How to find pictures without fake smiles and retouching

How to find pictures without fake smiles and retouching

Original photos and videos are cool, but not all brands can afford expensive production and invest quite a lot of money in shooting and editing. How do you find something good from a million photos with unnatural smiles, poses and retouching in stocks? We have collected nine tips to make the search painless and the content itself responsive to the target audience.

 

1. Imagine looking for a photo for a blogger’s account

People on social media are more responsive to content from other people than from brands. This means that the closer your publications are to real life, there are more chances for the audience’s attention. You can see Nike and Gucci exploiting this strategy.

There is such an exercise: describe what emotions a photo evokes in a blogger’s account and figure out what techniques help to achieve this. For example, close-ups without retouching are often used to show openness and honesty.

Instagram of Scottish actor Sam Heughan from Outlander / Stock image which could fit the account

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NoFrames Glasgow

2. Look for pictures that you want to think out

If the image evokes associations and forces the user to speculate on the scene, the brand wins. After all, this way it can be imprinted in the memory of a potential client.

To pick up a picture with a story inside, think about what good will not happen in other people lives without your product or service. For example, a person cannot relax with friends in the forest without your mosquito repellent.

Bad / Better

NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

3. Take a closer look at the illustrations

A photo does not always work better than simplified and emphatically unrealistic graphics. Author’s illustrations, collages and animations highlight the ads in the feed, which is dominated by ordinary photos and videos.

In addition, illustrations are often more credible than retouched photographs of models – the graphics do not leave the impression that flaws are hiding from you.

Bad / Better

NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

4. Focus on trending palettes

Stock pictures can be output based on the latest downloaded files and predictions of the Pantone Color Institute. For example, here is a collection of pictures of lime, the trendiest colour of summer 2021.

If ready-made solutions are not for you, you can work out your seasonal palette yourself – and then just filter the results by colour.

Without filter by colour / With filter by colour

NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

5. Don’t be afraid of stock videos

If the budget or time for the production of the original video is limited, you can take a closer look at the stock ones. These videos won’t replace product reviews, but they can illustrate less specific things. For example, show the prototype of the target audience in the video, so that the viewer thinks: “Oh, this product is really for me!”

Also, stock videos are good as references. With their help, you can show the client how the video will look approximately, clearly explain the idea, transitions and effects.

Good / Better

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6. Be afraid of stock smiles

A happy family from a mayonnaise advertisement, a hacker in a hoodie, overly active gestures or facial expressions – these are all “typical stock photos” that do not inspire confidence in the audience and are repulsive.

There will always be such pictures on microstocks, but you can catch others – more natural and lively.

Bad / Better

NoFrames Glasgow
Glasgow NoFrames

7. Choose a calm colour scheme

Contrasting images look more noticeable, but this technique has been overused in design so much that people stop responding to colourful content. In addition, it is hard to look at bright pictures when you are already sitting at a laptop or phone all day. The user is more likely to scroll through the image or close the page.

But the restrained, natural palette is relaxing, so this kind of content is worth taking a closer look at. Of course, if it is related to the brand book.

Bad / Better

NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

8. Avoid aggressive retouching

Today, artificial intelligence draws perfect skin even before you have time to photograph a friend – and it looks natural. Therefore, if retouching is striking, the design will cause rejection, look unstable, and you may be accused of embellishment.

Try to avoid deep retouching when choosing visuals on stocks. Give preference to imperfect shots that are taken as if by accident.

Bad / Better

NoFrames Glasgow
NoFrames Glasgow

9. Think wider

A post about the principles of a successful business? The picture shows a man in a suit. A poster about a new promotion in the mall? We are already downloading a photo with girls with a bunch of coloured bags.

Yes, through a stereotypical picture, you can convey an idea unmistakably and the majority will definitely understand it. But they don’t grab your audience and make your ad campaign stand out from hundreds of others.

Before looking for another visual, think: who will see this ad? What problems and worries do they have in their heads now? What story will resonate and make you grab the attention?

Bad / Better

Glasgow NoFrames
Glasgow NoFrames
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Which hobbies will prepare you for the world of work?

Which hobbies will prepare you for the world of work?

