Marketing Consultants seem to be everywhere! Marketing, like many service industries, has a low barrier to entry and people can easily profess to be an “expert” with little experience.
Think Social Media: How many workshops do you go to where you’re left saying “but what do I do now?”
It was for these reasons I decided to start my business. I hated seeing business owners getting charged expensive rates for tools they (a) really didn’t need or (b) weren’t being taught how to use effectively for their business’ marketing success. It goes to my saying “people don’t know what they don’t know” and this can leave business owners vulnerable to Consultants after quick and easy dollars.
As altruistic as I may sound though, I know I am not the best marketer for all businesses. I can’t be the best for everyone, nor can any Marketing Consultant. So, it’s vitally important for you to to work out who is the best consultant for you.
Let’s get you in the driver’s seat with seven questions to ask a Marketing Consultant you’re considering hiring.
- What is your marketing experience?
Also ask about their career background to see if they have any extra complementary skills or synergies with your business.
- Why did you start Consulting in Marketing?
Find out their passions, not only in marketing but business. Does their answer match your core values?
- Who is your ideal client?
Are you their ideal client? And if they’re industry specific, how will they provide unique marketing for your business?
- What strategies will you use to help my business?
This should save you from the un-Marketers (the pretenders). Any Marketer worth hiring will have strategies behind any work they do for your business.
- What costs are involved beyond your consultation?
Ensure you know all potential add-on costs.
[TIP] I see many clients who were sold expensive solutions that are often available free/cheaper. If a Marketing Consultant suggests an outsourced solution, request more than one option for you to choose and always ask why it’s needed and about the ROI (return on investment).
- Why do they want to work with you?
Don’t forget, they should want to work with you! The best marketing will come from a Marketer who believes in your business product/service (almost) as much as you.
- What marketing platforms do you use and why?
This ties up with Point 5. Some Marketers, for example, believe in one Social Media Platform against all others. There shouldn’t be one, dogmatic answer; it should be what’s best for you.
Ultimately, the answers you receive from these questions must connect with you. I like to think of it like a “first date”! If you feel comfortable, chat easily, feel you can trust them and both parties are listening to each other’s questions and answering honestly, then maybe it’s a match!
Just like dating, however, both Marketing Consultant and client can still get blind-sided. There are no tips for that, I’m afraid. But if it looks to good to be true, sometimes it is!
Article first appeared in Australian Businesswomen’s Network