Agency Red Flags
This week we’ll explore some red flags people should look for when hiring an agency. If you hear these things in a proposal meeting, you should get out of there while you still can. Many agencies take advantage of potential clients in a variety of ways. In this episode, we’ll discuss 4 red flags.
Long Island Iced Tea
This week’s drink is the Long Island Iced Tea. This is the original recipe from a bartender named Bob “Rosebud” Butt. He is usually credited with inventing the Long Island Iced Tea in 1972. As the story goes, Butt was working in a bar in Long Island, New York, when a friendly competition compelled him to concoct the refreshing but strong iced tea-colored beverage, hence the name.
- 1 oz. Gin
- 1 oz. Rum
- 1 oz. Tequila
- 1 oz. Triple Sec
- 1 oz. Vodka
- 1.5 oz. Homemade Sour Mix
- A Splash of Cola for Color
Mix ingredients with ice in a Collins glass then transfer to shaker. Shake once or twice then pour back into glass. Garnish with lemon then brace yourself.
Check out this video about Bob and the story behind the drink. It's super interesting!
Catelin: Hey, welcome back.
Rich: Hey, Caitlin.
Catelin: We're here. We are.
Rich: We are. And we're recording according to the little thing on my screen, so that's good. Good, good, good.
All right. So yeah, how are you? I'm loving the glasses and the-
Catelin: Thank you so much.
Rich: I feel like it's a, thank you so much to keep this from getting the explicit mark for now at may later. But the DGAF mode for you.
Catelin: Yeah, it's my, I'm in my feminist grandmother era.
Catelin: I have decided that I'm not coloring my hair anymore. I'm letting the gray happen. I actually would really like it to speed up.
Rich: Oh yeah.
Catelin: So I get the good, I'm ready. I want the stripe. I want a caftan situation. I want big, chunky jewelry. Yeah. Yep.
Rich: This sounds very comfortable. I'm just waiting to embrace my aging gay moomoo situation.
Catelin: What are you what you waiting for?
Rich: I don't know. Honestly,
Catelin: Today is the day.
Rich: I think for when I can-
Catelin: And quite honestly, the cocktail is the right mood for an aging gay moomoo.
Rich: It really is. I mean, I think I'm waiting for when I can live near a beach all the time.
Rich: I don't know. That's a good question.
Catelin: But Margaritaville is a state of mind, so-
Rich: It is. It's also a machine and a restaurant. You do. We have somewhere the Margaritaville cocktail mixer machines. So made by them. So then it became a brand. Well, it was a brand kind of before, I guess, but Yeah. But today's not about margaritas, and it's not about Margaritaville's. It is like-
Catelin: Long Island iced tea.
Catelin: We're here to get... get After it.
Rich: Yeah, we're going to get after it. So my thinking on this one was always just like you take whatever booze you have to get rid of and you dump it together like an ounce, an ounce, an ounce, an ounce, an ounce. Splash it with some coke and maybe squeeze a lime into it and call it a Long Island iced tea.
Rich: And I feel like I'm not far off with that assessment.
Catelin: You're not.
I just... This hurts my insides. It's a Long Island iced tea. The original recipe, which I feel this bears mentioning, is from a bartender named Bob "Rosebud" in quotes, is his nickname, Butt, spelled exactly like you think it is.
Rich: So Bob Butt, who went by Rosebud, and I feel like-
Catelin: Rose. It's too... Yep.
Rich: If we're going to unpack that, we're going to get the explicit warning on this one. So maybe we just leave it as is.
Catelin: This is a CTA podcast after dark.
Rich: But yeah. But I just do, I wonder, did any of his friends call him Starfish?
Catelin: No. I think they called him Rosebud.
Rich: No, they called him Rosebud. Yeah. I mean, and it's right up there-
Catelin: But also, yes, that's something.
Rich: But yeah, and he's dead. I did look it up. So he invented this when I was one year old in 1972. So pre pre-Caitlin, definitely pre-Zach, our producer, who's patiently recording this-
Catelin: Standing by.
Rich: ... and listening to us off mic, but he was in a bar in Long Island and there was a competition, and I was reading up on this a little bit more. He also, the bar had a lot of Triple Sec for some reason they couldn't get rid of it. And so he wanted a drink that would use Triple Sec regularly. Cause it's really like, what do you use Triple Sec in, a margarita? And that's about it. Right?
