Over the years, I’ve found that the same questions come up again and again when someone enquires about my work. So in this post, I decided to consolidate them, and give you instant access to answers for the twelve most asked questions: Here are my Marketing Consultant FAQ!
If you reach the end of this post and find that your question hasn’t been answered, don’t worry! I’m on hand to answer anything you’re curious about. Just drop me a message.
Here are the 12 frequently asked questions:
- What kind of businesses do you work with?
- Do you offer a trial period or an initial consultation?
- How quickly can you work with me?
- What can you help me with?
- Will you do the work for me, or tell me how to do it?
- How expensive is it to work with you?
- Will I be charged by other experts you bring in?
- How quickly will I see results?
- How do you monitor results and share them with me?
- Why should I invest in a marketing expert?
- Can I hear from some of your past or existing clients?
- How much should I spend on my marketing?
1. What kind of businesses do you work with?
I have worked with a wide range of businesses over the years, but generally, they are small businesses that don’t have a marketing department.
From sole traders to small teams, I work with businesses from any industry/sector although I’ll never work with more than two from each. Additionally, I ensure that any clients I’m working with are not in direct competition with each other.
If you are looking to invest in your brand and marketing long-term and understand that there are no “quick fixes” in marketing, we’ll get along swimmingly. Most importantly, my marketing approach involves putting your customers first.
That means we’ll be making a wide berth around any pushy or salesy marketing tactics. It also means we won’t be focusing on generating sales or leads alone. We’ll also be looking to provide great customer service and build a loyal customer base for your business.
2. Do you offer a trial period or an initial consultation?
Yes, I offer a free initial call, with no obligation whatsoever. This gives us the chance to get to know each other and our businesses and for you to find out how I might be able to help.
Doing this over a call is really useful. Emails are great, but it isn’t the same as actually having a conversation with someone! Through this chat, we can figure out if I’m the right fit for your business, and which of my services is best suited to your needs.
To book one of these calls, drop me a message and we’ll get something in the diary!
3. How quickly can you work with me?
As I’m sure you can imagine, this varies depending on the time of year and what kind of support you are looking for.
1-to-1 consultancy sessions, for example, can usually be booked in within 2-3 weeks. For my full-scale consultancy work, I am generally able to start within 4-6 weeks after you’ve decided to go ahead.
However, the months before Christmas and the beginning of the year can be very busy. So, make sure to get in touch in plenty of time if you want to get started in those months.
4. What can you help me with?
With a background in copywriting and over two decades of experience working in marketing, there is a lot I can help you with!
Here are a few examples of what I’ve helped my clients with over the years:
- Establishing a customer-focused brand, marketing and content strategy
- Creating a clear message to stand out from the competition
- Identifying the best marketing mix
- Defining a USP, brand & marketing strategy
- Establishing a marketing plan for the next 12 months
- Improving the website for search engines (SEO), user experience and conversions
- Finding the right content for a blog, newsletter or social media
- Increasing referrals & repeat business
I believe it’s equally important to be upfront about what I can’t help you with – in which case I’ll happily introduce you to a few people from my network who are a better fit. And I’m here to help if you need a hand with things like campaign/project management, briefings in line with your brand & marketing strategy or copy for your website or leaflet.
Here are the most common projects and people I regularly collaborate with for my clients:
- Digital advertising campaigns like Facebook & Google ads (PPC) – Fiona is my go-to for this
- Designing, developing & maintaining websites – highly recommend Kate & Lucy
- Creating logos & print marketing material – Mary & Chiara are my first port of call
- Placing press articles about your business in national or international publications – Sound Bite PR (food & drink sector), Owen (creative industries) and Michelle Brown (all sectors) are great at this
- Account managing & lead generation (e.g. by phone) – JungleBeat Marketing are the experts here
- Technical SEO & link building – Caroline & her team are ace at all things SEO
- Photography for branding, product or headshots – many to choose from, but Rhiannon, Caroline & Rebecca are my favourites
5. Will you do the work for me, or tell me how to do it?
First things first: If you’re looking for someone who takes over your marketing so you never have to worry about it again, I’m not the right person for you. For marketing to work for your small business, we need to collaborate and combine our respective expertise. Like running a business, marketing needs your input and commitment to work.
However, that doesn’t mean I can’t help out after we have completed all the tasks we identified in your kick-off session. If you choose to work with me for ongoing support, we will divvy up the tasks and work together on bringing your marketing to life.
Alternatively, some people will sign up for a 1-to-1 session, where we’ll talk through an area of marketing they are looking to improve. In that case, I can provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to go out and do it yourself. This is a good option for those of you who are keen to explore marketing your business yourself.
And if you want to train up your staff to be able to take over marketing your small business, I can absolutely help with that, too!
