Tips & Advice

3 Misconceptions with Big Agencies You Didn’t Think About

Adam Wright

by Adam Wright

Open-plan office with people working at desks, laptops, and office supplies on tables. Modern furniture and industrial decor with indoor plants and ample natural light from large windows.

So, you’re in the market for a new website — and weighing out your options on what kind of web designer to hire.

First off, I don’t envy your position. There are TONS of web designers out there — some legit, some not, and some way over their heads.

Do you hire the freelancer? Do you go to Upwork? Do you use a small agency? Or go all-in on a big agency?

Who should you trust won’t just take your money and give you a really poor result?

5 Epic Font Pairings You Can’t Go Wrong With

Tired of searching for fonts? With my 10+ years of design experience, I’ve put together the best font pairings for you to use, where to find them, and what industry they’re best for.

Get the Free Guide

I’m sure if you asked 100 people what they would choose, the majority would go with a big agency as the easy choice. They have this nice, fancy website, a big team, and awesome portfolio pieces to look at.

Well, I’m here to tell you some misconceptions about big agencies that you may not be thinking of.

Misconception #1: The larger the team, the better

A big agency, just so we’re clear in terms of what we’re talking about, is referred to as a company with probably 10 or more employees. With a big agency, you’ll often find they have a CEO, or Chief Executive Officer, a CMO, or Chief Marketing Officer, and a Founder/Owner. Plus, all the remaining employees and managers that trickle down the tree of power.

With that in mind, it’s easy to think that a big agency with people of that kind of stature and experience, would be well qualified to deliver an amazing website for your business.

And many times, that can be true.

However, not always.

This is the first misconception — thinking that the bigger the team at an agency, the better your project will go.

The problem here is that with big agencies, you talk to one person who handles leads, then get passed on to another person who might carry the discovery meeting, and then ultimately get passed on to a project or account manager. Then, that project manager has several people they work with (designers, developers, marketers, etc.) that they communicate with.

So your project ends up being passed along by 2-3 people, and worked on by several at once. This can make you feel like just a “number” in their system, where you’re just there to help them reach their sales goals and put another tally on the board.

If you put in a complaint about your project manager, you might just get passed on to another one, with the aim of “making you happy” and to “do better.” But who says that next project manager should be any better? Shouldn’t they have the same values and methods, working for the same agency?

A larger team can have the advantages of greater expertise, but how that team is managed, and the impersonal connection you get with being passed around, is not going to make you feel all “warm and fuzzy.”

Misconception #2: Bigger agencies deliver better work

Take a gander at several different agency websites — from solo agencies, to boutiques and big agencies — and you’ll find an array of presentations.

Some great, some not so great — just depending on where you end up.

It might be a fairly common theme, though, to find that bigger agencies probably display some better looking work than that of their smaller competitors (like solo agencies).

However, this is yet another misconception — as not all big agencies deliver quality work.

Believe it or not, I’ve interacted with a very big advertising agency, that had all the awards and fancy recognitions next to their name, that used a template to build websites, and then would charge you a copious amount of money to alter that template in any way.

But with such a big team, WHY would a big agency use a template?

It’s possible that with such a big team, you need structure and processes — but most of all, profit. Those CEOs and CMOs I spoke about earlier are looking to line their pockets with as much money as they can.

Their intentions of growing BIGGER are to make MORE money.

So what happens (or can happen) is as agencies grow and become more hungry, their attention to detail and quality of work lacks.

Their focus is not on the individual project, but on getting the next one, and the next one, and so on, and trying to churn the projects out as fast as possible for the most profit.

Misconception #3: Big agencies bring better results

We know by now that there are many assumptions we make about working with big agencies. Just having this thought of working with a big, credible agency can make you feel like they can take your business to new heights, and beyond.

You are in such good hands, that there’s nothing they can’t do for your business.

Well, sorry to pop your bubble — but just being a big agency, does not mean they can deliver you better results.

They can’t guarantee your site will be on page 1 of Google search results; they can’t guarantee you $1 million in sales by December; and they can’t guarantee to bring you 100 new leads a day.

Now, can they though? Yes, well they could. But it would be a VERY bold, risky move for any agency to guarantee those types of claims.

It doesn’t matter the size of the agency, nobody has any more authority or ability to bring you better results.

What plays into it is industry knowledge, experience, strategy and expertise — all of which can be accomplished by a solo agency just as well as a big one.

Big agencies aren’t always what they seem

Above are just a few misconceptions that you might think of when it comes to choosing a big agency for your website, but we can tell you there are many more that you’d encounter if you did choose to work with one.

Now, this isn’t to say that ALL big agencies are created equal — nor are solo or boutique agencies. There are plenty good ones in the bunch, but I wanted to point out a few things you may not have thought about.

So don’t just scoff at the solo or boutique agencies, you might just find you’ll have a much better experience with equal (or better) results than you’d get at a big agency — all for a much smaller price tag.

Adam Wright

About the Author

Adam Wright

Adam is a California native, now living in Middle Tennessee. A long-time creative at heart, his passion for design and growing his small business, AWD, is always evident. When he's not writing code or sketching logos, he enjoys spending time with family, playing basketball, or watching just about any motorsports. Find him on LinkedIn.

Keep Reading