Catelin: I mean, Triple Sec is really just orange liqueur though.
Catelin: I know. It's not Cointreau, but
Catelin: It'll do in a pinch.
Rich: Yeah. And it tends to sweeten things up a little bit, which helps. So yeah. So he invented this and that it got its name because the bar was on Long Island and it kind of looked like an iced tea. And so they called it a Long Island iced Tea. Okay. I mean, back when naming things was simple, where are you and what does it look like? So yeah, this one, what gets me in this one, honestly, is the sour mix, because that's what gives it so much acid. I mean, on top of all of the booze that's in it. But as much as I complain about, I think I did this recently. That sounds like a really small drink. I'd need to double that. This one? Nope.
Catelin: You don't need a double.
Rich: Oh no.
Catelin: This is a single and then you sip on it for three hours. So it's an ounce of gin, rum, tequila, triple sec and vodka each. One ounce of each those, and then an ounce and a half of homemade sour mix. And can you expand on homemade sour? Because to me, sour is just lime juice.
Rich: Anytime we have a homemade sour mix, we do just do the lime juice.
Rich: I would put one and a half ounces of lime juice in this, because I don't like sour mix whatever's in it. But let me...
Catelin: Yeah, what I just, I don't-
Rich: Let's see.
Catelin: I need more.
Rich: Oh, so you add... It's just simple syrup and lemons and limes is a sour mix. So you add a little bit of sugar to it to make it sweet.
Catelin: Got it.
Rich: Yeah. Sugar water, lemons and limes and looking at this, yeah.
Rich: You just make a simple, so what this really probably is an ounce of lime juice and a half an ounce of simple syrup is my guess. You could, you have one and a half ounces of sour. And then of course for color only, you give it a little splash of cola because we don't use brand names, Coke, you'd use Coke?
Catelin: Yeah. It's just Coke.
Rich: And I remember we were talking about this earlier, and Zack said, I was surprised how little cola there actually is in one.
Cause there's a video of Rosebud making this and we'll-
Catelin: A splash.
Rich: ... Yeah. We'll post that on the podcast page for this one. But yeah, and he's like, I'm like, oh yeah, it's just a hit to give it a light brown color so it looks like iced tea. Because everything else you put in it is clear, basically.
Catelin: Clear. Yeah.
Rich: So yeah, I used to drink these-
Catelin: I supposed you could use, I don't know if you'd want to use spiced rum. I think that'd be gross with the rest of it.
Rich: Yeah. Well, I mean, but a spiced iced tea? Like a chai tea? Is it a Long Island chai tea then? I don't know.
Catelin: You know that's tea tea, right?
Rich: Yeah, I know, but we use it differently here. But I do know that chai means tea, so it's just tea tea.
Catelin: An iced try.
Rich: Also, we're just going to dance around the explicit here with the tea teas and the rosebuds. Well, yeah. So these also, you'll find bars where these are on special for $2 or $3 or whatever. And-
Catelin: Because they're-
Rich: ... it's lot of booze.
Catelin: ... it's a fire sale.
Rich: Yeah, it is. It's like it's going to be my cheap gin, rum, tequila, triple sec that I'm not using, my cheap vodka, like the Gordons in the plastic bottle or whatever. But if you make it at home-
Catelin: Yeah. A little Hawkeye.
Rich: Yeah, if you make it at home, use good stuff. At least mid-shelf stuff. But
Catelin: If you're making this at home, I have some questions for you about your personal life.
Rich: Well, I mean maybe therapy might be something you should consider.
Catelin: This just, I mean, yeah. Yep, yep. This, it doesn't sound good to me. This doesn't even, I don't know. I can't find a thing in here that I would be like, "Oh, I bet that maybe tastes pleasant." I can't. I don't know.
Rich: For me, these always tasted pretty neutral, so they were easy to drink. Aside from the acidy stuff, if you've got acid reflux, this is not a drink for you, but when I was younger, one, the bars would have them on special for a buck 50 or $2 because that was 20 some 30 years ago, whatever. Two, it's a lot of booze because this is in a Collins glass, so that's the tall, skinny glass.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah.