We’ve quizzed our team on the hobbies that get them through the week… and the crossover skills that get them through the working day.

After a busy work week, everyone needs to relax and destress. Whether it’s a book, a bath, or two cubic tonnes of wine.

For the well-adjusted among you, these don’t technically count as hobbies… Although in all seriousness, working on ‘passion projects’ and taking time for skills unrelated to work isn’t just good for your mental health—it’s good for your soul.

Your life is more than the work you do and the right job should leave you ample time to live it. It’s only by valuing the time we spend away from work, that we learn how to do a better job. You may not have thought that these everyday pastimes are sets of transferable skills, but they are!

We spoke to every member of the team and managed to eke some insight out of these  creative types. Let’s find out what they had to say!

 

You’re not nervous, are you?

There seems to be something a few of us have in common. When it comes to the performing arts, this lot are old pros. Our Sales Rep, Patrick McCulloch, is someone you may well have seen before. He’s had roles in both Outlander and The Nest.

Patrick spoke of the necessary ability to calm his nerves. He describes going into every audition with the resolution that he will not get the part. Although this doesn’t quite get rid of all the nerves, it lessens the blow (in case he doesn’t) and keeps them at a manageable level. In the world of digital marketing, going in with little to no expectations means having real conversations and putting less pressure on meetings with potential clients.

Sophie also spoke of nerves when discussing her musicianship, as she’s played the Saxophone in various jazz bands and orchestras. While studying abroad, she acted in and co-directed a multi-media play. This represented a real turning point. Sophie, much like Patrick, agreed that while controlling your nerves was a good thing, being unable to harness that nervous energy leaves your work stale and boring.

Feeling comfortable at all times is a sign that you aren’t progressing. Of course, we all take time to decompress, but, “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area” as David Bowie said.

Know your limit and try to surpass it.

 

Teamwork, gaming and creativity.

Next time you’re playing five-a-side footie with your pals or sitting down at a games console for some multiplayer mayhem, you can tell people you’re just brushing up on your digital marketing.

Jonathan, our Customer Relations Manager, spoke of the sheer joy and satisfaction he quite rightly gains from these activities. To him, it’s the teamwork and strategising that follow over into his job. He has to coordinate people, discuss plans, and be a natural team player.

Jack, our Content Creator, has plenty of experience with crossover collaborative skills. He’s done his time on film and TV sets, and found there is a great overlap of communication and organisational skills. He learned this from working in various teams and in different departments.

On the creative side of things, he’s found that the more experience he has over a wide variety of disciplines (like film, TV or digital media) the more he can focus on creating purely to entertain, educate and inspire. He considers it a feedback loop of creative ideas and solutions.

Both Jack and Jonathan are self described film buffs, and while we all enjoy a good movie from time to time, it’s best never to get Jonathan started on ‘French New Wave’ (because he might never stop).

 

Work imitates art.

Both co-founders of NoFrames, Irina and Ana, enjoy painting and drawing. As does Sophie, who likes to ‘lino print’. Irina believes this has helped her think creatively and keeps her providing high quality visual content for clients. In the beginning, Irina was creating all of the content herself—so it’s no surprise that she has an artistic streak.

In her free time, Ana writes poems in Russian, and is a great talent in writing copy. This skill has proved worth its weight in gold when writing applications for grants and creating presentations. She owes this skill to consistently writing in her spare time.

 

What are you waiting for?

Almost any hobby or outside interest can make you more productive, introduce you to new skills or boost your CV.

That being said, the most important thing about hobbies—is that you enjoy them. Regardless of their worth to your career, if there’s something you love to do, you might as well do it. Life is too short for the opposite.

It seems like the team at NoFrames has proved that with creative hobbies and interests, you can build a skill set that applies to your work and career. In our case this is of great advantage to our work in digital marketing. But, remember—

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

 

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How to build a career plan and what to do if it doesn’t work

How to build a career plan and what to do if it doesn’t work

It is difficult with a career: at first, you do not know which direction to choose, then you doubt whether it is the right one, and even if the work is your favourite, you can turn sour on it.

