7 Questions Clients Have About Your Digital Agency

By May 30, 2016Client Work


Attracting and retaining new clients is the lifeblood of any digital agency, so it’s always important to be prepared to impress.

When a prospect is sizing up your agency as an option, it’s almost like dating. Both sides are trying to find out more about each other and to determine whether or not they’ll be compatible.

If you want to do a better job of enticing those prospects to hire your agency, then it’s worth knowing about and being prepared for some common questions that potential clients have.

What are clients looking for in an agency and how can you be prepared?

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What Planning Is Needed?

Clients need to clearly understand what their role is in the process and what will be expected of them in order to get the project moving. This is a case where you can’t really over-communicate. The client would like to know what strategies will be used, how planning works and what kind of timelines you foresee for getting the work done.

If you’re dealing with a client who is experienced in operating with agencies or project managers, they are often looking to see what kind of processes you have. Do you have everything clearly defined and mapped out? Or do you appear to run things on the fly?

Be prepared to be asked how you handle client onboarding and to give an outline of your processes. This is also a good nudge to get something documented, even if it’s a more general outline of how you tackle projects. It goes some way toward giving the client confidence in you if they can see you have a clear process.


Do you have clearly defined processes?

What Is Your Culture Like?

You may or may not be asked this question outright, but a client is always noting this in their mind, even if they don’t actually ask. It’s a “chemistry” thing; we like to work with people who share similar values and company culture.

You can demonstrate your company culture by having well put-together “about” pages, including publishing your values there if you prefer. Your values should come through in every aspect of your copy or other media your business puts out. This includes things such as posts on social media, articles or blogs. Your brand “voice” is one way that prospects identify with you, so keep it consistent across channels.

If you want the client to “buy in” to your agency culture, then make sure your messaging and actions are congruent. One of the biggest turn-offs for any potential client is when businesses appear to do the opposite of what their values state.

If you haven’t yet asked yourself “what is our company culture?”, now is a good time to develop a clear idea and assess how you are demonstrating it to others.

Clients want to be able to identify whether the culture in your agency is compatible with theirs

What Makes A Good (Or Bad) Client?

This is another question establishing cultural fit and one which has been suggested that potential clients ask agencies before hiring them.

The client is really wanting to know if you and they will have a good working relationship and that your ideas and expectations are a match. How do you prefer to work and what are your expectations for how the client fits in?

If anything, this should also prompt you to consider what your standards are in terms of what is acceptable or not when working with clients. Everyone is going to have different tolerances, but the point is you should at least know what yours are.

How Will Communication Work?

All clients want to know that they’ll be kept in the loop (though some more than others), and that you have an effective system for communicating with them.

Depending on how your billing works, some will be concerned about how much of their fee goes toward actual work on the project and how much is taken up by project management. (This is probably less of a concern if you charge a fee per project rather than hourly rates).

If you have good systems set up for communication and can explain to the client how you make them work, it can help give them confidence that your agency is not spending so much time on admin and that you provide genuine value for money.

The piece about keeping them in the loop is extra-important. Nobody likes it when they receive a surprise over work which was done or how something was billed. It’s also not a good experience if you only get back to them at the end of a project, and find that several revisions are required.

Clients want to be reassured that, not only do you communicate often, but that you listen to their ideas and use a medium of communication they are comfortable with.

Who Will I Be Working With (And Why)?

This is another question of compatibility. Clients want to know that they are being matched with someone who can competently handle the work and who has the relevant experience to do a good job.

Many clients are well-aware that it is not necessarily the person they are talking to who is doing the work. The important thing is that they are reassured that the best fit for them will be put on the job.

This ties in well with the next question:

What Recent Work Examples Do You Have?

The client wants to know that not only can you handle their project and produce a high standard of work, but you demonstrate innovative thinking and solid strategy.

To cater to this, agencies should always be prepared with a variety of good examples of work completed recently. Creating a decent digital portfolio is a great way to accomplish this – keep it updated and showcase your best work.

A Robert Half article suggests that 7-10 strong examples work best, while you should also:

  • Create clear categories. These could be industry-specific, by media category or type or in chronological order if you’re relatively new.
  • Approach your portfolio like a client project. Understand your target audience and how you’d like them to experience your work.


Source: 99U

How Do You Define Success?

This question may be asked in a different form, such as asking what your KPIs (key performance indicators) are. The point is that savvy clients want to hear you describe in your own words what success looks like so that they can make a determination about whether you are compatible.

How a person views success can be a very revealing clue about them and how they operate. Be ready for this by having a clear set of standards and knowing which KPIs are going to be important to monitor, especially specific to the needs of the client.

Showcase your agency with an engaging portfolio. Grab our tool guide here.

Final Thoughts

You probably noticed that we didn’t include “how much will it cost?” in our list of questions. While cost will obviously come into the equation for most clients, remember that many of their questions are actually going to revolve around whether or not you can deliver the value they need.

Your prospects are looking to ensure that your agency is compatible with their needs over much more than just cost. They would like to know whether your values and theirs align, what your expectations are of them, how communication will be handled and that you have the skills to do a good job.

Know what clients will be looking for ahead of time, whether they are asking out loud or looking for clues in your interactions with them. If you are aware of these things, you can better prepare for them.

abhinav marla

Author abhinav marla

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