Rich: It's a lot of booze. And so you get a lot of value for your money if your goal is to get buzzed and you're 23. But yeah, I would say if you're making these at home just for the evening-
Catelin: Will you just drop me a line? I would be happy to talk to you about this.
Rich: ... We'd love to understand what's going on in your life to do that. Yeah.
Catelin: I just have a couple of questions.
Rich: If you're making a picture of these, then send us a video because we'd like to maybe see that, because that seems interesting.
Catelin: Yeah, it gives me heartburn.
Rich: All right. And you do just, but it's-
Catelin: But it would be cute. Yeah, it'd be cute with a Moomoo.
Rich: It would be, I mean-
Catelin: Cute with a moomoo.
Rich: And to finish this off you can put it all in the Collins list to make sure it fits, and then put it in a shaker, shake it a couple of times, and then pour it back into the glass and you can leave the ice in it. All that.
Catelin: My favorite note here is the garnish. Garnish with a lemon and then brace yourself.
Rich: Yeah. It is not a fast drinker. You should sip this over two hours, at least.
Catelin: Two hours?
Rich: Maybe three.
Rich: Because a normal drink is an ounce and a half or so of booze, right? Or two maybe.
Rich: Yeah. Okay.
Catelin: Three. I mean, three to four ounces total, I think.
Rich: And the descriptions-
Catelin: But that's with your mixers.
Rich: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. The descriptions on this are hilarious too. Refreshing, but strong. Tea colored beverage. Yes, it is definitely not actual iced tea.
Catelin: Tea colored.
Rich: But oh, the other thing-
Catelin: I wonder if there's an opportunity to do an infusion. Could you make your own mixer? Could you mix your own color with a little actual Earl Grey situation?
Rich: I think so or what about a hibiscus kind of tea?
Rich: That might actually be really nice in here. Now we're making a whole new drink. Speaking of teas. So Lipton has finally joined the hard booze in a can.
Catelin: Oh, for Pete's sake.
Rich: And Lipton, your grandmother's tea company is now making hard teas in a can. I saw that from-
Catelin: Can I tell you-
Rich: ... our friend Ty, on Twitter-
Catelin: On Twitter?
Rich: ... had put that out.
Catelin: Over this summer, my mom was a teacher, and so over the summer, she was home with us all of the time. But I remember she would set out her lawn chair in the backyard and we would run around, but she would make dry Lipton tea mix the powdered tea that had, the grittiness, I can still taste it. And then I would sneak drinks of it. And she didn't like that. And now having a tiny child who steals all my shit, I understand why that was so obnoxious, because it's like, I just want one thing for myself. So I'm sorry [inaudible 00:10:56] Yeah.
Rich: I am trying to have a powdered premixed iced tea and you are ruining it for me.
Catelin: Yeah, I can... She would have the biggest glass that we had with a bunch of ice, and then she mix up the-
Rich: I mean, she should have switched to Long Island Iced Teas and then if she would've been cared less.
Catelin: Yeah. My parents weren't super into cocktails or beverages when I was younger, but now this is probably her speed.
Rich: Could be good. Maybe that could be a theme for one of your camp carols coming up the-
Catelin: Oh gosh.
Rich: You could have a Long Island theme and then you could have a boardwalk. You could have Long Island iced teas.
Catelin: Here's the thing, I love my family dearly. I don't know that I want to spend an extended weekend with them if we're drinking Long Island Iced Tea.
Rich: I think that's fair.
Rich: I think it's only if you're drinking the Long Islands and no one else is.
Catelin: Yeah. And no one else is. Yeah.
Rich: All right. Fair enough. Yeah. Well, on that, we should probably take a quick break and then come back.
Catelin: I think, yeah, a familial Long Island iced tea would be a red flag for me.
Catelin: Which takes us into some red flags that you might find when you're hiring an agency.
Rich: Yep, absolutely.
And we're back. We have had not finished our Long Island iced teas. We're actually not drinking those today. That would be, could you imagine this podcast if we did-
Catelin: It's 10:40 in the morning. Cheers.
Rich: It's five o'clock somewhere.
Catelin: Okay, Jimmy.
Rich: All right. So we're talking about red flags today. And we did have the Long Island, because if you go-
Catelin: It's a bit of a red flag.
Rich: It is.
Catelin: First date Long Island, that's a red, that's maybe a time to make your emergency call from the bathroom.
