It never feels good to lose a client or employee to another agency. But in the past, I let these experiences throw me off. I'd get caught comparing Barrel to other agencies, seeing only the public version of their culture, process, and company. I'd get lost thinking about how to stand out from a sea of agencies rather than how we can improve and get better.
I've learned that you can't take these moments to heart. The best I can do is to seek feedback, learn, and take action on ways to improve the future. Look forward, not back.
The more I let my guard down and connected with like-minded industry folks, the more I found that I'm not alone. We may be competing for new work or finding the best talent, but we all experience similar challenges.
The truth is that, as an agency, we've all been on both sides of these situations. In my experience at Barrel:
From this perspective, I realized that while we may face common roadblocks, our context is unique. We are where we are because of our unique journey. In that way, it isn't worth the time struggling to compare ourselves or stand out. We're all on our own path, playing our own game. The best we can do is focus on what's right in front of us: our current clients and team.
How can we make it feel amazing to work with us?
What do our clients appreciate about our collaboration?
What do employees value about coming to work each day?
In what ways can we improve our client and team experience?
I'm grateful for the countless lessons we have learned through the years. Many have shaped how we work and interact with clients and employees today.
Anecdotally, here are some of the commons reasons clients and employees have cited leaving their current agency. I hadn't taken stock in these until writing this post; however, getting them all down feels like a helpful list to keep an eye on as we aim for continuous growth. I tried to focus on the factors within an agency's control.