We asked several HRs:

– what kind of animal is it, a career strategy?
– will it save you from focus, burnout and self-disappointment?
– what questions should be asked?
– and what to do if you are already lost?

When do you need to think about a career strategy: at the start of work or when you feel that you need to change something?

A career strategy is needed at any stage of the working life. It draws key points on the way to the goal, helps to understand what skills will be needed in the future, and makes it possible to acquire them gradually and thoughtfully. For example, if you want to work abroad, the strategy will give you time to learn the language.

The annoying question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” is not so bad if you paraphrase it to “How do I see my life?”. Even if the answer is “I don’t work and I live with an ocean view,” a career strategy will help you achieve that state.

The main thing for building a strategy is understanding the benchmark you want to come to. In a situation of career stagnation, for example, there may not be such a target point – for a start, a person needs to cope with burnout or even depression.

 

What happens if there is no strategy?

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We can’t say that everything will be bad. There is simply a greater risk of being disappointed at the end of the road and thinking: “Why did I spend so many years on THIS, when all my life I dreamed of something completely different.” Career strategy is for those who understand the value of time.

Without a strategy, of course, it is possible, but there is a great risk that the path to the coveted sphere or position will be thorny. De-focus, a fortune on learning whose skills are not being used. Remember how it was in “Alice In Wonderland”? If you don’t know where you need to go, it doesn’t matter where you go.

At the same time, it is important to understand that all people are different – there are those who are comfortable working in the same position for many years, doing the same thing. And that’s okay, this also has a career strategy. If everyone around them were incredibly ambitious, no one would perform some of the tasks – everyone would be busy with their rapid growth.

Okay, I think I need a strategy. How do I start? Whatshould it look like?

To summarize, there are three main career tracks:

  1. vertical – a standard track in the form of a career ladder, where you rise up from a junior position to a managerial position and beyond;
  2. expert (horizontal) – you expand and / or delve into a function / industry of interest to you. Quite often people go freelancing on this track;
  3. entrepreneurial – you create something of your own and gradually scale your business.

In a career strategy, you can combine several tracks at once. For example, based on knowledge of the industry and the needs of the target audience with which a person worked, he can create his own product that will cover the needs of this audience. A freelancer can create his own company, attract more clients and employees for their tasks and scale the business through cross-function and client needs.

Strategy is always about vectors:

  • where to move on;
  • are there opportunities at the current place of work and what needs to be learned for this;
  • If not, where to go and what are the risks to be prepared for.

It may be a trivial map in Miro, where you draw: I am at point A, in order to come to point B, I need – and then you build options for the path. In parallel, you can formulate achievements for yourself that will help you move on to the next stage: what skills you need to acquire, what projects to defend.

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In career tracks for our guys at NoFrames, we often build a plan in the context of six months – but this is also flexible. Having tried to move along the intended path, after a month a person can wake up and understand that this is not at all what he wants to do.

 

It’s hard to sit down like this and figure out what I want. Are there any tools?

Remember: always in your areas of interest and always based on your strengths.

First of all, determine point A where you are now: your strengths, experience, education, tools, circle of your interests and current area of ​​responsibility.

Next, choose point B where you want to come: it can be a specific position, your own company, or even early retirement. The more details you write, the easier it will be to build a path.

But you need to understand that a career is not a static thing. It will be subject to changes, therefore, it is necessary to return to the strategy at least once a year. Don’t be afraid to revisit the B-point – it will help you stay tuned and transform your experience, adding value and expertise.

Little life hack: it is convenient to promote a career plan “from above”, from a big goal to a small one.

You can try focusing on more than just your career strategy. Ask the question where andhow yousee yourself in six months, what do you dream of, but not only within the framework of work – perhaps you want to move, change your image, master a new hobby. Compare the motivation “I want more money” and “I want to go on a trip around the world.”

There are goals, there is a plan, but I’m still slipping – what’s the matter?

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Perhaps, building a map, you overestimated your strengths, gained a lot of tasks and do not have time to self-develop or learn from someone else’s experience. It seems that no one is pressing, but the plan is built and there is an inner feeling that you need to do everything in time. It’s important to give yourself the right to slow down – this is your career track, you can influence it and you don’t have to run forever if a fast pace doesn’t suit you.