Rich: Business meeting, interviewing an employee. They order a Long Island red flag. Red, red flag. But today we want to... So do a lot of pitching. We talk to a lot of people. I guess pitching isn't really it anymore. It's really the discovery call. That's what we do. We have this free 30 minute, 45 minute, whatever it ends up being call with you just to see if one, we can do what you need.
Catelin: It is really a first date. It's a get to know you situation. We're feeling each other out. Yeah.
Rich: Yeah. It's kind of like a 30-minute speed date.
Catelin: Yeah. Everybody's on their best behavior.
Rich: Yeah, I guess it's like that coffee. So you don't want to commit to anything more than coffee. Cause that can be like 15, 20, 30 minutes. And if it's like you don't want to move forward, you're just like, "Well, coffee was done. It was nice to meet you. I'm out." And we could actually get into as a follow-up to this client red flags. So I know Zach's taking notes, it's probably on his list, but this one's agency red flags, red flag number one, Caitlin, guaranteed metrics and results.
Catelin: This is so shifty.
Rich: It is. "I promise you'll have the first result on Google search."
"I guarantee you'll have 200 leads by Friday." Mm-mm.
Catelin: That's such a lie. No.
Rich: No. They're over promises. And it goes back to that like if it's too good to be true, which will come up in another one as well, it probably is.
Rich: There's always levels of risk with marketing. There's no guarantee. This is not a science, it's sort of an art science combo. And we can make-
Catelin: Human behavior is too unpredictable to guarantee anything.
Rich: Right? And so are Google's algorithm, Facebook's algorithm, changes they make to it. It can be a black hole, you can guess at what they're doing, but they don't actually tell you this is exactly what's going to happen if we do this. And so a good agency can manage that and help you work through it. But a really good example is Google made a change to site authority. How the authority that your website has on a scale of 1 to 100. So your Googles and Amazons and Apples are at the 100 or the 95s. And so the rest of us live in that sub 25 range. And we had a client that was at 38 in December and in January they were at 25. And they were like, what the heck? Like whoa. And it's like, okay, first of all, it's a number. Second of all, the algorithm changed. And so what used to be a 38 is now a 25. You didn't actually lose any authority. They just changed how they measure it.
And so those things are all outside of our control and outside of the client's control. And so when you try to guarantee something, it's like people, other companies, just life the world, it's really hard to do that. So we can give you goals.
Catelin: A range.
Rich: We can give you a range of what is likely, but we can't guarantee these results. And I mean, anytime a client's like, I want you to guarantee X, Y, Z, it's like, well, we can't, and maybe this call is just over. Same thing. If that agency is pitching you on guaranteed results too good to be true.
Catelin: Which takes us to number two, actually their prices are too good to be true.
Catelin: Yeah. Oh gosh. And I get it. There are people that are starting out, there are single people, sole-props that are one person trying to bust their butts and they know what they need to survive. But when you pay for an agency with more than one person, you get the brain of more than one person and-
Catelin: ... that can be really beneficial. The other thing is to just watch out for techniques that can get you in trouble, like keyword stuffing or paid links, repeat content, that kind of thing.
Rich: Yeah, a lot of times-
Rich: There's a couple things that happen with prices. So the one that I think is legit is if you're very small and want to hire a freelancer and they're 25 or 50 bucks an hour or whatever, that's fine. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about you're hiring an agency, 10, 15, 20 people, however many people there are. There's four or five people working on your account and their fee is like 25 or $50 an hour. Or they have these packages that are like, "We do all of these things for $500 a month." It's like $500 a month should be a limited set. We have web maintenance and stuff that we do for $500 a month. We've got a package there, 500, 750, 1500, et cetera. But there are very set things and there are very set rails around that. And you have to understand what you're getting and what you're not getting. We don't promise you the world for 500 bucks.
And so yeah, a lot of times is money in our business, just like lawyers and accountants and all of those other people who get paid for what they do, therapists in there as well. And so if we're not charging you or if an agency isn't charging you very much, then they're not spending very much time, which means they're probably using something automated or a shortcut or that type of thing.
Great example, if people are going to write a blog post for 20 bucks for you, that blog post is probably written by ChatGPT and barely look that like human and there are people doing that. And if that's what you want, then great. But you could also just do that yourself. ChatGPT is not hard to use.
