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Tips to engaging a marketing consultant or agency.

I am sure I am not alone when I get a potential client contact them for some ‘prices for marketing’.

Sure, that could be anywhere from $500 TO $500,000 depending on what you want or need.

So, here are some topline tips of what you need to supply to your marketing consultant or agency (and the same can probably be applied to many other suppliers)

If you want to get the biggest benefit from your marketing agency or consultant start with this:

  • Provide a detailed brief to them. (we are not mind readers). Saying you just need some marketing or training on XYZ is like saying I want to buy a new car. What type of car? What do you want it to be able to do? How old? ….. here come the questions

That are many variables when it comes to putting together pricing for marketing. This is probably the same as the service you offer.

  • Give them some background about your business, your ideal audience and what marketing you have tried to date. This helps provide some context and understanding your market will help with determining the best marketing channels and tactics to use. Eg: simply saying you work in recruitment for example, doesn’t tell me anything about if you are focused on clients or candidates, what unique issues your location has, challenges with your market, what has worked or hasn’t worked for you…. it just tells me that you work in the recruitment industry.
  • Explain what your top marketing objectives are – different suppliers will likely have different skillsets. If your focus is on SEO, then hire someone who has a speciality and experience in that area. Think of it like you would going to a Dr. if you have a specific issue you go to a specialist in that area. And the same thing should be the case with your marketing
  • Budget – giving them a ballpark helps you both and stops the time wasters. If your budget is unrealistic for what you want to achieve then it’s better to know up front. I have had that happen many times and it wastes everyone’s time if you not on the same page. You might think $500 is reasonable for a particular service but it could be very unrealistic. You are not putting yourself at a disadvantage by providing a ballpark budget or asking for options in a price range. TIP: I don’t know is not a budget.
  • Timelines – when do you required the quote, when do you need the services to start and how long do you need support for? This helps both parties. If I am providing a proposal to you and you want to start right way but I don’t have availability for another 30-60 days then again, it wastes everyone’s time. Providing timelines also helps to establish realistic deliverables for your project.
  • Don’t ghost them when they follow up – Apart from being rude and unprofessional, remember that they could also be a potential client of yours one day. If you have been engaged in a conversation about services, simply not responding to calls or emails suddenly (because you don’t want to say no or not yet) is very immature and reflects poorly on you.
  • You will need to have some sort of input in the process once you start working together: reviewing plans or content, providing feedback and direction. It amazes me that many business owners think they can hand over everything to a consultant and have no input. Our role is to execute your vision and do the hard work but your input is still required.
  • Remember it is a partnership. This is about working together to achieve your goals and move your forward. Treat them as part of your team not an afterthought. You want your marketing consultant or agency to feel like part of the team
  • Don’t expect them to know your brand immediately. I can’t possibly know the ins and outs and all the nuances of you brand in a matter of days. This is where providing a brand guideline can help. Again it will save a lot of wasted time and money when you are working together.


So before you start a conversation with a marketing consultant or agency, remember these guidelines and I guarantee everyone will be much happier.