And you also need to periodically ask yourself these questions:

Am I cool now?

Do I like what I am doing?

Do I like what I am studying, or am I doing it because I have to?

And who needs – me or the leader with whom we built this track?

It is important to return to yourself with these questions – otherwise, it will not be possible to understand whether you are moving there, unfortunately.

There is also the trap of fear of change. It is always scary to go into the unknown and the new: to someone because of responsibility, to someone because of the fear of failure. Here, again, a psychologist will help. And there is another option – to talk to a career consultant. Sometimes we set ourselves high goals and do not understand how to approach them. Therefore, we procrastinate.

Don’t forget to check:

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How to choose your brand colours

How to choose your brand colours

Don’t be afraid to be bold—after all, did you know colour determines 62-90% of how your buyer will react to your business’s product? Every colour has different perceived meanings and connotations, so how do you know how to use them? Read our quick guide on colour: when to use it, and how!

1. RED

Red is an eye-catching colour that promotes action. It’s a warning colour, sharply bringing you out of a calm state and attracting attention.

How does it work?:
Red affects someone’s physiology: it stimulates the nervous system and slightly increases blood pressure.

Remember:
In electronic media, red is subconsciously perceived as a mistake—so it’s better not to use this colour for brands related to education, finance and IT.

Fits:

  • food / drinks
  • the medicine
  • beauty
  • sport
  • transport
  • real estate

2. BLUE

Blue is the colour of serenity, calm and dimension (think the sea and sky). As well as reliability and purity. It’s still a restful colour, and isn’t overbearing or unpleasant when used as bright shades. 

How does it work?:
Affects emotions: calms, balances, controls.

Remember:
Blue is a universal colour that suits almost everyone. Ideal for travel brands – blue is reminiscent of the sky, sea and mountains.

Fits:

  • transport
  • finance / business
  • IT / digital
  • real estate
  • medicine
  • tourism
  • family / children

3. YELLOW

An energetic, warm and inviting colour. Take a look at some of the world’s most iconic brands—Mcdonald’s golden arches are a recognisable symbol anywhere on the planet. 

How does it work?:
Yellow stimulates brain activity and improves performance. Gold denotes success, worthiness and value.

Remember:
Bright yellow is associated with childhood, and gold is best used for luxurious, high status businesses.

Fits:

  • clothes
  • sport
  • entertainment
  • tourism
  • family Children
  • art
  • education
  • animals 

4. GREEN

Green is the undeniable colour of nature, peace and freshness.

How does it work?:
It’s said to soothe the nervous system, lower intraocular pressure and sharpen vision.

Remember:
Often green is associated with sustainable causes and ecological benefits, making it a good match for food brands. Also associated with money (as it’s the colour of the dollar) and is suitable for the financial sector.

Fits:

  • food / drinks
  • education
  • IT / digital
  • real estate
  • the medicine
  • tourism
  • family / children
  • animals
  • finance / business

5. BLACK

In branding, black is the colour of order, professionalism and clarity.

How does it work?:
It denotes high cost, luxury and functionality—in the 19th and 20th centuries, equipment and machines were often first produced in black.

Remember:
Black (like most colours) has different cultural meanings: for example, in Russia, it is the colour of mourning and, in Japan, the colour of joy.

 

Fits:

  • beauty
  • art
  • clothes
  • real estate
  • education
  • sport
  • finance / business
Don’t forget to check:

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How SCAMPER, Euler’s circles and the How-Now-Wow method work

How SCAMPER, Euler’s circles and the How-Now-Wow method work

It’s four thirty. The office hums with impatience. The post-lunchtime urge to nap is both present and treacherous, and several bedraggled creative types sit slumped around a large blank page.  

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever had to brainstorm for a living, you’ll know that the elusive universal brainstorming technique (you know, the one that keeps your clients happy, gets you in under budget, and destroys your enemies)—doesn’t exist.

Take it from us, we’ve looked! And although we didn’t find it, we did manage to find the next best thing: our top five brainstorming techniques for effective idea generation. 

SIX HATS

You now have six imaginary hats. Each hat is a different colour and requires you to ask different questions about the problem at hand. Go through each hat in turn and approach your problem from a different perspective—take notes! 

