How to Find the Best, Cheapest Small Business Marketing Consultant
Along with lightening-fast changes in technology come quickly evolving marketing practices. And it probably seems nearly impossible to keep up. As a small business owner you maybe have realized that you can’t do everything by yourself. So, now you’re here and wondering how to find a small business marketing consultant that is right for you. I’m here to share some tips! I know it’s a business decision to consider carefully, but luckily it’s pretty simple. Here are three things you should know before taking the big leap:
1. Know Your Marketing Needs
You know your business better than anyone, so the next step is to figure out your marketing needs. Most likely, you’re already doing some marketing, but you still have pain points and gaps. To identify these, ask yourself: What are my conversion rates from lead to customer and how much does it cost? What are my team’s weaknesses when it comes to marketing? Based on your answers, you can figure out they type of consultant you need. If your conversion rate is low, you need a content, social media, or SEO specialist. For example, you may want to consider social media packages for small businesses. If it’s costing too much to convert, consider a small business marketing consultant who specializes in business processes and CRM training. Also, by knowing what your team is capable of (and not), can help you determine your biggest gaps. Perhaps your small staff can create content but are clueless when it comes to SEO.
Knowing these limitations is key to choosing the right consultant. Now that you have an idea about the type of consultant you need, next up is where to look and what to consider.
2. Know How to Find the Right Fit for Your Business
Great, so you are armed with the knowledge of your marketing needs and now you want to find your match. But when you’re just starting out or have a very limited budget, you know that not all options are open to you. But don’t worry! There are so many options out there and, from your needs assessment, you can start with marketing packages for small businesses that include only what you need now.
How do you find them? A great place to start is referrals. Ask your other small businesses what services they’ve used. Tap into your Chamber of Commerce network. Another strategy is to do an online search. Who shows up? This is a great way to see how marketers position their own websites using SEO keywords and content marketing. Finally, if your budget is tiny and you can pinpoint specific tasks you need help on, you can search for freelancers who offer small business marketing services.
3. Know the Signs of a Good Marketing Consultant and Those to Avoid
At this point, you now have a list of options that you think meet your needs and are within your budget. But how can you really know whether they are a good match? Simple! Here are just a few tips to determine if the consultant is a rock star or a dud.
First, is their website design up-to-date or are they behind the times by a decade? Bad or outdated website design may be a red flag for a business that is not current on online best practices, so they probably shouldn’t advise you on SEO and social media strategy.
Next, consider the statement of services. Is it vague or crystal clear? If you encounter a consultant that offers their services for a fixed monthly price but doesn’t give details about what they will do…proceed with caution. Ask them about how often they will post content and how they report on outcomes and strategy. If they can’t answer these questions, then I would cross them off your list.
Finally, in case you didn’t find the consultant through a referral or reviews, go back to this step and see what others are saying about their services. Yelp or BBB are good places to start, but also tap into your network and ask around about a specific consultant.
Finding the right marketing consultant is critical for your business and it requires a little work and research on your part. But in the end, you will immediately see the benefits of taking something off your plate and putting it in the hands of an expert. I can hear your sigh of relief already. Go forth and prosper with a little help from an expert small business marketing consultant.
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