It seems like everyone and their granny has been setting up an online marketing company of some sort in the last decade. In fact online marketing according to Entrepreneur.com was one of the top 3 fastest growing industries from 2005-2016. This means that we live in the age of anyone can contact you for anything. If you have a phone number or email on your website, congratulations, you are now one of the many people who have given away personal data for free! – But that isn’t our primary concern, the reason I decided to write this post is because 1.) We haven’t done a definitive guide in a long time, but the second reason is that when it comes to marketing companies and more specifically the digital marketing industry, who can you really trust?!
Who Can You Trust?
Well I’ll first start with who you shouldn’t trust. And these are the individuals who constantly bombard you with spammy emails offering you $99 (even though you live in the UK) web design or SEO services. These people are so frustrating and like me you probably receive these on the daily!
Now I have nothing against outreach, but when it is mass and generic outreach with zero thought, then I’m not interested. If its personalised and you know about my needs and my businesses then sure I’ll give you a try.
The 3 metrics I look for when it comes to trust. Is 1.) Age of domain – If the site has only been registered in the last 5-6 months then this says they haven’t been around for a long time. 2.) Testimonials – Do they have real testimonials on their website and are these accurate and relevant. 3.) Results – Case studies showing the results for your client.
The Selection Process
This is the selection process I’ve developed over the past few months for selecting a reputable online marketing (or any Business 2 Business provider actually.)
Step 1: Using Google, search for the business type you need. If you live in a big city then add the locational parameters. So for example if you were looking for a builder, you should type in “Builder in XYZ location”
Step 2: Click one of the top 3 results – Why? Because these individuals have clearly worked on their website, invested money into them and as a result have a more professional business. Generally (not always though) a website’s quality is a reflection of the business’s quality.
Step 3: Once you have your 3-4 options then its time to check the sites, just double check when the business was started and if they have testimonials on the site that look real (fake reviews are easy to spot.)
Step 4: Proposals & Prices – AKA just get a quote from each. The individual who takes care in creating their proposal is probably the one that is most likely to provide the best service. Once you have all your proposals and prices its up to you to make a decision on the company you want to work with. Chances are these proposals will be around the same price. But remember, with online marketing its not a 1 service is the same style business. So you will likely get a range of prices from different agencies, instead remember to evaluate each proposal individually. And also remember:
Being Cheap is often more expensive.
How Do I Know it Works?
Personally I used this strategy to hire a online marketing agency who I still use to this day, they helped design the blog and the owner is a really nice guy. The way I found the site is through the process outlined above, and although this worked for me to find a good company, it doesn’t 100% mean it will work for you, remember to reach out to the individuals they have used in their testimonials.
I’ve used this to find a number of other businesses too, from catering to car hire! This works because it shows businesses that have some reputation to uphold, they have put some effort into making their sites look good. Smart business people generally know that the most important thing is the actual product or service they are delivering, this means if they have already put some effort into their website, think how much effort they are going to put into your business!
Cheers for the read, I hope you enjoyed, if you have any questions feel free to contact us and remember to share.