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12 Dazzling Signs of a Great Online Marketing Consultant

Online Marketing Consultant

More people than ever before are claiming to be expert online marketing consultants. But who can you trust?

With an increase of attractive ready-to-roll websites, anybody can have a professional online presence regardless of whether they actually have anything to back that up.

And if you’re not careful, you could hire someone who’ll guarantee empty promises and leave with nothing to show for it.

This article will show you 10 signs of a great online marketing consultant worth spending your marketing pounds on. You’ll be able to spot minute differences which separate the charlatans from the marketing heavyweights.

1. Good Online Marketing Consultants Demonstrate Their Experience

If they’ve got experience, chances are they’ve blogged about it.

If an online marketing consultant claims to be great at social media marketing or paid advertising, they must have articles, e-books or whitepapers demonstrating this experience.

You need an online marketing consultant who openly shares what they know and doesn’t hold their cards close to their chest.

Delve deeper, read their best content and try to implement one of their strategies in your business.

Regardless of your results, you’ll know you’re dealing with a good online marketing consultant when they share their best stuff without asking for a dime.

2. Their Knowledge Runs Deeper Than Technical SEO and Social Media Marketing Strategies

Whilst knowing how to optimise a page for a specific keyword is essential; you can’t build an empire online with that alone.

Newsflash: You’re not looking for an SEO specialist or a social media expert!

There are plenty of SEO specialists and social media experts who could get you results in that field. But they most likely won’t have the strategic insight to advise you on your overall marketing strategy.

What you need is an all-in-one package.

Someone who could go 12-rounds in a boxing ring with every digital marketing channel and Google algorithm update and come out on top.

They must have experience and knowledge across multiple marketing mediums including but not limited to:

  • Google and Facebook Re-marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing (organic and paid)
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Referral marketing
  • Video marketing
  • SEO and blogging

Just like our first point, reading their blog and signing up to their newsletter will highlight whether they’re a specialist or a generalist.

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Grow’s marketing advice has added over £200,000 to our turnover this year – it’s been our best year yet!

3. Solving Your Business Challenges Is Their Priority

Good online marketing consultants make your business challenges their priority. After all, you’re hiring them to help solve the problems which are preventing your business from growing to the next level.

You don’t need an online marketing consultant who spends time, energy and money thinking of solutions to problems that aren’t a priority.

Sure, it makes them look busy, and they might even do a good job.

But if your original problem persists after they’ve left, they haven’t done the job you hired them for and your business suffers as a result.

So how can you ensure they’ll stay on track whilst working with you? By paying attention to how they communicate with you before working together.

Just like any other business relationship, you must both be aware of each other’s skill set and what’s achievable.

If there is no chemistry or common understanding of your business and its challenges, it becomes hard to trust them. And without trust, you’ll unintentionally second guess their suggestions which will only hurt your business.
For example, if you’re a start-up, you can’t risk choosing an online marketing consultant who has no experience in this field. The challenges are different and require a unique approach.

Don’t jump on the bandwagon of popular online marketing consultants who’ve only worked with huge businesses with six-figure budgets. They may look impressive but often struggle to recommend actionable ideas which fit within your resources.

Whilst working with huge brands makes an online marketing consultant standout; it only confirms they have the freedom to run more marketing experiments as they’ll have more data, more money and can afford to make more mistakes.

4. They Know Which Online Marketing Channels You Should Invest in

Every day there’s a new app or channel promising to send you a horde of hungry buyers with
little effort or ingenuity.

Their claims might even be 100% accurate.

But you know you can’t be everywhere, all the time.

Anybody can list the most profitable online marketing channels for promoting businesses. But it
doesn’t mean those channels will work for your business.

The hallmark of a fantastic online marketing consultant is in their ability to pinpoint the most suitable marketing channels for your businesses. Those worth investing time and money in.

For example, imagine your business teaches professional cooking classes in person and online.

Pinterest would be your best bet for building a healthy list of budding chefs who are looking to cook fantastic food for colleagues, friends and family.

Why Pinterest?

A) Food is by far, the most popular topic of interest on Pinterest

B) Research shows that Pinterest users have higher disposable income compared to users of all other social media platforms

A good online marketing consultant will be able to match your target market to the relevant communities and channels and put forth a compelling argument why you should be marketing there today.

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Our revenue increased by 50% after 6 months of working with Grow

Greg Gillespie

The London Academy of Dance

Find out how we can help your business Grow »

5. They Understand That Good Website Design Fosters Trust

Every good online marketing consultant prioritises a mobile-first design and understands that a website must both be aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Take a hard look at their website. Is it attractive enough to make you want to do business with them?

An excellent online marketing consultant understands the psychology of good web design. As the saying goes, people buy from those they know, like and trust.

If your website doesn’t create an element of trust, it will be much harder to attract potential customers to buy from you.

For example, if your website not optimised for mobile this will not only hurt your rankings but will push people away from your business.

