Why You Need A Small Business Marketing Consultant (And How to Hire)

Brian Chesky, the co-founder of Airbnb, advised to:

“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”

Here, a marketing consultant can help you focus on creating a product or service that deeply resonates with a specific audience.

You started your small business with a goal – to share your passion, make a difference, and of course, make a living too.

But somewhere along the way, marketing your business became a frustrating guessing game.

No matter how many tactics you try, you never seem to attract the right customers or see a return on your investment.

Sound familiar?

Many small business owners fall into the Do It Yourself (DIY) marketing trap, hoping the sheer effort will make up for the strategy. But random marke

Who’s A Small Business Marketing Consultant?

A small business marketing consultant is an expert who provides strategic guidance and hands-on implementation to help small businesses promote their products, services, and offers.

They act as outsourced CMOs, helping to plan, execute, and optimize marketing campaigns across channels like digital, print, events, and more.

small business marketing consultants

Unlike a traditional marketing agency that offers a range of services, a consultant focuses specifically on strategy.

They work closely with the business owner to deeply understand their goals, customers and challenges.

Then, they map out a data-driven marketing plan tailored to that company’s niche, budget, and assets.

The consultant handles both the big-picture thinking and tactical execution.

From auditing the current marketing to identifying new opportunities, they craft amazing plans.

This end-to-end approach allows them to directly impact ROI and growth for the business.

Stuck in Marketing Struggles? 5 Signs You Need a Consultant

Your Website Looks Like It’s From 1999

If your website looks like it was designed in the 1990s, that’s a major red flag.

Outdated design, clunky navigation, and a lack of mobile responsiveness mean you are leaving money on the table.

Here’s an example of an outdated web design of the PunctureSafe website where the actual problem is a “Lack of visual hierarchy” (arranging and organizing website elements).

Ourdated website design

In today’s digital world, your website is often the first impression potential customers get of your business.

If it looks outdated and hard to use, they won’t stick around long enough to buy anything.

A marketing consultant can assist you in refreshing your site with a modern, mobile-friendly design, smooth user experience, and updated branding that resonates with your current business identity.

They’ll help optimize your website to attract and retain visitors, turning them into valuable leads and customers.

Don’t let your digital presence fade into the past.

A consultant can make sure your website keeps up with the times and drives results.

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You Speak “Marketing Jargon” Fluently… But Your Customers Don’t

If you try to convey your message using marketing jargon (difficult language), your audience might miss the point.

The problem is, when you speak this “marketing jargon” to your customers – they have no idea what you’re saying.

They’re lost as you discuss the virtues of an inbound methodology or an omnichannel approach.

marketing tactics

Here are some common “marketing system” phrases and what your customers are actually thinking:

Marketing Jargon: “Our multi-touch attribution modeling provides complete visibility into the buyer journey.”

Customer Thought: “Huh? I have no idea what you just said.”

Marketing Jargon: “We leverage remarketing and lead nurturing to maximize conversions.”

Customer Thought: “Sounds complicated. I’m not sure this is for me.”

Marketing Jargon: “Our inbound methodology and content funnel generate quality leads.”

Customer Thought: “Stop using fancy words, and just tell me what this does for my business!”

The disconnect is clear. While marketing lingo rolls smoothly off your tongue, it leaves customers confused at best and intimidated at worst.

A marketing consultant is bilingual – they speak both “languages.”

They grasp the nuances behind the jargon, but they can also translate it into meaningful, easy-to-consume language for your customers.

They’ll help you break out of the marketing bubble and genuinely resonate with your target audience.

Customers Are Seeing Your Empty Pages

Another sign that you need a marketing consultant is low engagement and interaction on your social media channels.

You seem to get very few comments, shares, and reactions despite posting frequently.

It feels like no matter what you post or how catchy your captions are.

You’re always met with tumbleweeds and chirping crickets on your pages. See the example of this Facebook page with zero posts:

This social media ghost town is a massive red flag that indicates your content and messaging are off.

People seem to barely pass by when they visit your profiles and quickly leave. It resembles the situation: you’ve built it, but they aren’t coming.

It’s hard to craft compelling social content on your own without a marketing consultant’s expertise tailored to your niche.

You probably need help with personas, posts for each step of the funnel, hashtags and visuals optimization, and a social media calendar. Building up your social media presence requires a lot of strategizing, and a consultant can help you avoid making your pages a ghost town.

You’re Throwing Money at the Wrong Marketing Channels

Without a thoughtful and analytical approach, it’s all too easy to spend money on marketing channels and campaigns that miss your target.

This could lead you to spend quality time on television commercials. It is because you don’t know your consumer demographic and media behaviors for digital marketing. Also, you create SEO and content marketing without an inbound strategy to help you get known.

The pictures below show some organic and inorganic marketing channels and their worth for small businesses in B2B and B2C domains:

A marketing consultant may help determine the best-converting channels for your specific product or service.

This is not limited to defining your ideal consumer profile, a typical lead-generation path, and a look at your competition.

The data allows consultants to discover the optimum combination of technologies and methods to identify and attract a realistic purchasing prospect.

