A digital agency without a clear vision, purpose and traction is like a rowboat with no oars. You might stay afloat, but it’s challenging – if not impossible – to get to where you want to go.
Most agency owners know that they need to draw up a vision and mission statement, set goals, and work to reach these goals using a business plan.
But the truth is, hundreds of agencies are still going about their daily operations without having done any of this first. Some agencies solve their challenges and find solutions as they go, and others lose alignment with their vision and purpose over time as they grow.
Even in these cases, as agencies advance closer to where they want to be, they may find themselves needing more direction and clarity to support them. Every agency and every team need something concrete to work towards. Along with an achievable vision set by its leaders and a purpose that keeps everyone passionate about common goals.
We’ve drawn up this handy guide to tell you how to build a vision, purpose, and traction for your agency so that you can effectively set goals and meet them!
How to Create a Vision for Your Digital Agency
There are a few key steps to creating a vision for your digital agency.
- Step 1: Do your research. Take a look at how other agencies you admire have structured their visions and core values. Ask yourself why these agencies exist, which problems they aim to resolve, and what they value.
- Step 2: Look at your own agency. Which visions, values and goals are you currently working in line with? It’s important to interact with your team at this stage and find out what they believe your company actually stands for. Otherwise, you might find that different people are driving your agency in different directions!
- Step 3: List ideas. Once you’ve involved everyone in your agency and obtained their input, narrow this list down into key themes that you can further refine into values.
- Step 4: Assess how your customers experience your agency. Ask your clients and team members about this, as it can provide great insight into how your employees’ actions bring forth your company’s vision, and how your clients perceive it too. Use your findings to identify anything that needs to change, be it your team members’ behaviours, your agency’s core values, or the experiences of your clients.
- Step 5: Align your agency with your vision. Your vision absolutely needs to be embodied in every interaction between your employees and clients. This vision should guide your business and every decision you make. Every department or team within your agency should work to incorporate it into every one of your operations – and your overall culture as well.
How to Create Purpose for Your Digital Agency
Your purpose defines why your agency exists and why you do what you do every day. It also gives your teams, clients, and yourself a clear view of how your agency will make a difference, and why you should aspire to reach your goals.
Agencies need to approach finding their purpose in much the same way as brands do. ‘Finding’ is the key term here. Purpose is not created, but rather discovered and then embodied.
Start by defining what you are passionate about – and what you’re good at. Ask yourself why your clients choose your digital agency, and what sets you apart from your competitors. Then, ask yourself why your agency exists, and what it brings to the table for clients.
Once you have these answers, you have a basic version of your purpose that can be refined over time. The trick here is to commit fully to this purpose. Not only in words on your website but in the way you advertise, deal with clients, and conduct your daily operations.
How to Set Realistic Business Goals
Your goals set the foundation for your future progress. The clearer they are, the more likely you’ll reach them. Start by identifying your highest-level agency goals and exactly what you want to achieve, and then work your way down to smaller but equally important goals. This will help you to prioritise areas of potential growth and hone your focus. Once you have these goals in place, break them down into smaller micro-goals that contribute towards your greater vision.
Once you’ve shared these goals with your team, it’s essential to create a spreadsheet or mind map that contains all your goals and micro-goals for your team members to refer to at any time. Remember to also assign roles in these goals to your team members to give them more clarity on your expectations and how they can help you achieve them.
You’ll also need to define solid milestones for these goals; incremental achievements that you need to meet along the way. Milestones will keep your teams accountable and allow you to monitor their progress towards your agency’s goals. Great milestones are measurable and have specific deadlines. If you structure yours this way, you’ll know exactly when your agency has reached one.
In short: Set goals that are clear and simple, create both short and long-term strategies for your business and establish goals that allow your team to see how their hard work fits into your agency’s overall vision and purpose.
How to Reach Your Goals
Once you’ve got your team working towards your goals and milestones, keep them motivated with progress updates, celebrate your team members’ wins, and offer acknowledgement for whatever is being done right. You’ll be able to show your employees how far you’ve progressed thanks to their hard work while addressing any areas in which they might be lagging.
If you want to reach your current goals, you need to structure them based on the results of previous projects and goals. For instance, if you’re working on a project like past ones in which your team has battled to meet deadlines, you can use this as inspiration to plan more achievable deadlines for your current work. In this case, you could give your team more time to complete their work or introduce highly efficient workflows at the start of a project to give your employees a head start.
How to Increase Your Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is how well potential clients recognise your agency’s brand. It’s based on a range of factors and KPIs, including website traffic, social sharing, and more. It’s also the key to building brand loyalty and maintaining profitability.
Building a recognisable brand means creating a brand with a strong voice and aesthetic, equally robust values, and purpose, and using your brand’s voice and purpose to communicate a story that speaks directly to your clients’ needs.
You need to create value over and above your core products and services by crafting media that informs, entertains, and engages your audience. If you can build relationships with your target market through shareable social posts, newsletters, blogs, or videos, you can enhance your brand awareness and make sure that your agency is at the top of people’s minds when they think about services like yours.
Vision, Purpose & Traction Sets Your Agency Up For Success
Every digital agency needs a clear vision, purpose, and traction to succeed. Once you’ve defined yours and set goals to reach them, you’ll be well on your way to building a resilient agency in line with your client’s needs!