Gone are the days where Geocities websites ruled the web. With thousands of widely available themes, there is no excuse for running your website on borrowed land.

A good online marketing consultant knows this and will recommend actions to keep people on your site and increase conversions.

6. They Continually Learn about Online Marketing

Despite being an “expert”, a good online marketing consultant knows that to stay relevant they must be on top of the latest marketing trends and happenings. They must attend marketing events, take courses and read religiously to continue advising businesses on their online strategy.

Ask them which marketing events and courses they would recommend for you and your staff. What programs, books and people do they follow online?

They should be able to give you specific names of people and resources worth paying attention to. Whether you’ve heard of them or not, is irrelevant. It’s just to reassure you that the advice you’ll be given will be up to date and fit for purpose.

7. They Have Access to People and Tools Who’ll Put Your Business Back on the Map

Great online marketing consultants are known to under promise and over deliver.

If you truly want to grow your business this year, you’re going to need VIP access to the brightest people. People who can use tools and create processes that’ll generate clients and repeat business.

And your online marketing consultant must have them all on speed dial.

You will also get good discounts on essential software tools from your online marketing consultant. From learning management systems and marketing automation to landing page builders and web analytics.

They understand it’s their job to look after you, and will recommend tools they don’t use even if it means losing out on affiliate commissions.

Why? Because you’re their priority.

8. They Make it Easy for You to Contact Their past Clients

An online marketing consultant who’s confident in their ability to grow your business will make it
easy for you contact their past clients.

Their client’s testimonial pages should have links to their website and key social media profiles for you to contact them.

If that information is available, it shows they’re not scared of what past clients will say, and if
anything will further promote their services.

They should be more than happy for you to ask their past clients a few questions about how their business improved whilst working with them.

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Our turnover went from £214,000 to £608,000 after working with Grow

9. Their Website is Filled with Powerful Trustworthy Testimonials

Take a good look at their testimonials. Do they fill you with confidence and leave you wanting more?

As you know, testimonials foster trust and show their process for collecting and publishing testimonials is working well.

But what makes a good testimonial and why should you care?
Testimonials filled with fluffy words won’t give you an insight into the real impact an online marketing consultant had on their business.

The last thing you want to do is hire someone based on flattery without knowing whether they can actually do the job.

A good testimonial has a format which highlights the following:

1. Key business challenges
2. Followed by what was done or actions taken
3. Results in numerical terms
4. Finally, the impact on the business.

Example of a good testimonial:

“Our revenue increased by 50% after 6 months working with X.

We needed clarity. We needed to understand who our customers were, which customer segments we wanted to target and how to target them. We needed to understand what it was that we were marketing exactly.

He clarified things for us, gave us a sense of direction and clear advice. We knew we had something to work with, a clear action plan.

I also liked that the fact that we could go to him and bounce ideas. He understands the big picture and his advice goes beyond marketing.”

10. Their Communication Skills Are Top-Notch

Online marketing consultants are experts at creating strategies and action plans but tend not to implement.

Knowing this, you must seek out someone with brilliant communication skills. Each member of your team must be able to understand them in order to move the business forward.

There are some fantastic online marketers who get great results, but struggle to communicate their ideas and processes. You can usually tell looking out for marketing jargon in their proposal.

Do they place more value on retweets, general traffic and engagement over conversions, ARR (annual recurring revenue), CPA (cost-per-acquisition), profit, etc?

You want someone who can communicate the impact their work will have on tangible business metrics, as opposed to vanity metrics which only look good on paper.

11. They’re not Immune From Failure

No matter how good your online marketing consultant is, they’re not immune from catastrophic

They can devise the soundest action plan, and you could make the smartest decisions based on proven business principles.

But it still might crash and burn in the end.

This is why risk has to be shared between you both. And is the main reason why you shouldn’t
lock yourself into long-term contacts.

Your business is your priority, and you must be in a comfortable position to leave early on before things get hairy.

12. Their Linkedin profile makes you want to hire them full-time

Online marketing consultants tend to fall into 3 categories.

1. Ex-corporate marketers

They started their careers marketing for big brands and now focus on helping start-ups and small businesses get their breakthrough.

Whilst it shows versatility, they may struggle to scale down their growth strategies for clients who have a limited budget or advertising spend.

2. Marketing PR managers at corporate level

They’ve done PR or have been consultants for big businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

Their work mainly focuses on creating collateral such as managing website projects and whitepapers.

Usually, they have a huge skillset but haven’t got working knowledge and experience of online marketing and how this fits to achieve a business’s overall OKRs (objectives and key results.)

3. Small business online marketing specialists

These people have worked with many small businesses and understand the issues faced every day. From marketing and lack of budget to staffing issues and cashflow problems. Fundamentally, you want a small business online marketing consultant who has walked in your shoes for years.

Grow has over 15 years’ experience turning around businesses just like yours. Read our marketing consultancy page to learn how we can help your business grow. And don’t forget to judge us based on the 12 points we’ve stressed throughout this page.