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Top challenges of starting a digital agency. What Brief has learned.

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We live in a digital world: it is undeniable. The borders between offline and online are mixing and every day billions of people across the planet access the Internet to work, shop or even to watch a movie in their spare time.

With this reality, a new consumer arises: the digital consumer. Who is the digital consumer?

This consumer is every one of us. We access the web to search for the next smartphone we will buy and we leave our positive review online if we are enjoying the experience with it. In this environment, new business opportunities grow and marketers have new tools and ways of creating and running their marketing strategies. This is the reality that created the definition of “digital agency”.

While the world is turning digital, teams get together to understand the new challenges and to offer brand and companies communication solutions to effectively reach their targets. In this same digital environment, information grows and travels at incredible speeds, turning the Internet into a database of the size of the universe. But keep calm, not all this information is really valuable and relevant. This is what brings the biggest challenge for digital agencies: building something valuable and that stands out in this universe created in the Web. For Diogo Silva, Brief’s creative director, this must be the “focus point for creative agencies, in order to, through it, help companies and brands to get relevant and being the organisation that sometimes is lacking in the digital world”. We may sound repetitive but relevancy is the key for having a successful online presence.

Get specialised

When Diogo Silva and Robson Junior started Brief 5 years ago they aspired to approach the field of Communication in a 360º perspective, this means that Brief tried to answer to all creative challenges that could possibly arrive. So here was when we made a turn. This was the time when we decided to get specialised. It was the time for the then new-born Brief to make the difference with what its team was better at. Yes, you guessed it: being digital. This must be our first advice to you if you’re thinking of creating a creative agency – specify what your team does best. In our case, this was what we did best (and still is!). Communication, for example, is an extremely rich field, with lots of areas and branches. Deciding to show this same specialisation also shows your confidence to your clients. It shows that you are very sure of what are your strongest skills.

Keep updated on all changes

Ok, imagine that you already have a very successful brand and that it is very well positioned in the market. You don’t have to bother with anything anymore, right? Wrong! You must keep bothering and if you work within the digital this gets even more crucial. Why? Because digital tools and the digital market are in constant change. Things that are trending today are certainly not trending tomorrow. You must follow these constant changes. Read (a lot), follow your favorite brands and specialists – get updated and keep moving. The world doesn’t stop and neither can you. So here is another challenge of creating a digital agency (and one of the hardest ones to overcome): keeping updated on the industry changes. To be aware of what happens in the world can give a boost in your creativity and even in your productivity. Imagine finding that the wheel exists when everyone already knows that. It would be odd, wouldn’t it?

A digital agency built by people

Having a team built by great and skilled people can make a difference when trying to overcome some problems. So we get to this next challenge that is to build a team. People are great and you will find incredible things about them when developing a digital agency. First, and obviously, your agency needs people who can think creatively. Look for people who can “shine” in the darkest of times (our team can even get poetic, see?). People who like to dream while keeping focused. People that can think like a rebel but also like a conservative. Being creative in a digital agency means to adapt your speech to very different targets and that requires different kinds of approaches –  In order for your agency to be the difference, you need a unique team. Secondly, be dedicated and transparent to your team. Have you ever read this quote: “your vibe attracts your tribe”? Follow this principle. Be the kind of person people want to work with. Motivated people result in a smooth workflow. One of Brief’s values is this same dedication and respect for its team, projects, and clients. Diogo claims that it is the key to our success and the rest of our team also firmly believes in that.

Creativity shapes nice things

Now you have a creative team just like Brief’s, what’s next? Next step is turning this same creativity into a tool. Being part of the creative industry is for itself a huge challenge. You need to keep having ideas and creating remarkable content. Sometimes our own creative thinking creates a cloud of ideas in our head and if we are not careful we may get confused. Our advice is for you to get focused and organize these ideas. From all those choose the ones you think are more relevant (we just love this word) and effective for the strategy you are trying to shape. You must keep in mind that effectiveness is your main goal so it doesn’t just have to look beautiful. It needs to work. This is where the core of the challenge is. Brainstorm, write down all these ideas but bear in mind functionality.

A digital agency that brings positivity

You work in a creative, effective way, in order to deliver the best products and ideas to the projects you are involved with. So how can you really make a difference in the world and in society? By adding effort to produce a positive change in every project you develop. If being creative is also being aware of your surroundings then care about what may be the results of what you are delivering. There are several ways for a project to create an impact on other people and on the industry itself. Remember sustainability and the environment, for example, when working to get all those concepts from paper to the real world. “With great power comes great responsibility” (we have superhero fans in the office) and creativity is power so use it wisely. We had the pleasure to work with several projects and brands that also aimed at this same change. You can check them here if you would like to. You will also feel awesomely well for making something that is good in every way, believe in us.

Turn problems into challenges

Sometimes things don’t go as you want them to go. When building your digital agency expect difficulties and hard times, because they happen. Sometimes there are budget cuts and you need to redefine your strategy or you get less time to get all tasks done. But don’t take these difficulties as “problems”. We don’t even like that word, it promotes demotivation. Take them as what we call them at Brief – challenges. This is what they are since they can get overcome. Embrace them and believe in your skills. Here is where the word “priorities” comes in. Define what is think that is more important to conclude first and focus on that. It is easy to get yourself lost but with some organisation, you can take the right path to solve these eventualities. Don’t be afraid of challenges, be afraid when things seem “too easy”. They never are.

Of course, there are more challenges you face when building a digital agency but you begin to learn how to overcome them. As Diogo said: “our way of being perceptive and creative helps us turning challenges into opportunities”. The digital world is growing as is consumer’s demand and so the effort to be unique must fuel your own journey. To achieve this goal and other you will also need great people, so believe in them. Motivated people create great ideas and, consequently, produce a change in the world – for the better! So what you think that digital agencies should be aiming at? Do you agree with us? Share your thoughts with Brief!

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