questions to ask when hiring a marketing consultant

7 Important Questions to Ask When Hiring A Small Business Marketing Consultant

Schedule social media posts. Check. Respond to customer questions. Check. Post product images. Check. Test the homepage hero. Does this sound like you?

Solopreneurs handle all the roles of their business. It’s the norm but when does is it time to hire a marketing expert to take it to the next level?

If you’re a solopreneur with a growing business, then you may have already considered hiring an experienced marketing consultant. You may have a handle on your social channels and respond to all your comments, but you notice your sales are flat or that your site traffic isn’t as high as you would like it to be.

Marketing Consulting Niches

The good news is there are marketing consultants in all niches that can help you. What does a marketing consultant do? It all depends!

On a general basis, a marketing consultant looks at your business and finds areas they can help it grow.

You want to work with a consultant that aligns with your business goals. For example, I am an organic marketer who focuses on on-page SEO, copywriting, and content marketing strategies.

web traffic increasing with graphs

This means I know how to create content for your e-commerce website that will convert for your clients. I also know how to optimize your website content for search engines.

I help small e-commerce businesses get more traffic and sales by working on their content strategy. Meaning, I can find ways to grow businesses by using their current content or new content that will attract and convert their target audience. I can also help create campaigns that businesses can use to re-target their customers via email newsletters, social media other marketing channels.

When it comes to getting your site shown in results, keyword research is required. This means really understanding your customers and the types of phrases they use. By knowing the true psychology of your target audience, you can create content based to attract those customers in the funnel.

It takes an experienced keyword researcher to discover these powerful phrases. I have tools and insights to help you find the best, specific keywords for your business that can bring in that organic traffic and those future sales.

Meanwhile, other consultants may be focused on PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, social media management, and public relations, and so on. While I understand those topics, they are not my niche.

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How to Start with Hiring a Marketing Consultant

As a business owner, you may not know where to begin with your marketing needs, so it’s a good idea to get on a call with a consultant and see if they’re a good fit.

Before you get on the call, get a list of your current marketing challenges you’re experiencing. This will help to guide the conversation and prevent time wasted during the call.

You also want to have some questions prepared ahead of time.

Here are some of the questions you want to ask during your call:

What is Your Niche or Specialty?

Ask the consultant what they specialize in and give you examples of work they have done. If you can, review their website and look at their services and portfolio. This will help to give you an idea of what they do and how they can help your business.

What is Your Experience with Smaller Businesses?

During the call, ask them about their current and previous clients. Do they focus on businesses of your size and niche? It helps if they are already working with a business similar to yours.

How Are Your Tracking Clients Projects?

This is a big question because, without any tracking, we cannot track our marketing efforts. When I work with clients I encourage them to sign up with a Google Analytics account. This is a free account you can open and connect with your website. I can even help add it to the site.

Google Analytics gives marketers and business owners insights into how the campaigns perform. If the consultant does not have a platform they are using to track, then use caution. You want someone who can measure and track all of the projects you do together.

What is Your Communication Style?

When working with a marketing consultant, you want to make sure you both are compatible. This refers to how you both work together and communicate. Are you looking for a consultant who will act more like a coach? Someone who you talk to frequently via phone call, Voxer, or email? Or are you more hands-off where you need to communicate with once or twice a week? Get clear on your expectations and how much help you need with your business. This will help during the conversation and give you a better idea if this individual will be someone you want to work with.

a women business owner and marketing consultant talking with speech bubbles

What Results Can I Expect?

It’s important to understand that marketing is an investment in your business. It may take months to see any results. Results vary based on the project or scope of work. For example, if you’re hiring a consultant to do just content writing for your sales pages or email, you may have to wait weeks or months to see if the content is engaging with your audience.

Whereas if you’re hiring a consultant to do SEO work, then it could take anywhere from 6 months to a year to see results. It all depends. But regardless, your consultant should give you insights on what they can do to help you reach your goals and the milestones associated with those goals.

What Documents Should I Sign?

When working with a consultant and the agreed-upon project, you should expect to get a contract and/or SOW (Statement of Work). Contracts hold each party accountable for the project and the expectations associated with completing the project. Make sure you sign some kind of contract to protect yourself and your business.

A Statement of Work is a specific document that gives you the listed timeline and deliverables you can expect from the project. This document shows you exactly what you should expect from start to finish. I always use these with my clients, because I like to be transparent with my clients. Not all consultants may offer this, but I like to let my clients know exactly what I will provide, so there aren’t any questions or surprises throughout our time working together.

How Long Do I Work with a Marketing Consultant?

The answer to this question is, it depends! And, you don’t need to know right away. One of the great benefits of working with marketing consultants is that it’s pretty customizable! You can hire a consultant for small one-off projects or for longer campaigns. It really depends on your budget, business needs, and availability. Most consultants are flexible in their offerings and can create customized packages for their clients.

If you’re happy with the outcome of the project and you can see yourself working with the consultant in the future, discuss it with him or her. Of course, there is no pressure to do so. But, if you and the consultant get along well, you see great results from the project, then consider getting on a call to discuss other areas you may need help on.

On the other hand, if you’re not happy with your consultant, let them know. A great consultant should ask for feedback throughout and at the end of the project. Let the consultant know of any areas of the project you were not happy with. It’s in their best interest to know how to improve for future clients.

icon of signed contract with red pen

Those are the big 7 questions you should ask during your initial discovery call. Remember to take your time when selecting a consultant. Rushing won’t help meet your goals any faster. As a small business owner, this is the beginning of growth for your business. Don’t be afraid to invest, after all, marketing is the area where most businesses spend their revenue. To grow, you must invest.

If you have questions on where to start with your marketing or want to work together, please reach out at my contact form or email me at belinda@belindasanmiguel!

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