Welcome to our Agency Spotlight series! Each article will feature pioneers of the #agencylife and how they run their businesses in the modern world. In this edition, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Jenny Dwyer and Austin Evans to discuss how 5by5 Agency uses a strategy-first approach to help their clients make a difference in the world.
Tell us about yourself & what you do at 5by5
Jenny Dwyer – VP of Business Development
I’m the Vice President of Business Development at 5by5 and have been with the agency since it launched six years ago. I’ve spent the past 11 years working in various agency roles – from client management to business development. I absolutely love the agency life.
Austin Evans – Digital Content Strategist
I work as a Digital Content Strategist at 5by5 and am responsible for tasks like digital copywriting and marketing initiatives for our agency. I manage a lot of other tasks and wear a lot of hats at 5by5. Prior to working at 5by5, I ran my own coworking space for musicians. I come from a copywriting background and worked a lot of freelance jobs before getting plugged into 5by5. I filled in for a maternity leave position – I really enjoyed being here and ended up sticking around.
How would you describe 5by5?
Jenny: We are a full-service agency that specifically works with change makers in non-profit and for-profit sectors. I was really drawn to 5by5 because of its ethos and the three partners of the company. They are a team of change makers serving change makers. It’s extremely compelling to have a job that feels like more than “just a job.”
What makes 5by5 different from other agencies?
Jenny: We work with clients that are making a difference in the world, or change makers, as we call them. We also take a very full-service approach to the work we do with our clients. We service five key areas: Market research, strategy development, creative (video production, design, etc), digital marketing, and development.
As a strategy-first agency, we take a holistic look at our funnels through the lens of clarity and reach. How can we create clear communications that reach the audiences we are targeting? These are the two pillars of our strategy-first approach. We believe that we need to achieve success in both of these pillars for our marketing efforts to be effective and for our change maker clients to really see double-bottom line results on their social impact and revenue.
The phrase “5by5” is actually an old communications term used for signal strength. They would measure communication on two one-to-five scales: how clear is the signal and how strong is the signal. 5 by 5 being the best possible communication signal you could have. This really spoke to our mission to provide change makers with optimal clarity and reach and quickly became the right fit for our name.
What do you enjoy most about working in an agency?
Austin: I love that with every day comes a constant influx of new challenges. On a daily basis, I’m working with new clients, overcoming new hurdles, and working with different channels. The constant shift keeps things fresh and I’m never bored at my job. I’m also really passionate about the companies I get to work. We have a “Why? Wall” at our office where we write down who our clients are, what they do, and why they matter. I find this so inspiring. The work our clients are doing is truly exceptional.
Jenny: The agency life is all I’ve ever known and I love it! I really enjoy the creative and collaborative elements of working with our clients. Like Austin, I’m also passionate about and connected to the clients we serve. I’m not working a “typical” sales job where I have to hustle and meet quotas. I get to genuinely help these mission-driven companies grow by working collaboratively with our team of experts.
How do you build a strong relationship with your clients?
Jenny: Expertise and trust. 5by5 was created because we felt there was a need to provide change makers with an agency that could deliver on both of those. Your clients need to believe in what you’re talking about and believe that you are going to deliver on the things you said you would do. A lot of our clients come to us after having been burned by previous agencies. They were sold something and didn’t get the results that they had expected or there was very little transparency in the communications. We’re always going to be honest with our clients and there when they need us.
We’ve actually been featured on the INC 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies list for three years in a row. It’s been a huge honor and we owe it entirely to the trust and commitment our clients have given us. That shared trust, being honest with them, and being results-centric has gotten us here.
Austin: I’m going to piggy-back on what Jenny said about trust specifically. There’s a really cool visual that we use at the office about “putting marbles in the trust jar.” Every time you meet a client’s expectation, you put a marble in the trust jar. Every time you respond to an email in a timely manner, you answer the phone when you said you were going to, you meet a deadline… every time you meet those sorts of things you build on that trust and earn it over time.
You only get to build those long-term relationships with clients when you are being consistent and doing good work. I think that’s why we have so many clients that have been with us for so long — it’s because we value those things. We have close to 60 active clients.
What problems are you solving with HeyOrca?
Austin: We’ve been using HeyOrca for about six months now. Prior to that we were using a mish-mash of Google Docs and Spreadsheets to manage our efforts. We struggled to find a social media management platform that we could use to holistically look at all the non-social media content we were putting out.
HeyOrca stood out because it allowed us the ability to put all our content on the calendar using event strips. We have a very collaborative process, and HeyOrca allows all members of our team to quickly view our content-schedule holistically.
We really love that we are able to get that 30,000-foot view of everything. Being able to have everything in one place, so cleanly displayed in a calendar format makes things so, so much easier. Nothing is being missed or falling through the cracks. We can easily share it with leadership and they can get a clear understanding of what is being scheduled without being knee-deep in our social media planning.
The ability to select single or multiple posts and drag them to a new date also allows us to make changes when needed. It’s so simple to use.
Jenny: A while back, we were using another social media management platform but were limited by it because it didn’t allow a clear calendar view or the ability to easily change posts on the go like we can with HeyOrca.
Would you recommend HeyOrca to other social media managers and agencies?
Austin: Yes! Absolutely!
Jenny: We actually recommend it quite a bit. We even recommend HeyOrca to clients that have the internal resources to manage their social media internally and don’t need us to manage their accounts.
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