Catelin: It is for free.
Rich: But they may be using AI to, if it's more expensive than that, they might use AI to pull the outline together to get thought starters to get, I've seen one where I've been playing with it and used it for my, what's it called? Just the topic sentence, the key sentence for each paragraph, for instance. But then the rest of it is written, or it's an initial draft and they go through and they edit and massage it and also cut out the lies because AI has learned to lie to us really, really well very quickly.
So yeah, you get what you pay for. And if you're not paying for quality, you're not going to get quality. Now you don't have to pay 500 an hour, even $200 an hour, $300 an hour to an agency. You can find stuff that's in that middle ground. But from my experience, if you're not in that sort of $100, 125, 150 range with a mid-size or even a small agency, be very careful what their methods are.
Catelin: Yeah, you'll get... Yeah, it'll show eventually.
Rich: And also, are they offshoring? Are they not paying their people very well? There's all those things that come into it. So we know what our blended cost per hour is for services, and that's everybody's salaries, all of our overhead, rolled into this is what that costs for our time. And then obviously we need to make a profit on that and have some markup and margin to be able to adapt and adjust. And I'll tell you that it ain't $25 blended cost.
Catelin: That's for dang sure.
Rich: Yes. Correct, correct. So I think-
Catelin: [inaudible 00:20:13] for number three.
Rich: Well, I think these all kind of lead to each other. And so number three, their website sucks. So if they're a marketing agency and you look at their website and you're like, "Ooh, I would never put this out," or, "Wow, this looks like 1986 threw up all over it," or "MySpace and Tom built this website," I would guess that MySpace Tom could build a better website today. I believe that he probably could, but not that he's listening to our podcast, but just in case.
But yeah, especially if they're offering any kind of design services. If their own website doesn't look good and doesn't work, takes forever to load. Huge red flag.
Rich: Huge, huge, huge red flag. I mean, for us, looking at it as well on the client side, if we look at their site and go, "Oh, this site's really terrible." And they think it's the best thing ever? We're probably not going to fit very well.
So I think that that's a big thing. It doesn't have to be huge. We relaunched ours with a one-pager. It had everything you needed to know about us. And we've built through growth-driven design on top of it. Doesn't have to be fancy, doesn't have to have animation, doesn't have to have weird things happening with it, but it should be structured well. It should look good. You should be able to understand what they're doing and dive deeper into it. And it should be easy. It just don't make it, if they're making it hard to hire them? No. Move on. Red flag.
Rich: I mean, what have you seen with bad agency websites? Because we, look... Like there's times when we'll lose a client or we'll be getting a client from somebody else and we're like, "Let's go look at their agency's website." Anything that stood out for you recently?
Catelin: Yeah, I think, and this could probably apply really broadly, but I feel like it's very easy when you are in charge of your own content to get in the weeds really quickly and forget the main message. So it's like, oh, I want to tell you about all of these acronyms and use a bunch of jargon and industry specific language that somebody outside of the agency world or outside of your specific industry wouldn't necessarily understand. We just had that with a client where we're like, "Hey, have you thought about maybe restructuring this into a little bit easier to understand bites?" And they're like, "Oh, actually, that makes a lot of sense." And it's like, yeah, because the people that are visiting your website probably don't know everything there is to know about you, so you can't talk to them. They've worked for you for three years.
Rich: Yeah, I think I do that a lot when we're building a website or even going through ours, there'll be a paragraph and I'm like, this is just like, no, this is just way too big and we'll break it up. And it's like, oh no. But from a topic standpoint, it's all one thought and one topic, and it's like, well, then it needs to be rewritten. Because if it's more than three or four lines on a website in a paragraph, it's not skimmable. It's hard to read. And you're making it really hard on me.
Rich: And so I think looking at their content is a great one.
Rich: Is it easy for you to understand? Because if it's not, then they're going to have trouble translating your business. That can be really difficult. Can you find what you're looking for? That's another one. How's the navigation?
Catelin: Visibility? For sure.
Rich: Yeah. Can I find what I need? I mean, you can also throw it in a speed test and just see if they're going to optimize your site. Is theirs working? Run it through a quick SEO checker. Are they doing... First of all, agencies are the worst at doing their own marketing. We'll just say that.
