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How to frame your strategic offer and charge for it

To solve your client’s business issues you must work with them at a strategic level. But how do you go about framing your strategic offer, persuading clients of your value to them as a strategic partner, and charging for it?

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. You may be nervous about offering services that are not really in your comfort zone. Which services are credible for you to offer and which are a step too far? Which elements are integral to the creative process and which are optional extras? How do we persuade clients to spend money on these areas so that your strategic offer can become a real revenue stream?

You might already offer ‘strategy’ to your clients. Understanding the business challenge, the brand, the competition, the target audience and having a clear rationale for all creative work – is part and parcel of any good approach. However, you may not necessarily have labelled this as ‘strategy’ and you may be underselling your capabilities.

This workshop explores how to more effectively package and articulate your agency’s strategic offer.

This workshop will cover:
  • 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.
  • Ways to segment and package these services.
  • The merits of an integral approach versus bolt-on.
  • How to present strategy as part of your offer.
  • How ‘strategy’ can be better integrated, and how it can be utilised to sell creative work more effectively.
  • How to make ‘strategy’ a real revenue stream.
You will leave with:
  • An understanding of what ‘strategy’ can mean at your agency and the role it can play.
  • Knowledge of the main strategic services/processes that design agencies can offer.
  • Insight into how strategic services can be ‘packaged’ more effectively to prove their worth.
  • An understanding of different brand positioning models.
  • Client side feedback on agency strategy – where they can be cynical, where their anxiety points are, what they respond well to.
Delegate feedback:

“Confused by how to make clients pay for your thoughts? Attend.” Shulla Elgood, Account Manager, Creative Sponge

“The session was enlightening, thought-provoking and engaging. Good stuff!” Jackie Arnott-Raymond, Joint MD, Frontpage

“Insightful! Great in helping us refine and develop our strategic offering.” Gianna DiGiogia, Account Director, Cygnus Associates

“A great insight into a large world of content that I hope can help reflect on how we do things for commercial gain.” Yemi Olagbaiye, Head of New Business, Softwire

“An informative and educational journey through approaches to strategic offerings.” Jason Dobson, Creative Director, Contagious UK


About: Jonathan Kirk

Up to the Light advises a wide range of agencies regarding all aspects of business improvement and growth. The consultancy challenges some of the ingrained assumptions that exist in our industry and offers more effective, insight-led advice.

Jonathan is unusual amongst consultants in the level of contact that he has with clients. Up to the Light is the leading provider of Client Surveys to the UK design industry and publishes the annual ‘What Clients Think’ report, supported by the DBA. This year’s report is based on 420 client interviews conducted on behalf of design agencies. The consultancy also partners with agencies to provide brand positioning and brand strategy for end clients. Jonathan is continually involved at the sharp end presenting, pitching and delivering high profile strategic work for major brands. This is of huge benefit to all his clients.

His senior roles have included New Business Director of Fitch, the global brand design group, and Business Development Director of Havas EHS, one of Europe’s largest direct response agencies. He is a member of the DBA’s Experts Register and is a frequent conference speaker and trade press contributor.


Available as a half-day in-house session for a group of 6 or more. Prices per person:

  • Standard rate £405+vat (£486)
  • DBA members £260+vat (£312)

We are able to offer the following discount structure to the standard ticket price, based on the numbers attending the session:

  • 8-10 people – 5% discount
  • 11+ people – 10% discount

To discuss availability, please contact us at or call 020 7251 9229.

All DBA events and training courses are subject to standard terms and conditions which can be read in full here.

Image credits: © Michal Bednarek


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