I just finished a meeting in preparation for a panel discussion that I will be participating in next week. My role on the panel will be a discussion about social media strategy and how churches and other organizations can use social media channels to engage, inform, etc. There’ll be others at the table talking about other digital platforms for organizational and operational success.

This meeting got me thinking about the importance of collaboration and how beneficial and crucial it can be, especially if you are a smaller company. Do I wish I could meet each and every need of every client I have? Absolutely! Is that possible? Absolutely not! And trust me… today’s client (especially the ones you want to work with) know when you are bluffing because you’re simply being greedy or when you have their best interest at heart and therefore embrace collaboration in order to achieve the best results. Does this require confidence in your abilities and a clear insight into your strengths and weaknesses? For sure. Does this require confidence in your collaborative partners and their unique abilities? You bet. Does this add increased leadership on your part to manage several moving parts for the better of the client? Yes. And, all of that leads to Trust. The number one ingredient for any successful client-agency relationship… TRUST. Your client trusts your judgement, your professionalism, your expertise. When that ceases to exist, so will the client and the reward in the work. Don’t be afraid of collaboration. Sometimes the best answer is “You know, I’m not sure. But, I know someone who does. Let me find out.” Clients are not fearful of an honest answer. They are fearful of an inauthentic one.

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