Rich: So there is that piece, but they should be practicing what they preach in areas of design and functionality and usability. If they're doing lead gen, are there forms, are there opportunities for lead gen on their website? Because if they don't have them, they're not going to think about them for you.
Catelin: Right. Yeah.
Rich: And I think that one just goes broader to are they practicing what they preach? Do you see them practicing what they preach? Google search them and see what results come up, their name, their agency category, that type of thing. And sometimes we look good in those situations and sometimes we don't. There are sometimes I Google us and then I talk to people internally and I'm like, "Hey, why did we fall off the results?"
Catelin: Can we fix this? Yeah.
Rich: [inaudible 00:24:42]was like can we please fix this? Because it looks bad. So they're not perfect and they don't have to be perfect, but it should at least be good.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah.
Rich: All right. Well, that's three. We're kind of zipping through these pretty fast, but I feel like they're so obvious. I hope they're obvious to people. But these are kind of the big ones. So this next one is huge. So what's that one?
Catelin: Number four, they don't have a plan. So if you're working with somebody and they're just like, "Oh, we're going to try X and Y and Z, and we'll see what happens." Well, that maybe be not the best approach. And I do want to caveat this. You should pay for that plan, which takes us back to number two. But the broad strategy and approach should be spoken to early on and often.
Rich: Yeah, how are we going to approach this? What types of things would we do? What have we seen in your industry if they've worked in your industry before? Some people like that. Some people want to be the only one in their industry for exclusivity, but yeah, they should be able to speak to that in a discovery call, or at least in a follow-up to that on how they would create the plan. What's going to go in it? Some top level observations from your website, your SEO. Like I know that we will, if we have time before a discovery call, sometimes they just pop up and it's the next day, and you don't have time... But we'll do a free audit. We'll run a quick brief SEO audit, lead gen audit, website audit, and have those thoughts for you about how we would approach that.
Now, we're not going to give you everything and hand you the blueprint, but we're going to talk to you about generally how things are going to be laid out and how we're going to go with things. But we do have a planning product that we put out there. It's a flat fee. We've got all the steps of what we go through, so it's our plan to get to your plan, and we have examples of what it looks like in the end. So those are all the things you should be looking at to just really make sure that they know what they're doing. And again, going back to number one, if they're guaranteeing a whole bunch of stuff and they can't tell you how they'll do it. Oof.
Catelin: That's the siren. It's not just a flag. It's like a full siren.
Rich: Oh yeah, that's the siren. Red siren emoji. It's like flashing, like everything.
Rich: I'm sure there's plenty of gifs in Slack that we could use though. A siren. But yeah, so I don't know. Anything else on that one?
Catelin: No, I think it pretty much speaks for itself, right?
Catelin: Just get some brass tacks. Get some brass tacks,
Rich: The confidence that they know what they're doing and what they're going to do. But by all means, to Caitlin's point, don't ask for a free marketing plan. That's just not going to happen. I mean, if it does, okay, that's a mistake that every agency makes at some point, but typically you're hiring them for their brains and also they could give you the initial plan. It's going to change. How do they analyze? How do they pivot? How do they make decisions moving forward? A great question to ask is, have they ever had a plan for a client and had to scrap it and start over?
Catelin: Start over, yeah-
Catelin: ... or halfway through change their mind-
Rich: ... Yeah. Or pivot halfway through and shift something.
Catelin: Well and I think we do a good job of setting that up when we do plan for people. We're give us 60 or 90 days to test this and see what happens, and then we'll reanalyze and figure out what works best and what we can maybe retool or change.
Rich: Yeah. Here's our approach going in. Here's what we hope to learn, or the metrics we think we're going to get.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah.
Rich: You need to give it 60 or 90 days or however long it is, with SEO, sometimes longer. And we'll see how we're tracking toward those. And then what's working we'll keep doing and do more of. What's not working, we'll scrap and we'll pivot and here's how we would pivot or how we've pivoted in the past for that. I've never known client side or agency side to put a plan together, execute the plan exactly as it's written-
Catelin: From start to finish.
Rich: ... and not ever change it or pivot. That's not how this business works.
