When hiring out any services for your business, it is crucial to do your homework to discover how to get the best value for your hard earned dollar. Spending money to grow is one of the most important decisions you could make at any stage in the lifecycle of your business. This is especially true in the world of internet marketing. Here are 5 questions to get the wheels turning and to ask your next prospective internet marketing consultant.
Based on our needs, what exactly will you be doing for us?
Whether it’s search engine optimization, an improvement in ads, or overall strategy; know what is being proposed. Are they the ones to do the work, or are they just there to strategize? Understand the game plan and why they feel these actions are necessary. You don’t know what you don’t know, but this person does, and understanding what it will do to increase your online results is important.
How do you measure results?
It’s important to know what direction to take, but it’s also important to know when you get there. The way you measure results in a brick and mortar business might be different than the way results are viewed in the online realm. What is considered a success? It could be things like where you are ranked in Google’s search results, or local search (which is becoming ever more important according to SEOMOZ), how many visitors you have to your site, or the conversion from your online ads. Either way, discover if they’re after what you’re after.
How will you be tailoring the strategy to our specific market?
Unless you are Wal-Mart, you have a target market of some sort, or at least a primary demographic. Marketing in the same places that your customers are is an important variable in your online presence. With the popularity of things like news sites, blogs, and social media higher than they’re ever been, be sure you know how you will fit into what’s hot for your customers. It could change your business.
How can we improve Conversion?
If your business model is selling anything besides space to advertisers, you need to convert. This can range from people signing up for your newsletter or RSS feed, to actually making a purchase, or even setting up a consultation regarding a service. Whatever it is for your business, it is important. All actions to connect your customers, create a brand, or even just to spread knowledge about your industry or mission should helping you hit our goals. And for most of us, these are monetary.
How do you charge?
Knowing what you are paying for is important in any situation, but especially when you are paying for things you might be able to do yourself. For example, if someone is quoting you on creating content for your Twitter and Facebook accounts, it would be nice to know this in case you could just do it yourself, or pay an employee to do so. Know where the prices are coming from. It will also give you some perspective on what you really need and what is just fluff.
Asking important questions is a great start. But do your research, and find out what is right for you, and what is working for others in your industry. This could be the next step in the evolution of your business, or it could be a flop. Either way, it’s an investment.