Call yourself a Marketing Consultant and that can mean a lot of things. From “I just lost my job” to a PR or advertising agency wanting to broaden their definition to actually being in the business of helping companies grow sales through better marketing methods and message. Bottom line, there are lots of people who call themselves marketing consultants, yet, they come from a variety of backgrounds and will approach your problem very differently. Knowing more about what you need and what they are will help you make a better decision. . .
Think about what problem you want to solve.
Does your website need work? Not happy with your salespeople? Message worn out? Not enough leads? Need to enter a new market? All of the above?! You may not know exactly what your problem is, but the more you understand what needs fixing the more you can match the strengths of the consultant with your problems. Pay attention to a consultant’s background. Someone coming out of PR will tend to have PR-oriented solutions for you (articles, press releases, trade shows). Someone coming out of graphic design will tend to have design-oriented solutions for you (you need a new logo or a new brochure to solve your problem). Does how they approach solving problems match up with your problems?
Consider lots of people.
Talking to different consultants can help you understand more about your problems and how they can best be solved. You should expect to learn a lot about the consultant, their background, their approach and the types of work they do from their site. You should expect a free phone consultation and written proposal. You should also expect to have all your questions answered and feel very comfortable going into your relationship. If you need more time to discuss your questions, you should get it.
Trust your instincts
If you’re feeling pressured or ignored that’s because you’re probably being pressured or ignored. If you’re feeling like the consultant is too big to give you attention or too small to pull it off that’s probably because they are. Your instincts have served you well so far, right? Trust them now.