As a business or startup owner, we know that outsourcing your sales, marketing, or operations can help a lot with growing your business especially in the early days.
Most of the time early stage companies don’t have the funds to go hire in-house talent or run expensive test. This is where the power of outsourcing kicks in.
As a founder, you have a billion things to deal with such as building the product, dealing with customer support, managing marketing experiments. In that situation, you could outsource your sales, so that your company can continue to grow while you focus on other aspects.
But it’s not that easy at all. A lot of entrepreneurs tend to get burnt from agencies that fail to deliver quality work. That’s like throwing money in the trashcan.
In this article, I’ll cover some of the red flags that you should be aware of and questions to ask before hiring any agency or outsourced company.
Who’s managing your campaign?
It’s extremely important that you know who’s the person that’s going to be managing and running your campaigns. For example, we all see these “fat logos” of companies that agencies have worked with on their website. These can be big companies like Coca Cola, NBA, Nike and more.
Next thing you know, they send a fresh hire that haven’t been fully trained yet to manage your campaign.
To avoid this red flag, make sure you know who you’re working with and most importantly don’t get distracted by big fat logos.
Make sure they’re actually good at what you need
I’m not saying that agencies aren’t good, but there are some that specialize in e-commerce digital marketing and if you’re a B2B SaaS, then you should avoid that agency.
Some agencies are really good at helping clients go from 100k in revenue to 1 mil, while some others are great at 1 mil to 100 mil. Find one that best fits your situation.
Start with something simple and small as a test package
I always believe in paying people for their work, which means no freebies. I would not ask for freebies or non-paid trials, but I would expect that whoever I’m going to be paying for the outsourced work to offer a slightly lower priced package or service as a test run.
For example, if a digital marketing agency proposed that they can manage your entire social media, set up paid acquisition, and fix SEO, you can ask them to do a month of paid test run on just social media.
If they aren’t willing to do that, then it’s a big red flag.
They don’t seem to know what they’re talking about..
Another huge red flag is if they don’t know what they’re talking about. Seems quite obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how often the company can’t explain to you what they’re supposed to be delivering to you.
You should ask the agency what their process is for executing this campaign.
They don’t eat their own dog food..
Sometimes, people get so busy working on their client work that they neglect their own marketing assets. But, if the agency you are considering hiring is trying to sell you on a number of features or services that they don’t employ themselves… well, that’s kinda strange, isn’t it?
That’s why you need to be wary of people trying to push you on the latest “trend” in marketing. Trust me, there is always another trend coming right around the corner. And that’s because most of them fall by the wayside. It’s Instagram stories one week, and Snapchat this or that the next. Too many marketers react rather than respond to the ever-changing marketing landscape and thus make haphazard decisions that jeopardize their client’s business.
If an agency is trying to sell you on a service, ask them to show you how it’s been working for them and their clients, how they go about using that strategy, and the ROI. If they can’t or won’t answer your question, or worse, admit they’re not using the strategies they’re trying to sell you on, they aren’t thinking about the performance of your business in the long-term.
There are A LOT more red flags that you should be aware of when hiring an outside agency, but these are the main ones that you should be aware of. Hope this helps everyone that is looking to outsource their process!
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