James: James Schramko here from SuperFastBusiness.com. I’m chatting with my friend, Will Wang from GrowthLabz.com. We’re talking about hiring a marketing agency, because at some point in your business journey, you will need to get some help, whether it’s with your strategic overview, whether it’s actually implementing all the little pieces of the puzzle. Typically, you’re going to have to bring in an expert or consult with one or hire one to do stuff for you, whether that’s full-time or as a fractional CMO, which Will also does.
Will, this is a minefield: hiring an agency and actually getting a result you’re happy with without getting burned. So I hope you can share some tips with us today.
Will: Yeah, sure. So James, I think the first tip is to really have a look at your business and where you’re up to, and what kind of help you need. So for example, with some of the clients that come through and work with us, they’ve already got a marketing team internally. And so they just need help with direction and strategy, which is completely fine. And some of the other clients we work with, they’re growing to the point where they need an entire marketing team, right? They need copywriters, designers, tech people… they need the entire capability that the full service agency can bring. And so it’s really important to understand where you stand, because if you need a full team behind you to do all of your funnel work and all of your ads, but you hire someone who can only do one part of that well, you’re not really going to get the right mix in there.
And on the other side, if you already have an internal team, but you try and bring an agency on board that might be trying to do a little bit too much, there might be a lot of conflicts that might slow things down. So it’s really important to understand first and foremost, where you stand as a business, where you need the most help in your business and look at, well, which parts can we do internally and which parts are we really needing help for?
James: How do you actually make those decisions? Is it something you could ask someone like yourself for help with?
Will: Yeah, I would generally always start with getting a broad understanding of both your marketing strategy and your business goals, because that’s very, very important. And then I’d also look at what structure you’ve got, or what roles are already existing within your business. So for example, if you’re the founder, and you don’t really have a marketing team, you might just need someone to come in with a full team to help you out. So it really depends on where you are, and also the goals that you’re chasing as well. Because if it’s pretty small, incremental bits of growth, you might not need that much help in marketing terms. But if you’re really chasing aggressive growth, where you want to grow really, really quickly, well, then you’re going to need a much bigger team.
So it really is about sitting down with the people you want to work with, asking them – Hey, what does your team look like? I’ve got these business goals, how close can you get me to these goals, or these growth goals? And then figuring out from there, what’s the best thing for you and how it’s going to work for your business.
James: Reminds me of a job interview. I imagine some agencies would be able to answer those with delightful answers that sound fantastic, you know, with rainbows and unicorns and pots of gold everywhere? Would it ever be a good idea to speak to an existing client or a past client of the agency to see if they met their expectations?
Will: Yeah, it would be but you’ll deal with a bit of a caveat. Make sure that you’re at a very similar level, to where the clients are when they first started. Because if the business looks entirely different, it’s not the right conversation, you might not get the right thing that you need out of it. What’s more important, I think, is to get an understanding of how the agency sees your business and the strategies they’re already thinking for it.
So for example, if we had a client or someone who’s talking to us about marketing their business, we might even go so far as to say, look, I don’t know if we can market your business yet, let’s run a strategy day where we really tear down what your business goals are, what you’re trying to do and figure out, if is it us or not, or figure out if it is us, how are we going to do what we’re going to do and what the results are that you’re going to see. So that could be a really good way of dipping your toe in the water, not committing to a six-month contract, but just paying enough to get equities and to work with them on a very small scale to make sure you’re comfortable, and they’re saying the right things, they’ve got the right plan for your business.
James: I love it. It’s like hiring an architect and you get them to map out the plans and then you can decide on who the builder is based on them. Whether you feel like you’ve got that relationship or they’re on the same page, and if it’s all a wipe, then at least it was a an upfront, limited investment in experience, and you know where you go from there. I love it.
So if someone wants to have a chat to you about this, Will, they can look you up at GrowthLabz.com. I appreciate you sharing your tips on how we can go about finding the right agency for us.
Will: Thanks, James.
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