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Should you hire an Internet Marketing Consultant?

Internet Marketing Consultant

These days, it’s rare to meet a small business owner who hasn’t had a terrible experience when seeking business advice.

Some business owners see internet marketing consultants and agencies as con artists and scammers.

Brian Signorelli wrote on the HubSpot blog about the awful results he got from hiring a bad agency.

Signorelli paid this digital consulting firm £53,000 to deliver business leads.

Instead, the agency got lots of Twitter followers. No customers.

None of the 30 customers the business got during the four months’ period could be attributed to the agency’s work.

You’ll agree with me that four months of work for £53,000 with nothing to show for it, is a bad experience.

Hiring the right person for the job takes time and due diligence.

Implementing the tips will help you avoid the common mistakes many business owners make.

Big marketing companies versus small (Which one should you choose?)

The common belief is, big agencies are big for a reason. Their large office space is a sign of their success.

They employ a lot of people. They are successful because they’ve been serving many clients over the years.

Internet Marketing Consultant - Office Space

Hiring a big agency assures you of quality service.

Since they’ve existed for a long time, they charge you more for their services, and you’re likely to trust them.

Big firms offer every service. They pride themselves as a one-stop shop for every business.

They offer a broad range of services like branding, conversion optimisation, email campaigns, pay per click (PPC) advertising, display advertising, SEO, web designing, etc.

But beware!

Choosing a bigger firm doesn’t mean you’ll be getting better results.

As a small business owner and therefore a smaller client to the big agency, your account may be handled by junior staff members or interns because of your low  budget.

Many big companies are terrible at managing small businesses on modest budgets.

Senior staff in the agency tend to leave small businesses’ accounts to the inexperienced guys because they simply don’t have the time.

 

Small companies tend to be more specialised when it comes to the services they offer and who they serve.

For example, here at Grow, we pride ourselves as the small business marketing experts. We only serve small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Internet Marketing Consultant - Grow

Small consulting firms are more creative and innovative. They can tweak campaigns on the fly.

That isn’t possible in big agencies because there’s always someone to seek approval from who also needs the approval of another person.

Their employees can’t try new things even when they strongly believe that it’ll have a big positive impact on the client’s revenue.

If your business is small or medium sized, hiring a small company is highly recommended.

How to confirm a digital marketing firm knows what they’re talking about

Before hiring a a new staff member, you’d check their credentials and find out if they are up to the task at hand.

The same goes with a marketing company.

How do you do that?

First, discard the idea of using where a company ranks in Google to rate their authenticity and experience.

For example, a company ranking #1 in Google for the keyword “SEO consultant” or “Internet marketing consultant” doesn’t really mean they are good at what they do.

The best consultants are too busy doing their client’s work. They find it hard to do their own because they have no time for that.

Many of those popular phrases are taken by those agencies who focus more on ranking for those keywords than actually doing clients’ work.

They will do whatever it takes to rank #1 for those keywords, even if it means applying dirty spam tactics.

These companies will guarantee to deliver everything you ask.

They’ll tell you they know all the secrets that will help you acquire lots of customers online.

Internet marketing consultant - Face slap

If you think their promise is too good to be true, it probably is.

So, how do you know if a marketing company truly knows what their stuff?

Read their clients’ testimonials.

If any company truly delivers results, their present and past clients should say so.

For example, here’s the link to Grow’s testimonials page.

On this page, Anna Ratcliffe, the managing director of Cactus Kitchens wrote that their “turnover went from £214,000 to £608,000 after working with Grow.”

Internet Marketing Consultant - Testimonials

On the same testimonials page, Greg Gillespie, founder of The London Academy of Dance wrote their “revenue increased by 50% after 6 months of working with Grow.

If clients are singing the agency’s praises on their testimonials page, it’s a good sign they know what they are doing.

How to receive the best service from a marketing company

Do you want to receive great customer service?

Do you want the results that you so much need?

There is one simple answer to these questions.

Here it is:

Be one of their best and highest paying clients.

Okay, I know that may seem ridiculous, but it’s the ugly truth.

Being one of the highest paying clients means your account will be handled by the most senior and experienced staff.

It means you’ll be treated with the utmost respect and your complaints will be resolved quickly.

Being a low-paying customer means that you’re unlikely to get the senior staff working on your campaign.

I know I mentioned this in the big versus small company debate above, but the point is even more important here.

Some companies are great at delivering an amazing customer experience.

But when a business is going through a tough time, they’re most likely to take care of their highest paying customers first.

Internet Marketing Consultant - Agency

By being one of the important clients of a consulting firm, they will have people with better expertise and more experience in the field working on your campaigns. Not newly trained employees.

