Five Red Flags to Look Out for When Working With Small Business Marketing Firms

Creative ad agency and branding agency

Five Red Flags to Look Out for When Working With Small Business Marketing Firms

Buyer beware in the small business marketing field!


As a small business marketing consultant with nearly a decade of experience, I’ve noticed one fundamental reality: most small business marketing firms aren’t worth employing. This post will provide a checklist of 9 red signs to look for when considering small business marketing firms.


What goes on behind the scenes at small business marketing firms

The first thing to realise about small business marketing firms is that they don’t generate a lot of money off of a single client. The lower a firm’s service fee, the more likely it is that the company isn’t giving you any value. If you pay less than $1000 per month to someone who isn’t providing you a discount (such a friend or relative), it’s likely that their main business is collecting checks. Simple economics can be used to illustrate this logic.


A consultant with extensive marketing knowledge could expect to be paid $150 per hour. So, if you pay small business marketing firms $300 a month for their services, you shouldn’t expect more than a couple hours of work. Some of these businesses get around this by hiring personnel for $20 per hour, then charging the consumer $60 per hour and pocketing the difference.


That indicates the customer is paying for an expert level of service (but not receiving it!). An employee who can be paid $20 per hour is almost always fresh out of college. They’re not likely to be well-versed in SEO, which is critical for many small firms. This person will be able to write a few articles each month and help with link development. After accounting for restroom breaks, client communication, and other factors, they should be able to handle roughly 20 clients per month.


Because they’re managing staff at low monthly margins, a company like this is probably mediocre at marketing. Or they’re geniuses who raise profit margins by assigning personnel to your account only at critical periods in the relationship.


Neither of these alternatives is suitable for you. But don’t worry; these nine pointers will assist you avoid a losing partnership with a small business marketing firm.


  1. Examine their design abilities.

One red flag to look for when considering small company marketing providers is outdated website design. Web pages that appear to have been developed five years ago indicate that the company has not kept up with current practises. They also indicate that the business does not have an in-house designer.


What this indicates for you is that 1) the corporation clearly doesn’t value visual appeal, and 2) the stuff you’re paying for won’t look beautiful today, let alone in the future. Simply inquire if you have any doubts regarding the agency’s design abilities. To help you gain your business, any competent firm would gladly show you examples of their recent work.


  1. Demand cutting-edge technologies.

The design and implementation of a website is more crucial than ever. A marketing firm that designs mobile sites on a separate domain, in particular, will send your mobile site to the SEO graveyard. Check out the company’s website on your phone if they show you one that they made. The site should not appear to be a scaled-down replica of the desktop site. All websites must be responsive, which means they must look and work well on any device using the same web address. If your site isn’t responsive, Google will be less likely to show your search results on mobile. You can’t afford to make this error, given how many local searches are conducted on mobile.


  1. Avoid contracts that are too restrictive.

You’re not signing up for television; you’re hiring a small business marketing firm. While contracts are necessary for both the customer and the provider’s protection, a reputable marketing firm will not try to lock you into a contract that does not match your demands. Many contracts result in a relationship that is either too long or too restrictive. Furthermore, a company that has you under contract may not be as committed to impressing you with their achievements. A terrible marketing company would ramp up their efforts around ten months into a one-year contract in the hopes of re-signing you for another year.


  1. Always read the fine print before making a decision.

Avoid small business marketing firms who quote a fixed monthly fee without detailing the marketing services they will provide. They aren’t accomplishing much if you aren’t sure what they are doing. Doing your homework pays off. Knowing which services you require is also beneficial. If you’re still not sure, ask the company the following questions:


How often will you update my website with new content?

Will you give extensive reports on link building?

What strategies do you have in mind to boost my citation count? (Refer to #8)

If you add a couple more questions to this list, you’ll be well on your way to fending off shady marketing firms.


  1. Look for reviews.

Make careful to read evaluations about the small business marketing firm you’re thinking about hiring. If a small company marketing firm isn’t listed on Yelp, try looking for their name on Google. In most cases, you can discover someone discussing the company at a forum, or you may look at the company’s involvement in a conference.

No Comments

Post a Comment

close slider
Contact Form Demo (#1)