There are plenty of online marketing consultants, internet marketing companies, internet marketing specialists, and self-proclaimed marketing strategists out there. So, which one should you trust to help build your business? Here’s a short lesson on what to look for when hiring an internet/online marketing consultant. (And you thought you were done with school.)
YOU HAVE HOW MANY TWITTER FOLLOWERS?!
First of all, don’t be fooled by flashy appearances and lots of social media followers. The right marketing consultant should have solid experience helping businesses like yours, and should have a list of tangible results and successes to prove it. A good marketing consultant will understand how a variety of marketing strategies and tactics work on a practical level. Hey, it’s nice to have loads of Facebook fans and friends, but when it’s all said and done, how does that translate into revenue for your business?
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN ONLINE MARKETING CONSULTANT
Some of the best online marketing consultants have worked in the trenches within marketing/advertising agencies or on the client side. Some of them have built successful businesses from the ground up. A good marketing consultant should have more than a general understanding of a few marketing strategies and tactics. The right marketing consultant will have a solid grasp on how a variety of marketing vehicles work together to contribute to the overall success of a business.
SHOULD I HIRE A MARKETING SPECIALIST OR GENERALIST?
There are many strategies and tactics to choose from: PR, email marketing, direct marketing, social media marketing, copywriting/content development, search engine optimization (organic and paid), affiliate marketing, conversion optimization, lead nurturing programs, the list goes on. The right marketing consultant should have a good understanding of how marketing and business works as a whole. Hiring a specialized marketing consultant (such as a social media marketing consultant) is also an option if you have a good handle on all other areas of your marketing strategy. Ideally, a good marketing consultant should have a broad understanding of how business works as a whole, and specialize in 1-2 areas (such as online marketing) on a more granular and focused level. On a personal level, a good marketing consultant should be highly analytical and able to make connections based on observations.
WHY HIRE AN INTERNET/ONLINE MARKETING CONSULTANT?
As I mentioned in my previous blog post Is Your Business Sinking Because You Won’t Outsource Marketing? there are many reasons why outsourcing marketing and hiring a marketing consultant makes sense. It’s natural to have a few questions like:
- How do I grow my business beyond its current level of operations?
- How do I align sales and marketing to achieve more efficiency and success?
- How do I set marketing and business goals?
- How do I measure marketing ROI?
- What are my options if I don’t wish to hire full-time marketing staff?
- How do I support my full-time marketing employees to ensure that we achieve success?
- How do I take any unnecessary activities off the plate of my salespeople?
- How do I reduce cost per conversion?
- How do I pursue a new type of customer or vertical?
- How do I improve sales and customer loyalty amongst my current clients?
- How do I improve the effectiveness of current marketing strategies and tactics?
When you need to set marketing and business goals, improve your visibility online, gain website traffic, convert website traffic into paying customers, and achieve more success overall, you’d be wise to do your due diligence and find a local online marketing consultant who has the experience and track record to match.
About The Author
Content brought to you by Tanya Roberts, a Vancouver-based online marketing consultant that specializes in slick content strategy to rock your website traffic, build your brand, gain leads, and increase sales. Tanya is an experienced marketer, copywriter/editor, freelance writer, internet/online marketing consultant, and social media specialist. You can also find Tanya on Google Plus. Results matter; here are a few of mine.