So you’ve decided to hire a marketing consultant to help grow your business. What next? How do you choose the right person? Ideally you want someone who’s an experienced marketing specialist with a proven track record, and is committed to your success. As a first step, ask the right questions to make sure the consultant is a good fit for you and your company.
Here are five questions you should ask before hiring a marketing expert:
- What experience do you have?
A small business marketing consultant typically has experience in complementary industries including: advertising, sales, PR, publicity, email marketing, blogging, writing, networking and referral strategies. Extensive knowledge in social media, digital media, guest blogging and podcasting, speaking, and other platforms is also valued. Combined, all skills lead to years of practical hands-on work and client results, which ultimately help to solve your company’s most important marketing challenges.
If you’re looking for help in a specific area, like social media or branding, make sure the consultant you’re considering has expertise in these areas. Marketing advisors come in all shapes and sizes, and have a range of experiences. You may find someone who is uber focused in one or two areas and others who have dabbled in a little bit of everything. Who you choose depends on your needs.
- What organizations are you a member of?
Marketers learn about an ever-changing industry in a number of ways. Staying up-to-date on marketing trends, studying the latest influencer strategies, attending virtual and in-person conferences, and creating a strong network of professionals, to name a few. Being involved in various marketing and business organizations helps a marketing expert gain perspective and build important resources. With that, they’re able to recognize opportunities that are of value and provide insight based on experience, a changing business climate, and feasibility.
Some reputable organizations include: American Marketing Association, Association of Networking Marketing Professionals, Internet Marketing Association, Association of National Advertisers, and Business Network International (BNI).
- How can you help my business? Can you help me?
Strong on ideas, and solid on strategy and development, a small business marketing consultant works to create customized programs and best practices to increase sales, credibility, and visibility online and offline. By improving your personal and professional branding at every stage of your company’s growth, you’ll meet professional and lifestyle goals and get recognized as the expert you really are. An experienced advisor should ask what’s important to you and your business, and help you get there.
- How do you measure success?
Measuring results is key to monitor your program results and to your success. Make sure you know ahead of time how your consultant will measure your ROI, so you’re on the same page. If you hire a marketing specialist to help with branding, results will be measured differently than if you hire an expert to help with email marketing. What’s important is that the consultant is accountable to you and you know what that accountability is.
- Can you please provide me with references?
Would you hire an employee without checking references? Make a large purchase without reading reviews? Hiring a marketing consultant is no different. It’s a major investment in your business and you should do your homework before you make a commitment of time and resources. Ask references similar questions that you might ask the marketing expert you want to hire. How did he/she help your business? What results can you attribute to your time together? Would you hire this person again?
These five questions will set you on the right path to hiring the best marketing consultant for your small business. Make sure you choose someone who brings the experience and knowledge you need, with clear accountability (on both sides), and of course, great feedback from satisfied customers.
Are you looking for a marketing coach to help your small business? I can help. Let’s schedule some time for a quick call.