The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes (and Neither Do You)

Running an agency is the ultimate catch-22. If you’re in a leadership position, you likely spend your time signing new clients, logging hours on client work, and making new relationships with brands and partners you admire. Finding the right kind of new business keeps you up at night, most of the time.

But in order to do that, you’ve also got to find some time to market yourself effectively. You already know this, of course. You’ve got to write posts that position you as a thought leader, capture video that then becomes posted on demand, you hope, to your social channels. You’ve got to curate articles that align with your own goals, and what’s more, those articles must be relevant to your target audience. You know you should guest blog or finally start that podcast, kind of like you know you should eat your daily serving of fruits and vegetables, but somehow you let it slide. Just this once. Just until you can gain some footing with everything else that's going on.

You’ve already nagged your creative team to contribute to the blog.

“We’re bogged down with enough work,” they say. “We’ll get to it Friday afternoon. Maybe we can just post a picture of the office dog for now.” 

Friday afternoon comes. Friday afternoon goes. Deadlines get pushed. Content falls off the priority list. Even the office dog doesn’t want anything to do with it. Because by Friday afternoon, the lack of energy, focus, and enthusiasm necessary to producing flat out amazing agency content has dwindled. Content becomes an afterthought. 

Solid, well-developed content that incites action is the gateway to the kind of clients you’ve been dreaming about.

Sometimes you promise to do better, queuing up a full lineup of stellar, SEO-optimized content for an entire month. And then the next month you don’t. People ask if you’re still in business. “Did someone die over there? All I hear are crickets.” Or, if your newsletter is too off-topic and invasive, you find that your mailing list slows to a trickle.

We hear this phrase often: 

"The cobbler’s children have no shoes."

It’s a metaphor that cuts deep for most agencies. In this case, the cobbler is so busy fashioning shoes for his own customers — tanning the leather and fitting them to precise specifications — that he barely realizes his own children are walking the village barefoot. Sure, he promises that he’ll get around to it this weekend. The cobbler never gets around to it. He’s so knee-deep in his own work, that he doesn’t see the jarring irony. Two of his most precious resources, time and expertise, are going towards his customers’ feet rather than the most important feet in his whole life — his children's. Like a maid that doesn’t have time to make her own bed, or a heart surgeon that ignores every warning sign of a heart attack, the irony will catch up to you eventually.

Content that’s properly fitted to a brand protects the health, wealth, and vitality of a creative agency. In fact, it makes walking the walk that much easier. It makes new business meetings run that much smoother. It ensures that not only do you feel confident about your capabilities, but your clients do too.

Outstanding agency content must simultaneously champion its own work, celebrate its team, and speak in an authentic tone that captures the essence and charm of the people who breath life into it. It must cater to a specific audience segment that allows it to have purpose, to work for you, rather than you simply working for it.  

Content is a commitment. It can’t wait.

That’s why we do what we do, in order to help you run a bigger, better business. In order to help you, finally, get some sleep at night, knowing your business walks the walk when it comes to making content a priority.

How will you give your agency the kind of shoes it deserves? 

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