What You Should Expect from an Outsourced Marketing Consultant
If you've decided to outsource your marketing...congratulations! You're likely about to free up a lot of time, get more energized about your business, and - hopefully - see the increase in business you're looking for.
It's essential to understand what to expect from your relationship with your marketing consultant from the outset and what they likely expect from you in return. In this case, I'm speaking to the solo business owner or small business owner who is not only marketing their business, they're marketing themselves as well. After all, when it comes down to it, we invest in people. So, general marketing probably won't be as effective as something more personal.
Make no mistake about it - when done well, this is a collaboration between you and the person you've hired. This means that your outcome is directly proportional to the effort you put into it. Yes, I know you'd like to just "let it ride," but when I've had clients with that attitude, things rarely turn out as they want.
What I Bring to the Table
When I work one-on-one with a client, we are digging into who they're trying to target and how to best get their attention. I'm constantly coming up with ideas on how we can create behavior change that will make a stranger invest their hard-earned money in employing that person. We're talking about exciting things like events they might want to host or educational opportunities that are attention-getting and fun. When I have my monthly marketing meetings with my clients it's EXCITING. They leave re-energized about their business.
Now, before we even get to that point, it's important to note this: EVERYTHING above hinges on you knowing what your business is. Marketing consultants are not magicians. We're not even business coaches, although we tend to fall into that category sometimes. BOTTOM LINE:
We cannot attract what you don't know you want.
From there, I'm happy to do the heavy lifting. I'll make the graphics, change websites, create content, do the research. I'll edit the videos and get them where they need to go. Your email outreach - done! Social media - seamless! We've discussed it, I know what you want, and I'll go to you for final approval if you want me to.
This works amazingly well.
What You Bring to the Table
Is this where I lose you?
Yes, there are very large marketing companies out there who will do everything for you and you don't have to lift a finger. Does it look professional? Sure. Does it have your voice and brand? Probably not. And that's okay - as long as YOU know what you're getting.
When it comes to effectively marketing a personal service or small business, it cannot be done without some effort on the client's part. I'm trying to put YOU in your marketing. That's the value. And I can't do it without you.
I promise you that there is a direct correlation between the success you're seeing in your marketing and the effort you're putting in - even when you work with a consultant. Have an active social media account, but you're never on social media? Well, that's good brand awareness, but not good business. Sending email outreach that is general in nature but not speaking to your ideal client? That's nice that you're sending something out, but do they really care? Have a blog or website content that says nothing substantial? They're clicking right by you.
Yes, there are marketing companies out there who don't do what they promise - believe me, I get a lot of clients BECAUSE of those companies. But if you're not seeing the results you're wanting, I would also ask yourself the following:
Am I responding to the emails my marketing consultant is sending me?
Am I doing what he/she tasked me with?
If not, it might be time to increase your effort a little bit or discuss more effective ways of communicating with the person you're working with.
Where You're on Your Own
It's important to understand where the responsibility of your marketing consultant begins and ends. In my case, I'm trying to get more people to your website. I'm trying to make your website as powerful as possible so the visitor moves forward with the next call to action. I'm trying to keep you top-of-mind through social media and email outreach.
But...that's pretty much where my job ends.
There is a big difference between marketing and sales. I'm here to do everything I can to get that visitor to make the initial appointment. The SALES part - the part where they sign on the dotted line - is your responsibility. So, if you're getting appointments but not getting business that's something you might want to take a look at.
We're on the Same Team
Why am I writing this? Is it because I just had a client who hasn't emailed me back in four months decide they don't want to market anymore because "it's just not working"?
Why, yes. Yes, it is.
And here's the thing. I hate that - not because of lost revenue. I hate it because I take my clients' success personally. I'm not just sitting here punching a clock. I do this because I love doing it and I get the same thrill YOU do when your ideal client starts working with you. Those victory emails make my day.
But I can't force you to do it. I can't force you to put in the effort. All I can do is set the expectations upfront and hope that we meet somewhere in the middle.
Because when that happens...it IS marketing magic.