Rich: It's one of my frustrations is like if you're paving a driveway at some point the driveway is paved and it's done and you can drive cars on it, and you go away, you get paid, and you never come back to that driveway again, ideally. In our business this doesn't happen, nothing is ever done. You're always constantly-
Catelin: Yeah. So the driveway is one piece of your home, but we are a full homeowner. Where, so you get the driveway done and then you move on to the interior plumbing, and then you probably have to repaint, and then maybe you need to work with the flooring or replace some carpet.
Rich: And then six months from now you've got a bathroom to redo or you've got tile to redo the paint that you did two years ago, you've got to redo.
Catelin: Its not working anymore. Yeah. Yeah.
Rich: It's perpetual. And I know you've revamped houses while you're living in them. And I have two and it's just-
Catelin: We're really speaking my language right now.
Rich: Mm-hmm. Absolutely.
I think this last one is yours.
Rich: It is.
Catelin: You were the... Yeah.
Rich: So I threw a bonus one in here because this is one that's important to us when hiring clients, and I think it should be very important to the client. And anytime I've ever done an agency review, I've had this worth, if it's a hundred point review, this is worth at least 10 or 15 points at the end. And honestly, it's also a veto for me. This is one that can negate everything that you've done before. The vibe check, the gut check. So do you get a good vibe from these people?
Rich: When you're talking to them, my big thing, and we say it a lot, is do I want to have drinks with them? Outside of work, outside of talking about work, do I want to go to happy hour with them and have a drink for an hour and just sit and chat? Are they people I want to go to dinner with? Because you'll probably go to dinner with them at some point, or at least one or two of them. It's a big deal. You'll work really, really closely with your agency. You're going to be on Zoom calls, you're going to be on the phone a lot. Conflict is going to come up. Difficult conversations are going to come up. Again, back to our dating metaphor. Very, very much dating. Do you feel like they'll respond to a difficult conversation or pushback well? Do you feel like they'll push back on you in an appropriate way and you'll have a good conversation?
I think the other one, and this happens sometimes, it actually happened once with a client who got a new employee who they decided was going to be in charge of marketing. But you just get the ick factor. It's just like they say something, they do something or just their presence makes you go, "Oh, this doesn't feel right. I don't like this." And you part ways or you don't hire them.
Rich: It's a big, big deal. I think the other one is just that goes along with this is style personality. So we're a super casual agency. I mean, as we're recording this, I'm working from home in sweatpants and a T-shirt. I think I have one meeting this afternoon, but-
Catelin: You look professional from the waist up.
Rich: Oh, thank you. And I could put on a polo if I needed to or had that kind of a meeting. But if you're a very formal suit and tie kind of place, now we can pivot. We've got some [inaudible 00:32:22] clients who, if we go to their site, they only do jeans on Friday. So we try not to wear jeans to meetings unless it's on a Friday. We try to match them, but they're also khakis and polos, which fits our casual vibe. If it's a full suit place and you just aren't that and your team doesn't have suits and whatnot, maybe you're just not the right fit-
Catelin: Not a good fit. Yeah.
Rich: ... for them, you're going to be-
Catelin: Well, it also speaks to the mentality that you're going to bring too. We're not low class, but we are more casual. We have a more casual voice, we have a more casual vibe. So it might take us a little bit longer to speak a different language, really. If we're talking to a different audience, it might take us a minute to get there. Not to say that we couldn't do it, but that the vibe check is really important. And I think too, it bears discussing that we've had a time where three out of four of us were like, "Ooh, I don't know if I like this. I don't get a good feeling." And we overrode that and then it came back around and were like, "Oh, this is why." I remember this feeling. And we're probably not going to do that anymore.
Rich: Yeah, there's a trust your gut piece to it. And I think that's a really big one. And I think that if you're out there and you're hiring an agency and your gut is just for whatever reason, saying, "I just don't feel like this is going to be a good fit," move on. Go find somebody else. Find somebody that you enjoy talking to, that you want to be with, that doesn't give you that whatever it is, that negative feeling.
Catelin: The squirm. Yeah.
Rich: Yeah. Squirm. Yeah. I think-
Rich: ... I'd written it in the notes, you get the icks from the team you're talking to.
Catelin: Yeah, yeah.
Rich: But those are-
Catelin: Mine is like a furrowed brow or a hmm, I can't quite put my finger on it, but I don't like it.