White: Discuss your problem with an emphasis on facts and figures. What are the numbers telling you? 

– Hazelnut sales are down 20% from last year. 

Red: Rely on your intuition, focus on the feelings and emotions that arise when discussing the problem. 

– I’m to blame for the drop in numbers, I suck at targeting!  

– No, It’s just that less people are cooking at home, they’re ordering delivery. 

– This is a new reality dictated by the pandemic…

Yellow: What are your positive expectations for the project? What is it that holds positive significance in your idea? 

– Let’s come up with healthy nut based recipes and start promoting them on TikTok. Let’s print a cookbook and post it out with our hazelnuts. Our target market will be those interested in a healthy lifestyle—everything will be healthy, fabulous and green! 

Black: This requires critical thinking. You need to Identify all the risks and possible pitfalls in the implementation of your project.

– How is this going to work? Is there anything healthy about sugar, dough and deserts? With what money are we going to print these books? We’re almost bankrupt! 

Green: This hat is about creativity and imagination. Sit down and dedicate time to search for unexpected, creative and provocative solutions to  your problem. 

– A recipe from the 11th century is nuts with avocado and turkey on corn flour. We’ll find creative recipes to print on pfd, and then we include a QR code that links to instructional videos and extra content! 

Blue: The development of specific stages for the implementation of this goal. This is when we start to plan. What sort of timescale are you looking at? What’s the budget?

– We need to redesign, rename, search for influencers and begin seeding in social networks—let’s go!

 

What’s next? Depending on the task, you can try on hats in a convenient sequence. The technique can also be used with large teams. For example; divide the participants into six teams, record their ideas, then change the “hats” for the teams until all participants have expressed their opinion in each category.

LOTUS FLOWER

This technique helps you generate a solution for the main problem, by solving the auxiliary problems around it. Start with a main topic and expand upon it until you get to several different subtopics. You will need a 9 by 9 cell table – you can print or draw it. 

 

1. In the central cell, write the goal you want to achieve. For example, “Increase the number of active subscribers from one thousand to fifteen thousand”. 

2. In the eight petals around the center, enter the tools that would help achieve this goal. The following are suitable; UGC, influencer advertising, contests, targeting, content plan redesign, entry to other sites, collaborations, competitor analysis. 

3. Take each of these elements separately and come up with eight solutions to these issues.

To rework the content plan, you can try the following solutions: 

  • Re-analysis of target audience; 
  • TOV change; 
  • Updated rubricator; 
  • Increase in the frequency of publications; 
  • Emphasis on stories instead of posts;
  • Live broadcasts with experts that have not been held before;
  • Publications about brand partners who will share these posts on their own;
  • CTA and attempts to display a signature for a dialogue.

    As a result, you will have 64 different solutions to the problem, which can be combined and grouped in any way that seems logical to you.

    SCAMPER

    This method is more suitable for optimizing processes than for giving birth to a brand new idea. With SCAMPER, you need to answer questions from seven categories:

     

    S: Substitute—Is it possible to replace the components of the product to solve the problem? 

    C: Combine—Can it be combined with other solutions, functions or products? 

    A: Adapt—Can new elements and functions be added? 

    M: Modify—Can the product be modified? 

    P: Put to other uses—Can a product or idea be applied in another industry? 

    E: Eliminate—Can the product be simplified to reduce its disadvantages? 

    R: Reverse—Is the opposite solution, idea or product possible?

    Imagine that you were the first car-sharing service in your city, but have failed to develop your software for a long time and have become seriously behind the competition. SCAMPER will tell you in which directions you can move to fix this. 

    Spoiler alert: you can come to both a rebranding and a complete retraining—for example, a courier service.

     

     

    EULER’S CIRCLES

    Euler’s circles are relationship diagrams. They help to find the relationship between objects that appear to be poles apart. Euler’s circles are useful when you have a lot of concepts that you struggle to mentally connect. Unlike Venn diagrams, Euler’s circles show relevant relationships—as opposed to possible relationships between different sets. 

