The online marketing arena, like the real world, is full of shysters, con artists, and wannabes. They have so many different angles, tactics, and maneuvers that they’re hard to keep track of. But that will not stop us from revealing who they are. We are nice like that… 🙂
We are going to paint a picture of the online marketing companies or people that you need to watch out for. They are costly, and have a negative impact on your business. This list comes from real life companies that we have visited and consulted with.
So here we go:
1. The Do Nothing Guy (most common)
Description: These marketers can charge a lot or a little for their services. It doesn’t really matter to them because they don’t do anything to earn it. They capitalize on your lack of knowledge and will talk over your head so they can keep you confused.
It’s an easy trap to fall into due to the fact that once everything is set up and running, an online marketer can just sit back and relax. At least for a little while. Eventually rankings, ads, and leads will die, but that could take some time.
I have talked with a few small businesses who are paying upwards of $10,000 to $18,000 a month and not getting anything in return. Let me phrase that another way: There’s online shysters who are taking in $2160,000 a year and not doing anything for it. The problem isn’t they money. Some companies are worth way more than that. The problem is in quality of work one is getting.
They might of set up a PPC campaign, they might have built your website, and you might be turning a nice profit. And the worse case scenario is your company is booming so you think they are doing a great job. This is where the opportunity costs come in. You could be making way more money, but the do nothing guy is holding you back.
Fix it: Online marketing is not a set it and forget it type of process. There’s always more that can be done. Any guy that thinks he can just sit back and relax is going to be trampled by professional online marketers who are doing the work. Online marketing is not easy and it can take months to see some results. But once the system is figured out and leads start to come in. It can be a huge revenues source for your company.
Below will show you how to protect yourself from these types of dudes.
2. No Brains
Description: These online marketers have zero education and do not know what they are doing. They can talk the lingo, but fall short when it comes to actual performance. They have never been successful nor do they take the time necessary to learn the trade.
You know you are working with a “No Brains Guy” when you have hired your uncle, your cousin, your friend, or a referral from a friend who has watched a few YouTube videos and is now in the business. You may be his first client. There are a lot of “No Brain Guys” out there and it would shock you to know who they are.
3. Over Promising Salesman
Description: “Page One of Google for Lawyers in 5 Days Guaranteed!”
These guys are amazing salesman and will promise you the world. Profits, immediate results, huge returns, page one, ranks of all your keywords, etc.
One of my first employees called me a while back to tell me about an internet company called 180fusion. They are well known and you can read about them on the web. I am not trying to pick on them or call them out, I just want to be very open about what is happening out there.
She had 99 clients under her and was getting paid a ridiculously low amount of money. There’s no way that one person can take care of 99 different clients. Her job…was to try and keep the clients as long as possible before they realize they are being ripped off.
This type of online marketing company will call you endlessly to get you to sign up for their service. Their sales force makes up the majority of their company. Their survival depends on it because they lose clients as fast as they bring them on.
4. Cheapest Guy In The Room ($299 a month service)
Description: This is extremely common and my guess is that most of you have signed up for one of these types of services. I myself have been guilty of taking on clients for a low $299 and end up giving them a bad service because my time has to be spent with clients who pay. Let me tell you how they work.
They undercut legit companies because their model is based on the numbers. They will ask you to pay whatever you can afford to pay. $299, $1500 or $5000 it doesn’t really matter because once you sign up they are off to get their next clients. These companies are all about adding accounts as quickly as possible. They are famous for saying, “It’s only $299, they won’t cancel.”
Sure they will have one or two success stories but it is based off of luck. Think about it…if they can sign up 100 companies, one or two of them will be successful not matter how bad they screw things up.
Ask yourself, how much time can a company really put into my business for $299 a month?
Doctors, Chiropractors, Dentists, and other local businesses are great victims of these services, so keep your eye open. I am guessing, most of you have 5 or 6 charges a month around that $200 dollar range. I would cancel them.
Oh wait, it is only $299 a month. What if it is working? lol
5. Do It All Guy (Owner)
Description: Nothing bad to say about these guys because they are usually the owner or manager of the company. They are making things happen, working long hours, stressing about growth, and taking all the risk. I have been there and still am some days. My heart goes out to these guys because they just can’t seem to let go and let the professionals grow their business.
