Disclaimer: In this article I share strategies for hiring the right online marketers for your particular business. I don’t care who you hire, I am not aligned with any agency. I share this with you only in hopes of helping you find and hire effective digital marketers and avoid getting ripped off.
There is one simple rule you need to follow when hiring online marketers, It’s incredibly simple, yet crucial to your success. Not following this rule will undoubtedly cost you more money or even worse, it could cause your online marketing efforts to fail completely. Here is the rule:
You want to hire an online marketing team that is smarter and more competitive than the agencies your competitors hired.
That’s it! It’s that simple. But obviously it’s easier said than done. In the online marketing world, “He who gets in front of the buyer first and gets them to take action, WINS.” What most businesses fail to take into consideration when hiring online marketers is that it’s really cut throat out there and your competitors want that sale just as much as you do. There might have been a time when you could just hire anybody to do your online marketing, but not anymore.
You’re literally competing for that coveted first page of Google and let’s face it, if you’re not on the first page you might as well be on the hundredth. There are only 6 PPC ad spaces and 10 organic spaces on that first page and all your competitors want to be there too. It’s not unlike pro sports, it’s super competitive and the better your team, the better your chances of winning and the more money you make.
Let me share a sports analogy with you:
Anyone can learn how to play basketball, right? It’s a set of skills and rules. But what would happen if you took the Golden State Warriors and put them up against Mrs. Timmons sixth grade gym class? They both know how to play the game, but chances are Mrs. Timmon’s kids will never even score a single point. Well, just like basketball anyone can learn how to do online marketing but the divide between exceptionally talented, highly skilled online marketers and the average agency or practitioner is about the same as the basketball analogy.
When looking for online marketers for your business you want the best you can find. They’re the winners that are going to remove failure from the equation and have the best skills to help you compete successfully for that new client, and believe it or not, these exceptional agencies or contractors don’t cost any more than the ones with the sixth grade skill sets. In fact in my experience exceptional marketers can deliver 2 to 6 times the return on investment compared to the other guys- imagine that 2 to 6 times the number of leads or sales for that same budget if you hire the right team.
There is only one problem.
In my 24 years of experience, it is my firm belief that only about 2% to 3% of online marketing agencies operate at this level, especially if you’re in a highly competitive business. There are thousands of online marketing firms out there with slick websites and fast talking sales people (they are marketers after all). How does the average business owner or manager know whether an online marketer or a particular agency has the skills to compete against the pros or they belong on the playground? This is super important , it’s your money they are playing with and making a bad choice will cost you lots of it.
Well, the advice I would give you actually comes straight from the playground itself. How many times did you hear this taunting statement when you were a kid: “It Takes One to Know One” It literally does take an exceptional online marketer to be able to identify another exceptional online marketer.
I’ve found one way to virtually guarantee success in finding high performance marketers.
The online marketing industry has it’s superstars. People, who the industry as a whole look up to. These people are the influencers, the keynote speakers and leaders at industry conferences like PubCon and SMX and Martech. The industry publishes annual lists such as the “PPC Hero’s, Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts ” list or the “Search Engine Journal, 140 SEO Experts to Follow” list where the industry itself honors the people who shape industry. Many of these exceptional people either own respected agencies or they work for them.
If I were you, I’d look up these people, check out the agencies they work for or network with these leaders and innovators and get them to recommend agencies based upon your particular needs, such as your industry, your budget and your unique business goals, etc. Essentially this goes back to the “It takes one to know one” strategy. Exceptional marketers tend to network with lots of people of their own caliber and they know who’s good. It’s these highly competitive people that you want on your winning team.
Please Note: There are also commercial aggregators of online marketing firms that claim to list the best or most highly rated agencies. Avoid these sites, they are mostly pay to play sites. Instead, look for the exceptional people rather than the agencies and extrapolate out from there. Search for things like “most influential people to follow in PPC” for instance. Don’t look up “Top Online Marketing Firms” or “Best Online Marketing Agencies”, you’ll just get lists that are driven by agendas.
Let me make this super easy for you
I know that the idea of networking with the superstars of the online marketing industry can be daunting, or even a bit uncomfortable for some people. So I have a short cut for you – I know a guy who has spent 24 years developing relationships at the top levels of the online marketing industry. He used to own a Google Premier agency (top 2% of agencies worldwide) and he knows many of the people on those lists that I mentioned. He’s even done all the leg work for you. He has networked from the top down and cataloged the top agencies based upon their areas of expertise, their minimum budget parameters and more.
If you haven’t already guessed, that “he” is me.
I live this strategy every day, helping businesses like yours find, vet and hire the best online marketers on the planet for your unique business needs. I work with many exceptional agencies and contractors (and the list is always growing), all of them are hand picked by me, based upon referrals from the industry leaders we talked about earlier. The success my clients see with these exceptional marketers, continues to reinforce my trust in each agency or contractor. In other words, they’re killing it for my clients, so I continue to recommend them and if I get reports from my clients that an agency is falling down on the job, if they don’t fix the problem, I’ll move that client to a new agency and stop referring business to them, it’s that simple. The agencies don’t want to lose my referrals, so they treat my clients with kid gloves. I demand a lot of them and I stay in your corner for the whole relationship. You are my client, the agencies are just the tool.
Here’s the best part, there is not an agency or contractor on the planet that won’t gladly pay me the small finders fee I ask for when I bring a new client to their table. So the agency pays my fees, not you. I get the same amount from every single agency so there is never a hint of steering a client to one agency over another for financial gain. So, if you’d like to go right to the pros and avoid the playground it would be my honor to help.
So, whether you want to go down the path by yourself or you’d like my help, I hope you got some useful insight out of this article. Check out my other blogs for helpful information on upping your online marketing ROI and if I can ever be of service don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 702-327-8859 or visit my website at www.onmarkadvisors.com.