Our Values Over Everything

Every company says they have “values”. They make vague statements about how their company values honesty or transparency. They’ll talk broadly about “doing the right thing”. 

But, when push comes to shove, how many of those companies will choose the path of least resistance? How many will take a quick buck rather than prioritize their people or their partners?

Our Values Aren’t Just Flashy Slogans.

We’re a different type of company and a different type of content marketing agency.

Our values are living, breathing attributes that guide our operations and actions, as well as our company structure. We’ve hard-wired the entire business to prioritize what’s good and what matters most, rather than what’s easy and what’s most profitable. The only stakeholders in our business are our team and our clients.

This means that their needs come first. We prioritize doing right by them and fulfilling the vision that we have for creating a new kind of agency built on shared ownership, accountability, and trust.

Here’s how we break down our values.

Do What’s Right.

Doing what’s right is not always easy. Sometimes, it means making personal sacrifices to right a wrong. Sometimes it means owning up to a mistake when it would be easier pass the blame. It also means telling prospective clients when you aren’t the right partner to help them achieve their goals, even if they have a nice budget that could help you pad your revenue.

Our mantra of “do what’s right” manifests itself in a million small ways. It’s a guiding principle more than a rigid prescription. Anytime there’s a tough decision to make or a questionable situation to unravel, it’s important to ask what feels more right given the circumstances.

Admittedly, this can be a gray area.

But, if we strive to do the right thing in every scenario, we always have a compass for making tough choices and steering the decisions of the company.

Our work is built on this principle in several ways:

  1. Proven, white-hat strategies
  2. Default to transparency
  3. Investment in the growth of our team

Be Human.

We’re all humans.

This means that we’re capable of achieving amazing feats and each of us has an unlimited capacity for creativity. But it also means that we aren’t machines capable of infinite effort, limitless focus, or flawless execution. As an agency, we recognize and respect the humanity of our team. We structure our work to take advantage of strengths while also creating space for the reality of the human experience.

Most importantly, we recognize that humans doing creative work do not operate on a linear scale of productivity. The culture and mechanics of our processes will shape the ability of each individual to do their best work. It’s our job to create a culture and a work experience that allows people to operate at their best. That also means that we can’t expect peak performance from every individual at all times. And that’s okay. Taking care of our people is more important than maximizing our profit or optimizing for billable hours. Creating a stable and fulfilling work environment may not be the best short-term solution, but it’s the only long-term investment that truly matters.

Likewise, having rigid requirements for our clients or locking them into long-term agreements ignores the reality and the humanity of business. We want to focus on building relationships and trust rather than growth through legally-binding agreements.

As a rule, we default to what makes sense for people rather than what makes sense on paper:

  1. Offering month-to-month contracts with no long-term commitments
  2. Open communication and collaboration across the entire team
  3. Minimal hierarchy and bureaucracy
  4. Space for sharing, learning, discussion, and growth

Ask Why.

The most fundamental question in marketing is “why”.

Learning and growth is about asking why something works, why something has failed, and why we’re doing the work in the first place. Seeking insight and understanding is the drive that powers the world’s best marketing—and the world’s best marketers.

Everyone at Optimist is a strategist.

Our team is built to give everyone insight and buy-in about the work that we do. We encourage everyone to take ownership over not just their own work, but the cumulative results that we create together.

We also challenge clients to provide:

  1. Transparent strategy and planning process
  2. Weekly and quarterly metric reviews
  3. Data-driven decision making
  4. Strategic goals and context for every article and project

Give a Shit.

At the end of the day, our goal is to create a core creative group that feels ownership and authenticity about the work that they do.

While many creative teams can feel like an assembly line, we want to create a culture of autonomy and connect creative work directly to the strategy and business outcomes.

We want to be partners with our clients and have a team that’s fully invested in their growth and success.

  1. Goal-driven strategy and execution
  2. Direct contact between clients, strategy, and creative
  3. A team culture invested in mastery

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