This guide is intended to help business owners get the most from working with a marketing consultant.
Hopefully much of what we cover here will be taken care of in the onboarding process your marketing consultant takes you through but just in case here is our take on some useful things to consider before and during the working relationship which should pave the way for a smooth and successful partnership.
1. Passwords at the ready
There is nothing worse than having to delay the start of any marketing activity because you don’t know or can’t remember a password. Have passwords easy to hand for things like:
- Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google My Business
- Email sending services such as Mailchimp or Campaign monitor
- Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube etc..
- Website and website admin for WordPress, whichever CMS (content management system you are using)
- Image libraries from suppliers
Make sure you either know the passwords or have stored somewhere securely that’s easy to access and share securely. We recommend a solution called LassPass to our clients which is a secure online password vault that allows you to share passwords securely.
2. Working arrangements
Make sure both parties: you and the consultant are totally clear on when and where the consultant will be working for the business. It’s not uncommon for most people to work remotely these days but never underestimate the productivity benefits of working together in the same office from time to time. It isn’t unusual to agree set days when the chosen marketeer will be working on your campaigns, especially at the start of relationship so don’t be afraid to ask and be weary if you get too much push-back, vague answers or a flat-out no.
3. Expectations of you
Are you totally clear on what the expectations are of you whilst working with the consultant? For example you may be required to feature in a video to promote a particular service or it might be down to you provide content for the company blog. Other examples might be that you’re expected to be a guest on a podcast or do an interview for a LinkedIn live event. Things like this can be daunting and may require practice and preparation time.
4. Be mindful about how marketing interacts with other aspects of the business and visa-versa
Marketing activity rarely happens in a vacuum and is often intertwined with other aspects of the business. For instance there might be sales or operational changes within the business which coincide or have a direct impact on a live or planned marketing campaign. For example a simple price change could render a recent marketing ad useless if it mentions the old price. Changes to service offerings, staff changes, store openings / closures, discontinued or new products can all have a potential impact on marketing and of course the work that has either been done or about to be done by your marketing consultant – so worth keeping in mind.
5. Make yourself available
Any consultant worth his salt is going to want a slice of your time, especially at the start. The quicker they get questions answered or things signed off the quicker your business can achieve it’s marketing goals!
6. Don’t be lax at signing off
You will, from time to time be asked to sign things off such as artwork, a new web page, a brochure design or an email template. Firstly, It’s important you take the time to review the work and ensure you’re happy with it but don’t let things like this sit in your inbox for days or weeks. The sooner it’s signed off the quicker it can be used for marketing purposes. Secondly if you’re not being asked to sign things off you should be slightly concerned.
7. Brand guidelines
Brand guidelines take many different forms but are essential a company bibles in terms of how the company should look and sound. They tent to include things like the logo and any variations it might have, company font styles, corporate colours, tone of voice guidelines and image guidance. If you have a set of guidelines be sure to share them with your marketing expert ideally at the start and If you don’t have any you mind find it useful to have your consultant create some for you.
9. Set the goal posts at the start
Before work begins, it’s important to mutually agree what it is your hoping to achieve by working together. The exact goals or objectives will be different for every business but it’s important to have these expectations mutually agreed, supported with a timeframe and documented somewhere for future reference.
So there you have it, our take on the things a business owner should think about when working with a marketing consultant either before or during the relationship. We hope you’ve found it useful and if you think we’ve missed sometime important which should be included in this list, please let us know.