Digital marketing agencies are primarily focused on pleasing their clients. Your employees, freelancers, and consultants probably don’t top the list of people you want to impress. You’re paying them – if anyone has a reason to impress, it should be them astonishing you with their many talents, right?

But what you fail to do for your employees might actually hold your agency back from servicing your clients to the best of its ability. Here are seven ways digital marketing agencies are falling short with their employees:

Mistakes you can make managing your digital marketing agency:

1. You count employees like a success metric

Striking a balance between finding quality workers and hiring the number of employees you can afford is no small task. It’s important to have an adequate number of employees, as well as experienced workers who can perform the tasks you need them to handle.

Adding team members who are under-qualified, lack experience, or weigh down the company mojo isn’t good for anyone, especially your client list. The size of your team doesn’t represent the quality of work it’s able to produce, so don’t emphasize a large team over the quality of their efforts.

In addition to providing better quality work for the client, your team will collaborate at a higher level if members are bringing similar experiences to the table. Plus, no team member likes to work harder because of someone else’s limitations.

2. You rely too heavily on interns

Interns are your friends and can really bring value to any company; but relying on them for the big, important stuff is something digital marketing agencies should avoid.

You can have a million interns if you have the upper management needed to supervise them. But if you’re bottom-heavy with young, eager talent, then the interns will wind up being more hassle than they’re worth.

You can’t beat the price of free labor, but you’ll sacrifice over time if mentoring interns is prioritized over serving clients or inexperienced employees are handling all your biggest projects.

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3. Account services is your #1 priority

Servicing clients is important, and so is collecting payments on time. But, your specialty should be creating and distributing quality media that evokes action and converts sales for your clients. And this means empowering your staff to do so.

Taking a hands-on approach with your team and its processes, and making yourself available, is crucial. This can be hard for small businesses with limited resources. It’s easier to let employees take the reins, so you can handle menial administrative chores and keep clients happy.

But making your clients happy isn’t ultimately what they’re paying you for: they want great marketing campaigns—that’s what will make them happy. And you need a supported team to deliver that.

4. You don’t specialize in anything

Simply put: you can’t be everybody’s everything; it’s never going to happen. If you try, you may not hire the right people in dedicated roles for each focus. Instead of chasing every lead, customizing packages, and promising the moon and stars, a better way to approach potential clients is with a specialty.

Would you rather be okay at a lot of things, or incredible at just a few?

Instead of using the shotgun approach, which sprays wide and has limited accuracy, try refining your services into general packages that serve a larger audience. This way, you can focus on your company strengths, hire the right staff to fulfill those roles, and more than likely hit your target.

5. You don’t emphasize listening to the client

You might know more about digital marketing than your client, but that doesn’t give you the right to stomp on his or her feedback or ignore their requests completely. In fact, sometimes doing what the client wants (whether you agree or not) is the only way to get them to pay attention.

If things don’t go as planned, don’t instruct your employees to school the client on why he should have listened to your company in the first place—nobody likes that. For starters, it sets a terrible example for your employees, and it’s the fastest way to lose valuable business.

Emphasize listening to your clients‘ concerns, discussing any of your own, and making good on their wishes if they won’t be swayed by general insights. In time, the customer should come around.

6. You’ve allowed image to replace substance

It is so easy for digital marketing agencies to get lost in their branding, company culture, or presentation in the public eye.

Without substance, knowledge, information, research, education, and all the other things you need to maintain an edge over the competition, riding the image train is dangerous and unsustainable.

Given enough time, clients will start to figure things out and employee morale will fall apart. Employees need to know your purpose, your mission, your deeper values.

Don’t assume your company is good at what it does because it calls itself a marketing agency. Bring substance to the table, and everyone will leave full and happy.

7. You’ve hired unskilled sales people

Your creative and technical teams are working hard to deliver the best products possible to your clients. The sales team is the delivery engine for your product.

However, if you skimp on sales people, it’s not just your bottom line you have to worry about. Employee morale will destabilize if sales doesn’t do its job properly to deliver their great marketing services.

That’s why sales and creative/tech teams need to be cozy with one another – not just in terms of how they function in the business, but also with the collaboration necessary for each to perform at the highest level. You need high-level sales people to communicate and exchange ideas with the creative department, and that’s not going to happen if you pair your creative rock stars with inexperienced sales reps.

Do yourself, and your clients, a huge favor and avoid these common pitfalls taken by too many digital marketing agencies. Take care of your employees and your agency will benefit in the long run.

Hiren is an SEO and online marketing consultant at Synotive, a software development & digital marketing agency. He works alongside a team of creative strategists to produce innovative and unique, data-driven campaigns about industry trends. You can find him on Twitter!

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