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Design & Creative Agency Business Development

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
09:00 - 13:00

Iconic Offices The Greenway
112-114 St. Stephen's Green
Dublin 2, D02 TD28 Ireland

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Member cost: €695
Non-member cost: 1195

Following on from your feedback, and requests from Design Leaders Conference 2018, we’re delighted to let you know that Jonathan Kirk will deliver a series of 3 half day workshops in early 2019, and include a 1:1 mentoring session with Jonathan.

Workshop 1: Feb 5th 

How To Frame Your Strategic Offer 

As an industry we tend to place an understandably high value on creative design work but are often unclear about how to frame the strategic offer. The result is that too many design agencies are giving away strategic work. This workshop will look at how you can package your strategic offer more effectively and convince clients of its value.

  • The competitive landscape – how agencies are shaping their strategy offers.
  • How clients view design agency ‘strategy’ – feedback from hundreds of client interviews conducted on behalf of design agencies.
  • What ‘strategy’ means at your agency – defining your approach.
  • Ways to segment and package these services.
  • The merits of an integral approach versus bolt-on.
  • How to persuade clients of its value.

Workshop 2: March 5th 

Grow Your Business 

Conventional notions of design agency ‘sales’ and ‘selling’ are changing. Many of the old methods have become ineffective and discredited. This workshop explores the most up to date and effective ways to grow your business, from positioning and messaging to business development strategy and tactics.

  • Setting out your stall – getting the right positioning and messaging.
  • Your claims to fame – looking at your clients and case studies with new eyes.
  • Structuring your new business and client development effort – increased focus, meaningful output not just activity.
  • Keep in touch strategy – cherishing the people you know, your biggest asset.
  • Business development messages and routes to market – evaluating different types of activity.
  • Developing action plans that are realistic and achievable.

Workshop 3: April 9th 

Mastering the Client Relationship

Arguably, the biggest variable between agencies lies not in levels of creativity but in the quality of their business relationships. Understanding what makes these relationships tick and how they can be strengthened is the key to client retention, development and commitment.

  • Setting and aligning expectations at the beginning – starting as we mean to go on.
  • Common relationship pitfalls and how to avoid them – drawing on evidence from the hundreds of client interviews that Up to the Light conducts on behalf of design agencies.
  • Account management versus true client service.
  • Defining your approach to client service.
  • Understanding the client journey and anxiety points.
  • Ways to add value for the client and the agency.

Places are limited to 12, and booking is directly with Design Enterprise Skillnet – register your interest to info@designenterprise.ie.

FOR: Agency Owners & Account Directors – anyone involved with Business Development.


Jonathan Kirk is the founder of Up to the Light, a consultancy that advises creative agencies on positioning and strategy, and all aspects of business improvement and growth, challenging some of the ingrained assumptions that exist in our industry and providing effective, insight-led advice Jonathan’s senior roles have included Business Development Director of Fitch, the global brand design group, and New Business Director of Havas EHS (now Havas Helia), one of Europe’s largest agency networks. Jonathan is a founder member of the Design Business Association’s Experts Register and is a frequent conference speaker and trade press contributor.

Design Enterprise Skillnet training focuses on helping designers and creatives in their careers and their business to up-skill their teams, and attract and service clients in a rapidly changing commercial landscape.  Visit here for more upcoming events & workshops for 2019.

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