Let’s face it, you can’t do it all – accounts, ordering, quality control, or simply providing the actual service you’re offering, while simultaneously trying to attract more customers or clients. It’s hard job to do, and small businesses know this well. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible – but trust me, as your business continues to grow, it takes a solid effort.
So if you’re like many of the small businesses I work with, you might be thinking of hiring a marketing team to get things rolling and continue with the cash flowing! While it’s true you do have to spend some, to make some more, it’s very easy to take this concept too far and lose money if you don’t have a solid plan.
As you think of your next step you’ll be better prepared to avoid wasting your time or money on an agency that does what they do best– selling – or better said, selling you!
Be wary of these three things:
1. They'll solve all your problems.
If the marketing agency you’re discussing your business with seems to think they’ll be able to ‘fix you and make you all better’ then I suggest you walk away. There are many things that cloud the way to success for small businesses and guess what, it’s not always marketing!
The truth is many times when businesses fail to rise it’s because they haven’t committed to a strategy. They’re driving in too many directions, but going nowhere fast. If the agency you’re looking to hire is trying to convince you that better marketing is what will solve all of your cashflow and operational challenges, that’s a big sign that maybe, they don’t have your best interest at heart.
2. Their services are cheap.
Good marketing doesn’t come cheap! If you don’t believe it, then Google the average salary for Marketing Managers (fine, I’ll do it for you, it’s 62K). Do you know why they get paid so well? It’s because a good marketer knows how valuable they are to your business. They make you money – ideally, a lot more than they’re taking from you.
Having a good marketing plan is the difference between winning a game or just playing because it’s “fun”. Strategy is designed to optimize spending and business efforts to ensure a plan is in place to get you scoring goals.
It takes experience, it takes tools, and it takes knowledge-based action to make things change: that isn’t cheap! If it’s too good to be true, then mark my words, you aren’t getting the above mentioned. And if you aren’t getting game-changing expertise, then what’s the point?
3. They don't have specialists.
You can’t expect a roofer to be skilled at drywall, so why would you think a social media manager can handle your pay per click efforts? When looking for a marketing agency, it’s important to know how they’ve built their team. Have they selected their staff based on general knowledge or specialties? Who will be working on your account, and what kind of experiences do they have growing audiences and generating leads on particular platforms?
While hiring a marketing team (particularly digital marketing), you’ll get a bigger return when the agency focuses on creating a team with individuals who have picked a lane and can offer you very particular expertise.
While you’re eager for the help and for one more thing to be off your growing task list, it’s in your best interest to take a little extra time and pick a marketing agency that’s right you.
If they aren’t trying to get you to do everything, if they’re charging you the going rate, and if they’re investing in their team by hiring specialists, then know you’re working with a marketing team that has your back. They’re in it for more than themselves, they want you to win too!
Need help with your small business marketing efforts? The team over at The Co. Lab is a hub of marketing specialists who get it because they’re entrepreneurs just like you!