Three weeks ago I met with the owner of a growing business. They were bringing in a $150,000 a month in revenue, which is pretty good for a startup.
That $150,000 was all going out, and the owner was broke. Couldn’t afford to spend money on online marketing even though that is where his revenue was coming from.
What is the problem?
The owner is trying to do everything and is losing money in the process. He has no idea where his conversions are coming from, his website is a disaster, no up sells, no email campaigns, no content creation plan, and no tracking. He has started a great company that has huge potential but he will not let go so he can grow.
Like the other fraudsters, the “Do It All Guy” is usually harming himself. His ego has taken over. This must be stopped.
How to protect yourself from bad online marketing companies.
Now for the good part! We have identified the shysters, so now it’s time to get educated on how online marketing really works. That way you can know when to run.
1. How to hit page one of Google.
If any SEO company promises you rankings on the first page of Google in a short amount of time…(6 months or less) it is time to run. Google makes the rules, and they are very strict on how the game is played. There are always exceptions and it is easy to rank for keywords that nobody is looking for. I am talking about real money keywords. Ones that will actually bring you business. These keywords are extremely hard to rank for and you are competing against companies with millions to spend.
The only way to rank for competitive keywords is to create amazing content consistently and get qualified backlinks. This takes a lot of money, time, and effort. 4 blogs, 500 words+ per week is a good place to start.
If you can not afford to pay someone to do a good job than you might as well forget about it, because the 5 fraudsters above are not going to take the time necessary to get you ranked. It’s too much work!
2. How does Pay Per Click (PPC) work?
PPC is one of my favorites avenues because you can get immediate results. Every company should be running some type of PPC campaign even if it’s for remarketing only.
A PPC campaign is easy set up and it is even easier to forget about it. Some companies may check your account once a month others may not check it at all. This is where a lot of businesses can get in trouble. If you make a mistake in PPC… Google, YouTube, and Facebook will take your money within minutes.
Make sure you are monitoring your accounts daily, build out multiple landing pages, and start slow. It takes strategic planning to set up a profitable campaign and it may take a couple of months. Track everything down to a conversion.
This should give you a good idea of what to expect. Once again, the 5 shysters above are not going to put in the time, effort, or work…especially if you are paying them $299 a month.
3. How do email marketing campaigns work?
This is an area that you can create once and receive the benefits for years to come. I usually like to build out a 12 email sequence. Email provides you with a way to nurture and educate your audience after they have chosen to interact with your company. They should be carefully crafted and, ideally, you will want to build out different campaigns according to the needs of the customer.
Emails campaigns are the glue that holds everything together and it’s a must for marketing campaigns.
You can use Aweber, Infusionsoft, MailChimp or Constant Contact to create your sequences. The cost and time will be spent on creating the right content to help the audience convert. It’s that simple!
Not all marketing companies are bad and most of them have good intentions.
So here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How much time should a company spend on your online marketing? How much time does it take to be successful?
- Can you pay $299 a month and get 40 hours of work?
In my opinion you need 40 hours for a small startup and it can go up from there. Some companies need 20 employees at 40 hours a week. It just depends on your size and growth.
So that leads you to the next set of questions:
- Do you bring someone in-house or do you hire it out?
Both options are great but both have their problems. If you decide to bring someone in-house you will want to make sure they are educated and know what they are doing. If you hire it out, you will want to verify that they are working and progress is being made.
Now for the final question:
- How much should you pay? $10,000 a month? $5000 a month?
A professional marketer is not going to work 40 hours a week for free. Some of them could be worth $100 an hour, others $25 an hour. It depends on their skills and the results they are able to achieve.
This is where you have to put in the time and research necessary to hire the right people. If they are good, you will end up keeping them forever. If they are bad, your ship may sink with theirs.
The goal is that your business will become their business, and your growth their growth. Over time all cylinders will be firing and your online marketing efforts will pay huge dividends.
Tread carefully when you are hiring an online marketing agency. You only want to do it once…
Thanks for reading