    There are six types of relationships:

    1. Equivalence. Mcdonald’s serves affordable fast food. MAC is a luxury cosmetics brand. You need to clearly associate your product with the niche it occupies. Think about what analogies you can draw and how to connect the psychology of your brand to the physical imagery your customers see. 

    2. Subordination (Coordination). Ethical hair brand Kevin.Murphy not only does not test products on animals, but also minimizes waste. For example, it produces a series of products in recycled ocean plastic. Although animal testing and ocean waste are two seperate issues, they both fall under the umbrella of sustainability. This is what sets the brand apart from other cruelty-free cosmetics. 

    3. Submission. Frame your concept in a way that is far from obvious. For example, tell us about your sunscreen, and how it should be used somewhere in the Far North. Many people still do not know that sun protection is a story not only about summer and heat. Surprise your audience, frame your product in a unique way.

    4. Intersection. What do your target audience and your product have in common? You care about the health of children, just like their parents—that is why you produce a series of stuffed toys that can be wiped with a damp cloth so that no dust particles accumulate on them. Relate your product to the humans that buy it. 

    5. Contradiction. The struggle of two conflicting opinions—all this storytelling power is at your fingertips. Think about the Twix’s ‘left & right twix’ Ad campaign. Or Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. 

    6. Opposites. These two don’t come into conflict and instead coexist peacefully together. Those with naturally straight hair want to curl it, and those with curly hair—straighten it. Your salon doesn’t care who they are—because they’ll do incredible styling for both. Use this to shed some light on your positioning strategy.

     

    You can apply Euler’s circles to: 

    • Check if the strategy is relevant to the project. 
    • Analyse competitors’ content. 
    • Develop TOV, corporate colours, branding and identity. 
    • Make sure that there are no points of friction or inconsistencies in the brief.

    HOW-NOW-WOW

    In this technique, you place ideas on an axis. It has four directions:

    Wow is the coolest option. The goal of the session is to arrive at a stage of development where the majority of your ideas are in this box.

    Edible coffee cups, chocolate bombs and sweet milk straws have all had a wow effect in coffee shops recently, and they are easy to implement. Think about what you have to offer? An innovative recipe for a cookie that doesn’t break in tea? 

    So, which of these techniques are the most suited to you and your team? Remember, there’s no universal brainstorming technique as there is no universal brain—so try out some methods that are as vibrant and entertaining as the people you work with.

    Don’t forget to check:

    Ready to make a real change?

    Let’s get started!

    NoFrames co-founder’s tips to help you work effectively with marketing agencies

    NoFrames co-founder’s tips to help you work effectively with marketing agencies

    In movies, working with agencies (as well as within them) looks like a dream; the client sets the brief and after a week or two you’re showing a crazy presentation, their sales skyrocket, everyone is happy, and you all drink champagne on yachts. In reality, managers don’t look like Hollywood stars and it’s not all smooth sailing.

    However, the power lies in the approach. We’ve collected some universal tips to make your work with contractors and agencies pleasant and productive, so that the mention of a manager won’t cause a nervous tic.

     

    01 

    Discuss Responsibility and Specific Requirements 

    Conflicts often arise due to the fact that, in the beginning, both parties fail to discuss who is who, what they do, what the tasks are, and what the parties expect from each other. For example, it would be a nasty surprise for the client if the agency didn’t provide the drafts, and the agency’s project manager might struggle without a proper introduction to the material.

    The main issues are dealt with in the contract. However, things such as the type of report, time and form of communication, specific tasks and wishes—it’s far better for them to be discussed and registered at the start. Has there already been a conflict with previous agencies? This can also be worth talking about.

    02 

    Set the Tone—Choose the Style of Working That Suits You Best

    Some prefer to give direction and rely entirely on creativity, while others need to control every step. It’s better to discuss which style is most natural to you before you start, so that the agency has time to adapt to you. If the work is also controlled by the international head office, then it’s crucial to immediately discuss its criteria, restrictions, norms, rules and terms.

    Remember that you are the face of the brand you represent. And it depends on you how the agency will treat the company. Therefore, be adequate and do not forget that you are communicating with the same people.

