If you work on one of Grow’s ongoing programmes, you get exclusive access to our dream team.
As a consultancy, we do not implement, but we understand you still need great people to put a successful marketing strategy into action.
Over the last decade, we’ve built up an incredible network of experts you can depend on, across every area of marketing.
By using our dream team of trusted experts, you’ll avoid the frustration and pain of being let down by poor quality marketing providers. Most importantly, all our dream team are tried and tested.
In the last 12 years of building up Grow and helping other businesses to grow, I’ve had to kiss lots and lots of frogs to get you the amazing shortlist of our experts. We’ve worked with over 8 WordPress companies, 6 HR experts, 8 bloggers, spoken to 15 Google PPC companies……you get the picture!
Meet the Dream Team:
1. Web Design
When we say web design, we mean everything that you can see on a website. The design doesn’t involve any coding or backend work at all. It’s all about how the website looks.
Matt is incredibly talented at designing beautiful looking websites. Anything from navigation, contact forms, sidebars, headers and footers, general web layouts – the list goes on.
Matt designed the look and feel of our website. On the left-hand navigation, you’ll see a red line which tells you which page you are on – we think it looks great, and yes, that was Matt’s idea.
Matt is a busy guy, and you will need to give him feedback so he understands what you want. We can’t recommend him highly enough.
One of the mistakes many entrepreneurs make when hiring a website designer is not understanding that there are two parts to creating a successful website.
Firstly there is the obvious design side; creating the look and feel of a website and all the visual elements you can see. The second part is all the behind the scenes stuff you can’t see; the coding and generating all the specific things that a website can do.
Unless you’re hiring an agency with multiple employees, you’ll usually end up hiring a graphics expert OR a coder and for obvious reasons they rarely come in the same package. And just to warn you, even though coders are smart and technical, don’t assume they have any understanding of SEO, marketing or quality writing.
A website designer will create what is known as a PSD file, which is a fancy image-based PDF. This PSD is then given to a coder who will code the design into a functioning webpage.
The design of the website in PSD files and the coding of your website are two entirely different skill sets that require different people. If you use a pre-made theme, often the coding is already included, but it can be limiting if you want to make changes.
2. Pay Per Click
Yes, there are lots of Google pay per click experts out there, but they’re not all equal. And sadly many people who set up their own PPC campaigns fail as it is complex to start from scratch.
It’s a horrible feeling to get excited after your first chat with an “expert,” only to end up being tied into a contract with a mediocre Pay Per Click person.
Any PPC “expert” can spend your budget on PPC ads, but it takes a genuine expert to keep your cost per click low, your conversion rate high and to improve and tweak your campaigns continually. This means you’ll pay less and get more enquiries with the same budget. It sounds easy, but it isn’t, and PPC has become way more competitive in the last few years.
You could end up spending a lot of money testing over a couple of months, only to find out that you’re paying way too much per click, your results aren’t improving, and it’s actually way too expensive to use Google PPC to generate new business. Then you give up.
This is incredibly sad, and it shouldn’t be this way. You may be giving up before striking gold.
The first thing a good PPC expert should do is take the time to understand your overall business and its marketing and sales objectives. Before they spend any of your budget, they should take an exhaustive look at your landing page, which is the page you are paying Google to send traffic to.
As well as doing extensive keyword research, they should suggest improvements to your landing pages. Landing pages should direct visitors to take concrete action such as joining your email list, making an enquiry or straight up buying from you.
Pierre was gracious enough to tear up Grow’s landing pages, and since we made the improvements he suggested, we have increased our business enquiries significantly.
Google PPC can also involve remarketing, so that after someone lands on a web page, you can chase them all over the web with follow-up adverts. You will have seen these yourself!
Pierre has had success and experience in these different areas of PPC. His keyword research skills are also excellent, and we have experienced the quality of his keyword research for our business.
We cannot recommend him highly enough. And as he is a small agency with an international team, the great thing is, he is willing to take on smaller budget clients for Grow, for which we are very grateful.
3. Web Development
At Grow, we love WordPress. Around 24% of the world’s websites run on WordPress and this means there is a large ecosystem of fantastic plug-ins and extras that can supercharge your WordPress website. There are also lots of people who can build and develop WordPress sites and fix and improve them.
After you have built your website, you will have to find a WordPress expert who can deal with the inevitable issues that come up as well as making ongoing changes and improvements.
Whether it’s your site speed, security, contact forms, backups or simply updating WordPress, you will need someone to take care of the maintenance. Your WordPress site is like a garden and needs a great gardener who understands your site, looks after it and improves it.
We’ve had an extremely difficult time finding good ongoing WordPress support. There are good subscription services where you can get lots of small jobs done each month, but when you need to get something more complex or lengthy done, they are unable to deliver.
We’ve worked with over 8 WordPress freelancers and companies trying to find the right fit for ourselves and our clients. As you can imagine, it’s been very stressful!
We’ve had people who were technically competent but just weren’t responsive.