Hire a company that fits your business’s size and budget.

If you aren’t allowed to speak or meet a senior staff member of an agency, it indicates that they won’t be handling your account.

Such an agency may not give you the best results for your money.

Hire a specialised marketing consultant

Speciality is an important aspect to look at when hiring anyone to give you advice

In any industry, some people thrive on focusing on a particular sector. These people are called specialists. They are the best at what they do.

Think of “social media experts” as an example. The phrase didn’t even exist 10 years ago.

It’s because the social media world has grown, evolved and become a reliable channel for driving traffic to your businesses.

Some agencies thrive in branding, some in SEO, and some in content marketing.

It’s worth asking the agency which section of the industry they are most successful in.

That’s not all.

What’s really important is the kind of businesses they serve.

For example, a marketing expert that specialises in pharmaceutical companies isn’t a good fit for your law firm.

If an agency flourishes in marketing to pharmaceutical companies, it doesn’t guarantee they will achieve the same level of results in the legal industry.

That is because they will have to start from scratch in building contacts in the legal industry. Perhaps, the management knows very little about your industry.

Another example is, if a company is quite good with small businesses, it doesn’t mean they are good at promoting start-ups.

A perfect example of this is Muscle Up Marketing. The agency is only focused on helping businesses in the fitness industry.

Internet Marketing Consultant - Fitness

Muscle Up has all the tools and relationships to promote gyms and health clubs. That’s the businesses they serve.

Grow serves small-to-medium-sized businesses. We are pretty good at helping small businesses succeed in acquiring valuable customers. That’s what we do.

We have all the contacts and tools to help small and medium-sized business owners.

Should you choose a global or local?

Global consultants serve businesses from anywhere in the world.

Local consultants serve businesses within their locality or vicinity.

The type you hire should depend on the kind of customers you want.

If your business serves people that live outside your country or state, then hiring a global consultant makes sense.

But if your business serves locals, hiring a local consultant is the best thing to do.

Local marketing companies knows more about your area of business, and they’ve built relationships with the right individuals who can aid your initiatives.

Global marketing companies have no clue of what is happening in your community. They have zero relationships with local bloggers, local magazines, and others.

Local agencies are familiar with the location of your business. They know how to take advantage of local events.

Global agencies are ideal only when you want to launch your product or service globally. They are the best when it comes to attracting customers from around the world.

For example, HMH Ship is a parcel forwarding company that offers its services to most countries around the world. For this company, hiring a global marketing agency is the right thing to do because their service is for anyone in the world.

But a business that serves its locals should hire a locally based marketing agency.

So, if you’re a local business based in London, think Grow.

The cheapest company is always a bad option

All businesses, big or small, want to save money wherever they can.

That is why many business owners take the cheapest route when it comes to getting help with digital marketing.

As a result, they get scammed, received terrible results, and get banned by Google.

In the internet marketing world, cheaper is a clear sign of poor quality.

Internet marketing consultant - Cheap

Avoid any company that describes themselves as being “cheap.”

A great service won’t come cheap.

Imagine you’re trying to build a house. You wouldn’t hire an inexperienced, too-cheap contractor to build the building.

You wouldn’t buy discounted, bruised produce for your restaurant.

So, why entrust your business into the hands of unqualified, cheap consultants?

A cheap company may create lots of fake Twitter followers to boost your following count.

They will create cheap and poor content to promote your business.

Instead of wasting your hard-earned cash hiring cheap, work with honest consultants who want the best for your business.

That will never be cheap, of course. But the results you’ll get would be worth it.

Know what you want before hiring anybody

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau

I love the above quote by Henry David Thoreau.

You should know what you’re getting from a marketing company you’re hiring. There should be clear goals between both parties.

This is very important.

Maybe you want to acquire a minimum of 50 high-value clients during a specific period.

Or, you want the amount of your foot traffic to increase by 50%.

Internet Marketing Consultant - Local or Global
According to the quote above, it’s not what you get from achieving the goal that matters. The sales, revenue, and traffic.

A written goal achieved improves you as a business owner. You’ll have a better understanding and develop relationships that will move you and your business to the next level.

It’s much easier to evaluate and judge success when goals are set and understood by both parties.

You can tell when the company is underperforming or outperforming.

When a company isn’t meeting your targets, you can decide to hire another agency that will help you achieve your business goals.

Never hire a company without reaching an agreement in expectation.

At Grow, we meet and beat expectations. Find out how we can take your small business forward.

Let’s talk.

Thank you for reading and please share this article on social media.

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