For those seeking marketing help, it’s best to verify what you are told. Here are ideas for keeping it real.
1. Check credentials. Research the professional credentials a person or company has to see whether they are serious, hard-to-get designations or some wild ass claims of competency. A love for furniture and decorating IS NOT the best way to hire marketing help. Find TRAINED marketers that love this industry and you are on your way.
2. Check for complaints. Research the BBB record of any company you are planning to hire. Search review sites. Conduct a search on Google.
3. Don’t buy on the first visit. Think about things and discuss it with others. If you are pressured right away into buying, consider that a red flag warning.
4. Forget the references. Even the worst of companies and individuals can scrape together three references.
5. When the company makes recommendations, find out why and what other options they considered. Some companies have limited offerings and capabilities and try a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
6. Get it in writing. Find out why recommended actions are right for you, the anticipated outcomes of such actions and the total costs of funding required to make things happen.
7. Ensure understanding. Online marketing can be confusing and it is ever changing. Make sure you understand what is being recommended and how it fits into your overall strategy. To test your understanding, explain the advisor’s recommendations to one of your trusted friends. Does that person get it?
8. Check the other side. Ask yourself one simple question: how can the marketing advisor make money and still have it be good for you?
9. Ask about the money. If the advisor is recommending you use outside software, vendors or services, find out if the advisor is getting a kick-back on the recommendation. Sometimes these arrangements are OK; many times they are not in your best interests.
10. Use your best judgment. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone promises a # 1 position on Google, or tells you they’ll make you millions for your $5,000 investment, you should run and hide.