Anyone who hopes to build a successful online business is going to need to have a strong marketing plan and the ability to execute it. Every year, thousands of aspiring internet entrepreneurs start their own businesses hoping to leverage the power of the internet marketplace to create positive cash flow and to build the lifestyle of their dreams. Yet over 90% of them make the mistake of trying to market their site themselves without seeking either the services or the advice of experienced marketing professionals. As a result, these 90% struggle until they go out of business while the other 10% rake in all of the profits off of the internet.
For some online businesses, a solution to this problem is to consult a professional internet marketing firm. The purpose of this article is to empower you with the knowledge that you’ll need to find and to hire a good internet marketing firm so that you can become one of the 10%.
Anyone who has the available budget to hire a good internet marketing firm can benefit from using their services. However, for companies who are working with little or no marketing budget, it might be a good idea to get a small steady cash flow built up before investing in the services of a marketing firm. Typically, an internet marketing firm will require a small fee of $300 to $500 to set up or take over your current marketing campaign. After this, monthly fees based on either a percentage of sales (10 to 30 percent) or a minimum ($300 to $2000) apply.
The internet marketplace is full of hucksters and snake oil salesman who promises to have uncovered the secret of making a fortune online. These internet marketers make up a large majority of the 90% who are trying to make money online by selling products that teach people how to make money online through online marketing. The problem is that the marketing “products” they’re selling are teaching you to convince other people to buy the same “product” which is nothing more than an overpriced excuse to pass money around. Knowing how to spot these imposters is a crucial step to connecting with legitimate marketing professional.
The other mistake that online business owners make is trying to get a marketing firm to agree to get paid only for a percentage of total sales that are made. This means no retainers, deposits or upfront fees. However, no self-respecting marketing firm is going to agree to work based only on commission or a percentage of sales. While it is true that marketing firms that work on percentages are normally the most capable firms, no capable firm is going to invest their hard work and commitment before receiving any kind of upfront compensation. No matter how great your product is, any good marketing firm is going to require you to make an investment in getting the relationship started.
Going with the cheapest option is one of the most fatal mistakes that any business owner can make. If a marketing firm is able to get results, they know their services are well working the money and they won’t be afraid to ask for it. By the same principle, any firm which is offering the cheapest rate probably has little else of value to offer and may not even end up being worth the money that you pay them in the first place. The same is usually true for company’s which only work on a flat monthly fee and don’t charge a percentage of the sales that they generate for your business.
In addition to avoiding the above errors, there are a few things which you can do to make sure that you hire the best firm for your internet marketing needs:
Good marketing principles will always be a key factor in your company’s graphic design, website design, and web programming. If you hire an internet marketing firm that does not do graphic design and web programming, you’ll end up having to hire those out to other firms or to freelancers. If those other professionals don’t understand good marketing or if they aren’t aware of the direction you are taking with your marketing firm, you’ll end up having to have the work redone. Look for a firm that has a portfolio of websites that you can see which demonstrate that they are capable of creating websites that are well functioning and professional in appearance.
Marketing is multi-faceted and requires synergistic teamwork between graphic artists, web programmers, copywriters, creative thinkers, and people who excel at data analysis and strategic planning based on marketing research data. Any individual who claims to be able to provide all of these is probably only mediocre at each one of them. Either that or they will be farming these services out to subpar freelancers. Look for firms that have experts who are highly specialized in each of the key dimensions of marketing.
There are a lot of great business coaches and consultants out there, but their job is not going to be to actively execute marketing services for you. Instead, consultants provide you with the information and the game plan that you need to either execute your marketing yourself or hire it out. Not only that, the most efficient consultants are those who work for marketing firms and who can provide useful advice and feedback and provide the execution of the plans they help you create.
The best marketing firms always consist of professionals who are able to contribute creative energy to the creation of your marketing plan. If a marketing firm is simply looking to do whatever you ask them to do without evaluating your plans, making helpful suggestions for improvement, or even telling you when those plans are not going to work, they are probably not worth hiring. Look for a firm that can demonstrate their expertise by suggesting a plan of action for effectively marketing your business instead of just quoting you a price.
The only kind of marketing that matters is that which produces bottom-line results for your company. This means profits, and a marketing firm who is confident of their ability to produce profits will always want to have a piece of the action. If they agree instead to work for a flat fee instead of a percentage of sales, that’s a good indication that they aren’t confident in their ability to increase your company profits. Look for a company that values their skills enough to work for a monthly minimum and a startup deposit but who draws the remainder of their compensation from raw profits that they produce for your company.
Follow these guidelines when interviewing internet marketing firms and do not falter. If you do, you will save yourself a lot of money and heartache and end up with a successful online business that will bring you a great deal of satisfaction and financial security.