If you’re new around here, it won’t take you long to notice—trust is kind of our thing. At Anna Montgomery & Co, we build relationships for the long haul, and we truly view our clients as partners. As we build trust with each other, the partnership deepens. This influences our entire approach to projects, and it may seem pretty unique.
We think of partnership like gardening. Whether a nonprofit or small business, each of our clients has a goal in mind—they have identified their mission and the kind of things they want to grow and share with their audience. They’ve planted their seeds or are preparing the ground for them. They can cultivate and nurture on their own. But if we help, work will go faster, resources will be used more efficiently, and the harvest will be greater. And the process will be a whole lot more fun.
We’re from the midwest and if there’s one thing we’re good at it’s growing things. (Cornfields, anyone?) Often our clients come to a point where they stand at the edge of the incredible garden they’ve planted, totally overwhelmed by all that still must happen to make it grow. That’s where we come in. We’re the ones who show up with snacks and water and jump in where our clients need help.
We’ll stand on the edge with our clients and look at the whole field to identify strategic ways to grow the harvest. We’ll use our expertise to help our clients pick the best tools for tending the field. We’ll help our clients find methods for improving their soil, create processes and tools to grow better crops, and identify ways to get a greater . We’ll get down in the weeds and do the muddy, hard jobs with them. And we’ll be the friend who cracks jokes, laughs, and brings the joy back to the work. The goal is important, but we love the process of partnering just as much as reaching the goal.
Our Founder, Anna Montgomery, shares her vision behind this philosophy.
“I remember how it felt when I was working as a small business and nonprofit employee and experienced someone outside my organization coming alongside me to move our goals forward. It can feel discouraging to work on the same goal for months and years and not see change, but having a partner brought visible momentum. It encouraged me to keep pressing toward living out the mission and goals because someone else was in my corner, believed in me, and was working with me,” Anna says.
“Here’s a full-circle story,” Anna continues. “My first communications job was with College Park Church in Indianapolis. I was fresh out of school with a design degree and so much to learn about managing communications in a church/nonprofit context. Not only did I have a great boss who believed in me and my potential, but we had a partner from Fishhook—a local agency that works with churches—named Lindsay, who helped us strategically move toward our goals. She was a huge influence and model of being a trusted partner who wholeheartedly invested in our team and our mission alongside us. Now 12 years later, we’re partnering together again; but now Lindsay is working for Compassion International and our team is coming alongside her team to help them move toward their goals.”
Bottom line—rather than just an agency with clients, we see ourselves as friends moving toward a mutual goal. (We really like our clients—they’re the kind of people we’d invite to BBQs just because we think they’re cool.) We’re able to dream big and take risks with our clients because we’re a team. We’ve got skin in the game, too. The best moment is when our clients realize we’re in this with them. They’re trusting us to represent them and that’s a big responsibility we never take lightly.
So how does this play out? Here’s a quick look at some of our recent partnerships.
We mentioned Compassion International earlier. The work we’ve done with Compassion is a great example of the flexibility in our relationships because we come alongside them on a number of projects, depending on their needs at any given time. Compassion is a worldwide nonprofit child/youth development organization focused on releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. We work with the Knowledge Management Team, which is focused on equipping the entire organization to use the company’s knowledge base resources effectively. So far we have provided coaching related to design thinking and several internal communications initiatives. Because our partnership is not based on a specific package, we’re not limited to offering one type of service. We are free and available to partner in whatever way is best for Compassion, and they often bring us new projects to brainstorm.
NorthStar Contracting is a family-owned and -operated company out of York, Maine, with a heart to serve their community. They specialize in residential and industrial projects–painting, carpentry, media blasting, and everything in between. A couple years ago, NorthStar reached a point where they knew they needed to develop a stronger web presence, and they needed help to make it happen.
First, our team spent time learning who NorthStar Contracting is, and where they want to go. We learned about their story and their passion. We asked questions, listened, and asked more questions until we knew we had the information needed to provide them a brand and online presence that matched their professional, yet down-to-earth, culture. Our team developed an industrial but approachable logo, an informative brand guide, and a semi-custom wordpress site that conveys the mission behind NorthStar. Since then, our team has continued to offer marketing support by managing NorthStar’s social accounts and regularly developing marketing tools and print resources. We have also provided warm, down-to-earth professional photography to enrich their website and social media accounts.
“The impact on our company comes in what seems to be a leap forward in increased market presence in a much-condensed period of time. Just doing good work and creating great customer relationships is a fact that will never go away. But what Anna Montgomery & Co. has done is given Northstar market recognition beyond where we would be under regular business efforts,” Steve “Pops” Leifheit shares. “At every step in the process we have been kept informed, in the loop and able to give input. Confirmation of being heard came through in the results that included our input.”
Our marketing efforts are successful because they truly are a partnership with NorthStar. We communicate their values and diligently promote them, and they confirm the honesty of our marketing by consistently living out their values as they perform their services.
Did you see it? Trust. Trust. Trust. It’s what a successful partnership is built on, no matter the project. Our clients trust us to partner with them in their mission, entrust us with their goals, because they trust us to have the expertise, vision, and creativity to lead them in strategic communications. At the same time, our team trusts our clients to collaborate, give meaningful feedback, and live out their missions authentically. A successful partnership always results in growth.
Does this approach resonate with you? If so, we’d love to talk about how we can partner with you to move your mission forward. Contact us today to start the conversation.