What to Look for in a Digital Marketing Consultant

Get a Digital Marketing Consultant

Time's a Wastin'

Sometimes, you need outside perspective.

There’s not a doubt that everyone is going digital – we talk to businesses on a daily basis that are trying to make sense of the digital migration, and what it means to their own business.

And, sometimes, you might find some excellent blog posts – such as this one from Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion – and realize that a lot goes into understanding the digital world.

Landing Pages? New Facebook Fan Pages? Conversion Rates? Sales Pages? Twitter Followers?

How To Breathe Easier When Getting Help

We get asked questions about the Modern Marketing Mix A LOT – it’s part of the reason behind the 12 Minute Marketing program, actually – and we think that we can help you breathe a little easier, whether you hire us or hire somebody else. Or even if you go it alone. Here’s how you can breathe easier with the assistance of a digital marketing consultant:

1. Know What Your Business Objectives Are FIRST

These may not be digital objectives at all – in fact, starting with an objective such as “Get 10,000 Fans on Facebook” can be a surefire means to a flameout. Why?

What are you going to DO with those 10,000 fans? How will you “engage” them? And so on, and so forth…

Back to The Sales Lion for a second. Even if you think all of the stuff he talks about is a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, he started his business with a very clear objective: Sell People Swimming Pools.

If you have a restaurant, a consultancy, an Etsy business, or you’re a book publisher or…gosh, we could name a thousand different things…you HAVE to have business objectives. If you don’t have those – you’re going to be wasting the time of the Marketing Consultant you call, and they’re not going to be able to help you. Seriously.

2. Have a Firm Grasp on Your Marketing Budget

Here’s where even the smallest business can go dangerously off the rails: No grasp of your marketing budget will mean you are in for a world of hurt. Why?

In the chase for “ROI,” you MUST realize that the “I” in ROI is “Investment.”

Take a restaurant as an example. We’re not going to say that a restaurant with no marketing budget at all is doomed to fail…

But we WILL ask the restaurant owner to take a good hard look at all the expenses that they need on a monthly basis. Do those things fall into the marketing budget? And you do need to ask where the customers are going to come from, how they find the place, how the buzz will build business…all of that leads to, well, the need for marketing. May be digital, may NOT be digital.

But, trust me, restaurant owner: you have a marketing budget.

3. Have a Really Firm Grasp on Who Does What

Back in my own early entrepreneurial days, I did just about everything. Once I could bring on staff, the lines of demarcation became clearer, and some things could easily be outsourced.

Regardless of whether it was outsourced, some of those tasks that fell outside my own scope could easily have been called “Digital Marketing.”

Let’s use a consultancy as an example here – maybe there are three of you, and you’re all out servicing clients, chasing new ones, and somebody’s responsible for the website. Someone else runs the Twitter account. Another person thinks that you should be setting up a sales funnel and…

You can see how THIS can possibly go off the rails, too – even if all three of you are smart and capable and provide excellent client service.

4. Knowing all of this…you might just need a diagnostic

The Sales Lion guy likes talking about Hubspot – and they do have some excellent paid tools. But they’re not for everyone – and, in fact, you can run a free diagnostic on your own web presence just by going to a Hubspot site: grader.com.

Here’s a link to the Marketing Grader.

VERY IMPORTANT: This is NOT the end-all, be-all. This will get you started, but your own diagnostic from Grader doesn’t do you much good if you haven’t completed Step 1 above – HAVING BUSINESS OBJECTIVES.

But this CAN get you thinking about the online things you should be doing. Or not doing: if you have that restaurant above, maybe an online funnel won’t do you 1/10 of the good that a presence on Yelp or Pinterest will.

5. And, the Biggest Mistake You Can Make: “It’s Free!”

We bump into this all of the time:

Twitter and Facebook are free sites, so…I can just do it myself for FREE!

No. Your time costs money. Your team’s time costs money. Even offshoring this to some dude on Odesk will cost some money. And you get what you pay for.

Consultants – yes, even me – can share some knowledge for free. It’s called “Thought Leadership.” But, once you get into the key points of digital marketing – integration, measurement, making sure that you and your business have your marketing aligned with your overall goals – that costs money.

Hire someone? Do it yourself? Get a full-time paid intern? Get a consultant part time? Lots of options – but, we’ve found, if you keep the 5 points above in mind, you – and your consultant – can maximize your chance of business success.


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