Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog - 08/15/08 (Photo credit: DavidErickson)
If you’re considering hiring an internet marketing consultant to help your business succeed in the potentially profitable but highly volatile online market, you need to know a few things first:
- The consultant isn’t a genie in a bottle
- You get what you pay for
- You’re in control
- Traffic isn’t everything
- Internet marketing isn’t evergreen
A Genie in a Bottle
Wish you could snap your fingers, pay the fee, and a quick nod from your consultant will get you instant results? Sadly, it takes more time than that to do an ethical and sustainable internet marketing campaign. Your internet marketing consultant needs to learn about your business, your goals, your pain points, and then he or she needs to be able to examine and analyze your traffic and your competition before getting started on devising a realistic strategic plan for moving forward. It won’t happen overnight.
Paying for Quality
You don’t have to spend a fortune on internet marketing but you do need to realize that not all marketers are cheap. If you want excellence and ROI, you need to be prepared to pay for the time and expertise of the consultant and his team of people who will help you succeed with your goals.
You’re in Control
A lot of business owners fear hiring a consultant because they don’t want to lose control of their business. You should always retain control and the right internet marketing consultant will want your opinion and your feedback. If it feels like control of your company is slipping through your fingers, you’re probably working with the wrong consultancy firm. A good consultant works with you, within the scope of control you relinquish, and keeps you apprised of everything going on.
Traffic Isn’t Everything
Some website owners are obsessed with traffic. They want traffic and lots of it. But there is more to online success than traffic. Beyond measuring numbers of people that land on the main page of your website you want to measure some other things, too, to gage how successful your internet marketing campaign is going:
- What percentage of the people that land on the website bounce off the same page they entered on?
- How are people arriving? Knowing this can help you ascertain whether or not this traffic is tightly targeted or not.
- What are your Google rankings? Are you getting good results in search engines for key buying phrases?
- How much of the traffic that arrives becomes a lead?
- How much growth has your company experienced month over month in terms of profit? (It doesn’t happen overnight but over time you should start to see an increase in orders and profit)
Internet Marketing isn’t Evergreen
Another thing that’s important to know is that hiring an internet marketing consultant isn’t something you’ll do for a few weeks. If you stop working at it, the traffic will slow down and in some cases it will soon grind to a halt. In most cases, the internet marketing consultant is someone you’ll want to become an extended member of your team. Once you take the time to share your strategy and start to see results, you’ll want to continue to review your marketing strategies with someone who knows your business. The right professional services company won’t just represent an expense for you; they’ll generate results that represent a great return on your investment.
Another thing you need to know: your consultant needs your help understanding your business and understanding your goals. By being open and sharing, you’ll increase the chances of a successful partnership.
Sharon Hurley Hall writes for Jenkinson and Associates, an ethical and results-oriented internet marketing consultant firm who works closely with clients to help the reach their online goals.