We’ve had a Filipino agency who were incredibly nice to work with but utterly useless. We’ve even had people quit because they got too stressed even though our site is fairly straightforward.
Thankfully, eighth time lucky we found some Ukrainian superstars. The quality of their work is fantastic, and they usually respond to queries within 24 hours. If we need to speak to someone, we can arrange a Skype call and go over any issues with someone who speaks good English and most importantly takes pride in his work.
We use Basecamp Project Management Software to update what tasks are required, and we use screenshots to give clear briefings. As long as we are 100% clear in our briefings, everything goes well.
We’ve seen UK companies paying £80 per hour (plus VAT) for WordPress support and this company charges $25 per hour. They have the skills of a UK agency but charge Eastern European rates.
And another thing about web companies from Ukraine – you’ll find that most team members have two university degrees: one of their degrees is usually in maths or computer science, which may explain their superb technical chops.
4. Google Analytics
Brian is a Google Analytics guru. If you know anything about Google Analytics and how frequently it changes, calling Brian an analytics guru is a true compliment.
More importantly, Brian understands SEO and paid marketing such as Google Pay Per Click. This gives him a deeper understanding of the importance of analytics and how to integrate it effectively when you do paid marketing campaigns. When you spend money to drive website traffic, you have to know exactly what’s going on.
Your Google Analytics needs to be set up properly, as soon as possible. Nearly everyone reading this will have errors in the way their Google Analytics is set up. You are almost certainly missing critical business data, and the problem is you cannot retrospectively change this.
Even better, Brian is a specialist in e-commerce analytics, which is heavy duty compared to analytics for a website that does not sell products online. All quality e-commerce stores that sell products will spend considerable budgets on SEO, content creation, Facebook advertising, Google pay per click, display advertising and remarketing.
You HAVE to know which of these marketing methods is giving you the best return on investment. To do this, you need analytics set up properly to give you the data. This means you can locate your marketing goldmine, which are the 2-3 most effective ways for your business to generate new sales and enquiries.
Correctly designing and setting up your analytics enables you to quickly see which marketing methods are winners, which are losers and those that require more testing!
Google Analytics enables you to create reports for most of your website activity, so you can see everything that happens on your website.
There may be marketing methods that you’re not quite sure about yet, but by getting more data and testing them for longer, you will be in a clearer position to make good decisions.
Even though Google Analytics is complex and a pain to set up, once you have got it doing what you want and you know what data you are tracking and measuring, it becomes relatively easy to manage.
Therefore, getting analytics set up correctly is essential. Brian will always complete a thorough overview of your Google Analytics account as well as talking to you about what you are trying to achieve in your business.
He will then give you a detailed report, and during that time he will make any easy and obvious changes. He will then make the further necessary changes to your set up and reporting after chatting with you.
Brian has done a crucial job with one of our e-commerce clients, who has four different websites. It was difficult to know what was going on and therefore make informed marketing decisions. He did a complete overhaul of all 4 of their website’s analytics and linked them all together. It’s like the fog clearing and the sun coming out!
Brian has also knocked Grow’s Google analytics into shape, which although good, had a few errors and didn’t quite have all the data we needed to make informed marketing decisions.
We can’t thank Brian enough for the work he does on our Google analytics. We are in a much clearer position regarding where to spend our marketing budget and which marketing methods are working best. Now, we can see all the data we need and so can our clients.
5. Landing Page Design
You are spending significant amounts of time and money to get people to visit your website. You must maximise the chance of a sale with every visit!
At some point during your sales process, even if that is buying a physical product , someone will land on a sales page and will either decide to buy something, get in touch, leave their details…. or heaven forbid, go somewhere else.
Your sales or landing pages are the same thing, but with a different name. When someone lands on your website page, you want them to take a specific action such as to call or email you, buy something, or give you their details.
Your sales pages or landing page must effectively convert people into wanting to do business with you, and this is where expert help can be a game changer.
At Grow, we decided that our landing page for our consultancy and workshops should be more of a text-based page, so it’s not primarily visually based.
However for an e-commerce business that we own, Ben built the landing page www.biotin.pro and we think it’s rather lovely! This page converts about 12% of the people who land on it into paying customers, and we’re very happy with these results. Ben has a natural flair for design and instinctively understands user interface design (UI) and user experience design (UX)
If you’re in need of a stunning landing page that converts traffic into customers well above the average, look no further.
Whenever I teach our sales strategy workshop, I ask the question, “who has made a terrible hiring decision?” After I put both of my hands up and nudge people, nearly every established business owner in the room raises their hand sheepishly.
Hiring great staff, or even good staff is incredibly difficult. Even a team composed of Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates would still make bad hires.
The cost of a poor hire is enormous, and the money spent to fire, interview, rehire and onboard again is significant. A bad hire can put your business back by months, whatever your company size.
At Grow, we’ve had some poor experiences with recruiters. Paying 10% – 30% of an employee’s salary to a recruiter somehow doesn’t seem right.
