A Kind Agency

Jason Fried in some of his excellent writings about his company Basecamp (seriously, check out his books), describes their work environment as “A Calm Company.” We love that but have tweaked it slightly for what we’re doing at New Frame Creative. We like to think of ourselves as “A Kind Agency”.

The world could use a little more kindness in it don’t you think? We sure do, and in the business world, this unfortunately just isn’t very common. Much of the language in the business books that fill the best seller lists are full of the language of war.

“Companies ‘conquer the market.’ They don’t just serve their customers, they ‘capture’ them. They ‘target’ customers, employ a sales ‘force,’ pick their ‘battles,’ and make a ‘killing.’ The language of war writes awful stories.”
– Jason Fried

In making the decision to operate as A Kind Agency, we are rejecting these sorts of ideas, and instead have chosen to be intentional about charting a different sort of course. We come in peace!

One thing we’ve learned from working with over 150 clients in three short years is that almost every single one of them has had a bad experience with someone in marketing along the way. A web designer who stopped responding to all communication… an “SEO expert” who overcharged for work they weren’t actually doing… a hosting company who deleted their website when a payment was late. We’ve heard it all, and at the core of every bad story is a company who wasn’t being kind.

So, what does it mean to be a kind agency? This plays out at New Frame Creative in four ways.

We are kind to our customers.

At the center of everything at New Frame Creative is the way we treat our customers, because without our customers, there is no company. We try to let kindness and decency motivate every decision we make and every interaction we have. We keep our word. We tell the truth. We do what we say we will do. We are easy to communicate with (same day responses are definitely not industry standard, but it’s one of our core values), and our pricing is fair. We are gracious when challenges arise, patient when payments fall behind, and generous with our time.  Put simply, we treat our customers the way we would want to be treated.  No exceptions.

We are kind to our employees

At New Frame, we know that for our team to be kind to our customers, they need to love their work. If you’ve ever had a job you hated, you know it’s hard to be nice to anyone when you’re miserable. That’s why we go above and beyond to make sure New Frame is a happy place to work. Generous vacation time, flexible schedules, a great office space to use (but never to be chained to), and fair pay are all a part of what our team members can expect at New Frame. At New Frame, we never hire based on a resume or an impressive list of accomplishments. Sure, that’s part of it, but the first thing we want to know is, “are you good people?” Everything else matters, but it’s secondary to being someone the rest of the team will enjoy working with. We also place a high value on work/life balance. We believe that a kind company doesn’t intrude on people’s nights, weekends, and vacations. That is life time, not work time, and without a healthy, happy home life, no one is going to be able to do their best work.

We are kind to our competitors

This one may sound a little strange, but in our line of work, it’s pretty common that we have to deal with other agencies for various things. Sometimes things can be a little awkward, such as when Client XYZ wants to work with us after previously working for several years with a different agency… or maybe things went south with a previous agency but they are the only ones with the login and password to the client’s domain name. In our experience, these types of requests are often met with resistance, threats, and general childishness (trust us… we have some crazy stories we could share.) It just doesn’t have to be this way!

At New Frame, we view all other agencies as potential partners and collaborators, not as threats. There is plenty of work to go around, and no agency is going to be the perfect fit for every need of every client. As Jason Fried says “We don’t have to take theirs to get ours.” We regularly refer our clients to other agencies for specific services that aren’t quite in our sweet spot. We have good friends in other agencies who “get it” who regularly do the same. We’re grateful for these other agencies in town who understand the old concept that a rising tide raises all the boats. Viewing the competition as something to be “conquered” or “defeated” is a boring and played out concept. In a kind agency, we ask “What if we could create a better experience and better results for all of our clients by working together when possible, and cooperating like friendly professionals when working together isn’t an option?” It’s just better that way.

We are kind to our city

As a kind agency, we strive to be good citizens and good neighbors. That goes beyond just being friendly with the folks who share our little corner of Cedar Bluff Road and Middlebrook Pike (although we do all we can to support and encourage those businesses). At New Frame Creative, we work with nearly 60 Non-Profit agencies (the majority of them local) who are making an incredible difference in our city. We believe that the best way we can impact our city for good is through helping those on the front lines do their very best work. We’re passionate about creating beautiful websites, excellent design pieces, and producing compelling videos for our Non-Profit clients and we offer these services to them at significantly discounted rates. We don’t just work here… we live here (most of us are from here) and we deeply love our scruffy little city.

“Kindness Matters” is the largest font size on our mural for a reason…

New Frame Creative’s Diversity Statement

We Welcome All. At New Frame Creative, we strive to create a culture where inclusion is instinctive and uniqueness is celebrated. Regardless of anyone’s accessibility, race, gender, age, religion, or identity, all are welcome here.We believe that Black Lives Matter, and we acknowledge our responsibility to listen and amplify the BIPOC voices in our community. We are committed to creating a safe environment for LGBTQ members of our community.

It takes all of us to create a better world, and we are dedicated to supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility for ALL.