The story is all too familiar. Guy writes ebook, guy sells ebook online, guy starts coaching or consulting business, guy changes name to protect his family from death threats.
Every day, thousands of starving entrepreneurs fork over their $4500+ payments to capture the precious few 15-minute time blocks offered by Internet marketing coaches. Then, they wonder why their Internet marketing coaching doesn’t work.
On the other hand, I have not ever met someone that made any real headway on the web without some type of guidance. We all have our mentors. We all have those people who taught us how to market and sell online. We all have had projects that bring images of a toilet flushing into our minds.
Eventually, if we stick with it, a few things work too.
When you hire a consultant or coach to help with your Internet project, you need to have a realistic mindset. No success will be achieved without time and effort. People who tell you otherwise should be avoided at all costs. Or, it will cost you!
In this article, I’d like to feature a unique set of questions for you to ask when you’re looking for an Internet marketing company to help with your next project. These questions are not your typical “ask for references” types of questions but a practical, real-world list that will help you smell a thief as well as recognize a true expert that can make a difference.
Please note that before you launch any promotional program for your website that you should make sure your website is ready to be promoted! Here is a simple and easy-to-implement web site checklist for you to use.
These questions can give you a good idea within 30 seconds if the service provider is a potential fit for your project:
1) Would you implement the project or would I do the work myself?
This is the most important question you will need to have answered up-front. There is no right or wrong answer here. It just weeds out the consultants who are not inline with your intention.
Do YOU want to do the work or are you looking for someone to just make the project happen?
Coaches and consultants typically will not do the work for you unless you pay for “implementation” services. In my ten years as someone who consults, coaches, and implements, I can tell you that implementation services take many more hours out of my day and clients expect to pay premium dollar for that dedication of time.
2) What are you really good at?
Most people, if they’re lucky, are really really good at only one or two aspects of marketing on the Internet. This question will really catch them off guard in most cases and it will be a good insight for you as to their honesty. Look out for the person that claims they’re highly skilled at every aspect of conducting business online.
3) What do you really like to do on the Internet?
The last thing you want to do is hire a starving consultant that doesn’t enjoy working in an area of Internet marketing that you will need for your project. When service people are hungry, they’ll take any job. Then, they realize how much they hate what they’re doing and your project takes forever to get completed if it ever actually does get completed.
But, it’s a time-consuming process. Ask your promoter if they will be implementing this strategy for you or just assisting you with the process.
This section includes questions you should ask of yourself:
4) Do we think alike?
Never hire a consultant or implementation service provider that has a different business philosophy than you do. If you want to be involved with the planning of the project, don’t choose a marketer that doesn’t want you around. Conversely, don’t hire someone to write copy for you if you’re just going to edit and change every word–and expect the same result.
5) Is this a person I would enjoy working with long-term?
Who wants to work with a grump? Energetic, fun-loving, happy people are much more inspiring to work with. Try to find out how the consultant spends their free time.
For example, when a prospective client calls me for a free evaluation consult, I’m quick to use examples that include my family because most people like to work with family-oriented people.
Prospects see that enjoyment of life in my and people like to be around people that enjoy life.
6) Is this person interested in my project?
I don’t accept every project that comes along. I’m very selective. If you were to call me about my services, I would be evaluating whether or not HereNextYear is a good fit for you just as you would be checking me out too.
The first thing I look for in a project is whether it has potential. Then, I consider the person I’ll be working with. Next in line is whether I will enjoy the time I spend on the project.
Make sure your coach, consultant or implementation company is truly interested and excited about your project before you cut the check. You’ll get far better results from their service.
These questions can greatly help you to evaluate the potential success of your project and working together including:
7) What are your success stories?
Everyone in the Internet marketing business should have success stories. Otherwise, they’d better not be trying to create a success story for you! I’m not big on asking for references as they are typically hand-picked and given incentive to give favorable testimonials.
8) Have you helped someone in my industry before or something close to it?
This is sort of a trick question. The consultant may attempt to sidestep the answer if he has not performed services for your industry. So, it’s a good test to see if the person is honest by asking.
Yes or no is not as important as you might think it is. There are literally thousands of Internet strategies out there. And, many of them can be applied no matter what industry you’re in. A good Internet marketer needs to be capable of learning your industry quickly and adapting those strategies to your project. That’s the skill you’re looking for with this question.
9) What’s your payback goal and how do you measure those results?
My Live Buddy Program is paid for in advance so that we can get past the money part and onto the objective.
My personal goal is to, at minimum, have you earning your money back within three months. In other words, whatever I recommend as a solution or project scope carries with it a payback goal of three months . . . or less of course.
This progress needs to be tracked carefully and your service provider should have a mechanism in place to keep close tabs on progress. If a consultant does not have a payback goal in mind, be weary of their excitement for your project.
10) What is your process for doing business?
An established Internet marketing service provider has dealt with many different projects before. There should be a standard procedure in place for beginning a project. Do you meet in-person? Do you send a payment? Is research performed first?
I use what I call a “Web site pre-flight,” which is a document the new client completes for me. The client has to put in some time to complete the pre-flight but it assures both of us that we’re, well, on the same page for what needs to be accomplished with the project.If someone does not have a clear process in performing a project, they probably don’t have much experience either.
11) How involved will you be with my project?
We’re in the Glory Days of what I call the epidemic of “Coaching Farms” where one person convinces you to pay big-bucks for high-end services (picture the image of a Budweiser horse–strong, powerful, reliable workhorse). But, then the person that is assigned to your account is an underpaid hourly project donkey.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for “helpers” on projects. I use assistants and specialists to help me with various components of projects all the time. This allows me to be most helpful in the areas that I’m really good at and let those more productive and effective in other areas to do their stuff. Coaching farms, however, seem to thrive on project quantity rather than getting true results. They prey on the fact that most people don’t make it through their 4th coaching session because the coach assigns too much homework without clear directions as to how to perform the task.
Conversely, if you hire an implementation service provider who is the only person on the team, you run the risk of that person being inexperienced in certain areas and overwhelmed by taking on only two or three projects.Strive for that perfect mix when you choose your service provider.
You want the expert involved in the project calling the shots. But, you also want that person to have helpers to get the job done quickly and thoroughly.
Hiring an Internet marketing professional to help with your project can put you on one of the fastest highways to success or lead you to a dismal dead-end drain on your financial and mental resources.
Avoid the temptation to choose the first service provider that comes along and above all go with someone you will enjoy working with. Launching a successful project on the Internet is a journey that requires patience and direction. Enjoy every moment in the process.
HereNextYear recognizes that not everyone has high-end consulting and coaching budgets. So, we’ve assembled low-cost Internet Marketing Step Lists to bring you up to speed quickly with various web marketing strategies and techniques.
Include HereNextYear in your mix as you consider a service provider to help you get the results you’re looking for. After all, we’ve been “Taking Web Sites to New Heights” for more than 13 years now. And, we’d love to help you with the process too.