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Don't hire a marketing agency off the bat

Understanding how your network relates to social media is first priority

You might not need an agency right away, or at least you should consider other options before committing to one. If you're not a big spender, you may end up with the least experienced help from the agency. However, agencies do offer the latest knowledge in social media and marketing, and they work hard to deliver on their promises. They handle everything, so you don't have to worry about the details.

Some people I've worked with have simply handed off their marketing to an agency without much thought. While the agency is likely to do a decent job, it's a missed opportunity if you don't share your knowledge about your business, your ideal client, and where to find them online. By bridging what you know about your business with the agency's efforts, you'll see better results.

Many people struggle to communicate their business knowledge to the agency, and agencies may not always understand an old-school business mindset. It's crucial to integrate the stories from sales and marketing with the demographic you serve into your marketing strategy. It's also important to ensure your content is seen by your target audience, which isn't always straightforward.

I enjoy helping clients understand how traditional business approaches and strong referral networks can work with what an agency offers. When I guide a client who has a social media assistant, marketing assistant, admin, or even an agency, I know that the strategies we develop can be effectively implemented. People often think working with me will require a lot of effort, but it doesn't have to. If you don't effectively communicate your knowledge to your marketing team, you won't get the most value out of your marketing efforts. I act as a mediator, helping to translate between different mindsets.

When clients are deciding between hiring me or an agency, I want them to understand marketing at a high level. They don't need to become experts, but they should know how marketing affects their business. I help them see how different marketing actions can impact their business, whether they work with me, an agency, or use another resource. This understanding allows them to make informed decisions about their marketing strategy.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog explaining the pricing in the industry, comparing the costs of hiring an assistant, intern, agency, full-time or part-time staff, a non-marketing specific virtual assistant, a coach or consultant like me, or bringing in a speaker for training. There are many solutions to marketing challenges, and each fits a different need. I help people figure out where they are and what pieces they need to reach their goals. It's important for my clients to understand their marketing direction and not just blindly trust. When they see the logic behind the strategy, that's when we know we have a great opportunity.