Looking to hire a marketing agency? 5 important things you must have in place to avoid a huge mistake

by Tiina Wilen

Are you looking to hire a marketing agency to boost your visibility, get more qualified leads, and build a brand? That’s great! But, there are certain things you need to have in place before you do that, otherwise, you won’t get the return on the investment you’re looking for.

In my work, I meet a lot of business owners who want to outsource their marketing to an agency. While generally, it is a great idea, particularly if you don’t have an in-house marketing team (it takes a team), but many of them make one critical mistake… They don’t have certain things in place before they start outsourcing their marketing.

In this article, I dive into the 5 things you must have in place before you outsource your marketing. Let’s dive in!

Why (some) marketing agencies don’t tell you this

First, there are many, many agencies that would you stop you in your tracks if they noticed you are missing these 5 things in your business, and simply wouldn’t consider you a great fit. Those agencies are great to work with because they genuinely care about your success.

Unfortunately, there are equally many agencies that would take your money and never really care about bringing you the results you’re after, and just do what they do: bring you traffic and eyeballs. They don’t tell you this because quite frankly: they just want to get another client and often show you results in terms of metrics that are not connected to your sales & revenue growth goals.

And then, of course, there are many agencies that would help you build these elements into your business and then start driving traffic.

Either way, one key consideration you need to make: marketing agencies often focus on traffic generation and awareness-building. This is amazing if that’s what you need… in many cases, businesses are quite not ready for that just yet.

“Traffic and brand awareness can never hurt”

It absolutely can, and here’s why (and how): it costs money to hire a marketing agency. As it should!

And if you are not seeing results, most often monetary, then you’re bleeding money. For most companies, that’s not a good thing. If all you do is get visibility and people to visit your store, website, or location, but no sales, then you’re losing money on your traffic generation and awareness activities.

A good agency costs you more money than a bad one. You never want a bad marketing agency…

I once had a call with a potential client. They told me they had been investing in marketing. I asked: “how?”

They told me they had engaged in a marketing agency services that promised them that “everyone on the Internet will see your brand”.

I wanted to learn more, so I asked: “what happened?”

They proceeded to tell me that while they got “many people to see their business”, they really didn’t get any return, i.e. clients.

We continued discussing all things client generation, marketing, traffic, sales, and return on investment. The key point: they were…

  • not ready for the traffic
  • fooled by the agency*

(* you don’t want “everyone on the Internet to see you”. Your business most likely is not in the position of the Coca Colas of the world. You need a way more targeted strategy that leads to sales)

Hire a marketing agency - TheAveneur.com
Hire a marketing agency – 5 important things you must have in place before

So, what are the 5 things you need to have in place to hire a marketing agency?

In order to make your investment to bring any return, you need to have these in place:

  1. you need to have a clear message
  2. you need a sales system
  3. you need to have a back-end marketing vehicle
  4. you need to have a continuity marketing engine
  5. you need to have assets that you use to build your prospect database
  6. BONUS: you need to have something people actually want to buy…

Design a clear message

You need to be very clear about your niche and what it is that you do for your clients. How do you help them thrive? What problems do you help them solve? And to be able to nail this, you need to be very clear on your client profile – whom you want to work with.

Design a sales process

Most often, sales don’t just “happen”. You need to design your signature sales process that works for your business, and for your revenue model. If you sell high-ticket design services, your sales system is going to be very different than if you sell online courses or physical products. If you have several revenue streams, then each of them requires its own sales system.

Design your back-end marketing vehicle

Your back-end marketing vehicle is what keeps your business growing. This is the single most important system in your business, making sure that the people who are attracted by your messaging, will also consider you when it’s time for them to make that purchase or invest in the services you provide.

GET THE GUIDE: Marketing Guide for Designers

Design your continuity marketing engine

Yes, lots of engines and vehicles today… but I’m an engineer so that’s what I do! Anyhow, your continuity marketing engine makes sure you are turning prospects into clients and customers consistently. This will not only bring you continuity but also makes your prospective clients trust you and your business.

We call this the Lifecycle Client Acquisition Framework, and it is the cornerstone of your growth. It also includes a social sharing system that you can use to generate more clients out of your current and past projects.

Design the assets you can use to build your prospect database

To get people to stay within your ecosystem, and eventually become clients, you need certain assets. These could be strategic products such as whitepapers, tools, downloadable lists, guides, instruction manuals, inspiration magazines, and more.

The key: no one (except your mother) is interested in your “newsletter”. But your prospective clients are interested in valuable tools and things they can use to get closer to their dreams. Provide them with that!

Actually have something people need and want to pay for

No marketing or top-of-the-line sales system is going to help you grow your business unless you have something that people actually need and want to pay for.

  • There are lots of things people want… but they are not willing to pay for them…
  • There are lots of businesses offering things nobody wants…

For your marketing to actually work, figure out what you have that people actually want, and understand deeply why they want it, and why they would choose to invest money to get the results. Then go and build the things above.

Avoid the biggest mistake in hiring a marketing agency

So, as you might have figured out, the biggest mistake is that your business is simply not ready for an outsourced traffic agency. Marketing agencies (most of them) are great partners to grow your business, but they don’t fix the internal processes that you need to have in place to actually turn that traffic and awareness into sales.

Is it time to hire a marketing agency?

Once you have built all these 5 (+ the bonus) things, then level up your business by bringing talented traffic & awareness generators into your team – either by hiring a marketing agency or by training your team to effectively manage your marketing strategies and tactics!

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