Based on his extensive experience, Dmitry shares his 7 favorite tips
By Ethen Kim Lieser
If you’re a contractor, you’re likely getting those annoying marketing calls on a daily basis. Dmitry has also experienced this, and he has found out that more often than not, marketers are incredibly difficult to deal with. They all seem to have that magical ability of saying the things you desperately want to hear, and you really can’t argue with them because they always have that perfect rebuttal to any skeptical question. What they are saying may sound like soothing music to your ears, but don’t let them lull you to sleep. Hiring the wrong marketer can cost you thousands of dollars, but if you can keep these seven tips in mind, you will continue on your path toward building your profitable business.
Tip No. 1: Don’t trust marketers who tell you that marketing is hard
Unfortunately, Dmitry has dealt with these types of marketers on many occasions. Red flags should immediately pop up whenever a marketer says that you can’t do something yourself and that you’ll never understand the inner-workings of their job process. For Dmitry, if you’re paying people for their services, they should take the time to educate you, as this will also build upon the trust factor. Obviously, you don’t have to have in-depth understanding of Google’s pay-per-click model or Facebook ads, but you should always have a sense of your marketer’s overall strategy and how much time they are putting into the work. When any of us hire attorneys, you will likely get an invoice that states exactly how much time was spent, with decimal points, on a certain aspect of your case. The attorney will tell you exactly in plain English what they are doing. The same should be expected of your marketer. Don’t let them give you the runaround, and know exactly what their strategy is.
Tip No. 2: Don’t buy on promises
Marketers indeed have a knack for giving you verbal promises. Never fall for this trap, as you should only buy on guaranteed results. If they promise something extraordinary, make sure it is in writing. This will surely show how serious they are about what they are talking about. Keep in mind that as your business grows, you will be flooded with calls from companies like HomeAdvisor and aggressive telemarketers. They will tell you that they have the ability to triple or quadruple your sales. Do not buy into these false promises. They’ll likely not deliver and you’ll be out thousands of dollars. As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. For Dmitry, it has always been wise to stay patient and have realistic goals in mind. There are no shortcuts to success — but there will always be people who tell you otherwise. Just stay vigilant and only buy based on results.
Tip No. 3: Be careful with big brands
Many people do mistakenly believe that working with big agencies will guarantee better results. In his personal experience, Dmitry knows that this isn’t always the case. One acquaintance recommended to him a large and reputable company that could quickly grow his leads for $5K a month. After spending $10K, Dmitry took the time to do the math, and needless to say, he was quite disappointed in the results. His average lead turned out to be only $750. Any sensible person would know that this relationship was indeed one-sided. One major problem with big brands is that they often subcontract the work. You’re paying that company your hard-earned money, but the work isn’t actually being done there. Essentially, these big companies are just middlemen who are distributing projects to freelancers and contractors and they collect a share of the profits. As you can easily see, you’ll be burning through your marketing dollars very quickly.
Tip No. 4: Be careful with small companies just starting out
For one, with small companies you never fully know if they possess financial stability. The worst-case scenario is if this particular company is starving for cash, and the owner may be using your money to pay the bills instead of putting that toward your marketing efforts. Such cases aren’t that rare, as Dmitry has met many individuals who have been burned by such situations. They often think that since the company is small, it won’t have any overhead and the ability to screw its clients. Well, the opposite has shown to be quite true. Contractors might give a marketer a few thousand dollars, but at the end of the day, they only receive five hours of actual work. Surely, they didn’t keep your best interest in mind. In short, it just doesn’t make good business sense. Take that money and utilize it in a better way, and you will see the positive impacts on your business.
Tip No. 5: Hold your marketer accountable
To better understand what exactly your marketer is up to, request a breakdown of his time and expenses. This way, in the same fashion as hiring a lawyer, you’re getting the same information to work with. Dmitry has witnessed on many occasions individuals paying thousands of dollars to people to manage social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. In this case, you must understand fully what they are doing. How many photos are they uploading on a daily basis? What types of new content are they creating? Just a few years ago, Dmitry gave a so-called friend $2,500 a month to manage his website. After three months, he found out that he only logged an hour of work in the past 30 days. As the site was running smoothly, he didn’t think anything else needed to be done. Do the quick math, and you’re actually paying someone $2,500 per hour! As a business owner, you need to place more emphasis on overall transparency, and then you will have a better understanding of what you’re actually paying for.
Tip No. 6: Change your mentality
This is indeed one of the most important tips. You must understand that no marketer on this planet will change your business — they are only there to help. That responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders. Forget all of their grand promises. If you want to scale your business, you must take the lead in doing so. Marketers are merely tools, as they may help you promote your brand a bit better. But you want to triple your annual growth rate? Well, you only have the power to make that happen. Your marketer may surprise you with 10 or 20 leads in one particular month, but will that last? Probably not. Those leads that you’re garnering via Facebook or Instagram will one day dry up. There should always be a contingency plan to continue to grow your business. For Dmitry, several years ago he was literally killing it on Angie’s List. In fact, driven by 700 awesome reviews, 90 percent of his business originated from there. Today, Dmitry has no relationship with Angie’s List whatsoever. This experience should teach you that there aren’t any marketing saviors and magic-bullet marketing campaigns. It’s only you who can transform your business into a successful one.
Tip No. 7: Hire marketers the same way you hire employees
For Dmitry, he doesn’t mind paying people what they are truly worth. So, marketers should be held to the same standards as your other employees. Whether it is $20 an hour or $200 an hour, as long as they are consistently producing tangible results, the amount of pay is irrelevant. In one particular case, Dmitry decided to shell out $200 a month for Instagram posts. This individual’s argument was that if you can secure one job from that per year, the fees are worth it. Well, simple math showed that Dmitry was paying $2,400 a year, and on average, each job worth $10,000 only netted $1,000 in profit. With this in mind, it became harder to justify paying the monthly fees. Imagine if this were the case with your other employees. You would definitely not accept it, and you shouldn’t accept it with your marketer, either. Keep him or her accountable and make them prove their worth to you. That’s the only way to be smart with your finite marketing dollars to drive forward greater profitability and success for your business.