    03 

    Don’t Guess, Stay in Touch

    Most of the communication problems between a customer and the contractor arise when there’s a misunderstanding. Letters and messages do not convey emotions; someone can be enraged by an SMS with dots at the end, and someone else—the presence or absence of an emoji. The best way to avoid all of this is to meet or call regularly, so you can clearly indicate the frequency of reports and know when to expect results.

    Meetings are time-consuming for both parties, so prepare for them as much as possible. Write down all the issues you want to discuss in advance. Be honest with the agency and speak up right away if something is not pleasant or embarrassing. Even if you are talking about a manager who works with you, this will help stop problems from accumulating and reduce unjustified expectations to a minimum.

    04 

    Participate in Internal Meetings

    At first, it might seem like demons are being summoned right next to you: guidelines, brand books, creative approval, and so on and so forth. But, if you’ve been invited to brainstorm, don’t refuse. On the one hand, you will better understand what is generally going on in the minds of crazed digital people, and on the other, you will play the role of a consultant and give useful advice.

    No one knows the product and its audience better than you do, and this will help turn the work in the right direction. Now it’s possible to avoid a situation where someone has conveyed the wrong information, and avoid future misunderstandings. Save time and avoid unnecessary edits.

    05 

    Record All Agreements

    Did you phone and meet? Excellent! It’s best practise to confirm and record everything. Agree on the format in which everything will be recorded. The best option is to send and receive all the agreed information by email as this is the method of approval that is most often outlined in the contract.

    For convenience, discuss how you will label the subject lines and file names, and where you will communicate and store all the documents. Respond in specific threads on a specific topic, and do not interfere with all messages in one lump text—use replies.

    06 

    Work As a Team

    An agency is powered by people, it’s not a wishing well. They have experience and observation. Therefore, learn to listen to their opinion and argue your position. Constructive criticism is very good. If you don’t like an idea, tell them what you would like to improve or in which direction to direct the flow of thoughts. Imagine if you were told: “Everything is bad, redo it”—how would you do it? Both parties are interested in efficient and high-quality problem-solving. 

     

    You hired an agency because of their experience and skills. Therefore, if some idea does not seem very good to you, try to listen to their advice anyway.

    07 

    Speak the Same Language

    If you have a new idea, don’t rush to the phone and dump it on the agency manager with the phrase “Monica, we have a great idea, take a pen and write it down.”. Get together with your team and first rationalise the idea yourselves so that it sounds clear, understandable and logical to other people. If necessary, add pictures, videos and any other examples that will help. And try to avoid specific terminology and internal slang: the chances that you will be understood are close to zero.

     

    It is normal if the customer doesn’t know every advertising term and all the industry nuances. Therefore, to make it easier for you to understand the causal relationship of the agency’s proposals, you can arrange for an introductory lecture for your marketing team and a list of terms with human definitions.

    Here at NoFrames, we also have rules that have been developed with experience and can help clear up a number of issues for agencies. They will help you work in a more streamlined manner and effectively solve problems.

    1. Key decisions. The main enemy of productive work is miscommunication. To avoid misunderstandings, we determine at the beginning who will make the main decisions on behalf of the client. This person can transmit the wishes of the team and make edits. From our side, the project manager is appointed as responsible. 

    2. Working with edits. We prepare all the content in advance and put in corrections from one to three working days. We wait for feedback so we can better understand the brand and learn how to avoid too many edits in the future. Experience shows that in the first three edits, all issues can be resolved. If no comments are received within three working days, we consider that the work has been accepted. 

    3. Prioritise Introductory Information. We are for teamwork, so we ask our clients to provide all information on time, from logos to guidelines. 

    4. Resolving Issues. We discuss all questions in the corporate email chain. This is very convenient as the dialogue is available to everyone and the information is not lost. If the manager communicates with the customer by phone or in a messenger, then he writes down all the main points and sends them to the client by email. 

    5. Force majeure. We, like most office employees, work on weekdays from 09:00 to 18:00, but we understand that sometimes unplanned situations arise. If the issue really cannot be closed during business hours, the team tries to help the client as quickly as possible. However, this is an exception, not a rule. Our employees like to spend their free time with family, friends or outside the city—and we do not want to deprive them of this pleasure. 

     

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