Is low-budget marketing all you can afford? You may luck out (yea, you!). However, the truth is that you usually get what you pay for.
Some companies check the marketing box by choosing an agency or freelancer who “knocks out” work at a relatively low cost. They create a marketing testing ground of sorts—they’ll rely on budget-friendly marketing work only until they “make it” and can afford bigger, better support.
Why do these agencies and freelancers charge so much less than their competitors? Altruism. Their solidarity is with the little guy (that’s you). They hate when businesses overpay for marketing services.
Bargain Marketing Red Flags
When bargain agencies and bargain freelancers tell you they do everything their more expensive counterparts do—and just as well—it’s a red flag.
Other possible red flags:
- Agencies or freelancers expect you to give them direction instead of steering your marketing ship, their emails are riddled with typos, and they hold slapdash, agenda-less meetings.
- Agencies hide the fact that they’re working with freelancers, or they’re upfront about the freelance hiring but silent about the absence of vetting.
- Digital marketing experts have social media pages with few followers.
- Web design experts have poorly designed websites.
- SEO experts have sites that can’t be found using standard web searches.
- Brand experts have a brand that they can’t articulate clearly.
To their credit, these inexpensive resources do move fast and furious. They have to. They’ve lowballed the proposed work under an overpromise/underdeliver model.
They’ve entered dozens of tasks into Asana or Trello. They post something weekly to your LinkedIn page, business Facebook page, and Instagram page. They start running a Google ad for you in no time flat. (Ignore the typos and wrong demographic—grammar and audience targeting are so 2020.)
They’re so busy performing behind-the-scenes magic that they can’t tell you in clear English what they’re doing or why.
And that’s a problem.
The Low-Budget Marketing Fix
You get what you pay for. Avoid hiring any agency, consultant, or vendor that “knocks out” work. Also avoid signing long-term contracts that lock you into relationships that may not help your business survive and thrive. Instead of saving you money, low-cost agencies and freelancers often create bigger problems for you down the road, including expensive, time-consuming, highly frustrating reboots.
Never let anyone muddy your brand or build you a marketing Frankenstein monster of random, dissociated services and support. A real expert builds a strategy and sets priorities. A real expert understands the big picture and can explain what they’re doing and why. A real expert walks the talk. An exceptional web designer has an exceptional website. Period. An exceptional copywriter writes well. Period.
Put every word your agency reps and freelancers say (and every word on their website, in their email exchanges, and in the contract you sign) on trial for its life. Protect yourself. Follow your gut.
Don’t worry. I have a lot more to say this important subject. I’ll be pulling back the marketing veil to empower small businesses to survive and thrive — no marketing agencies required. I’m going to show you step by step how to protect yourself and your pocketbook — and actually get the high-value marketing work you need.
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Fast Wins + Zero Fluff = Game Changer
I have a lot more to say on this important subject. I’m pulling back the marketing veil to empower small businesses to survive and thrive — no marketing agencies required. I’m going to show you step by step how to protect yourself and your pocketbook — and actually get the high-value marketing work you need.
Get the free Top 5 Small Business Marketing Fiascos – and How to Fix Them e-book here.
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