October 2023

This agency won’t eat itself.

An agency eats itself when the best people leave and hire their own tribe of employees and freelance specialists, and if they are not careful the cycle starts over again.

This agency won’t eat itself.
What do I mean by eat itself? Whilst there are great agencies out there with strong cultures creating stellar work for their clients, there are also a lot of agencies that are made up of a handful of employees and a loose band of freelancers.
These freelancers roam from project to project selling their time and expertise, but at the same time trying to resist the politics and time drains of meetings, constantly managing the conflict that happens when you are independent, but also being paid by the person who is hiring you.
The employees become increasingly specialist in their areas, they observe the freelancers resisting the corporate structure and yet still getting their slice of the project and profits. They have built up good relationships with clients and so eventually some of them think, what if I was to leave to roam the freelance savannah, taking my chances and building my own empire?
So, they leave and hire their own tribe of employees and freelance specialists, and there we have the circle of agency life.
Does it really matter? In my experience clients don’t care that much about the method once they get results, but this constant transition and conflict about who are you working for drains time and energy and distracts from the fact that the person you should be working for is the client. This energy could be better spent doing the work. Also, an agency may favour their own inhouse staff over specialist experts because they are salaried, but they may not be the best people for the task.
Clients also have valuable people inhouse and often have other trusted relationships with third parties that span years, there are people who have an in-depth knowledge of their company and systems and this knowledge can’t always be easily transferred, but the mindset of ‘winning the business’ isn’t always compatible with collaborating and working with the skills and expertise already present in the business.
A real growth mindset should be based on collaboration not competition, otherwise you run the risk of offering solutions that are biased, and not as effective or efficient as they could be.
What if companies could only hire the knowledge and skills that they need but still have the benefit and convenience of a single point of contact?
That is a question I asked myself, and it is why I have started Eskdale. Eskdale is a network of knowledge experts, we work with companies to come up with innovative solutions and then we partner with them to deliver.
We aim to be transparent and lean so you can get the best specialist help exactly where you need it.
If this sounds interesting to you contact me today to see how we can help you.