In your initial call, we can explore what area of marketing you need help with, and which of these approaches will be best suited. As a marketing consultant, my priority is helping you find the best way of making marketing work for you and your small business.
6. How expensive is it to work with you?
Every business owner approaches this differently, but I’m a big believer in transparency when it comes to pricing. The word “affordable” is like the word “delicious” – it means something entirely different to everyone!
So, with that in mind, my prices are listed on my website. My hourly rate, half-day and full-day rate and my 1-to-1 rate can all be found here, and are kept regularly up-to-date. I’m not VAT registered, so there are no additional costs. (Unless I have to travel quite far to get to you, in which case I’ll charge for my travel time and expenses.)
But I will always let you know what costs to expect and won’t start any work until I have the go-ahead from you. And if we end up working together long-term (some of my clients have been with me for 10 years!), I will be updating my hourly or retainer rate every two years.
7. Will I be charged by other experts you bring in?
Depending on the project, I may suggest bringing in another expert in a different field. For example, if you have come to me for help with your branding, I may suggest having professional photographs taken for your website.
As this is not a service I provide, I can recommend trusted professionals I have worked with before. This will, of course, include a separate fee for their work.
But rest assured, while I’m happy to recommend people, the decision of who to work with is yours and the agreement will be between you and them. Your communication will be directly with them and you can get me involved as much (or as little) as you want. This way, you are in full control of the project and your budget.
8. How quickly will I see results?
The main results my clients see when working with me are more clarity, focus and confidence in marketing their small businesses. Knowing what works and what doesn’t, having the knowledge and tools to decide if an opportunity is worth your time and energy, those are the main benefits of making your marketing work for you.
When it comes to delivery and putting your marketing strategy into action, keep in mind that marketing means playing the long game and that there are no (sustainable) quick fixes. Also, how long it takes to see results depends on a lot of different factors, from the marketing channel(s) you are using, the business and industry you’re in, to your target audience and more.
Crucially, it depends on your own input and consistency. For example, I’ve seen website SEO work show results within weeks or even days. In other cases, it took months or longer. There is no way to predict this before work begins. But I do know that if you are putting in the work, you will see results much faster and for longer than without.
Because marketing thrives on consistency. Once your website is optimised it might see a boost. But if you regularly publish search engine-optimised blog posts and drive traffic to your website from a regular newsletter and/or social media, you will likely see that boost turn into long-term growth.
9. How do you monitor results and share them with me?
After our initial work on your marketing, we will have set up a process for you to collect your performance stats and data through third-party apps like MailChimp, Google Analytics, Hootsuite and Google Search Console.
If we agree to work together on an ongoing basis afterwards, we can discuss putting together a regular report to keep you updated and results and engagement over your existing marketing channels, e.g. exploring SEO performance or web stats.
10. Why should I invest in a marketing expert?
As this question states, working with a marketing consultant is an investment. But, like bringing in any other expert, it comes down to wanting the best for your business and recognising the important areas you need help with.
A marketing consultant can help you figure out what works for your business. Throughout my years of work in this role, I have worked across many different industries. I know what works and what doesn’t, and I can bring a fresh perspective to your business. Here are just a few key things a marketing consultant can help you find out:
- What do your customers want and need?
- Who is your competition?
- How can you set yourself apart from them?
- What is the best way to grow your market share?
I have an entire blog post dedicated to this topic – it outlines seven key reasons to hire a marketing consultant. You can read it here!
11. Can I hear from some of your past or existing clients?
Of course, you can! Many of my clients have been kind enough to write me reviews and testimonials. Visit my Client Case Studies section for more information on my past projects and to hear what those clients had to say.
You can also visit my Google Reviews for more feedback from the people I’ve worked with in the past.
In some cases, I’ve put people in touch with existing clients to have a chat about working with me. If this is something you’d like to request, just let me know.
12. How much should I spend on my marketing?
That depends on your goals, your pricing and where you are in your business journey. For example, if you’re a new business looking to grow quickly, your marketing budget can be as much as 15% of your turnover.
However, established businesses that have a good baseline of enquiries or sales coming in usually settle on a marketing budget of around 5% to 7% of their turnover.
The important thing is to get your pricing right and make sure you know your profit margin. This way you always know how much you can spend to generate a new lead or sales while still making a profit.
I’m interested! What’s the next step?
Great! To find out more about me and how I work, please get in touch and we can arrange your free initial call. That will give us the opportunity to talk about your needs in detail and see if we’re a good fit.
You can also have a look at my services page to find out more about how I work, my rates and what the next steps are.
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
10 Things I’ve Learned by Running My Own Small Business
How I Found My Ideal Client & What I Learned Along the Way
What Does Success Mean to You and Your Small Business?
How I Balance Work and Life As a Small Business Owner