As a small business owner, you do not need to wear all the hats. You are an expert at your craft—proven through your exceptional results and happy customers. Your time and energy is best spent making your magic. So when your marketing efforts begin to feel like an overwhelming list of to-dos, do not be afraid to seek out marketing professionals for assistance in handling what they do best.
You can focus on your business, and they will concentrate on bringing your business’ greatest qualities into the spotlight.
When the funds become available and you are serious about investing in your business’ growth, connecting with a marketing agency can take a load off your shoulders. But with so many to choose from, how can you find the best fit for you and your needs?
Define Your Goals
Where do your needs fall? Whether creating a new website, launching a new product line, or printing a few event flyers, step one is always figuring out where you stand before you invite other parties to the project.
Since the term “marketing” encompasses numerous specialties under it, it is important that you understand what results you want from the marketing agency. Many agencies list the services and goods that they specialize in, so you can quickly identify if an agency can serve your needs.
Research & Compare
When you search “marketing agencies near me,” you will surely find an endless stream of options in your area. To narrow down your prospects, take the time to research each one thoroughly—exploring their service capabilities, the work they’ve produced, and what their clients have to say about working with them.
Look for Specialties
Just because a marketing agency uses an umbrella term, like “digital marketing,” does not mean they will automatically be able to take over your entire online repertoire. Now, some full-service agencies may be able to, but many boutique agencies are made up of a few individuals dedicated to only a handful of specialties.
Explore the chart below to understand some of the services different agencies can provide your small business and the different terminology you may see as you research specialties.
Look for Niches
Not only do agencies’ services have particular concentrations, but they may also specialize in the kinds of industries with which they work. When an agency already knows the ins and outs of an industry—its big players, its trends, and its audience—they can more quickly jump into in-depth projects for you.
Examples of Niche Markets
- Health and Beauty
- Home Services
- General Contractors
- Legal Services
- Real Estate
Request a Portfolio
An agency’s work should speak for itself. It should highlight their clients well, showcase the agency’s creativity, and invoke a response from you. Agencies many times show off their work through case studies, which explain the goals of a specific project and how they handled their clients’ requests.
What should you be looking for as you glimpse through an agency’s portfolio?
For starters, you want to make sure they are producing legitimate work that is being used by real clients. As you begin discovery calls with prospective agencies, you can inquire about the results of different campaigns, digging a little deeper to understand not just the physical products but the strategies behind them. You are, in short, looking for a creative team that will work well with your team and generate work that aligns with you and your business.
Consider Your Budget, Their Prices
For a small business, budget will most likely strongly dictate the size and type of marketing agency you can hire. To narrow your focus, first think about the services that you currently need the most. If you are only able to hire an agency to a certain extent, then you will need to consider which tasks you can handle on your own and which do not fall in your team’s skill set.
When Should You Hire an Agency vs. Produce in House?
If you are already working with limited resources, you might want to test smaller waters before diving straight to an agency. Freelancers are an option for specialized services, and their rates range widely, so you have many opportunities to find someone to fit your budget. However, they also pose the risk with cheaper rates of having less vital experience.
When you need multiple services that require a core team’s attention, an agency will get the job done. You are getting a diversified group of professionals that can step in to handle each service.
That is one disadvantage you will get when hiring an in-house specialist to do the job—they do not have the knowledge of the multi-person squad you would get at an agency. Hiring in-house is also the priciest option, but you have the greatest chance to build valuable relationships and insights with your specialist if they are a bonded team member.
Talk over these factors with your business partners and/or current team to figure out the best course of action for your business. You can find the right agency or specialist through careful research and consideration.
Get Connected with Na’Toria Marketing & Design Solutions
Think Na’Toria Marketing & Design Solutions might be your answer? We offer digital marketing services to support a wide range of your content needs. From website design and SEO services to traditional graphic design needs, our success is shown through the success of our small business clients. Explore our services and portfolio, and contact us today to schedule a consultation!