The Argument for Little vs Large
It’s been brought to our attention, through the continuous scanning of our feeds and news alike, that the appearance of new, fresh-faced social agencies are on the rise! So this got us thinking, how do we feel about this kind of new competition? And what does it mean for our market? We can’t help but philosophise...
The Increase of the One-Man Bands
Twelve years later and there is still no shying away from the big R-word that we became all too familiar with after the harrowing effects of the 2008 economic crisis.
According to Prospect, the UK is set to face the worst recession of any G7 country with forecasters estimating a weak recovery for businesses in the deepest economic contraction on record. As innovative, filthy rich or Houdini-ish as you may be, there’s pretty much no escaping it.
With the pandemic dismantling whole sectors of Britain’s economy, both unemployment and chronic underemployment are on the rise. This will inevitably be affecting all of us in the industry on both a personal and professional level; from the macro to the micro, freelancers to full time team members, right through to CEOs of massive corporations.
In our industry specifically, with a lot of people still furloughed or being made redundant, we are seeing a deluge of new small social media agencies emerging, mostly run from home and promoted exclusively via social media. This was already underway before the pandemic hit and increased dramatically over lockdown. According to Startups.co.uk, the number of new online businesses rose by 60 per cent during the peak of the UK's lockdown. Similarly, Companies House reports a particularly sharp increase in the registration of social media agencies.
Of course, the mathematics of it makes a lot of sense. Work has become fiercely scarce and increasingly competitive, with people having more time on their hands than they know what to do with. What has this resulted in? Introducing the one-man-bands that are flooding our news feeds left, right and centre promising us the world...
But we at Truffle are asking, who are these agencies really? And how do companies trust them to undertake work requirements seamlessly? As everyone is a self-proclaimed social media expert these days, how do we distinguish between those who can deliver, and those who can’t?
It certainly is the time for people to be proactive and if social media is your chosen route, GO FOR IT. There’s a slice of the pie for everyone. If you’re a brand, you’ve just got to be ethical and conscientious. If you’re a new entrepreneur, make integrity your founding value, pick a niche and run with it with all your might. Old or young, be aware that we’re in a time where no one can afford to make bad decisions.
The Case for Freelancers
To revel in just how woke we are, let’s examine both sides of the coin. For any professional, the cost of setting up an agency is low, as are client acquisition costs. In fact, all you really need is a kitchen table, a laptop and a stable Wi-Fi connection. People may have contacts they go to for specific needs such as design, or they might be expanding their skill set further in areas they have dabbled in previously. Whatever the case, they appear to have it all going on. The most enticing factor of these agencies that keep popping up is quite simply that they‘re dirt cheap, a cost saver, which in this current situation appears to be a bloody god send, and for some smaller businesses, the only viable option.
The Case for Smaller Agencies
There has been something super positive in the ways we have all approached business throughout a difficult time this year. As well as quickly adapting to the bizarre situation they have found themselves in, smaller companies should be praised for their calling out to agency partnerships. We had the pleasure of working with the wonderful Alice of Koto Creative, who blew us away with her integrity and professionalism. These collaborations have provided both little and large agencies with amazing opportunities to explore new relationships and harness them to bring unity to our work, supporting each other as we move forward. Who ever said Londoners were so miserable?!
Not to mention, there is absolutely nothing wrong with healthy competition. In all honesty, we fully encourage it! So much so, that we’ve curated Five of our Best Tips for people looking to start their own social media agencies and Five Further Tips for businesses helping them choose the right agency for them.
We're not giving them all away now though, you're gonna have to wait patiently for part 2...