Instead of simply hoping and praying, your marketing strategy will be a high-powered laser aimed at turning your marketing budget into revenue.

“Data? We Don’t Need No Stinking Data!” (But You Really Do)

Without data, you’re just guessing about what works. You have no way to accurately track marketing performance or know if you’re getting a positive return on investment. Data takes the guesswork out of marketing and provides concrete insights you can use to refine strategies.

Some examples of marketing data that small businesses need:

  • Website analytics to see traffic volume, top landing pages, conversion rates, etc.
  • Social media analytics to track followers, engagement, clicks, etc.
  • Email marketing analytics for open rates, click through rates, and conversions. Optimize campaigns.
  • Sales and lead tracking to tie marketing efforts to actual revenue. Identify your best lead sources.
  • Surveys and feedback data directly from customers.

A marketing consultant can help implement tracking across all these areas. They can analyze the data, find key trends and insights, and translate those into high-impact strategies. Don’t rely on guesswork. Let data guide your marketing decisions.

How a Consultant Can Save Your Business

How a Consultant Can Save Your Business

They Speak Your Language (Not Marketing BS)

An experienced consultant knows how to cut through the jargon and translate even the most complex strategies into plain, simple language you can understand.

Rather than dazzling you with fancy terms, a consultant will break things down into practical, actionable steps tailored specifically to your business goals.

A good consultant doesn’t just simplify the strategy but also how to actually execute it.

You’ll get customized action plans, checklists, and processes mapped out step-by-step so your team can hit the ground running.

Things that once seemed complicated suddenly become crystal clear. And you can finally understand and unlock the full potential of marketing to grow your business.

They Know Your Niche Better Than You Think

Small business marketing consultants specialize in specific niches and bring deep expertise to the table.

Unlike a generalist, a niche consultant thoroughly understands your target customers, competitors, challenges, trends, and opportunities.

For example, a consultant focused on the financial services industry will have knowledge of compliance issues, customer personas, media consumption habits, and more – all specific to that niche. They can tap into this expertise to develop highly tailored strategies with your unique business goals and audience in mind.

Crafting a Plan to Crush Your Competition

Consultants are experts at crafting customized marketing plans tailored to your unique goals and strengths.

With an outside perspective of your business and industry, a consultant can identify weaknesses in your competitors that you may have overlooked (and possibly you can lack many places to focus on).

A skilled consultant will analyze your competitors inside and out to pinpoint exactly where you can gain an edge. They’ll find subtle differences between you and other companies that can be leveraged in your favor.

The consultant then builds these insights into an actionable strategic plan to by pass the competition at every turn.

They Don’t Just Talk, They Get Results

A small business marketing consultant doesn’t just provide high-level strategy – they also roll up their sleeves and execute marketing campaigns tactically.

Some examples of tactical execution that a consultant provides:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Social Media Management
  3. Pay-Per-Click Ads
  4. Email Marketing
  5. And many more (SEO audits, building landing pages, marketing automation, etc.)

The best consultants don’t hand off a strategy and wish you luck. They employ the latest strategies and execute campaigns end-to-end, taking marketing operations to new levels.

The ROI of Hiring a Small Business Marketing Consultant (It’s Bigger Than You Think)

ROI of Hiring a Small Business Marketing Consultant

Investing in expert guidance actually saves money and turbocharges results. Here’s how:

Increased Sales & Leads

Driving more sales and leads for your company is one of the most significant ways a marketing consultant can demonstrate ROI.

For instance, a consultant can establish and optimize search engine marketing campaigns.

It will help your ads appear when potential customers search for specific keywords. This can result in leads and phone calls from customers interested in learning more.

Improved Brand Awareness

Hiring a marketing consultant means crafting appealing campaigns for your target audience strategically.

Their outside perspective sparks creativity, helping your brand stand out.

With their expertise, your investments are less likely to miss the mark, maximizing your reach and impact.

A consultant’s smart approach ensures every dollar is spent strategically, enhancing your brand’s narrative and attracting customers.

Boosted Website Traffic

A marketing consultant can help you increase your website traffic exponentially, both organically through search and paid channels.

As a result, your brand and products will reach a wider audience, which opens up more sales opportunities for your company.

On the organic side, a consultant will run a full audit of your site and optimize it to climb the search engine rankings.

This includes improving the site’s loading time and fixing technical errors, adding meta descriptions, tagging headers and body content with optimized keywords, and helping you build high-quality backlinks.

Overall, a more search engine-friendly site will appear higher in the search and get more visitors who are specifically looking for your products or services.

Consultants are also particularly savvy at paid search marketing using a platform like Google Ads. This can set pay-per-click campaigns targeting your typical customers.

ALSO READ: How To Make Your Website Stand Out: Essential Tips

How to Find and Hire the Right Marketing Consultant for You

Discovering the right marketing consultant for your small business can feel intimidating.

Where do you even initiate searching?

What credentials should you focus on?

And how can you ensure you will get recognized with their character as well as the way they interact with you? Don’t worry!

