What to Look for when Consulting with a Digital Marketing Agency
Do you want an agency that will sell you a standard marketing package or would you rather have a skilled team with experience in consulting who can delve into your true marketing needs? At Bolt Goodly, we have taken a consultative approach to our sales process and this comes from years and years of experience understanding different types of clients, different types of industries, and their marketing needs.
You could easily find an agency who will sign anybody to one of their monthly packages. These type of agencies might have an SEO package where they offer search engine optimization and six blogs month for $1,000, or they may offer 10 different social media channel optimization plus two posts a week for $1,500, and you get the gist. What we’ve learned is that these turn into the type of projects that don’t last very long or don’t have a lot of results to show and therefore neither us nor the client win.
In a consultative approach we do a few different things before signing with our clients:
- More research and consulting
- Write a proposal and
Since we spend so much time upfront consulting with our clients, we do charge for this as a portion of our development phase. The reason being is that we offer so much value up front that you could take our proposal elsewhere and probably get one of these other places to sell you a standard package, meanwhile, we think we will bring more value. This is why we are willing to spend that time upfront whether you end up working with us or not.
Alright, let’s delve into a few of the different things to look for when you are consulting with a digital marketing agency and what you can expect from a Bolt Goodly Consultant.
Research! If you’ve ever met with a digital marketer and they’ve done zero research, they don’t know anything about your company, and they don’t know who you are – run in the opposite direction! It’s just common sense that if you’re going into a consultation appointment that you do a little research so you can effectively advise your clients. We start by checking out your website. There is a lot we can tell just by clicking around for a few minutes, but here are some of the main things we will look for:
- Who built it
- How old it is – is your website outdated?
- When’s the last time you posted a blog?
- Do you have any CTAs?
- Is this an informational website? Membership? E-commerce? Custom?
- QC – Are there any obvious spelling or grammar issues?
- SEO – Do you have rich content? Are there dynamic images? Videos?
We also will dig into your social media channels. Here are some of the things we look at for social media:
- Are you more or less active on certain channels?
- Do you have a lot of engagement?
- Do you have a lot of comments left unanswered?
- Are your channels optimized? (Brand consistency throughout)
Another thing we like to do is Google your business. Do you show up? Are you on on the first page? If so, we are at least headed in the right direction. If you don’t show up at all then we are going to do some digging to see why that is. Maybe you don’t have an ad campaign currently, maybe your SEO needs some work, or maybe your website wasn’t indexed correctly. This will give us further insight to which type of guidance we may propose.
Once we’ve done this initial research we have some really great talking points for when we get on the phone with you or meet with you for coffee for our first meeting. This will ensure that we can ask the right questions so we can get a really good sense of how we can help add value to your business and give you an effective marketing proposal that will actually bring your venture growth.
Do You Qualify?
After our initial research and initial meeting with you, we will then determine if you are a Sales Qualified Lead. For us this means really digging in to see if it’s going to be a good fit for us to work with you and vice versa. There are a few different things that this can include:
- Are the goals you want to accomplish realistic?
- Have you ever worked with a digital marketing agency before? What worked and what didn’t?
- Are you aligned with our expectations?
- Is your industry marketable? (What’s the competition like? Is the market saturated? Etc)
- Do we have other similar interests or projects that we’ve done in the past? Or is there anything impeding us from working with you?
- What is your annual revenue?
- Does your marketing budget align with what we plan to spend?
- Do you fit our culture?
If we’ve done a good job we should know after our first meeting if we’re going to move forward with a proposal or if we shake your hand and say ‘sorry, I don’t think this is going to work out, have a nice day!’ We don’t want to waste anybody’s time and if it’s not going to be a good fit or if we feel we can’t do a spectacular job, we may not move forward with a proposal. That being said, if you do fit all of these qualifications to be moved into a Sales Qualified Lead, we will do a little more research and then delve into writing you a proposal.
More Research and Consulting
Once we have determined that you are a Sales Qualified Lead, we’re going to do a little further consulting research and then send the proposal your way. At this point, we’ve answered a few questions from you so based on your marketing budget and your goals what you want to accomplish with the marketing efforts, we can now do a little more research on your industry to see what direction we should head.
For example, if you are in the Professional Services industry and you’ve got a high ad budget, I might propose to spend a little more on LinkedIn ads and Google ads but not as much on Facebook ads. On the contrary, if you are a personal brand or some type of brand that’s going to be sharing a lot of videos and photos like a Fitness Studio, then we’re going to steer away from LinkedIn and Google but potentially spend more money on Facebook and Instagram ads. So this is the further kind of consulting and research work we’re going to do once we’ve learned a little bit more about your project.
During this phase, we may also reach back out to you to ask more questions. This may mean another phone call or coffee depending on the scope of your project. We are usually pretty good about getting all the information we need from our first meeting, but if need be this stage would encompass the follow-up meeting.
Once we’ve done all of the research and consulting that we deem necessary, we will write up a proposal and deliver to you. Our proposals are fairly extensive, including any research that we’ve done along the way, an outline of everything that we suggest based on all the information you gave us, a complete outline of the scope of work, and a full appendix of all of the services that we offer. This appendix includes all of the details of our services so that you can see everything that’s available to you.
We will walk you through this entire proposal so that you understand every aspect of it. You know where and how your money is being spent and why it’s being spent in that way. We spend a lot of time planning and a lot of time on our onboarding process (as should be apparent from the time spent consulting up front) so that we can get your project right from the start.
Once you’ve received the proposal, we will move into negotiations. It’s very common to go back and forth with this phase to explain further some of the details of the scope of your project and what we’re going to be doing, as well as adding or removing services. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for amendments! We want you to see the value of what we are proposing and how it will help your organization.
One other consideration during this phase is we might have an appendix or clause stating we may have contract addendums in the future. We may have to do more research, for example – if we’re doing a custom website for you that’s going to take a lot of research on different plugins or different software or maybe even some programs or designs we may have to completely develop from scratch, additional costs may arise. The most important idea here is that you should be fully comfortable with what we are proposing and understand the value, and we will work with you until you do!
Let’s Start Marketing!
Once everything is 100% zipped up and the client is happy with the scope of work and understands exactly how we’re going to be spending their money, we don’t waste any time and we get right to work! We’ve got a seamless process that takes us from our sales right into our onboarding process and this is where this Consulting phase really shows and proves its value.
Once we close with a new client, we have everything we need to hand them off to our onboarding team. Once you spend time with the onboarding team, usually about a week or two depending on how much stuff they need from you, we move right until fulfillment
So the whole point of this consulting process is to set you up for success from the get-go so that we can start marketing as soon as possible! And marketing the right way. It would be really easy for us to sell you a package like every other marketer out there but we would rather spend a little more time up front so that you fully understand the value of what we are offering you and we can show you increasing results sooner rather than later. At the end of the day, you make more money, we make more money and everybody’s happy =)