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How to punch above your weight

As a small or medium sized design agency, you occupy a unique place in the industry landscape. You are very capable of competing with the big agencies, both strategically and creatively, but do you get frustrated by the way in which clients can be seduced and reassured by the larger players?

The fact is, smaller agencies have many other strengths to offer in comparison to larger agencies, such as being able to react more quickly, being more agile and flexible.

So how can you fight your corner, compete effectively and win when you’re up against the bigger consultancies?

At this workshop, DBA Expert Jonathan Kirk will share his expertise, from both the client and agency sides, to help you explore a range of practical ideas to really sell your strengths. Find out how to use your position to your advantage and change client perceptions.

At this session you’ll find out about:
  • The client and agency landscape – hear feedback from hundreds of client interviews conducted on behalf of agencies about how clients view design agencies, large and small.
  • How to send the right messages through your positioning and business development activity.
  • How to tick the reassurance boxes with clients on your ability to deliver.
  • Effective pitching against the big agencies – their weaknesses and selling your strengths.
  • Practical ideas on how to add value to client relationships that will help you to punch above your weight.

Plus you’ll meet other design agencies in the same situation, share experiences and find out how they approach the problem.

Delegate feedback:

“Offers invaluable insight into how small agencies can maximise their points of difference whilst ensuring they offer the same reassurance as larger agencies.” Julie Hudson, Director, Hudson Fuggle

“An extremely useful insight into moving my agency forward.” Nick Burgoyne, Director, White Communications Group

“Really useful information I can’t wait to put it into practice.” Alex Tosh, Managing Director, Creative Sponge

“Helps you take the much-needed time to think and focus on improving your business.” Sophie O’Kelly, Account Manager, Ziggurat Brands

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. The 2016 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 10 or more. Prices per person:

  • Standard rate £380+vat (£456)
  • DBA members £245+vat (£294)

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

  • 11-13 people – 5% discount
  • 14+ 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: © Viktor Gladkov


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