It is all very nice and easy for me to recommend that companies invest in their business and hire a quality internet marketing consulting firm. After all, being an internet marketing consultant, I am more than slightly biased in this favor.

Benisch eMarketing - SEO and Internet Marketing Consulting

This being said, hiring a web consultant is usually only beneficial to a company’s bottom line when they hire a quality consultant, and for many, determining a consultant’s qualification is like reading another language.

Internet marketing consultants must describe their activity in a language that is foreign to many of their potential hiring companies. As marketers, we advocate Search Engine Optimization campaigns, Landing Page design and development to support these campaigns, on and off-site optimizations, back link generation, Analytics, and a variety of other internet marketing strategies that our clients usually are not familiar with. We do our best to explain the tremendous benefits of these campaigns and then immediately provide disclaimers that no campaign is “Guaranteed.”

We compete with Do It Yourself sellers like Hub Spot that try to make all this online marketing accessible to the average business owner, and our services are typically much more expensive than that free Word Press software. So why hire us? When most companies make their Do It Yourself internet marketing purchases, they, unfortunately do not realize the amount of time they will need to invest in learning how to use their new software. They develop a basic understanding of keyword strategy, but lack the real time it requires for a thorough and strategic keyword selection analysis. When they are presented with 200 keyword ideas, all of which at least loosely describe their business, they have no idea how to begin scrutinizing the level of competition, search frequency, and user intent associated with these keywords. And they end up paying for software that helps them develop ineffective marketing strategies.

I 100% recommend small and mid-sized businesses make the investment and hire a quality internet marketer to guide them through these campaigns. Frankly, unless a marketer spends all day analyzing the competition’s strengths and weaknesses, it is not likely that their marketing campaign will yield great results. Most often, it is not only more effective, but more cost effective for a small business to hire outside expertise.

So how can a small business determine which consultant to hire? Who is quality?

I recommend that small businesses consider more than a consultant’s client list when determining who they work with. One consultant might have engineered very successful campaigns for large companies and generated significant returns. That does not, however, mean that they are in tune with the needs and limitations of small businesses. First of all, their fees might undercut their services and their strategies might not apply on a smaller scale.

I recommend that small businesses looking to hire a consultant, instead, invest in the candidate that will communicate effectively, prioritize your particular needs, and provide genuine recommendations. Your company will rely on the consultant’s ability to help you understand these technical terms and strategies. If the consultant is not interested in educating you, how will you be able to judge their performance?

Your company will also rely on a consultant’s ability to prioritize your needs. Big ideas are great in this industry, and almost always the ultimate goal, but a marketer needs to be able to achieve big things incrementally. Your company wasn’t built in a day, and neither will its internet marketing campaigns.

Your company will also rely on a marketer who provides genuine recommendations. This will require a two way trust. You must be able to believe that the marketer has your company’s best interest in mind, and not their own bottom line. They must believe that your company is dedicated to success, or all of their marketing skills and know-how will be wasted in unread white-papers and un-acted upon recommendations.

At the end of the day, you are the boss. I recommend hiring a consultant who understands that they work for you. Even though you have sought out their skills, your word is final and it is their responsibility to guide you effectively through the world of optimizations and scripting code.