“Getting good marketing help is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses today,” according to Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends. Anita acknowledges that, “marketing is more challenging today than ever” and “business success is all about finding the right outside service providers and using them wisely.”
A common theme with small business owners is that they can’t afford the expense of marketing help. I’ve learned that whenever someone says they “can’t afford” something it usually means they don’t see the value of it. Savvy owners and managers do see the value of good marketing help. The problem is: finding and qualifying it.
Referrals are certainly a logical way to do it. And, often times they work out fine. On the other hand, what’s right for one business may be wrong for yours. If you understand that a marketing service is only as good as the top person (or people) behind it, learning as much as you can about that person is one of the best ways to qualify a marketing service and see if they’d be a good fit for you.
Here are 3 ways to do that:
1) Google them: This is the broadest most objective way to get the scoop on anyone. It’s a great way to get a full picture. I call it “G-cred” for Google credibility. Just be sure you’ve got the right person since there are probably tons of others with the same name. You can get around that by adding a key word or two to refine the search – like adding the industry or profession. You might also add a geographic location. Since the person you’re searching for is supposed to be a savvy marketing pro it’d better not be real hard to find them, regardless of their name. So, if their “G-cred” sucks, consider that a reason to rule them out.
2) LinkedIn Profile: Since every professional has one, you can also search there. Again, there could be tons of others with the same name so be sure you’ve got the right one. LinkedIn will provide a good sense of where they come from and how professionally qualified they are to service your business.
3) Website Bio: If you’re checking out their website there should be a bio on it. Let me rephrase that. If you’re checking out their website, there’d better be a bio on it. That said, I’m amazed at the number of companies that don’t post any bio info about the company leadership. That’s pretty dumb because all it does is raise a flag. As mentioned earlier, a company is only as good as the top people behind it. If a site doesn’t include a great bio of the boss you’ve got to wonder why.
Rather than viewing marketing as an ‘expense’ Anita Campbell says that “marketing is an ‘investment’ to help you achieve your revenue goals faster.” She adds that
“Not finding the right outside resource will probably hobble your business.”
Do these things and it’ll increase your odds of getting the right marketing help that your business deserves.
Potential Employees Photo  via Shutterstock