Rich: Yeah. I like it when it's a language thing. They start speaking about something and you're like, "Oh no." That's just when it's super obvious, but sometimes it's not obvious. You just get, like you said, that feeling where you're like, hmm.
Catelin: Something doesn't feel right.
Rich: It's a thing that made me go hmm, and I need to maybe step back from that and figure it out and then yeah, talk to other people who are on the call, talk to your team. But if it's not going to work, it's just not going to work. And you're going to have-
Catelin: Don't force it.
Rich: Yeah. Because it's going to be more about trying to manage the relationship or figure out who's going to give and who's going to take through-
Rich: ... those conflicts in how your culture is, your personality.
Rich: And I will say our best clients and our favorite ones tend to be the ones when we go to their office, it feels like it could be our office, we could just plop at a desk at work. The culture is just super identical. They do summer Fridays, we do summer Fridays. Those types of things where you don't have to explain, you don't have to worry about them thinking, why are you taking these days off? That type of thing.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah.
Rich: So yeah, culture check, vibe check, gut check. Just all of that.
Catelin: I know. I was, I think it's a gut check for you and i, but it's a vibe check for those 25 and younger. The vibe is off.
Rich: That's interesting. We should, and that actually brings up a good point. Have a variety of people on your calls in your discovery call with the agency, because you might get a different feel from somebody who's younger, a millennial or a millennials aren't really that young anymore, their forties and thirties.
Catelin: Thank you for bringing it up.
Rich: You're welcome. Hey, nobody even talks about Gen X. It's like boomers, millennials, gen Y, gen Z. And we're like, we're still here and we're still probably angry about something getting-
Catelin: You just putting your head down and working through it because you got the short end of the stick every step of the way.
Rich: Yep. But we sure know how to mix a good cocktail.
Catelin: That's true.
Rich: So yeah, I think that that kind of wraps it up. So do you want to recap them for us real quick?
Catelin: Yeah, absolutely. Guaranteed metrics and results.
Rich: Red flags.
Catelin: Prices are too good to be true.
Rich: Red flag,
Catelin: Their own website sucks.
Rich: Red flag,
Catelin: No plan.
Rich: Red flag.
Catelin: And the vibe is off.
Rich: Red flag. And honestly-
Catelin: So I think that five is number one for me.
Rich: If so-
Catelin: I don't even want to get to the rest of them. It's like this doesn't feel good. Bye.
Rich: Yeah, and I've had that one in job interviews too, where you're just like... I actually ended one. I ended a job interview because I was like, "Look, like I'm not vibing with you. You're not vibing with me. This does not feel like a good fit. I just feel like I should go." And it was one a recruiter sent me to, so I probably should have just played along and gone through it, but 15 minutes in and it was supposed to be an hour and then there was a second person, and I knew this company sucked. I did not want to work there. And they were super offended and I'm like, why? I just didn't waste your time. You got 45 minutes back and somebody else got an hour back.
Rich: Yeah. Vibe check I think is number one. We could put that up to number one. And if you have multiple red flags, just run.
Catelin: Yeah. Turn around, just-
Rich: If they're doing all of these or many of these-
Catelin: No hard feelings. Bye.
Rich: Yeah. Even if the vibe check is okay and you really them if they've got one of the other four-
Catelin: Two, and three. Yeah. Yeah.
Rich: ... like, out.
Catelin: Get out of there.
Rich: And I think with that, we can wrap this episode up and-
Catelin: We can also get out of here.
Rich: ... get out of here.
That's it for another episode of Cocktails, Tangents and Answers.
Catelin: We hope it was as much fun to listen to as it was to make.
Rich: You can find me on Twitter or Instagram @RichMackey. I try not to make it too difficult. It's just my name. And you can find our agency @Antidote_71. That's A-N-T-I-D-O-T-E_71 on Twitter and Instagram as well.
Catelin: And you can find me at home sipping a craft cocktail prepared by my in-home bartender. It's my husband.
Rich: We'll be back with another episode every other week and a whole new cocktail recipe, plenty more tangents and of course answers to those pressing marketing questions.
Catelin: And if you'd like to send us a question, you can go to CTApodcast.live to send us an email.
Rich: Or you can call our hotline at (402) 718-9971 and leave us a voicemail. Your questions might be used for future episodes of the podcast.
Catelin: For now, like and subscribe and tune in next time.