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We’re a “Top Web Design Agency” in Virginia.

We’re a top web design agency in Virginia and it’s not just our parents that say so.

Recognition is important. Of course we love it. Who doesn’t? Working your entire and complete butt off to do great work and having no one notice can be soul-crushing and a one-way ticket to becoming a psychopath. Getting truly noticed can be uplifting – if it’s by the right people for the right reasons.

Most award competitions out there are nothing more than businesses that make a looney-tunes amount of money by preying on small agencies and freelancers that simply want validation for the long hours, low-balling clients and periodic episodes of hopeless rejection. As a result, we decided years ago to stop entering the big-name award competitions. We don’t nominate ourselves or pay stupid entry fees for the chance that we’ll “win”. Winning simply means getting an opportunity to shell out another $300 for some piece-of-shit trophy.

If you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of this type of recognition because it’s not actual recognition. It’s exploitation.

However, there are some awards that we cherish – awards that help us cement our place in our industry and our community. When a charity gives us a plaque for our pro bono work, or when we’re surprised by our local chamber of commerce for being decent community stewards, it genuinely means a lot. When an organization gives us an award for simply providing good work for our clients (with nothing expected in return), it feels pretty cool.

Today, we received a little bit of local recognition with Clutch naming Imagine as a top web design agency in Virginia. We’ve won awards from them on a national and global scale and to snag yet another award just confirms that we’re moving in the right direction.

Clutch is a reviews site that does for business buyers what TripAdvisor does for travelers: they let you know what businesses are out there, which ones fit what you’re hungry for, and shows you reviews from those that have already been there. Any agency can get listed but you don’t get awards or ranked (or honestly, even show up in listings) unless you’ve built up some street cred with reviews.  Their platform provides in-depth client reviews and data-driven B2B guides that are accessible to everyone. In other words, they’re legit.

We get emails all the time that we’ve been recognized as the “top web design agency” in Virginia. Or DC. Or Illinois, and we don’t even have an office there. These emails – always sent by some nameless organization – are always tied to some website that tries to sell us an overpriced plaque or charge us a monthly fee to “get listed”.

I can’t help but think that the people that start these companies to prey on people that just want to make a name for themselves probably tell their kids that Santa Claus isn’t real, just to make them cry. I don’t wish harm on anyone but maybe just a stubborn, itchy rash right in the center of their backs would be fine by me.

In a nutshell, if you’ve made it this far:

  1. Press releases about awards don’t have to be boring. Some of them can be a tirade by a raving lunatic against the very idea of awards, and
  2. Some agency awards really matter but about 95% of them are pure, steaming garbage.

Finally, a sincere thank you to Clutch for some legit recognition and fighting the good fight. 🙂

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.

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