Working with new clients is one of the most demanding aspects of any agency’s time and resources. Time must be spent learning old approaches, ideas, concepts, and strategies and communicating and integrating new ones. Some clients may not have built up the greatest communication between departments or programs, while others work with just a small team (maybe even only one or two members). No matter what the client size or industry their in, there is always room to help your client learn the process of inbound marketing.
Over the years our agency has found that the more we teach to our clients, the better the relationship - both in trust and in longevity. However, teaching someone new tricks is not always easy and must be given with a sense of integrity and grace. There may be times when working with a client that the client asks for a specific project/campaign to be implemented that falls back into old habits or traditional marketing tactics without focusing on their buyer persona(s).
There may even be circumstances when the client asks you to do something that you know will not be very effective or deliver the ROI that is needed to implement the campaign. At these moments, it is important to find a balance between your own integrity and maintaining the relationship. When faced with these choices, there lies another opportunity to continue teaching the methods of inbound marketing and never stop offering up your best thinking.
This is important to realize, yet at times may be difficult. Fact - you will as an agency face moments when you and the client disagree about what should be done with their marketing. It will happen, but when it does the key is to make sure that you explain to your client the value of your best thinking and experience (being hired as the expert) but ultimately let the client decide. If the client decides to launch a new campaign or offering that does not get the returns they were hoping to see, you will always have another option in your back pocket.
In the end, the client will appreciate your expertise and wisdom - and you should never stop offering it to them, but to make things easier to digest, make sure you teach them from the beginning of the relationship about inbound marketing and your marketing strategy for the client, remind them of that strategy, and help them build trust in what you bring to the table.