You’re out on your own finally and that’s a great thing. Free from the cubicle and the 9 to 5 and free from having to do everything to someone else’s schedule. But with this comes the freedom from the support of your colleagues, a steady, predictable salary and the focus you had on just being able to do your job.
While setting up on your own was certainly the right choice, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re going to be an expert in all the jobs that your business requires. That’s why, every now and again, you’re going to have to consider whether it’s time to bring in a little extra help.
We take a look at how to choose your marketing consultant for that one off project and get the best out of them and you business.
Have clear aims
Before you start the interviewing and sifting process, take some time and space to decide exactly what outcomes you want to see from your consultant.
Whether you’re looking for some deep drilling into your customer base or want them to produce a coherent two-year strategy, have those goals written down with clear objectives to be met along the way.
You might be looking to work with a large agency with access to a great many resources or a smaller account based marketing agency who specialises in your field. There are no rules about who you work with, rather you’ll need to be guided by what you feel most comfortable with.
In either case, make sure that you are connected to one account manager and not passed around a few for greater consistency with your campaign and to better keep up with the progress of the project.
One of the best ways to find your ideal consultancy match is to talk to other firms about their experiences and recommendations. You may not get much help from your rivals but other companies of a similar size might prove more use.
Take a look on the consultancy website and look for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to follow them up yourself and ask for some honest feedback.
Call in your consultants for interview and talk through the options that they present. As well as your objectives you’ll also be driven by budget so find out if your figure is one that they can work comfortably within.
Make sure that you find someone you connect with personally, someone that you feel is listening to you and makes sense. Find a consultant who can deliver your objectives in a realistic timeframe and who has a clear plan on how to do that. Make sure you have access to them when you need and stick with the same point of contact.
Get all this right and your business is going places with a project that leads to bigger and better things, thanks to a consultant’s input at just the right moment.
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