Tag Archives: marketing agency

5 Vital Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Agency

17 April 2015 Theresa Mills 5,315 Comments Content Marketing

When hiring a marketing agency, it often feels like bigger should be better,  so you commit tens of thousands of dollars to a large marketing agency, convincing yourself that you should Go Big or Go Home. Problem is, you didn’t really NEED a big agency and every time you pay your monthly retainer, you regret your decision.

You’re not alone. That’s what many companies do.

They’re seduced by an agency’s high-profile client list and so they put their trust (and their money) into the large agency. Problem is, after all of the impressive strategies, guidelines and marketing plans are delivered, companies find themselves lacking the tactical support they need. They’re no better off than when they started – only now they have even less money in their budget.

For many small businesses, it’s more important to generate leads and learn fast than it is to spend months planning to plan. Small businesses don’t have the same big budget as big brands. They need agile development and quick turnarounds.

If you’re trying to decide whether to go with a large, well-known agency or a smaller boutique agency, ask yourself these 5 questions before you make a decision you’ll regret:

1 – How much am I willing to spend each month?

Larger agencies can charge anywhere from $8000-$15,000 per month, whereas smaller agencies charge around $5000 per month.

2 – Do I need a long-term strategy or do I need tactical support?

You need both. However, some brands have shorter run rates than others. A startup, for example, is always operating on a 3 to 6 month run rate. Time is not on their side. While all companies need a strategy, not all need to plan 5 years out.

[Tweet “”Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. ” Vincent Van Gogh”]

3 – Do I just need support for my in-house marketing team?

Some companies confuse marketing teams with a team of marketers. Not everyone who works in marketing is a marketer. By definition, a marketer defines goods and services to be marketed. An inbound agency can help you identify what products or services should be marketed and to whom, also known as your buyer personas. A small boutique agency can work alongside in-house teams or as an outsourced marketing solution.

4 – Do I need an agency that’s flexible?

Smaller agencies aren’t stifled by a rigid corporate structure. They have the freedom to get creative and the enthusiasm to find the most compelling way to tell your story.

5 – Does the personal touch matter to me?

Without a doubt, one of the greatest benefits of going with a boutique agency is the level of intimacy and support they can offer. Instead of being one small cog in a big machine, a smaller agency gives you the opportunity to get to know the entire team, and for the team to get personally involved in developing your brand. That kind of deeper relationship fosters a personal investment in your brand from each and every member of the team.

At Smashdeck Marketing, we always use the word “we” when we’re talking about your brand. We do this because we want you to know that we’re invested in you, your reputation and success.

If you’d like to learn more about how a boutique inbound marketing agency can help you generate leads, contact us for a free consultation.



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Will it scale? Enter Smashdeck.

25 March 2015 smashdeck 5,186 Comments Business

About a year ago I started to wonder, what the heck am I doing in this freelance space? I love the idea of being a freelancer – work when I want, on the projects that I want. But then as my mind often does, it started to question my motives and the reason why I am still spending so much of my time building other people’s companies, instead of my own.

The rat race of the freelance world is the same as it is in the corporate world, just with less consistency in a paycheck, no health benefits, and instead of having one boss you have many. This rat race (at least for me) was one that seemingly had some upsides but lots of downsides. Worth noting: I deeply respect freelancing as a profession. An individual that can become a rockstar in their chosen field and charge lots of money for his/her service is hands down a very good place to be.

For me, I decided long ago that I just wanted to be a kick-ass marketer and screw specializing in email marketing, PPC or SEO. I know these fields well enough, mind you, but I don’t claim to be an expert. What I do know very well is lead generation. This is what I thrive in. If I am doing client work, I can’t spend my time on lead generation and vice versa. There was no “real” win and honestly I got burned-out.

Although my freelance consulting work has always been centered on lead generation marketing using inbound tactics, I decided to re-brand and create a compelling value proposition and also work in a team. Yes in a team! I need the collaboration that comes with working in teams. I work with teams as a consultant, but there is something to be said about working in a team. No company has ever scaled without building a team. I repeat, no company has ever scaled without building a team!

Smashdeck was hatched. Theresa Mills has been an integral part of this transition. She is Smashdeck’s Content Marketing Manager, and will head up content marketing efforts for the company and for clients. I will still focus on client work, but I will also be able to spend more time on business development and marketing for the company, with the addition of Jessica (our new marketing assistant) and Theresa.

[Tweet “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together. – James Cash Penney “]

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