Agency, know thyself.

know thyselfI had a meeting a few months back with my (then) would-be clients, (now lovely clients). After our introductions, they laid out some A4 sheets on the table to discuss their copywriting requirements, which included website content, project case studies, a newsletter and some new business mailers.

After some quick questioning, I realised something was amiss. Like many agencies out there, they had been operating for a few years and had got a pretty decent grip on who they were and what they’re about, but they lacked consistency and clarity around their messaging. It was clear to me that they needed to work out a clear value proposition.

A value proposition tells your audience:

Who you are.

What you do.

What value you bring to your client’s business.

Why they should buy from you instead of your competitor.

A value proposition is a vital component of any agency’s content strategy because it forms the basis of all communications that go out to its audience, including website copy, sales emails, newsletters, social posts, project case studies etc. It’s an essential strategic element, which ensures consistency in how an agency talks about itself. The absence of a value proposition can lead to disjointed, inconsistent and mixed messages going out to the market- which can be damaging.

A couple of days later I went back in to run a workshop with the two partners of the business, armed with post-it pads and marker pens. I asked them a number of questions, which they wrote out on post-its before sticking them to a wall, which was soon covered with scribbled notes.

Next I began to rearrange the post-its to prioritise them in to a hierarchy based on the values and agency attributes the partners deemed important. After a lot of discussion, scribbling and having worked through the puzzling wall of noise, there emerged three clear strategic elements that would form the basis of their value proposition and henceforth be weaved in to all outgoing agency comms.

Having written up their value proposition, those key messages are now integrated in to all of the content I have been creating for them.

At that first meeting I could have quite easily taken the copywriting requirements and worked on them, but it was more strategic and beneficial to take a step back, work through a few bits and then move forward in a more assured consistent and sustainable way.

Now, whenever their clients or potential clients read anything of theirs, the agency’s core messages cut through loud and clear because the messages are clear, concise and repeated through all channels.

There’s no point generating content for your company, until you know what you’re trying to say.

Sometimes, you have to take a step backwards, before you can move forward. It’s called a value proposition for a reason.

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