above tools and lives right inside your Gmail inbox. No learning curve with this one.

Want to learn more? Try Copper for free for 14 days. No credit card needed.

Image for post Learn more? 👇

Learn more? 👇

Looking for tips on how an agency can best use a CRM? Download the free Agency CRM Best Practices guide.

Flexibility is key with your creatives.

Running a creative agency can be a wild ride, but with the right approach, you can keep things fun and productive. Letting your creatives have room—and more importantly, time—to dream up ideas in your agency is the key to getting them performing at their full potential.

By implementing these tips and tools, you can overcome challenges, boost team morale, and keep your creative agency moving forward. Embrace the journey, support your team, and watch your agency thrive!

Try Copper free

Instant activation, no credit card required. Give Copper a try today.

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