Yes, we are a marketing consulting business, so the title of this post may not come as a big surprise, but let me start off with why not to hire a consultant.
Consultants are not magicians. Don’t go looking for someone to fix your marketing if your product doesn’t make sense. Don’t expect a consultant to swoop in and get you more customers if you don’t have a methodology that allows you to stand out. And finally, don’t hire a consultant so you can abdicate the all-important role of marketing to an “expert.”
A really good consultant won’t take your money unless they believe they can actually help you and, no matter what you believe your burning need is, you should hire a consultant to help you in the following five areas first and foremost.
You need a real strategy
A good consultant will demand that you spend time building a firm foundation based on strategy before proposing a series of tactics and activities aimed at generating revenue. Until you find a way to change the context of how your ideal customer views what you do and in effect render the competition irrelevant, you’ll find that your marketing efforts will struggle to build any real momentum.
You need fewer objectives
A good consultant will help you determine your highest payoff work and your most pressing objectives based on where you want to be get to, whether it’s a year, three years, five years – but not next week. Effective marketing strategy is about long term sustainable revenue growth. And, a good consultant will make sure that the number of priority objectives at any given time stays very, very small in order to keep things focused and manageable.
You have resource gaps
Sometimes in the “do it all yourself” world of small business it’s difficult to spot the areas that require outside help. You may be able to set up your newsletter, and clumsily get some blog posts happening, but is this work actually robbing you from focusing on higher payoff work.
Sure, these things might need to be attended to, but a good consultant will help you stop doing the things that are better handled by others, and free up your time to focus on your core job.
You need to fix your conversion
Too many business owners, and sadly some consultants, focus on traffic and likes when the highest priority should be conversion. When you can figure out how to get visitors to your website and prospects that respond to your sales presentation to buy, you can build a significant business.
You can’t stay focused
One of the dirty little secrets of consulting is that a part of you simply needs someone to hold you accountable – someone to help you document your goals and objectives and then whack you with some sort of a stick when you wander off into new ideas and social networks, because staying focused seems way too boring.
A part of this is accomplished through nagging and set appointments, but the greatest gains are achieved when your focus starts to produce results. A good consultant will demand metrics tied to objectives and help you process and understand the overarching value that will be derived by hitting your goals.
Interested? Now, let’s talk
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