back to top

How to think about
hiring marketing support.

Hiring someone to bring your marketing up to speed
can be a great move for your business.
It can also be a
very complex and overwhelming decision.


Ideally, your marketing partner should add a ton of value for your business—bringing new
perspectives, techniques and ideas and should free up your time to focus on what you do best.

Here are 3 basic questions you
should consider before hiring marketing help.

Employee

When you hire someone, you own a set portion of their time. If you want a resource who is immediately available to you anytime you call, this may be a better option. The downside to hiring an employee is that salary + benefits can be a huge expense, especially if you need someone with real experience and expertise. In this scenario, your options are more limited something isn't working. You get more narrow expertise since you only get the insight of one person.

Consultant

A consultant is generally less available than an employee since they won't exclusively be working on your project. While this arrangement can require more planning and patience, a consultant or agency team brings a host of benefits: You can control cost by engaging on a small trial contract at first and scaling up as you see success. It’s easier to make changes if the relationship isn't working. And consulting teams often bring multiple people's experienced perspectives to your project.

For example, at CH Strategy, we use skilled project teams that provide director-level insights from multiple people, often for less than the cost of a single skilled employee. We also bring our learnings from other industries and clients to each new project we undertake.

Here's a basic scale of options:


Super-cheap



The internet in awash in self-proclaimed
'marketing gurus' who promise to help
you explode your business. These are available
in abundance on sites like Upwork.com.


Beware the super-cheap marketing
help, for a few reasons:

  • These consultants have no real experience.
    It takes a lot of knowledge to be a competent marketing expert who is capable of translating knowledge to real results for a new client, and lowest-price options typically don't have it.
  • If they sound like a used car salesman,
    beware. That’s how they'll try to grow your business, too, which can do huge damage
    to your business and its perception.
  • They often don't have enough expertise
    to create a viable strategy for you. If you go this
    route, you need to be confident enough to direct the strategy yourself
    and delegate tasks to get
    the job done.
  • BOTTOM LINE: If you want results and someone who brings real expertise that you yourself don't have, you need to pay for it.
    Be willing to invest in someone who knows what they're doing.


Independent Team



Hiring an independent consultant or team
of contractors can often be a great step if
you're just starting to explore a new marketing strategy.


An independent team is a great balance
of expertise and value:

  • You get the benefit of multiple perspectives (for example, a writer, designer and strategist may collaborate on your project) for the same cost or less than the cost of a single new employee.
  • You can start small and grow. Independent teams require less up-front buy in and are more receptive to a small test project to
    prove success before scaling up with any
    large investment.
  • You get high-level expertise. Great independent teams should give you the same level of value as a part-time marketing director, bringing the learnings from their previous work to the table for your benefit and helping you design a new strategy from the ground up.


Large Agency



There are an endless number of marketing services agencies for you to pick from, as long
as you have a substantial budget.


If you're a smaller company, you might want to consider a few factors before engaging a big marketing firm:

  • If you aren't spending 6-figures with a large agency, you'll likely be one of their smaller clients.
    This means your projects get sent to people lacking experience, as the agency directors spend their time on 'bigger fish.'
  • These contracts usually require a huge buy-in up front, before any new marketing strategy is proven. You shouldn't be paying $10's of thousands up front on agency fees before you know what the results will be. A better strategy is usually to start very small and scale up. No matter how confident an agency sounds, your project is brand new to them and guaranteed success is a myth.


Super-short term



Anything less than a couple of months should
be questioned. Your business is unique, and it will take a new consultant some time to get
their mind around your project and the audience you serve.


Mid-Term



2-4 months is ideal for a new project. This allows for learning and experimentation, but gives you an easy out at the end if it isn't working out. If your new strategy is showing promise, it's easy to extend the contract for a longer term at the end of this initial test period.


Long-Term



6-12 months should raise warning signs,
unless you know exactly what you want to
do in the next year and are hiring someone to execute that vision. The danger in these longer contracts it that you risk trapping yourself in an agreement if the group you hire isn't working out.

Many consultants are happy to lock you in to 6- or 12-month contracts, but you should be
wary of these agreements. With a new consultant, a shorter trial project is usually better. There will always be a certain degree of experimentation, and you need to allow for quick changes if necessary.

 

Bottom Line: If you're just starting to experiment with a new marketing consultant,
start small and scale up as you see success.

Want to work with us?

At CH Strategy, we operate as an independent consulting team. We aren't a large agency,
but we bring experienced consultants to the table with the goal of providing significant value for a reasonable cost.

 

*We're often cheaper than large agencies, because we work remotely to minimize overhead.

*We’re able to provide director-level work because we take on only a few projects at a time that we really believe in.

*Our team is diverse and flexible, which gives us the ability to bring the right skills and perspectives into each new project we undertake.

 

If you're looking for marketing strategy support, we'd love to have a free conversation with you to evaluate whether we believe we'll be able
to add value to your business. To start the conversation, fill out this brief questionnaire.
We'll let you know if we believe we'll be able to add value to your project.

Apply For a Free Consultation