Marketing can be tough for many small business owners; they often don’t have the time or the resources to market themselves correctly. Of course, effective marketing is exactly what you need to grow your business. So, what is a small business owner to do? Try hiring a marketing consultant.
Marketing consultants aren’t magicians. They can’t fix your marketing if your product or service isn’t very good, doesn’t make sense, or exists in an oversaturated or declining market. Don’t expect a consultant to swoop in and get you more clients if your business simply can’t stand out. And don’t hire a consultant so you can abdicate the all-important role of marketing to an “expert.” A really good consultant won’t take your money unless he or she believes it’s possible to help you.
But for most of you, a marketing consultant can help, and I’m not just saying this because I am a consultant myself. Here are four ways in which a marketing consultant can make an impact on your business.
- Define Strategy. A good consultant will require that you spend time building a firm foundation based on strategy before proposing tactics. You must find a way to change the context of how your ideal customer views your business and render the competition irrelevant; otherwise you’ll find that your marketing efforts never seem to build momentum. Good strategy will help you do just that.
- Prioritize Objectives. A marketing consultant will help you determine your highest pay-off work and your most pressing objectives based on where you want to be in a year, in three years, in five years - not next week. And, a good consultant will make sure that the number of priority objectives at any given time stays very small.
- Focus on the Right Things. Too many business owners and, sadly, some consultants, focus on traffic and “Likes” when the highest priority should be conversion. When you can figure out how to get the right visitors to your website and connect with responsive prospects who buy from your company, you are focused on the areas that will build a significant business.
Once you have conversion trending upward, you can buy traffic, confident in the fact that you can bank on conversions.
- Keep You Focused. One of consulting’s dirty little secrets is that a part of you simply needs someone to hold you accountable - someone to help you document your goals and objectives, and then steer you back to the objectives when something else may distract you.
A good consultant will work with you to establish metrics tied to objectives and help you process and understand to overarching value you’ll derive by hitting your goals. He or she will hold regular meetings to refocus you on how to continue to meet your goals. Consultants will be able to pinpoint the right metrics to display their value.
Marketing is tough for many small business owners, but you don’t have to go it alone. A marketing consultant can be just the helping hand you need to reach your goals.