Even small business owners with loads of marketing savvy need some outside help from time to time. Maybe it’s because you’re too busy. Maybe it’s because you’re having difficulty developing a comprehensive strategy. Whatever your need is, a marketing firm can be a lifesaver.
But all marketers aren’t created equal, and unfortunately, many businesses tend to go with the cheapest bidder. We get it – money is tight when you’re small. But that’s all the more reason to ensure you’re not throwing your money down the drain.
Fortunately, those “subpar” marketers tend to wave a few red flags — and in some cases, huge neon signs that scream “Don’t use us!” Here are some hints that you’re dealing with the wrong small business marketing firm.
#1: They Have No Reviews
Any marketer worth their proverbial salt should have some testimonials from past or current clients. This is largely a word-of-mouth business, and without reviews, we’re not going to get much business at all.
The only exception to this is a brand-new firm — one who hasn’t yet had time to prove themselves to the world at large. Even then, you should insist on portfolios or work samples from the primaries in the company before you sign on the dotted line!
#2: They Insist on a Hostile (Strategy) Takeover
Your chosen firm should have an a la carte option available. Be wary of any marketer that takes the “all or nothing” approach. You may only need help with content, so why should you hand over the keys to all of your social media sites, too?
#3: It’s Their Way or the Highway
You own the business, and you should decide what direction your business should take. Don’t deal with any firm who insists that their way is the “only” way to be successful.
You’re asking for help and direction, but that does not mean you should forfeit your creative license. If they refuse to listen to your ideas, they are not for you!
#4: The “Add-Ons” Don’t Add Up
It’s simple for a marketing company to quote you a set price to get you in the door, but unscrupulous firms are going to nickel-and-dime you to death above and beyond that amount. This typically doesn’t become clear until the contract is signed, so make sure that before you reach an agreement, you limit the amount of “extras” they can charge you for. Or at least get it in writing what each add-on will cost, and make sure you have the rights to approve or deny those add-ons at will!
The vast majority of marketing firms are more than reputable — but there are always a couple bad apples in the bunch. Do your due diligence so you don’t get burnt!
Are you in the hunt for some help? Send Mischa Communications an email! Whether you’re ready to commit or just looking for additional information, we’d love to talk!