3 Ways Your Agency Can Collaborate; ProTip - Goldilocks Got It Right.

Dan Salkey
December 26, 2023

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LONDON - Any agency worried about their competition likely hasn't, 1) Finessed their new business strategy, 2) is failing to convert, or 3) hasn't found their niche. As holding companies continue to be burdened by their sheer scale, and big-ticket clients increasingly move towards in-housing, agencies will need to form new kinds of partnerships to succeed.

So with this in mind, it's important to cooperate. Speak to as many fellow agency founders as possible, both big and small. They are an invaluable source of advice, and the very best are turning down work constantly. Not because they don't want it, but because they can't handle the capacity or the fee isn't worth their time. A flexible model means you can often be the Baby Bear for several agency partners.

That's where Goldilocks Partnerships come in— starting with the Baby Bears. We work alongside the brilliant freelancers in our community as our version of Baby Bears. If a potential client of °Small World comes to us and can't afford any tier of service, we're happy to transparently pass the work directly to one of our brilliant freelancers.

The Baby Bear gets a new client, and a potential referral engine starts. Typically, the Daddy Bears are partners you call in when you have a client with whom you feel you don't have the capacity. Daddy Bears aren't always partners due to their size. It can be down to specialism too.

For example, an agency without much fintech expertise is approached by a client in that industry. The agency does not want to turn the work down, but they're brave enough to admit they wouldn't have the people in-house to do it justice.

The specialist fintech marketers in our network can get the work done exceptionally well, and depending on the relationship, we'll give them a percentage of the fee. The main goal of Goldilocks Partnerships? Client satisfaction. We work in a service-based industry where relationships are essential, and turning down work can impact brand perception. Clients either think you can't handle the job or that they're not good enough; in some instances, it makes them want it more, but that's a dangerous game to play.

The future of agency partnerships? We will all live in the Cooperation Economy. As technology allows us to decouple some of the centralised organisations, things like holding companies will evolve or die. It's simpler and quicker than ever for skilled people to work together. There's more space for cooperation and more room for more people to pursue the same opportunity as a group.

Individuals can cooperate with much less friction than big companies can. Maybe we'll build our version of holding companies by practising Goldilocks Partnerships in this utopian future, wouldn't that be nice?

Think you could be our next Baby or Daddy Bear? Get in touch - dan@smallworld.marketing

Artwork by Bruno Miles @brunomiles

Dan Salkey