How to Find and Hire the Right Marketing Consultant for You

Here are tips on how to find and recruit that ideal marketing consultant to fulfill your goals.

Where to Look

  • Industry associations and networking groups – Most industries have associations and networking groups you can tap for referrals. People in the same niche can recommend consultants they’ve worked with successfully.
  • Your existing professional network – Ask business contacts, colleagues and advisors if they have any recommendations. Someone you already know and trust can give you the inside scoop.
  • Lucrative Studio – Consider Lucrative Studio, a specialized digital marketing agency where seasoned experts help small businesses flourish. They excel in catering to local businesses and can offer tailored solutions including, Squarespace SEO, Squarespace Website Design, Squarespace Templates, and Brand Identity.

Key Qualifications

  • Relevant industry experience – Find someone familiar with your specific niche, target audience, buyer journey, and competitors.
  • Technical expertise – For areas like SEO, PPC, web design, look for applicable certifications and hands-on skills.
  • Strategy and analysis – Marketing strategy and data analysis skills are crucial. Review case studies to judge strategic abilities.
  • Communication skills – They’ll need to communicate ideas and plans clearly. Look for excellent writing samples.

Interview Questions

To ensure a good fit, get answers to these questions before hiring:

  • What is your experience in our industry and with our type of target customer?
  • What is your approach to developing marketing strategies and campaigns?
  • How do you measure success and provide reporting?
  • What is your communication and project management style?
  • Who will be our day-to-day contact person?
  • Can you provide client references we can contact?

Negotiating Fees

When negotiating fees, consider:

  • Hourly vs. monthly retainer vs. project fee – What works best for your needs?
  • Deliverables included – Be very clear on what’s included (and not included) for the fee.
  • Contract terms – Length, early termination policy, payment schedule, IP ownership.
  • Volume discounts – Larger monthly retainers may get a discounted hourly rate.

Find a marketing consultant who is the right strategic fit and culture match for your small business. With the perfect consultant, you’ll be well on your way to marketing success and savings!

Avoiding Bad Marketing Consultants

Avoiding Bad Marketing Consultants

Here are some tips for spotting red flags and avoiding ineffective or dishonest consultants:

Warning Signs of Ineffective Consultants

  • They suggest strategies that seem gimmicky, risky, or unethical.
  • They can’t explain how their tactics will achieve your goals or grow your business.
  • They don’t ask thoughtful questions about your business, customers, and challenges.
  • They promise overnight results or outsized returns.
  • They push you into long contracts or retainers without proving their value.
  • They don’t have any case studies, client success stories, or tangible results to showcase.

Red Flags in Credentials & Experience

  • They have little or no experience in your specific industry and niche.
  • They can’t provide client references.
  • They have huge gaps in their work history.
  • Their social media profiles and online presence are thin.
  • They make exaggerated claims about past results or credentials.

How to Spot Someone Who Overpromises

  • They guarantee first spot on Google rankings or other outcomes without knowing your business. No one can guarantee Google results.
  • They promise a specific increase in sales or ROI without analyzing your business. Results depend on many factors.
  • They say they can fix all your problems in a short period of time. Business growth takes sustained effort over time.
  • They claim to have “proprietary methods” that no one else knows. Good marketing best practices are not secrets.
  • They hype “easy money,” “hidden tricks,” or “shortcuts.” Growing a business takes hard work and diligence.

Trust your gut. If a consultant seems sketchy, keep looking.

FAQs – Get More Answers Here!

1. What is the average cost of hiring a marketing consultant?

The cost varies based on factors like experience and project scope, with an average hourly rate between $65-$300.

2. Can I hire a marketing consultant on a project basis?

Yes, consultants often work on a project basis, providing flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

3. How do I know if my marketing consultant is doing a good job?

Measure their effectiveness by setting clear KPIs and running regular reports.

4. What should I do if the marketing strategy isn’t working?

Identify and address issues, test new approaches, or consider hiring a professional to revise your strategy.

5. Can a marketing consultant help with social media strategy?

They can help develop a strategic plan tailored to your specific needs.

Conclusion

It is time to pull the trigger on a marketing consultant; they can advise and act strategically in the areas that you lack, and in no time, you will be attracting your ideal customers and driving sales.

Do not wait for your business to collapse in small business markets; secure expert marketing help today.

Beyond getting a marketing consultant for your small business, get specialized assistance with Lucrative Studio for Squarespace website design, SEO, and brand identification. You will find yourself growing with trendy technologies.

This approach will ensure your marketing strategies are one cohesive campaign that produces outstanding results.

Above all, you should remember that a successful marketing campaign must be undergirded with execution and knowledge, leading to constant improvement. Thus, a consultant and specialized marketing consulting services can help you succeed in the marketing landscape.

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Picture of Muhammad Usman

Muhammad Usman

Muhammad Usman is a Digital Marketing expert with over 5 years of experience. His expertise includes Squarespace website design, Branding, and SEO. He oversees the creative team at Lucrative Studio. As the author of this blog, he's sharing his personal experience and tips for small businesses to succeed by leveraging their online presence.