Ways to collaborate

Ways to collaborate


Howdy partner

I've already banged on about the value of working with other agencies. And I've waxed lyrical about groups like the Agency Collective. Quite simply partnering with other agencies allowed me access to larger clients, larger projects, ongoing work and a heap of new friends.

But, there’s more than one way to skin a cat – as they say (though I’ve still no idea why they do).

Let’s take a look at how other creative agencies can be your best friends rather than rivals.

For these purposes I’m going to trample all over those subtle differences through which agencies differentiate themselves and break them down into two types: in the blue corner there are bricks and mortar agencies and in the red corner KitchenTable agencies.

Bricks and mortar agencies

These are typically well-established, in plush offices and boast a burgeoning client list and headcount. Yet, there are often holes in their armour and gaps in their talent pool that you can help them out with.

And that’s exactly why networking with them really helps – especially if you can tailor your proposition to the way they like working.

(If you’re wondering how to do this, pay attention please, we covered it all off in some detail in the first few sections of this course.) 

KitchenTable agencies

These should be very familiar – yours is one after all.

Just like you they rely on a team of freelancers to deliver their projects and they most likely specialise in just one thing, such as app development, web design, SEO, copywriting or video production

Of course, this will often mean that a project arrives that requires skills not in their talent bank. And that’s where you come in.

(It’s also where the KitchenTable Community’s directory of other KitchenTable agencies is super-useful. But not quite as direct a route as our projects board offers you – here other members let you know they are looking for help on specific, live projects.)

Ways of working for or with another agency

Again using broad-brush strokes, there are basically three ways that members of our happy family of agencies have to collaborate with each other.

1.      You work for them (for their client)

2.      They work for you (for your client)

3.      You work in partnership for the same client

It is vital that you are clear from the start which of these three ways of working are being followed.

It sounds like it should always be clear – and usually it is. But there are still plenty of cases in which things are not so clear cut, particularly if you both know the client.

To avoid any sticky situations, or messy misunderstandings, always define at the outset if this is a partnership or not. And, if it is a partnership, clarify who has project responsibility (yours, theirs or joint) and exactly who the buck ultimately stops with.


In the next lessons we’ll look at each way of working in turn to tease out some of the implications you should be aware of.