One of the issues in working with entrepreneurs is that to implement a great marketing strategy, you have to hire part or full-time people to implement the strategy. Even a business with a turnover over £500,000 can be transformed by a highly skilled part-time marketing person with a wide range of skills.
We have had some incredible success hiring part-time marketing implementers for our clients. If you’re wondering, the top profile for a part time marketing whizz is a mother who’s had a successful career and wants rewarding part-time work.
With a part-time mum, you get someone who is incredibly motivated, skilled and experienced who wants to work not just for the money, but also because they enjoy work as a counterbalance to looking after the kids.
Helen is our recruitment whizz. She so good, that all of Grow’s ongoing clients get two hours with Helen on us!
That’s right; we think she’s so good that Grow pays for a few hours of her time with all our clients. Of course, it works out well for Helen and her team because most of our clients continue to work with her after they see how great she is.
Helen knows where to advertise for specific roles and gives brilliant advice for crafting a compelling and exciting job description that attracts great candidates. I don’t know how they do it, but Helen and her team can look at hundreds of CVs and pull out only those that are worth talking to.
During brief initial phone conversations with candidates, Helen has an almost Jedi-like ability to understand people and work out whether they are a good fit for a role and their motivations.
We have worked closely with Helen to introduce some really tough tests for candidates, which evaluate a wide range of skills. This includes written tests, psychometric tests, on the job tests, and advanced tests that can accurately test candidates on the job speed and accuracy. If you’ve done any hiring, you’ll understand that the gulf between how someone performs at interview and how someone behaves on the job can be huge.
And maybe most important of all, Helen and her team listen and are responsive. It does take a little bit of time to understand the beating heart of any business.
Helen and the team have helped Grow hire some fantastic people, and she has helped our clients hire great people and deal with thorny HR issues. We are deeply thankful for the work they have done and are incredibly happy to recommend her to our clients.
7. Graphic Design
If you need an e-book designed, or a PDF brochure, or yes, gasp some printed material, Martin is your man. His original background was in advertising, and he has experience in designing record covers. Creative eh?
We never hesitate to recommend Martin to people who need design work to make their brand sing, such as logos or other high-quality design work. The demand for print for many small businesses is less than it used to be, however, there are still a few things that we need in print.
If you don’t want to hire an expensive agency, but want to get a few small pieces of work done, maybe even regularly, Martin is your guy.
8. Pay Per Click
If you’re a medium-sized business, and you’re not getting the PPC results you want, you may need a team of experts to analyse your PPC account thoroughly and make improvements.
These people won’t even take you on as a client until they’ve analysed and reviewed your PPC account and given you detailed feedback. They will review your sales pages and their ability to convert your paid website traffic into enquiries.
Their process is so thorough it’s worth talking to them even if you don’t work with them! You’ll get a ton of value. Just don’t tell them we told you that!
They also have in-house experts who specialise in conversion rate optimisation. This is a fancy marketing term for everything you can do on a web page to ensure that someone takes action, such as enquiring or buying from you.
They also have in-house Google analytics experts who will ensure that they track everything that happens on your website within an inch of its life.
The PPC agency extraordinaire are Google partners, and they also teach PPC workshops and in-house training with teams. As well as all the standard PPC, remarketing and display network advertising options, they have exclusive access to other online advertising networks such as on the Guardian website and many others, which can be a game changer.
They worked with one of our clients and over a six month period they sold £25,000 of workshop tickets for less than £2,000 in PPC costs!
9. Facebook Marketing
Shortly after Facebook listed its shares on the stock market, its value plummeted. Roll on a few years and it’s share price has not only recovered, it has rocketed. Facebook’s profits have massively increased, and Facebook paid advertising presents a big opportunity for smart entrepreneurs to advertise their products and services directly to people who are likely to be interested.
We all share lots of personal information about ourselves on Facebook . Advertisers can take advantage of this and target specific people who are interested in anything from Siberian hairless cats to life insurance and wedding presents.
If you can name it, you can actively target people on Facebook who are likely to be interested. You can target people on Facebook by their net worth, their postcode, their age, their interests and much, much more.
Because Facebook is so important, we’re desperate to find a Facebook marketing expert to help our clients create paid Facebook advertising campaigns.
There are over 15 different kinds of ways you can advertise on Facebook, and it takes a rare combination of experience, skill and knowledge to create a paid Facebook advertising campaign that works really well.
Facebook campaigns aren’t one-hit wonders or set and forget, as you have to test different advertising copy and images, as well as different campaign types.
Examples of campaigns include Facebook adverts that send people to a landing page, or using a lead ad, where with only one click people share their personal details with you and you then follow up outside of Facebook.
With this myriad of options, it can be a bit of a minefield to consistently create successful Facebook marketing campaigns. Good campaigns also require remarketing ads, where visitors on certain pages on your website or people who clicked on specific Facebook ads are shown a follow-up advert.
As I said, we are actively looking for a Facebook marketing expert and won’t stop searching until we find someone and test them ourselves so that we can recommend them.