26Jul

Manifesto: On Clients and Projects

be different

Maybe the economy is coming back, maybe businesses are realizing what a great deal digital marketing is, or maybe people are just figuring out what a great deal we are. Whatever the reason, we’ve been fortunate to grow the business. As we’ve grown, I’m still involved in most aspects of the company, but I’ve decided that it’s time for me to set some standards for the clients and projects we take on.

You know what that means- manifesto time! Hey, guiding principles are a good thing, and I expect everyone at PatrickOrtman, Inc. to follow these principles when an opportunity to grow our client list comes to us.

Of course, I’m a big believer in transparency so I’m sharing my little manifesto with the world. Maybe it’ll help your digital agency- or whatever type of business you run- to set up and codify your own set of guiding principles? After all, you can’t have a revolution without a manifesto!¬†Without further ado:

1) Every project and client we take on will get our best efforts, and the personal attention and resources necessary to knock it out of the park. At the same time, we expect that any client we work with will do their part in providing us the resources so that we can knock their project out of the park. The best client relationships go both ways.

2) When we choose to work with a client, we will be honest and truthful in all our dealings with them. We are not ‘Yes Men’, and when we disagree with a client we will, as tactfully as possible, tell them where we stand. After all, a client hires us for our expertise. Similarly, we expect our clients to be honest and truthful with us, too.

3) We will not work with a client who does not meet our standards of being an ethically run organization. We hate liars, spammers, users, and shady people. Dealing with those types of clients makes us feel so icky that bathing in champagne and $50 bills doesn’t remove the stink. No, thanks!

4) We will not compete on price. We’re certainly not the most expensive digital agency out there, but we’re also not the cheapest and we don’t want to be. We love creating great work, and great work deserves to be well and fairly paid.

5) Every project we do has to be interesting, in some way. Sure, this sounds a bit high-falutin’ at first, but think about it: we’re creative people. To do our best work we need to be engaged. For us to be engaged, there has to be something about the gig that’s interesting to us. We’re not clock-punchers, we’re not assembly line workers. There’s other, lesser digital agencies that fill that role. We’re artists and craftsmen.

6) Similarly, we understand that part of what makes us special is we’re constantly learning new things and finding ways to apply our knowledge to our clients to help them improve their businesses. Too many companies only care about this quarter’s bottom line, and have cut down or eliminated the ‘R” in R&D. Not us.¬†Therefore, from this day forward I am implementing a program where everyone at PatrickOrtman, Inc. is to spend at least one full day a month working on something they want to work on that is not client-related. This could be as simple as adding a feature to a website CMS, figuring out a more efficient video production pipeline, shooting an experimental short film, learning a new technology that could be used with website design, or playing with some new features in Photoshop. The idea is, I want to encourage everyone here to do something creative and not directly client-related for at least one full day a month.

Of course, everyone- myself included- has to present our findings/film/photos, or whatever at a company meeting the next week. The idea is to stretch, to grow. And to share that knowledge.

So, for now that’s my manifesto. I’m interested in any ways to grow this document and make it better, so if you have an idea- share!

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