In the do-it-yourself world of small business, entrepreneurs will wait a long while before taking a big step – hiring a marketing consultant.
After all, they’re not sure how much it’ll cost, how long it’ll take and if they’ll get any results.
Even the word “consultant” brings thoughts of lawyer-like fees, where a simple phone call becomes a line item on a billing statement.
It’s not like that.
We don’t expect you to know that though, so we thought it would help if we gave you some details. Read on for our breakdown of what you can expect when you work with a marketing consultant.
Let’s hear concerns first
Our aims are based on a client’s concerns and motivations. What about their goals, you ask? Their goals too, but many clients come to us unsure of their goals besides “getting more business.” We build specific goals together.
During more than 8 years of digital marketing, we’ve heard concerns like these from small business owners:
- Which marketing tactics make the most sense for me?
- My business isn’t standing out against competitors and I don’t know how to change that.
- Why is my business attracting the wrong types of clients?
- I’ve tried marketing before and didn’t get the results I wanted.
Addressing those issues and finding an effective strategy is not an easy thing, but a good process gets us started.
What’s the process? A good marketer will have a process
If you’ve ever watched the CNBC show, The Profit, you’ve seen investor Marcus Lemonis walk into a small business and turn things around by using his process. It focuses on 3 areas: People, Product and Process. He credits this with having a big role in his success.
Process is just as important in marketing. A consultant will follow a process to evaluate your needs, get you started and carry you through the program. We’ll use that process as a guide on what to expect.
You can expect a marketing consultant for small business to:
We don’t know how anyone can start without learning about your business and assessing your needs. This is the essential first step of any consulting work if it’s going to really make a difference.
It begins with a preliminary assessment to gather information so they can give you a proposal with pricing. Pricing varies, depending on the services involved, but you can expect a proposal with either a monthly retainer fee or a one-time flat fee for a consultation or plan.
Pricing will be a major factor for you as a client, but keep in mind that you can also set the budget for them. Let them know how much you can devote to marketing each month or overall to get a proposal that fits your budget.
After you’ve come to an agreement, the marketer will continue the assessment, taking a deeper look into your ideal customer, your competition and your market.
Know why only 8% of people stick to their New Year’s resolutions? Because resolutions are usually too broad and vague. The same applies to business goals.
A good marketing partner will get you past a vague goal of “get more business” to specific, focused goals that will result in more business anyway.
Goals we’ve achieved for clients include:
- Getting more lead calls from Google My Business listings (aka Google Maps)
- Better visibility in Google to attract locals searching for their type of service
- Greater attention on new services and promotions using social media and online ads
- More website visits using content to lure in prospects and get local leads
Goals and priorities are different for each business, but we focus on getting leads so the client has a chance to “close the deal.”
Every business is unique and what might work for one, might not work for another. That’s why consultants like us look beyond the trendy techniques of the moment.
We focus instead on building a creative and forward-thinking plan. One that will lure in new business today and continue to do so tomorrow.
As publisher Felix Dennis said: “Ideas don’t make you rich. The correct execution of ideas does.” This is the stage where the plan and its ideas turn into action.
To give you examples, here are just a few of the tactics we’ve executed for clients:
- Boosted messaging to make your services uber attractive to ideal customers
- Improve local visibility on Google and other sites with SEO
- Improve lead capture on websites and in emails
- Write content for websites, blogs and email newsletters
- Build audiences on social media
- Run effective ad campaigns
Remember, each action in your plan is another step in building a relationship with your ideal prospect. This way, if the prospect isn’t ready to buy now, they’ll think of you when they are later.
The last phase, and one of the most important, is to measure and analyze results. This is critical, not only so you and your marketer know what’s working best, but also so you can adjust plans if needed.
Websites and digital media give us great advantages in this area. They allow us to collect hard data and also let us test and optimize for the best results.
Compare that to the old days of marketing, where you had wasted printing costs and a limited ability to adjust plans. With digital marketing, that’s no longer an issue.
Communication is key
At all times, you should expect your consultant to be:
- Providing frequent updates
- Always striving to improve results
We hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect once you start your journey in marketing. Count on pros like us to help you attract new business.
We’re here to help! If you have any questions, let us know below or send a message.