This week’s video is part 2 of a 2-part series — 8 Questions You Should Ask Your Next Marketing Agency, Partner, or Freelancer.

Last week, I talked about some key questions you should ask when you’re hiring a marketing agency, partner, or freelancer. This week, I’ll cover the other four questions in this two-part series.

Question #5: Will each project and piece of content be approached from an SEO mindset?

Nearly everything is online these days. And eighty-nine percent of sales start with a search query. What’s more, 67 percent of the buyer’s journey is completed before a prospect ever talks to someone from your company.

Buyers are not waiting around for you to tell them what they want or need to know. They expect to be able to search and find information on their own. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that your content be discoverable through keyword searches.

And then, once someone finds you, they need to learn enough about how you’ll help them solve their problem — whatever that might be — and take the next step toward a purchase.

Delivering that kind of result takes skill. The best marketing partner is one who does the research needed to arrive at a strong keyword strategy, and then pushes to ensure the work the do for your business meets this standard. 

Question #6: How will they manage your marketing assets?

Do they have a backup system?

One of the worst — and let’s be honest, most angering — words a client can hear from their marketing partner is that a computer failure occurred — and that the vendor didn’t have a backup.

Look, disasters happen, whether natural, technological, or by human error. Online backup services are a fairly small business expense. and they’re a must have. If the vendor is a legitimate business, they’ll have backups in place.

So, unless you want to run the risk of losing irreplaceable files and having your project incapacitated for who knows how long, make sure you ask this question.

Question #7: Will they be good stewards of your budget?

This means that anyone you hire will treat your marketing dollars as carefully as if the money were their own.

Budget integrity means everyone is on the same page. Charges and fees are spelled out clearly. And expectations for timelines and deliverables on both sides are communicated.

And while we’re on the subject of budgets… A really good marketing partner is worth their weight in gold. Resist the urge to think of marketing services as a commodity. Shopping around for the cheapest option is likely to shortchange your results.

Think of it this way — you can get a bargain haircut at a salon chain, or you can pay more for a better haircut from a more experienced stylist. I’m sure you can guess which will have a better result.

The same goes for using a pre-made website template versus hiring a talented professional to build a website custom to your business. 

Question #8: What’s in the fine print?

A reputable marketing vendor will ask you to sign a contract or other written agreement. And it really pays to read the fine print.

Before you sign anything, make sure you read all of the terms and conditions. And make sure they’re written in a way that protects both parties.

For example:

  • Who owns the rights to things like artwork when the project is completed? If you — the client — choose a different vendor, will this one be difficult about relinquishing your files?
  • What happens if the relationship just isn’t working out? How can you part ways? Will there be any penalties?
  • What is the vendor responsible for? What are the deliverables?
  • What is the scope of the project? What’s considered outside scope? Is there anything that you’ll be charged extra for?
  • Are there protections in place for intellectual property, confidential information, and news that is not ready for public consumption? Language like this protects both parties.

If you have any doubts, run it by a lawyer. Yes, that costs money. But it will be less expensive than the trouble you can find yourself in if you sign something you don’t understand.

Get our 8-step guide for vetting a marketing partner, agency or freelancer

So, there you have it. These questions will help you establish the basis for a productive marketing partnership – and avoid costly mistakes. We’ve put the eight questions into a helpful how-to guide, which you can download here.

8 Questions

If you have any specific questions related to your business’ marketing program, reach out by clicking on the big blue button below or call us at 720-722-2987. We’re here to help!

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