Small Business Marketing Consultant Questions every business owner should be asking…

The difference between the right hire for your small business and the wrong hire can be the questions you ask. Hiring the right small business marketing consultant can have a positive impact on the growth of your company and your overall stress level, but making the wrong mistake can negatively impact your business as well. Whether you are looking for a marketing consultant to run your Search Engine Optimization Campaigns, or just to serve in an advisory role here is a list of small business marketing consultant questions every business owner should be asking during the hiring process. 

1. How do you communicate with clients? As a small business owner, you have to make sure you are on top of every aspect of your business. From lead generation to customer follow-up, no item can be overlooked in your business. The same should be said for your marketing strategy. That is why the first question you should ask all marketing consultants is simple. How do you communicate and how often? Look for answers as to how they will inform you of changes in your digital marketing strategy, or trends they are seeing in the marketplace. Will they communicate with you on a weekly basis, bi-weekly basis, or monthly?

2. What is their background in your industry? While digital tools & data has made it easier for marketing consultants to adapt to your field, having a background or at the very least experience in your field is vital to the initial success of your marketing campaigns. Always make sure to ask small business marketing consultants questions about the business landscape in your industry. That should tell you if they have at the very least researched your business, and are truly interested in seeing you succeed.

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3. How will you accomplish your marketing strategy? In your initial meeting, it is important that the marketing consultant outlines a roadmap to success. For example, if you are hiring for an SEO specialist you might want to ask “What is your process for improving traffic and conversions from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing?” An experienced marketing consultant will be able to outline their path to success but articulate that they will need to do some discovery work with you to create the best plan possible for your business.

4. Will you guarantee your marketing strategy a success? This is certainly a trick question when it comes to your small business marketing consultant questions, but it should be asked nevertheless. Of course, you want your marketing consultant to answer yes, but the key is to how long? If a marketing consultant is guaranteeing results rather quickly, it should be a red flag that they are trying to sell you something. If they are asking for an eight to twelve month commitment, it may mean that are either not very good, or just interested in your money. Make sure to pay close attention to how long they are asking for in your contract, and make sure you and your marketing consultant are on the same page about how long it will take?

5. How will you measure the success of the campaign? Your immediate follow-up question to will you guarantee your marketing strategy is a sucess, should be “How will you measure the success of the campaign?” What key performance indicators are they going to be measuring as the campaign progresses? Is it the total number of users to your website, how long people are staying on the website? Figuring out how they view success, should tell you enough about how you will be measuring their success. If you both value the right analytics & data, chances are they are a good fit. If they measure it based on total users to your website, but maybe not the right type of users, you could be in for a bad experience.

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5. What happens if the contract is terminated? Small business owners shouldn’t always approach marketing with the doom and gloom look, but it helps to always have an exit strategy. When speaking to any potential marketing consultants make sure to ask them what happens to their work if the contract is terminated early. Make sure to review all the fees associated with their proposal, and have them answer any lingering questions you may have.

6. Why should we hire you?  While we expect that this can be found on every list of small business marketing consultant questions, it is still a necessary one. Why should you trust the growth of your business to this person? What qualifications do they have that others don’t? What data or analytics do they have access to that other marketing consultants do not? Make sure they are the right fit for your company and not the other way around.

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7. What do you need in order to be successful? As digital marketing consultants ourselves, we appreciate when a small business owner asks us what we need in order to be successful. By asking a potential consultant this question, you are committing to the idea that you are approaching your marketing together. By asking this question your marketing consultant may lead you to new campaign ideas or tools that will only enhance your marketing campaign and grow your business.

8. How do you determine the budget? This question helps outline whether they are picking a number from a hat, or they have done their research and determined just how much you need to spend in order to achieve the results you are looking for. You have every right as a small business owner to ask, how they got to their final number. This will give you a good indication if they put the time and effort into your proposal that you needed.

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